Steeple Sitters -- By: Mary Ellen Drushal

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 17:0 (NA 1984)
Article: Steeple Sitters
Author: Mary Ellen Drushal

Steeple Sitters

Mary Ellen Drushal

When you were a child, did you ever walk across the yard looking through the large lenses of binoculars? I did that once and promptly walked into a tree! Observing scenes through the large lenses sufficiently distorts one’s perspective to make things appear a distance away when in reality they are much closer.

The same visual distortion occurs within the church, especially evangelical churches. Constituents within these churches scrutinize Scripture through binoculars and even magnifying glasses to conclude that God’s Word is inerrant, infallible and the only sufficient guide and foundation for ministry. God’s Word is truth and therefore the only rule for practice. So why does the whole counsel of God go unnoticed? Do evangelical believers become “steeple sitters” and peer at their world through the large end of the binoculars?

In Matthew 22:34–39, a lawyer quizzed Jesus regarding the most significant commandment in the Law. He said there were two: love the Lord your God with your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself. Certainly believing Christians love God and His Word, the historic family album. But loving your neighbor as yourself creates a different dilemma. That implies we must first love ourselves and then translate that love from God to our neighbors through observable and demonstrative acts of love.

Do we love ourselves? Do we adequately love and care for our neighbors? What constitutes a corporate response to these commandments?

Loving Oneself

We are created in the image of God. In Genesis 1:27 God states: “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” We are His children (John 1:12) created and gifted uniquely to serve Him (1 Corinthians 12). Frequently in the church, we are warned that loving oneself immediately connotes the concept of pride and Scripture speaks to this perversion “…do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought to think…” (Romans 12:3). Loving oneself directly reflects our understanding of the person of God, that He is who He said, and that He can and does do what Scripture records (Ephesians 1:5–7). To not love ourselves amounts to blasphemy!

Love of Neighbors

You may be saying to yourself, “well, I can understand loving

God and loving myself through His revealed plan for ...

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