Sun | Jun 13, 2021

Letter of the Day | Who are ‘real’ Christians

Published:Friday | May 14, 2021 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam

I was intrigued by the title of Dr Michael Abrahams’ latest column, “Who are the ‘real’ Christians?” I lament the behaviour he described, particularly because it does not fit with the respectful engagement that Christians are called to in the Bible: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness…” (2 Timothy 2:24–25).

I think, to attempt a diagnosis of the issue, the problem is an “abortion” of sorts – a failure to birth and nourish Christian character alongside Christian convictions in all our relationships. Those two should be twins, but it seems too often the case that one or the other is terminated in development, is still-born or is severely neglected and malnourished. I would argue that the world is worse off for the lack of either. In addition, if my diagnosis is accurate, you’re likely to meet professing Christians who are kind and respectful in their manner, but who don’t resemble Jesus on some ethical matters. Nevertheless, he pointed out a log in the eye of many Christians that we need to address.

I must confess my bemusement at his attempt at sifting “the wheat from the chaff” so soon after his declaration that he is not religious. He pointed out Jesus’ command to love your neighbour as yourself. Jesus saw children as his neighbours and not of lesser value than adults. His followers, well, followed. The apostle Paul, whose definition of love you quoted, also explained this – “Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10). Abortion is a complex issue, and it involves considering the well-being of more than one neighbour. We see the unborn as our neighbours, too.

I hope he can now begin to understand why so many Christians argue passionately against killing one of those neighbours. I wholeheartedly echo his call for loving Christians to speak up and let their voices be heard in the kind of respectful dialogue that will have him writing columns to laud the manner – and the manners – of Christians, even when he disagrees with some of their ideas.

JOEL BAIN

Lead Pastor

Grace Family Church