Community Responsibilities: Biblical Principles
Malone recognizes that Biblical principles are the standard for individual behavior and community life.
1. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).
a. A person enters into relationship with God through a personal commitment to His Son Jesus Christ (John 14:6, I Timothy 2:5).
b. Life within a Christian community must be lived to the glory of God in all things (I Corinthians 10:31).
c. Love for and accountability to God is the primary motivation for Christian conduct. The forgiving character of His love and grace provides the model for forgiveness in the growth process (John 14:15, I Peter 2:24).
d. Each member individually and the community collectively are responsible for the effective stewardship of abilities, opportunities and institutional resources (Matthew 25:14-30, Romans 12:3-8).
2. We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).
a. Consistent with the example and command of Jesus Christ, love must be the determining factor in a Christian's relationships with others. This love will vary in its expression - compassion, service, rebuke, discipline, etc., - with a view to the recipient's ultimate welfare (Romans 12, Galatians 6:1-10).
b. While Christians must ultimately decide what behavior is appropriate for them individually, the limiting of some individual liberties is necessary to attain common goals and ensure harmonious community life (Romans 14:1-13, Matthew 7:12).