In the first century after Christ, Tertullian, the Christian theologian wrote: “It is our care for the helpless, our practicing of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of our opponents. ‘Look,’ they say, ‘how they love one another. Look how they are prepared to die one for another!’”
But is that reputation alive and well today?
In some areas and individual situations it is! Sadly, in others the missing dimension is love that really cares.
Note the tenderness of Paul’s wording: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.” Commenting on the words, “kindly affectioned,” Dr. Kenneth Wuest points out that the Greek word used is “philostorgos.” He then explains: “The word here represents Christians as bound by a family tie. It is intended to define more specifically the character of ‘philadelphia’ (brotherly love) which follows, so that the exhortation is, ‘love the brethren in the faith as though they were brethren in blood.’”
The world is looking for a brotherhood. Witness the existence of dozens of lodges, clubs and other organizations that claim to be fraternal. Here is another example of human effort to produce a remedy for the need of man. All brotherhoods or sisterhoods call out for the real thing. The bond between Christians, made possible through the love of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, produces genuine brotherhood. How sad when this powerful truth and experience is neglected!
Nothing is gained through bemoaning the absence of Christian love. Action is required. The place to begin is here. The time is now.