Here are some more notes from the Greg Boyd book I've been working through, "Repenting of Religion."
This is a great description of the type of love that is to mark our Christian communities.
The evangelistic task of the Christian community, in other words, is to live
and love in a way that draws people and cries out for explanation. Our proclamation only has as much credibility
as our love requires explanation.
This is not because the world is so sinful that people unjustly require an
unreasonable demonstration of truth before they believe it. For too long, the church has blamed the world
for how ineffective it is at attracting people.
Evidence that we have been eathing from the same tree from which Adam
and Eve ate is that we have deflected responsibility for our sin just as they
did. In truth, if people aren’t being
drawn to the Lord by the church’s love, this is the church’s fault. For Jesus taught us from the start that it is
by our love, not just by our words, that people will know he is real and be
drawn into a relationship with him.
Christ convinced us of the love of God by demonstrating it while we were
yet sinners. We are called to do the
same toward others.
By God’s own design – a design that recaptures the purpose for which God
created the world – hurting and hungry people are to be drawn into the reality
of God’s love by seeing it demonstrated in his body. Christ did this in his earthly body, which is
why sinners were attracted to him. And
he longs to do this again through his church boy. To the extent that the church embodies the
spirit of Jesus, it will be a magnet for prostitutes and tax collectors. To the extent it embodies the spirit of
Pharisaism, however, it will repel life.