It was a song we used to sing at Bible camp so many years ago, they'll know we are Christians by our love. It had a catchy beat, it was fun to sing.
These days, it seems they know we are Christians because we tell them so. I really dislike the reality TV shows that have the "Christian" family, or team. They make a big deal about how they are one with the Lord. They pray every episode, before taking out their prey. They are usually the most ruthless, devious, underhanded group in the show. I remember one show, I think it was the Amazing race. Couple of "Christians" just putting it to everyone before getting kicked out of the game. Then the next round, here is this team from the hills somewhere, West Virginia or maybe Tennessee, never say a word about being Christians, but are always helping the other teams, and when someone does something bad to them, they feel real bad about it, and help them again the next show.....
"Christians" give a bad name to Christ?
This all comes about from a basketball game I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend last weekend. My daughter's team, from her Christian school, played a tournament in town near here. Unfortunately the game did not go according the coach's wishes. He ended up yelling at the referees, having a technical called on him, having a police officer sit next to him.... and then adding insult to.... I guess insult, the crowd started yelling at the referees too. The refs, then stopped the game, warned the crowd and it wasn't until some time passed that the girls got to finish their game. Yep we can sure tell the Christians by their Love!
Unfortunately I find that those who wear the name, that need to prophesies, that feel the need to gather themselves among their own kind.... rarely are who they say they are. It is the person who shows who they are with their words and their acts; it is the person who always has the kind word, that always helps instead of hinders; these are the people who show who they are by their love.
I may have told this story once before, its one of my favorite. Long before moving to Mississippi, I made my first appearance in the south going to see my future mother-in-law in the hospital. My fiancee (who is now my wife) warned me as we found a parking place near the hospital. "I have to warn you, this is the south, people are very friendly here and you will likely know the life story of the person standing next to you in the elevator by the time you reach the 10th floor.
My wife is uncanny in that way sometimes. I believe we had to go the 11th floor, and sure enough by the time we hit the 10th, I knew the lady who got on with us like an old friend. I knew her, her children, her parents, and even knew a little bit about other people she had ridden the elevator with earlier that day.....
I tell that story, because here in the south, the phrase, "So which church do you go to" works its way into the first 5 minutes of EVERY meeting. Meet the new soccer coach, find out what church he goes to. I think even McDonalds might be keeping a database on Customer's church preference on it's POS machines.
Religion in the south is not to be taken lightly. Or at least nobody down here takes it lightly. You belong to a church, if it is not Baptist, you will be invited to be a Baptist on a daily basis.
I have never met a Jehovah's Witness in Mississippi. I don't think there's any of them left, they knock on the door of some house and from there on out every moment of their lives they will be hounded by over zealous Christians trying to turn them into Baptists, or invited to eat with Methodists, or chased by snake toting 7th day Adventists.... They just don't stand a chance down here.
There are a lot of Christians in Mississippi, and there is a lot of Love. There are a lot who claim the title though.
Luckily you can tell the difference,
"We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all Unity may one day be restored,
And they'll know we are Christians by our Love, by our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our Love.