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When we squabble, we neglect the basics
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Editorial: When we squabble, we neglect the basics

The writer is a housewife, mother, grandmother and Church of God member who was baptized in 1982.

By Debbie King

SEWANEE, Tenn.--I was talking to a dear friend not long ago who told me her views of cliques in the Church of God. My friend has grown up in the church and has seen people forming their own little groups and leaving other church people out of their fellowship. I'm sure many of you have seen the same thing.

Later I was talking to a woman I had just met about visiting other groups and whether they make you feel welcome.

She and I had experienced the feeling of not being made to feel welcome in a new group.
Of course we had also experienced being made to feel quite welcome in new groups too. So I do not by any means mean to say that every group is not friendly. But I do think there is a problem in the church of not welcoming visitors.

Love the brethren

I think that along the same lines we have a problem of not showing the right love and concern for our brethren.

Here I must say that I know that I am guilty of doing this very thing. I have been guilty of doing things that I am deeply sorry for, and I am thankful for a gracious and forgiving God.

If you look up the word love in the concordance, you will find it is in the Bible many times. This does not even include the words loved, loves, loveth, loving and lovingkindness. You get my meaning.

We also know that in John 13:34 Christ says He gives us a new commandment that we love one another as He has loved us.

Do we truly show the love to one another that Christ showed for us?

I know I have failed miserably in the past. But I am trying hard now.

There are so many scriptures about our loving one another. Let's look at 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13.

"Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."

Yet what do we do? We spend so much time squabbling over this doctrine or that doctrine that we neglect the basics of Christianity.

Decision to visit

Now for those cliques. You know a lot of people who have been hurt by various church groups, but let's just say one day they decide to visit your church group.

They walk in. No one greets them. Members of this little group are over in one corner talking among themselves, and another little group is in another corner.

This is the first time this new person has gotten up the nerve to come to church in a long time. Do you think he will be back?

Let's look at a Bible writer talking about faith, in James 2:1:

"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?"

The apostle James continues:

"Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor ... If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."

The chapter on love

Let's also look at 1 Corinthians 13. I know every one of you know what this chapter is: the love chapter.

"... Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
Please read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 for yourself.

Let's go to 1 John 4:7-12: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him ... If we love one another, God dwelleth in us ..."

These scriptures speak for themselves. As I said before, there are so many scriptures and I have listed here only a few.

Be nice to the brethren

Let us pray that God will help us to love one another. Let's welcome new people who dare to set foot in our church, and let's not show partiality.

Remember John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Christ loved us enough to lay down His life for us. He is our example. Can we show love to one another?

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