On several trips to Palestine and Israel I’ve always been impressed with how Christ-like the few Christians remaining there are. They love their neighbors. Unfortunately the same cannot always be said about Christians here in the United States. I’ll let you call to mind your own experience of this unfortunate fact.

Most people would say that religion is about faith.  They would say that the difference from one Christian to the next is defined by how much faith they have.  They are right of course.  But to leave it there is not adequate. 

To illustrate, let’s consider medicine.  In one sense it would be correct to say that the difference between medical practitioners is how much they believe in their profession—how much passion (faith) they have for healing.   But to leave it there would be ridiculous.  When it comes to education and experience there is a world of difference between the hospital orderly, the Certified Nursing Assistant, the Registered Nurse and the Doctor.  The same can be said for religion.  In churches you will find custodians, Office Administrators, Elders, and Pastors.  It might be said about each of them, “s/he has a tremendous passion for religion.”  But there is a difference in education and experience that define their work in the church. 


Now, let’s be clear.  Some would say:  “When it comes to religion I say Scholars, Schmolars!!  I want my preacher to preach the word o’ God!  Don’t give me no high falutin theologian.”  But most women in their 39th week of pregnancy with no complications are very happy with mid-wifery.  On the other hand, if she’s in heavy labor in her 22nd week she probably wants the best Obstetrician she can find.  And when my son is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor I don’t want some bible-banger telling me:  “Well John, it’s a mystery but sometimes God’s ways are not our ways.  All we know is that He (sic) had a reason for taking your son so soon.”

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