(We are all flawed human beings and although I do not necessarily agree that there are Christian Principles, what Paul says about treating others, mostly with respect, should be our guide when discussing beliefs. My experience here with fellow Christians has been a horror show. The attacks were vicious and often personal, especially by two members here. And they never took the opportunity to share their truth.
(As brothers and sisters in Christ, our duty is to both rebuke and encourage each other. The rebuke should not be cruel or debasing. Gentleness, kindness, care, decency and love is the order of the day. I personally believe all the Word is about love, our beliefs often get in the way and have fall short. If we are undecided about how to treat gays, the divorced and remarried, bankers, and so forth, Love can never be a mistake. Just love.
(In the article below is the life of a man that I feel was a true Christian. The article will be somewhat abridged but you can read all of it at https://www.yahoo.com/news/dad-thought-christianity-love-tolerance-143628461.html
He was a former Southern Baptist turned Holy Roller. He spoke in tongues, laid hands on the sick and prophesied whenever the Spirit moved him. He’d stop to get gas and, while he was there, lead the station’s attendant in the sinner’s prayer.
Spiritually speaking, he was a wild man, and sometimes he embarrassed me.
But he was defined by two virtues: humility and love.
He thought that no matter how strongly he believed something, he was just a flawed human being, rescued by God’s grace, and thus subject to being wrong-headed. He taught me to keep that in mind about myself, too, which I try to do.
His humility manifested itself as tolerance. And curiosity.
In our small town, he was a leader in the local ecumenical movement. For years, his best clergy friend was the town’s Episcopal priest. Dad preached in black churches and had black ministers preach in ours.
He led a monthly Bible study for a convent of Catholic nuns. He accepted gay people before there was even a gay rights movement, in the mid-1960s. When he saw Mormon missionaries out trudging down the street on a rainy day, he’d stop, tell them to hop in his car and drive them on their rounds.
He believed what he believed, but he also wanted to know what everybody else believed and why they believed it.
“Mmm, that’s interesting,” he’d say—and meant it.
He treated people humanely because he genuinely cared. Whether or not he agreed with them. Whether or not they looked like him. Whether or not they cared for him.
Every Christmas he’d give away 100 shiny bicycles to parents who might not otherwise have presents for their children. He rarely met a transient he didn’t slip a few dollars or help find a place to sleep. He visited the sick in hospitals. He visited prisoners in jails. The immigrants who worked in the Chinese restaurant called him “Papa” and considered him family. When strangers died without clergy, he preached their funerals regardless of their faith or creed.
He delivered his last sermon when he was 80, and titled it something along the lines of, “What I’ve Learned in 60 Years of Ministry.”
It was short and sweet.
“The whole gospel can be summed up in one word,” I recall Dad telling us that Sunday. “It’s about love. That’s it.”
He didn’t just talk that talk. He walked that walk.
Gee, I miss him. His being here wouldn’t reverse the downward trend in U.S. church membership. But it might serve as an antidote to some of the grandiosity and bile circulating these days.
He drew folks to God instead of running them off. The face of his Christ bore a smile for everyone. Dad taught me it’s hard for people to resist the power of love, and Christians’ job is to help them see God’s love at work.