Editor’s Note: We have had a large number of requests from reader’s to get to know Cynthia Clayton better after the article on relationships in the November/December issue. This column will provide that opportunity. We hope you will enjoy it and get a different perspective on some of the things we have discussed.Since our marriage in June 2009 we have traveled together to many Does God Exist? lectureships as well as visiting both sides of our family. During visits to the congregations sponsoring the lectureships, I have been impressed with the nature and significance of New Testament hospitality. When Christians open their homes to strangers who are also Christians, they demonstrate what it means to be a part of the family of God and to be one in Christ (John 15:12; 17:20 – 23). I have been strengthened and encouraged in my faith by the Christians who have opened their homes to us without reservation, in trust and love as if we were really flesh and blood family members. To me this demonstration of Christian love and unity clearly shows Christian faith in action. Who else would invite strangers into their homes, giving them free rein, trusting that they are going to respond to this act of faith in a like manner? Christians show to the world that they really want to give as well as to receive when they show love and trust to their guests, and the guests return that trust and love with respect and honor to their host.
The bedrock of the Christian faith
involves doing unto others as you would have them do to you (Matthew
7:12), going the second mile (Matthew 5:41), and loving your neighbor
as yourself (Matthew 22:39). This showing of hospitality speaks volumes
to nonbelievers. Would people of the world treat strangers in this way,
and would the strangers respond in the same way? In truth, the argument
for the Christian system, and Jesus being real and not just an
intellectual exercise, is best demonstrated when the world can see
Christ living in us as they see how we treat each other (John 13:35).