Who Are My Brothers?

A few days ago, I was searching for some blogs to read and make possible comments.  As my interest leans towards politics and the Christian faith, I elected to see what other Christians were talking about.  As this is an election year, I did expect emotions to run high.

I was looking for ideas of what to write, this week. I would love to say that everyone was engaged in a civil debate. However, this is sadly not the case on the few alleged Christian sites I visited. It seems some have forgotten who their brothers and sisters are and that we’re to love one another.

Being grieved by what I read, I talked with a friend.  As he is a Brother in the Catholic church and is acquainted with the early church Fathers, I asked “What’s the original meaning of the word, brother?” I explained what this was about.

My brother surprised me by referring to what Jesus said in Matt 12:48-50:

         48      But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
49      And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!
50      “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Did you notice Jesus does not define brothers and sisters based on our political ideologies. We’re not defined by church affiliations. Rather, it is one who listens to what the Father says and does it. Jesus would later give an added meaning to the word, brother.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus says:

         34      “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35      “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Does this mean I can’t disagree with my brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we not allowed to have debates? Does anyone have a brother or sister that totally agrees with them, on everything? If so, I have to ask “Is the person, alive or dead?

As it is with our families, it is very true for believers in Christ Jesus. It’s okay to disagree; however it’s not okay to hate our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Did Jesus agree with everything that came out of Peter’s mouth? “No.” Did Jesus approve of James and John for wanting to call down fire on a town? No, Jesus rebuked them, for doing such a thing.” Did Jesus approve of his disciples for rebuking parents, whose kids wanted to sit on Jesus’ lap?  Jesus told the disciples, “Let the children come!”

Though Jesus did do the above, there is no doubt that Jesus loved them.  If this is true of Jesus then why is it different for us?  It isn’t.

Here is what John said in 1 John 2:9-11:

        9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
10      The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11      But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

From what I’ve read of the hateful comments on these sites, I’d say these people are walking in darkness and do not know what they stumble over.  They may well claim to love the Father and yet they are hating their black brothers, who vote Democrats.  This is a disgrace and should not be.

Republicans are not the only ones to act in such a deplorable manner. There are Christians, who vote Democrats that act in a similar fashion. I have to be fair and yet this should not be, at all.

How can any say the love of the Father is in them when they are hating those of the same faith. Let’s turn from this type of wickedness and ask Father, “Please fill us, with a sincere love for the brethren.” Let’s ask God, “How can we debate and show real love for one another?” We can do it!

Is it possible to talk politics and not be so bad? It is quite possible and I’ve visited them.  Last week, I came across a site called askmarion.com. The owner is a Christian and has a conservative ideology.

Some time ago, Marion wrote of his conversation with his Dad and it’s on the issue of Chick-Fil-A and same sex marriage.  His blog post titled “My Black Dad and Chick-fil-A“. Yes, Marion is Black and his father is also a Christian.

When reading, I did not see anything hateful coming from Marion. Rather, it was a tone of sincere love respect and yet a spirited debate was had by both. Because of Marion’s tact, a door opened for the Dad to see a different point of view.

Marion isn’t the only person to do so. I’d sometimes run into other Christians doing the same thing on other sites dedicated to politics.  It’s also important to stand up to the bullies on these sites.  Let’s not give them, free reign. 

So, who are my brothers? They are the ones who do the will of my Father, in Heaven. They are Baptists and Catholics, they go to Vineyard churches and United Methodists, belong to organic churches and institutional churches, they are Evangelicals and Charismatic, they are either Conservatives Christians or Liberal Christians.

3 thoughts on “Who Are My Brothers?

  1. Thank you for this post. I used to be a Born Again Christian, attending a conservative church. In 2004, the Pastor said anyone who voted for Kerry would go to hell. I’m not making that up. They had a little (actually tiny) book shop where you could buy Bibles and such. They devoted a whole section to a book written by George W. Bush.
    My sin was being curious. I asked a lot of questions about philosophy and politics. They didn’t exactly tell me to leave and never come back, but they made it clear I was unwelcome. Perhaps your church would’ve treated me differently…

    1. Hi Kurt. I have to feel for you. By the way, I believe you about what the pastor said. I saw something similar posted on Fox News web site.
      Are you in the Toms River area? You could visit Shore Vineyard? If Manahawkin, I believe there are two good churches – United Methodist of Manahawkin and the other is a ministry called “Helping Hands”. All are in New Jersey

  2. How refreshing to read your post! I used to go to a church I loved (and still do) however I was afraid when people in my Bible study spoke about Obama in a mean-spirited way. I actually was afraid they wouldn’t like me if I said that I had voted for Obama… (I needs to learn not to be so afraid of others’ opinions of me). But, I find in many Christian circles people have strong opinions about their political philosophy. I pray for the courage to speak the truth in love one of these days. Thank you for your wonderful post!

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