Saturday, August 20, 2011

No relationships, no Christianity

I am becoming more and more convinced that unless we have good and healthy relationships, our Christianity is nothing but a failed ideology. Theological savviness, devout volunteerism, perfect church attendance, unrelenting passion for missionary work…not one of these matter without relationship.

Think about it. What is Christianity without relationships? When asked what sums up the law, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God…” and “love your neighbor…” These two commandments make a connection between relationship with God and relationship with other. I believe this connection is very significant because it reminds us that one cannot have a good relationship with God if one is unable to have a good relationship with people, or vice versa. Jesus’s contemporaries were pious. They obeyed the Law. They knew their Scripture. But they treated people quite miserably. Most of these leaders cared more about their religious practices than about engaging the people in their neighborhoods.

Jesus taught something different. Obedience to the Law, orthodox theology, even observance of the Sabbath, means very little to God when relationship is ignored. And how can it mean anything? Everything we Christians strive for revolves around our relationships—strong church community, healthy marriages, good kids, leading people to Christ, etc. We certainly cannot engage God solely by remembering Scripture or volunteering at a pregnancy center. We engage God by engaging the very people we were called to be in community with. After all, our mission to spread the gospel is futile when we are unable to engage relationally with one another.

Now the question I have for my readers is this: What does it mean to be in relationship? I implore you to contemplate this question for some time because your answer will also be an indication of the kind of relationship you have with God.

1 comment:

Nick Zimmerman said...

Bravo, my friend....bravo. I am glad that I am not the only person in this world who is concerned about building relationships and expressing peace to one another, not just talking about. Jesus was a man that stood for very basic symbols. Love and Peace...I feel everything he did was to show the world that message from God. So over two thousand years later, come on christians. When are we starting? Jesus contributed his load. It's time we do our part. I like it...keep them coming.