My Brother’s Keeper

Christianity is a true brotherhood. I find it interesting that of all the images the Holy Spirit could have inspired; the picture of siblings is used in the Bible. This humble designation is the preferred greeting from Paul and the Apostles. It implicitly suggests a kind of equality. It emphasizes the common source of spiritual life, and the unique bond that comes from that. The old saying “blood is thicker than water” comes to mind. Given the choice a Christian is even to offend an unbeliever if it means maintaining peace in the household of God (1 Corinthians 8). This however does not imply never offending. As a matter of fact, history would paint a picture that shows churchgoers as easily offended. The difference between offending someone with your free use of a liberty, and offending someone with your judicious use of a rebuke is one thing: sin. Being offended is not wrong if your offense comes from being a weaker brother. Being offended is wrong if your offense comes from being corrected. Big difference. The self-purifying nature of the church is like a well-ordered family where siblings keep each other in check so that their father does not have to discipline.

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