Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Another One of Those Hard Things

The Christian life is a narrow road. It is a hard road and it is surrounded by enticements and snares designed to sidetrack Christians into sin and into impairing their walk with God. God knows this. In His mercy He gives us help along the way. We have helps like the indwelling Holy Spirit, prayer, and the Holy Scriptures. But one help we often take for granted is the local church.

God has drawn us by His Spirit into the fellowship of like minded believers who are there to help us walk the narrow road. They do that by helping to build us up in our faith. The Bible word is "edify." To edify means to build up. Our brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow members of our local church, are there to help edify us, to build us up.

Not only are they there to build us up, they are to build us up in love. Now, that brings two things to mind for me. One, they are supposed to help build up the love that is in us for God and for our fellow believers. Second, the attitude they are supposed to have while they build us up is a loving attitude.

The church is a place where believers are to be built up, not torn down. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Christ gives us abundant life, love, and all the treasures of heaven. Satan does enough to us to tear us down. Christ is about building us up.

Now friend, this is a sword that cuts two ways. Just as others are supposed to be building us up in love ... we are also to be about building up our brothers and sisters in Christ in love. Here is an application for Christ's words "whatsoever you would that men do to you, do ye likewise to them." Our business, the business of the local church, is to be about building up Christians as we walk the narrow road towards the Eternal City.

Often, it is not that way. But our words, our actions, and our attitudes, we are all about tearing each other down. We use the Devil's devices of slander, gossip, and backbiting (and backstabbing), to get the dirt on each other and hurt each other. Christians can be mean people. I remember an article I cut out of a magazine once entitled "Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?" Too many times, when a brother or sister is having trouble walking the narrow road, we seem to enjoy helping to push them off. Instead of picking them up and helping restore their walk on that difficult road, we seem to be happy to see them fall.

But you and I both know that these things ought not to be. God sets before us two ways, one of death and evil and one of life and good. How will we Christians use our words, our actions, and our attitudes when dealing with our brothers and sisters, who are also saved by grace and owned by Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit? They are not one whit less than you or me. The love of Christ, given by the Holy Spirit in us ought to be reaching out to the indwelling Holy Spirit in our brothers and sisters and calling to Himself (the Spirit to the Spirit) in love. We are captured by an inter-trinitarian love. Do we act like it? Shouldn't we?

4 Comments:

Blogger The Prophet said...

AMERICAN BARBARISM (Part II)

It seems that the news coming from the United States have only a criminal court.

Again on Saturday April 11 in Washington state, a man who upon learning that his wife was leaving for another man, killed her five children between 7 and 16 years and then committed suicide.
In addition, the crime occurred in New York, where a Vietnamese killed 12 people in a support center for immigrants and then committed suicide.
It is clear that there is an evil in American society that leads people to commit these assassinations, partly encouraged by the freedom of American law to allow citizens to bear arms, and also produced by a psychological flaw that appears nested in the minds of the American settler.
It is also clear the fault of the American government not only veto the indiscriminate sale of weapons to the public, guns that are sometimes high-power, nor the governments have not been striving to make a call to disarmament.
If the government of Barack Obama does something to block these laws, or the companies behind them, which will be more clear is that this year there will be more assassinations in the United States and in other countries.
Obviously also the passivity of the American churches and religious leaders, who are more worried about their family lives to preach on the last pirouette of a pet or not to invade your blog.
I appeal to all people who love life, to the families of those who have suffered such tragedies, the communities who were frightened to death of innocent people, and even the churches that their pastors were killed or brothers in Christ, to join in a crusade to stop something in this wave of violence that shook the United States.

6:19 PM  
Blogger john said...

What has this got to do with anything? Nothing. In the future, post your political views somewhere else. The purpose of this blog goes in a different direction.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Good words John. While i do see some of this inside the local church, i see it more in "competing" churches. One person talking about another persons church, as though we are actually competing with each other. Such a shame.
I see it most prevalently on Paltalk. One day we can be discussing how we should be loving each other, and the next day someone will rail against someone they don't even know, simply because they say something less than perfect. Without knowing a thing about the person, if they are a believer, a new believer, simply misspoke, or have been taught wrong for many years, then justifying their actions/words saying they are acting in "true love".
Sorry, didn't mean to rail against Paltalk here, it is just one of the reasons i stay away more and more.

TruthMatters

12:28 PM  
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

John,
Thank you for you good word. We should be lifting each other up but sometimes christians act worse then the world. We can't forget the world is watch us and how we treat one another.

Cristina

5:26 PM  

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