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Out of Africa

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Out of Africa

March 26, 2015

TODAY'S BIBLE READING:

The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for April 2015. This week a man nicknamed ‘Africa’ was shot by police in Skid Row in Los Angeles. Unusually after such incidents it emerged that there was a video of the event that had been posted online. No doubt, there will be discussion as to what exactly took place and why the man was shot. The police say that he was grabbing one of the policemen’s guns. The purpose of this reference is not to attempt to adjudicate an impossibly difficult situation, but to highlight the great need for a reassertion of a clear Christian neighbour love. The story told of this man’s life is a sad one, and it illustrates the vital power of the counterintuitive practice of Good Samaritan behaviour – to rescue those around us, and to love those we may otherwise deem beneath us. The church today frequently feels battered by assaults on doctrines that are central to its existence – doctrines related to morality, as well as core confessions of faith such as the exclusivity of Christ. In response she rightly asserts truth — truth with a capital ‘T’ — and is called upon to be diligent and bold in such assertions. There is indubitably a great need for fresh ballast, newly focused zeal, strength and unashamed declaration of the gospel. Yet, at the same time, there is another side. The church is also surrounded not just by a battering ram focused on the Gates of Truth but by a world groaning in hate, by terrorism, despicable deeds of darkness, and by tragic individual events beyond our human comprehension. I have recently heard two stories of remarkable conversions. One by a highly regarded and esteemed intellectual who simply examined the account of the Resurrection from a factual basis, decided it was more likely to have occurred than not, and hence therefore gave his life to Christ. Another story, from a little while ago, was of a man who was constantly amazed by the love that Christians displayed. Our world wants us to divorce these two elements. It wants us to stand for Truth, but to do so with anger. Or it wants us to love, but in a wimpish way that is but a pale image of costly love. But according to the apostle John in his great letter, 1 John, these two are never to be sundered in the Christian filled with the Spirit: truth and love go hand in hand, the one witnessing to the other, the both witnessing to the Lord of Love, the Christ in human flesh. This week as you reflect on the news – some of it good, much of it not – reflect on the clarion call that it issues towards us to reflect the beauty of Christ in that most treasured of elements, the gospel that is true and is love. by Josh Moody]]>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.

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