The Narrow GateBy Rich DuBose
Practicing Kindness in a Cruel World
Some think the perfect church is one where everyone holds similar views on faith and doctrine; where families believe alike and send their children to the same schools; where cultural issues are discussed and agreed upon, where everyone—through baptism and some kind of mystical transformation—become one in thought and behavior. They believe the perfect church is made up of people who vote for the same kind of government and most likely belong to the same political party. They reason that only then can members truly love one another and be the shining light that God wants them to be. If everyone in the church were like-minded they reason that their witness to the world would be amazing! But over time, many have come to realize that such a church would be anything but perfect, because actually, the greatest demonstration of grace is not when like-minded people come together in fellowship and share their lives, but when those who are not like-minded do so! The miracle that amazes everyone is that they willingly do so in spite of their differences.
The challenge of the gospel is not to get everyone to think alike, but to treat everyone, especially those who don't share our views, with grace and compassion.
Kindness is a lost commodity in our culture. The drive for success, for significance, and survival leaves compassion floundering by the wayside. Talk radio engenders combative dialog that leaks into our churches. Members get inflamed at one another in "hot talk" over politics, pop culture, and church issues and the message of the gospel is neutralized. Defending truth without showing love weakens our mission. The Narrow Gate reveals a counter cultural path in a world of selfishness. This book shows the power of a courteous life and guides Adventists to authentically demonstrate compassion within the church and in the community. It is ideal for individual study, small groups, mid week services, Sabbath classes, etc.
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