Today’s reading is drawn from Jude.
Is there justice in the church? Is it necessary to confront evil right inside the family of believers? Jude says he was eager to write positively about salvation. Instead, he veers onto much less attractive subject matter. Jude feels compelled to urge his readers to struggle for the faith against certain individuals within the church who are leading people astray.
Writing in the first century when the church was still young, the author urges the believers to contend for their faith. The book of Jude further rehearses Israel’s history to communicate to the believers that God is in charge—that he can and will punish the unjust, as he always has.
The troubles Jude sees may not be exactly the same as what Christians face today, but the fact of sinful behavior within the church has not changed. In certain parts of the world, for example, some groups of people do not accept others as equal members of God’s family. They prize the status that comes with their family background and consider themselves as first among equals; they are boastful! Some of them would not give their daughters and sons to marry outside their group, for doing so would include the “other” as one of their family members. Instead of honoring and celebrating unity in Christ, they prefer to maintain the racial, tribal or denominational divide.
Have you been a victim of unjust treatment within the church? Have you seen corrupt and immoral leaders? Do you feel that the world is pressing its ideas and beliefs hard on you from within the church? If you find yourself in such a situation, you are not the first one; long before you, Christians faced similar situations and felt as you do.
God is in the business of setting the world right. Throughout the ages he invites people to collaborate with him in setting right the world and its systems. This same invitation continues today and extends to each of us. God invites us to be merciful to those who doubt, to snatch people from the fire, to restrain our neighbors from pursuing wickedness and to influence them to be good and just. The reward he has in store for those who are just is an everlasting life with him.
— Jeremiah Duomai, India (Excerpted from the book introduction to Jude)