Saturday, August 03, 2013

Assaults Against the Church From Without and From Within

Jesus loves His Bride. His Bride is the Church - those who believe on His name and receive salvation from Him (as indeed it can only come from Him.)

We (believers on His name) hail from every tribe and tongue, every nation and continent, every neighborhood and background, every university and occupation. We represent various understandings of doctrine (heads covered or uncovered, music with a beat or no music at all, episcopal vs. presbyterian government, and on and on we go.) Theology has been debated, is currently debated, and will long be debated - possibly until the moment He returns to end all our debate.

Meanwhile, we (believers on His name) are called to unity.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133

For centuries the church has endured persecution, reviling, torture, imprisonment, accusation, and prejudice. Jesus told us we would suffer such things. The honest and very hard truth is that the Church (believers on His name) is subjected to these things from without and from within. Persecution from without, although grievous, makes sense to us. Persecution from within is not so easily reconciled.
Sometimes the persecution from within is due to impersonators: wolves in sheep's clothing - disingenuous men and women claiming to know and love Christ. But just as often, and perhaps even more so, the reviling and persecution comes from disgruntled and hurt believers.

Meanwhile, we (believers on His name) are called to unity.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peaceThere is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4.1-3
My experience is limited (as is yours, by the way.) But my limited experience, discussion, and study would lead me to this conclusion: we may not agree on everything in this lifetime, in this age, on this side (as they say), but we can live in unity and ought to do so.

We need His help to walk in unity. We need His instruction, correction, redeeming, and grace. We must walk in humility, acknowledging our frailty. As Paul noted in his letter to the Ephesians, it requires bearing with one another in our failure: I fail, he fails, she fails, and you fail.\; I say wrong things, they say wrong things, and you, dear one, say wrong things. There is bad counsel, misinterpretation, good intention gone wrong, disagreement, and outright sin - from me, from them, and from you. Hence the need for forbearance; hence the need for Christ, His grace, His Holy Spirit instruction and correction.

Meanwhile, we (believers on His name) are called to unity.

He made a way to do that very thing. It is time - it is always time - to remember this: we are called to unity.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity.

Chris C

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity.

Chris C

1:48 PM  
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