"Love one another!" ― Jesus Christ
Why is Christ's prayer in John 17 for the Church to be one in spirit and love and purpose still not answered? Angel maintains that all too often Christians have refused to see Christ in believers of other traditions.
And now sexual abuse in the Church is grabbing headlines and making it more difficult for fellowship and unity of purpose.
In this Revised Edition, Angel insists that Protestants should not point fingers in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The same problem is NOT uncommon among Protestants, especially, but not limited to, Southern Baptists. He knows a few ministers who have fallen prey to this horrible sin throughout the years of his own ministry. But he tells us how both Protestants and Catholics can conquer and eradicate this evil in the wisdom and power of Christ.
Warren R. Angel maintains that Christians' love for one another, as Jesus commanded them to have, began to wane in the first half of the second century as believers and churches began to focus more on personal belief and conduct. As the centuries have gone by this has become more intense as heresy and outside persecution have been fought and more and more rules and beliefs―some the product of human beings, not God―have been invented to keep adherents in line.
In our time liberalism and fundamentalism have divided Christian from Christian. Angel tells the story of a job interview that quickly went south because his interviewer falsely dismissed him as a liberal without letting him speak a word! And so it has been for the Church throughout the ages. Every big or little fragmented Church, from Catholic to Lutheran, to Baptist, to Pentecostal, seem uncertain as to any real Christianity outside their own circles. He points out that both liberal and evangelical Protestants often dismiss Catholics as being real Christians, yet he knows Catholics who love Jesus Christ more than some of his Protestant friends!
And why wouldn't they? The Catholic Church, after all, is the church of history. By the time Martin Luther found real faith in Christ, the Catholic Church was in need of reform. But even in the dark days of heresy, greed, and neglect, the Catholic Church (along with Orthodox churches) preserved the Bible throughout history and shared the message of salvation in Jesus Christ from generation to generation.
And, despite what some evangelicals claim, Catholics do believe that someone can be saved only by faith in Christ. In his encyclical letter, Ut Unum Sint, Pope John Paul II urged Christians of all traditions to become one in fellowship with God and Jesus Christ. For Christ is the message of the Church.
To love one another and be one real Church every believer in Christ needs to remember first of all that the Bible is its book of God's love, conduct, faith, hope, inspiration, and comfort. Most of all the Bible tells us of the person and power of Jesus Christ. As Angel says, “When someone devalues the Scriptures they devalue not only God but themselves … And they miss out on the power and love of Jesus Christ.” For it is his love―love for us all―that enables us to love one another and be a Church of power and blessing and love to the people of God's world.
Angel shows us how we can be this Church by loving and respecting all fellow Christians around the world who may not think or worship exactly as we do.