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Unity, fear, works and gnosticism

To drive the one mile from my home to the freeway you must pass five churches.  Within a five mile radius there are dozens.

Such is the way of life these days in my corner of the world.

We have more flavors of church than Baskin-Robbins.

Each person seems to need their own custom tailored flavor.

Christ's prayer for unity in John 17 is a seemingly distant dream.

Still I hear among believers a strong desire for unity, at least on their terms.  Excitement when someone visits our church is an emotion I hear from friends regularly.  Doesn't matter if their visit is not drawing them out of darkness and into the light, but just visiting from out of town or moving from church A to church B.  Virtually the same level of excitement.  We love the self validation.

Something about people validating our flavor that makes us feel better about ourselves.

Deep within many in Christendom is a longing for something more than the finished work of the cross.  An additional level of security.  Validation from someone else.  A collective shared theological understanding provides some modicum of assurance.

We don't much like people with different practices and understanding.  They rattle our safety and security.

It's difficult enough to talk about the simple message of John 3:16, without someone raising their hand in objection with one more wrinkle to add.

When you get into the difficult topic of prophecy many professing believers can't handle the uncertainty.

--

Some years ago during a trip to my mother-in-law's home in Louisiana, two ladies from the neighboring Jehovah's Witness church knocked on the front door one Saturday afternoon.

Quickly some obscure Old Testament passage was thrust in my face, read and I was accosted with a question:  What does this mean?  Many people think it means X, but we the Jehovah's Witnesses, believe it means Y.  It's important to be right.  You wouldn't want to be wrong.  God might not be happy.

Wow.

They were selling fear.

I myself have spent much of my life generating and peddling fear.  I'm a gross national exporter of fear and do not need to acquire any new avenues for generating fear.



--

Some who write us here at Unsealed or comment on a post are afraid of our Good, Good Father.  For us to speak about things that are unclear is unsettling.  For us to offer an interpretation that conflicts with their own is assaulting to their security.

For us to diligently search the Scriptures, to talk about what God has written and to reason together is a fearful thing.

My old man rant editorial ends with this:  IT IS FINISHED!

He has fully paid the price.

There is no need for fear.

We are not saved by our brilliance and perfection.

We simply share what we read.

It's okay.

We can certainly read passages that are difficult and suggest an understanding.

We are strongly pre-trib, but it's not salvific.  We think there is something overwhelmingly convincing about the hour and the 2017 Fall Feast, but it's okay to disagree.  Let's reason together with love and kindness.  We are certain that Christ is the only way.  All of the prophecy stuff is less certain.

The world is not encouraged when they find fear, anxiety and hostility.

All of the commentary here has one purpose: to point people to Him, to encourage those far from Him to seek Him and to encourage those of us who know Him to be about His business.

If you're still concerned, I recommend Colossians 2.

We are not preaching any other gospel, than Christ Jesus as the only way to the Father. Understanding prophecy or having mutual shared understanding won't change God's love and care for you one iota.

Arguing about the timing and particulars about His return, while doing nothing to prepare yourself and those around you is far from His heart.

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4 comments :

  1. It is very difficult to tell what, exactly, the future holds. Prophecy is so very hard. It has taken me a lifetime of study to move from Preterism to Amillennialism to Pre-Trib. Every time I think I have a clear picture a new puzzle piece appears.

    It's hard to say what tomorrow holds. It's easy to give in to fear. But the one thing we know beyond a doubt is Who holds tomorrow - and that is a supremely comforting thought. If we know Him then we have nothing to fear, for He has overcome the world. No matter what tomorrow brings, He will be with us and His power will bring us safely home. For what can separate us from His great love?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Timely words. Blessed by this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a good message that many need to hear right now in the churches. Some divisions are good when salvation doctrines are on the line, but there is too much h division over the minor things and especially when pride is involved.

    ReplyDelete


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