Sunday, November 05, 2006

Relational Integrity

"When God creates, he creates with relational integrity. Everything is connected and fits together. This is true not only in the physical realm, but even more so in the spiritual. The Bible tells us that when man sinned, all creation groaned...The pulling of one piece of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the primary influence of famines that spread across deserts, tsunamis that swallow up villages, earthquakes that shake the earth, and the unpredictable force and violence of nature. According to Scripture, everything is connected, and every action has at least some effect on the whole.

"In the same way the church is a part of the whole, she is both influenced by the world around her and called to influence the world in which she exists. Too often the church does not realize that she is part of a greater societal and spiritual ecological system. That is why a balanced ecosystem is of primary importance in the Genesis design. And just as it is critical for all living beings to live within a balanced ecosystem, the church can only thrive in the context of healthy relationships.

"We are accustomed to speaking of the great commission, but it is the commandment that Jesus calls 'great.' The commission erupts out of the great commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind." The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these. The gospel flows best through the establishing of significant relationships that are authentic and healthy. When relationships become stagnant and the community of Christ closes itself to the outside world, the result is an institution rather than a movement." ~ Erwin McManus, An Unstoppable Force; pg. 15

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