Reformed Quarterly Volume 9, Issue 2
Americans are the loneliest people in the world. That is what George Gallup observes in his most recent book, The People’s Religion. This is ironic when you realize that more people are clustered close together in big cities than at any previous time in history, and, at any moment, using the telephone we can “reach out and touch someone.” But things are falling apart; more and more marriages are on the rocks; children are on drugs and in trouble.
What can be done about it? First, we should acknowledge that high technology, big cities, and bureaucracy contribute to the problem. But sinful nature is the root problem of our seemingly rootless society, causing selfishness, greed, and other similar manifestations of the social fragmentation and alienation we see around us.
The gospel is the solution, if understood and applied. When Christ came into this world, He was despised, rejected, and ultimately crucified. On the cross, He was completely God-forsaken and suffered the punishment due for our sins in order to provide our salvation. He made it possible for us, through faith in Him, to be reconciled to God, to have fellowship with Him as a part of His family with the assurance that He will always be with us –to the very end. We are not alone!
Moreover, the transforming power of the gospel brings healing to human relationships so that we discover togetherness and community –a real sense of love, support, and belonging. When the Holy Spirit is at work, marriages blossom into heaven on earth, families learn to pray together and stay together, lasting friendships are forged. We give ourselves to the Lord and to each other. Then loneliness and estrangement disappear. We discover through the act of selflessness our greatest possible happiness.
At RTS, we are committed to rebuilding real spiritual fellowship and togetherness the biblical way. We are working at it steadily. We are training students like Stewart Jordan, whose emphasis is discipling through relationships, and Tim Posey, who is using friendship evangelism — building bridges to people and tearing down walls of fear and loneliness — to build a strong new church.
People sense a difference on our campus because there is one, a sense of caring and belonging. We want to see it in our churches and throughout the land. Then, perhaps, it will be said of us as it was of Christians in the early church; “Behold, how they love one another.”