Alan Knox, over at The Assembling of the Church, has started a new chain blog.
In this chain blog, each author will pick a topic related to “one another.” Together we will work toward a better understanding what this term seen throughout scripture means to us. This is the first thing that came to mind when Alan mentioned the word mutuality in the first link of the chain.
Jesus commands us to love, not love if this, or if that.
There is not a local church on the planet that would put a claim against the practice of “unconditional love”.
Well, many churches do not practice what they preach, and my allergies get super bad as I hear the BS being spouted from the pulpit of so many local churches. Too often, for one reason or another, love is conditioned on rule keeping, service to the institutional church or some other whacked-out qualification.
When any conditions are placed on love, it is not the love described by Jesus. It is not Jesus at all. The churches that act with conditions have a problem, and it is called a Jesus deficit disorder. They do not focus on Christ in community with “one another”, and when the focus drops from Christ, the conditions arise.
The way I have come to learn the type of love found within many institutional church settings is what I would call “us”conditional love, not “un”conditional love. The analogy I would use is… unless you are a part of the “us” in the local country club setting, you are not going to be welcomed to the party. This is the wrong way to see mutuality being played out.
“Us”conditional love must be avoided at all costs because it sends the message to people that they have no value (or are not right with God) unless they are complying with the demands, the rules, or the “what we believe” statements the local church rulers pulled out of their behinds. People who attend this type of church setting may be loved for a while, but that investment of love better pay off in the desired response or it will most likely (from my experience) not continue.
From my experience, and many others I have talked to among many different churches, I can almost guarantee this scenario happening … which is really, really sad.
A consequence of this categorical “us” system is extreme prejudice. No, you do not get zapped with this internal disease quickly. It actually happens rather slowly over time like a deadly poison drip. It infects the inner-prejudice in all of us until we are absolutely paranoid of becoming like one of “them” outside the walls. We begin to have great contempt for those who fall into the sub-category of sinner. What is implied is “yeah, we are sinner’s too, but not like that sinner over there”, and soon people start to despise anyone who just falls. Again, this goes against the “mutuality” Alan defines to start this chain blog.
Here is the eye-opener. The fallen (or in other words.. “one another”) include your cranky-ass neighbor, your homosexual friend, your drunk uncle, your atheist cousin, your crazy parents, your lazy kids, or the BO ridden homeless person, and you know what.. it includes you too
Drop the conditions already, and then we can get started on what it means to show mutuality in Christ!
What are your thoughts on what I wrote here? Remember this is a chain blog. If anyone has anything to say about the topic of “one another” here are the rules…
Chain blog rules:
1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.
2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).
3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.
“Links” in the “One Another” chain blog:
1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan
2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny
3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck
4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim
5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen
6. “Accepting one another in love” by Chris
7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg
8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter
9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy
10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua
11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter
12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon
13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan
14. Who will write the 14th link post in the chain?
Comment on Alan’s blog if you want the next one…