“The Test of Fellowship”

I was talking with a study group as we were discussing Wright and Borg’s The Meaning of Jesus and I expressed my frustration with the back-and-forth, I started to say “who cares”? (As I mentioned in my last post.) Now I could get to the piont where I saw Borg’s argument that if there were still really bones in the tomb, who cares, that doesn’t remove my faith.

I was asked if before I read this book if I would have seen that as a test of Christianity – or what is sometimes called a “Test of Fellowship”. What some people call the test to determine if one is truly a Christian. For some Christians this is whether or not someone has been baptized. For some it’s whether or not they’ve been fully immersed in baptism. Still others the test is whether or not you have a specific belief about baptism. For some, it’s just whether you believe Jesus died, was buried and was raised again.

So what he was asking me, was whether or not I would believe a person was a Christian if they believed it was possible that there was still in a body in the tomb of Jesus.

This made me think – what is that test for me?

I couldn’t really think of anything – so I said I was through with tests. I grew up in a tradition that the tests were very specific, and there were many (meaning there were many ways you could prove someone wasn’t a true Christian). So I think I’m over all that. Before I read this part of the book, I probably would have asked someone why they wanted to be a Christian if they could believe the possibility that the bones of Jesus were still in His tomb – but I wouldn’t have said they weren’t a Christian.

To me the only real test of whether or not someone is a Christian is whether or not they love.

That’s what Jesus said, isn’t it? “By your love they will know you.”

Sometimes it seems like I’m in the minority.


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