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Chapter 14 - Christian social relationships.
Most Christians inherit a Christian denomination or select one. As a result, just as with a school classroom, one finds a group of people (who attend the church) who are potentially available for relationship. Sadly, one usually finds, like the new kid in a classroom, that 'relationship' is available if one is entertaining, wealthy, or has other value. If one is odd, poor, or otherwise repulsive, one can expect only cursory contact with others. This is not a new phenomena.
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: - James 2:2-3
Christ would have us to love one another. This is greatly hindered by a lack of love (as a result of an excessive consideration of self). This also hinders our ability to clearly see truth. For example, we can completely miss the needs of a poor person.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? - James 2:15-16
It is also easy to fail to discern that the rich person may also have spiritual needs. For example, we are told that riches are deceitful. It may be likely that a rich person has come to think more highly of himself than he ought or that he has difficulty in fully trusting in God.
There was an elderly lady at a church who when a visiting stranger asked how she was doing financially admitted that she was having some difficulty. She had attended the same church for 30 years. Her best friend at the church was not aware the she was having difficulty. The church leaders would probably have been angry with her for not letting them know she was in need.
This church situation is not unusual. Relationships (like those in the world) tend to be superficial. The organizational nature of most church administration often requires a member to take aggressive action to initiate a system response (like a machine that requires a lever to be pulled to start its operation).
The problem with regular Christian social relationships is that they are little different from those of the world. Few Christians know of, much less seek, a deeper relationship with Jesus and are at a loss to understand why their Christian relationships seem so unsatisfying. What is often called 'fellowship' seems little different than one would expect at a picnic or even a cocktail party.
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