Vol.IX No.VI Pg.1
August 1972

All On The Same Team

Robert F. Turner

Much of our failure to reach others with the gospel is due to the great gulf between us. The unconverted senses an aloofness on our part, and we on his. His problems (we are convinced) are foreign to us; and our solution (he is convinced) is for the birds. We widen this gap by housing our solution in a plant in which, should we drag him there with a bulldozer, he would feel totally out of place. Sometimes we seem to think our citizenship is strengthened because he is alien.

And yet, success in reaching our fellow man (a goal we avow) depends largely upon establishing rapport--a sympathetic relationship that encourages communication. We must convince him that we sincerely desire for him the blessings we both sorely need. In a very real sense, we are on the same team--sinful creatures in a great survival drama.

I know there is no fellowship between darkness and light--we can enter no sharing relationship with the worlds sin. But the desire for a one family relationship should strongly motivate our reaching out for every living soul. Can we be less interested in sinking neighbors because we have managed to find some solid footing? If, in our smugness, we refuse to extend a helping hand, we need to restudy Luke 15.

And if there is a sense in which we are on the same team with aliens, how much more is this true with respect to erring brethren. What attitude would we that they should show toward us, should we be found in like position? (Matt. 7:12; 2 Thess. 3:14-18)

I know of no single attitude that could save more souls, or do more for the cause of Christ today, than the proper development of love for all sinners. It would not keep us from preaching truth or fighting error. It would not cause us to share evil, but it would increase compassion and concern for the sin-enslaved. Our efforts would proceed from an open heart, rather than from a clenched fist. For we have known sin, and but for Gods grace would yet perish. And we would long to make our brother in Adam, our faithful brother in Christ.