He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Ethnic Enemy—No Greek or Jew . . . Barbarian, Scythian: The Gospel and Ethnic Difference

"Love of the ethnic enemy—of every enemy—is what must characterise the church as the body of those who were themselves enemies of God and were reconciled through his love precisely when they were enemies and as enemies, in order that they should be enemies no longer (Rom 5:10). Having received that love and experiencing now its transforming power, God's own people can and must demonstrate it in the quality of their common life and in their engagement with a world of ethnic discord. Such love demonstrates grace and pardon. It pursues truth, justice, and peace across ethnic divides in society as well as in the church and personal relationships. It is radically countercultural—and dangerous. It is not natural but extraordinary and an affront to conventional human wisdom, exactly as the Samaritan's love was, and the Father's. But it is that very outrageous and supernatural character which brings conviction and the only true and lasting hope of communion beyond ethnicity, for 'by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).

Read this article in its totality here. May we look to the Cross of Christ to break down every barrier that divides His church.