Like the Pharisees

Feb 18, 2014 by

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My husband and I served in December as live-in hosts for Menno-Hof in Shipshewana, Ind., and it was wonderful to reflect on the basic precepts of Anabaptism: 1) Baptism only of those who decide to follow Jesus; 2) Separation of church and state; and — surely most important — 3) Love of enemies, forgiving forever, refusing to kill —either in murdering, late abortion, capital punishment or war.

Unfortunately, we heard stories of people whose hearts were broken by the cruel, legalistic treatment of those who claim to follow the Jesus who showed compassion to all.

I find such shunning or condemnation to be more Pharisaical than Christlike. When we hold our “truths” to be more important than people in whom God’s own image resides, we copy the stiff-necked Pharisees, but not Jesus.

My prayer is that Christians everywhere will come to see “that of God” in everyone, especially in those they think are “enemies” or even merely “compromising with sin.” And, seeing God in them, we will treat them exactly as we would treat God in the flesh, Jesus.

— June Forsyth Kenagy, Albany, Ore.

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