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Take the Log out of Our Own Eye (Pilgrimage Reflection #2)

Posted on July 18th, 2013

Tony Campolo frequently points out that Matt.7:1-5 does not teach “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Instead, it means we are to: “Love the sinner and hate your own sin.” Thomas Merton made a similar point: “If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate those things in yourself, not in another.” Geri and I just completed our 3-city tour in New Zealand (EHS in partnership with the Willow Creek Association NZ). I was particularly struck by the generous spirit of believers on issues that are particularly contentious and divisive in the USA. Consider the following:

  1. Charismatic Baptists.  While I know of one or two pastors who might identify themselves as such, this is quite common in New Zealand.
  2. Women pastors and elders. We met many here on this tour.
  3. Learning from the multicultural, global church. The church I preached in last Sunday had 38 nations represented. I particularly enjoyed another church filled with Pacific Islanders (the 23 small countries like Samoa and Fiji). I also enjoyed listening to the stories of South Africans, Filipinos and Chinese who have migrated here.
  4. “Outside the box” initiatives. I was challenged by the passion and creativity of a young Anglican bishop (with dreadlocks by the way) who helped found a monastic order called Urban Vision. Their contextualized community to serve the poor and orient the larger church back to her center had many brilliant elements that I hope to learn more about in the future.

God is alive and working all over the world! We have much to learn.

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