Friday, October 23, 2009

The Mark of the Christian - Schaeffer 3

This is the third in a series of posts as I read and respond my way through Francis Schaeffer’s book, The Mark of the Christian. In the first section, Schaeffer reminds us the “mark” is the love we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and he makes the point that this mark is a “command which includes a condition” (p. 8). But what about those outside the church, how are we to treat them? In the next part of his book, he begins to address this issue for the Christian.


Indeed, the Christian is also to love those outside the church. Love should mark our treatment of all people, in or out, of the church. Why, because all people are created in the image of God. “We are to do this on the basis of creation”; because all men are created in God’s image, no one is exempt from our responsibility to love them (p. 9). He further states: “It [love] should be the attitude that governs our outward observable actions” (p. 10). When the Christian does not have this attitude, it “paints a picture of exclusiveness which is ugly” (p. 10).

Key statements from this section (pp. 9-10):

But, of course, we must strike a balance and not forget the other side of Jesus' teaching: We are to love our fellowmen, to love all men, in fact, as neighbors.

All men bear the image of God. They have value, not because they are redeemed, but because they are God's creation in God's image.

The two are not antithetical (loving brothers and loving all men) . . . The two commands reinforce each other.

Very often the true Bible-believing Christian, in his emphasis on two humanities — one lost, one saved — one still standing in rebellion against God, the other having returned to God through Christ — has given a picture of exclusiveness which is ugly.

Hence, the exclusiveness of the two humanities is undergirded by the unity of all men. And Christians are not to love their believing brothers to the exclusion of their non-believing fellowmen. That is ugly. We are to have the example of the good Samaritan consciously in mind at all times.

3 John 8
Bill hH.

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