Matthew R. Perry

Rivalries — fun in sports, deadly in church!

In Devotional on February 10, 2006 at 5:18 pm

I have lived a number of places and here are the sports rivalries I’ve been exposed to! I was born in Virginia, so the main in-state rivalry was:

vs.

In Michigan, the in-state rivalry was nothing. But this one? Wow!

vs. (Go Buckeyes!)

Then I moved to Florida — even better!!!

vs. vs. (Go Gators!!!)

Now, here I am in Kentucky, and guess what the grand rivalry is:

vs. GO CARDS!!!!

Sometimes, these rivalries can get rather heated, especially if I bring up to a fan! But for the most part these rivalries are intended to be friendly and add some excitement to the respective sport.

Even in the political realm it’s:

vs. vs. (yes, there are other political parties out there besides the GOP and the Dems!)

 

It’s easy to get into an ‘us against them’ mentality. Does that translate in how the church operates? Is it an ‘us against the world’ mindset? In one way, yes. We have to certainly contend and protect the faith and help the sheep stay faithful in resisting temptation and resisting unholy living and attitudes.

But what about those with differing worldviews? I then say, no. They are our mission field. They are the ones to whom we speak the truth, but do so in love. All of us are sinners in need of God’s grace. If the church turns totally into an ‘us against them’ institution and organism, then we are violating Christ’s Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 22:37-39 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Let’s keep it in perspective, yes?

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