"If the world hates you..." (Jn 15:18)

My pastor and I have often joked that the worst thing that happened to the church was not persecution, but the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the empire under Constantine. Actually, we were only half joking.

If we take seriously Jesus' words to his disciples, "If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own" (Jn 15:19), and "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (Jn 15:18), we would have to give serious thought to the implications of our status in the world. We are not hated. We are not persecuted. All too often it is the world that loves us. What does that say about our Christian witness?

As the world polarizes more and more, the distinction between Body of Christ and world will become more and more clear - as will what it is, or who it is, that we stand for.

The moral and ethical state of our nation state

Saw an interesting Gallup poll stat the other day. Seems that a great number of people are concerned about the moral and ethical state of this country, particularly in the political arena. Hmm. You don't suppose that might in any way be connected with the expulsion of all things religious from the forum and the marketplace?