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I remember an old “Dragnet” television episode back in the mid ‘60s, when the arguments about the dangers or relative safeties of marijuana use were in full bloom. The main character, Sgt Joe Friday, was expounding to a young suspect the harmful effects and results of heroine sale and use, and how in his business he witnessed many times, that so-called innocent marijuana users often graduated to worse things. He ended his tirade by saying, “You want to know what I think of marijuana? I judge it by the company it keeps”.

Christians, people outside of the church do not understand the church. They do not know Jesus; they have absolutely no knowledge of the Holy Spirit; they do not care one iota for the will of the Father; but as they look on, and hear that we call ourselves ‘Christians’, and watch our lives, they will judge us by the company we keep.

And when they look at a church body and witness gossip and judgmental-ism and condemnation, and formalism and ritual, but no love and no peace, they will see no need whatsoever, to separate themselves from the life they have in order to join what is there. They will go away with a shrug, saying, “They are no different, so why waste my time?”

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