fellowship with the familiar

like faith

Wouldn’t Christian theology assert that the greatest love is that between God and people, between the Almighty and the weak, between the Holy and the unholy, between the Sacred and the sinner, between the Lover and the unloveable? And wouldn’t it also assert that we are to love as we are loved?

But wait! This is not perfect. The story of the good Samaritan turned it all upside down so that the unloveable loveless did the loving. So Christians: wouldn’t it be safe to say, therefore, that to be loved by an atheist or a Muslim or a Buddhist is actually the sacred thing, the Divine encounter? Isn’t it possible that to be in fellowship with those outside actually brings us inside with those already inside because we assumed they were outside?

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Jesus said of those who were against Him, that “they were from their father, the devil.”

    There really is no fellowship with unbelievers other than the fellowship of sin, in which we all share.

    So how do we treat the unbelievers? We love them all the more and look for opportunities to hand over Christ without beating them over the head.

  • fishon

    Isn’t it possible that to be in fellowship with those outside actually brings us inside with those already inside because we assumed they were outside?
    ——-Define fellowship

  • fishon

    Steve Martin
    September 6, 2011 | 10:00 pm

    Jesus said of those who were against Him, that “they were from their father, the devil.”
    ——Ooooooo Steve, surely he didn’t say that? Can’t be. Not possible. It ain’t politically correct.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    felllowship= you would be on the same ship with any another fellow. which you actually are.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Fishon,

    Maybe you’re right.

    And He never told His disciples to “bang the dust off their sandals and get out of town when the people of that town rejected Him.”

    And He never said that He would “divide people”.

    It’s all made up.

    I think I’ll become a Scientologist. That sounds like fun!

  • fishon

    Steve Martin
    September 6, 2011 | 10:42 pm

    Fishon,

    Maybe you’re right.

    And He never told His disciples to “bang the dust off their sandals and get out of town when the people of that town rejected Him.”
    ______Wow! Did he say that too?

  • fishon

    nakedpastor
    September 6, 2011 | 10:03 pm

    felllowship= you would be on the same ship with any another fellow. which you actually are.
    ——–You forgot about the life rafts, David. Some of us has jumped into the Jesus life raft.

  • http://samscoville.blogspot.com/ sam scoville

    Steve Martin, Fishon, and David: all on the same page, fellow shippers shipping.

  • Ed

    Perhaps what he really means is, I only fellowship with those who’s faith I like.

    I wonder if the guy in the rowboat sabatoged the ship.

  • Sister Marie

    Unfortunately, David, some are responding here to the cartoon and narrative that they think that you authored vice the one that actually appears here. We’ve been compartmentalizing others throughout history. Some things never change. If I had not already comprehended your message from the cartoon, your reference to the Good Samaritan certainly would have clinched it.

  • http://www.pilgrimswaymin.org Jon F. Dewey

    My first impression after seeing this cartoon was that unlike the fellow in the boat, I’d be rowing around picking up people like a lifeguard. But that’s my bias.

    Everyone here is right, of course. (No sarcasm intended with that statement.) It is not either/or — it is two sides of the same coin. Jesus commands us to go to the world proclaiming his message. There are no qualifiers on that — the message is for everyone. However, we do not have to put up with junk from anyone. When things get abusive or hostile, we shake the dust off our feet and go on our way. The job of the believer is to present the message, not to force its acceptance. No where in that concept, however, is implied that we can refuse to go! We have to associate with people in one way or another.

  • Sister Marie

    Jon, did you read the same post by David as I did? The ship is sinking; a “true Christian” is safe in a lifeboat, and human beings are drownings. These human beings do not have labels attached to them and the only thing that David has included to suggest that they are different than the man in the lifeboat is to suggest that they do not share the same faith. For many Protestant denominations, one could safely assume that they’re Roman Catholic, or Methodist, or Episcopalian, or LDS. And horror of horrors, there may even be Hindus, Muslims, and atheists.

    But in real-life situations fireman and rescue personnel do no confine their life-saving efforts to those of like precious faith, and neither should we. To suggest that we can somehow be “contaminated” by our interaction with those who do not accept our faith only cheapens our faith. If our beliefs are so fragile that they cannot hold up in an environment that includes others, then we never had a strong basis for our faith anyway.

  • http://www.jordanpfowler.com jordan fowler

    A similar, powerful metaphor of this is portrayed at the end of the movie Titanic. The “faithful” have filled a rescue boat and don’t want to take any other floating survivors on lest their comfort be disturbed. (Worth re-watching this scene and reading about The Unsinkable Molly Brown.)

    A key question in this regard: Why is God allowing you to suck oxygen off the planet another day and what are doing about that today?

  • Christine

    Steve – Interesting that you immediately associate those who are against Jesus with “unbelievers”.

    Did you miss the Good Samaritan reference?

    In this case, the Samaritan is the unbeliever (not Jewish being the point), but who is against Jesus, the one who helps the stranger or the one who neglects him for the sake of the Law?


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