Paul is often referred to as “the great excluder” and is used by many to defend a legalistic view of Christianity. But what happens, Steve asks this week, if it’s not that the rules don’t matter, but the principle behind them matters more?
That principle, Steve argues, is love. As he puts it “That’s why Paul the apostle, in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Galatia, explains, ‘the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ For Paul, this is the way to live – guided by this set of core principles, or virtues, which were so apparent in the life of Jesus. So, he concludes ‘Against such things there IS no law.”
Steve finishes with a statement that guides Oasis Church Waterloo, where he’s the Senior Vicar. In other words, this is the law that guides the church.
Welcome to Oasis Church Waterloo.
Here we try to practise the generous Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This means you will be mixing with;
Seekers, searchers and those who have been bruised,
those who rejoice and those who mourn,
those who are worn out, burnt out and exhausted,
those for whom life is filled with purpose and direction,
those in fulfilling relationships and those who have failed to love, been cheated in love or who are afraid to receive love,
those of various nationalities, sexualities and gender identities,
those who are strong in their faith and those who are besieged by questions and doubts,
those rejected by other churches and those who have found meaningful community here for the first time,
those who have broken their promises,
those who have been betrayed,
those bowed down with burdens,
those for whom the grip of alcohol or work, drugs or sex, money or unnamed powers is getting stronger and those for whom that grip is loosening,
and goodness knows how many others...
indeed anyone like those Jesus chose to spend his time with.
This is not a private club but a public space open to all people of goodwill.
And, though we are not yet strong and vulnerable enough
to show the unconditional love of God at all times,
we hope we are moving in that direction.
What do you think of it?
Do you agree or disagree? What does it lack?
How would you change it, add to it or subtract from it, for your local church?