“It was a common expression of the great Tertullian that when the world condemns us, God forgives us. It is absolutely impossible for the world and the true Christian church to be at love with each other.
“We are told distinctly that we are not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world, and the strange thing among many professed Christians in the present day is that they cannot understand at all why there should be any difference between the church and the world; they seem to think that that minister of the Gospel who is not popular with the world is not worth anything, while the truth is that the minister of the Gospel that is popular with the world is not worth having.
“There must be a strained relation between Christians and the world; there must be a strained relation not only between the church at large and the sinful world, but there must be one between the true Christians in the church and a false minister of the Gospel.
“It is absolutely impossible for a man to be in the pulpit, and be a worldly man and not have a strained relation with the people in the church who are true Christians. And it is just as true that a faithful minister of the Gospel cannot live otherwise than in a strained relation between himself and members of the church who are not true Christians.
“For just as surely as there is a strained relation between the world and the church at large, there must be between the Christian in the pew and the false preacher in the pulpit, as well as between the true preacher in the pulpit and the false Christian in the pew.
This short passage is from: Long, Simon Peter The Eternal Epistle. “, The Dearly Beloved. 1 Peter 2:11-20. Third Sunday After Easter. Many of Simon Peter Long’s books are available in electronic form from LutheranLibrary.org.