Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Right now I am sitting in the library contemplating people who claim to follow Christ, but as soon as they are tempted by sin they will try to justify it to the world. They twist God's word to say what they want it to say. Some Pastors even avoid these subjects. I am most disgusted when I realize it is me who is doing this. We lie to ourselves and lie to people's faces so we will not have to face the truth we know in our hearts...because no one wants to 'fess up to their sin. There is something in the human condition that makes it unnatural for us examine our own misgivings and tell God that He was right. We were wrong. We cannot even do right without his help.

But, there is something really wrong when the church as a whole allows it to go on. We say nothing to our pewmate who is getting a divorce. They are doing damage to their own hearts and souls and we stand by...hoping someone else is counseling them...praying for them.

Today, we spit on the Bible by letting people who are OPENLY, UNREPENTANTLY living a life contrary to what God commands us to do stay in our churches every Sunday without so much as a word of reproach. We will even allow them to be our leaders and pastors. We condone their lives of sin by biting our tongues. 1Timothy gives us guidelines for what an elder or a deacon ought or ought not be. Does anyone care? Does anyone care if Sally is gossiping about everything and anything? Does anyone care if Jim is destroying his family with his alcohol addiction? Does anyone care if Annie sleeps around or leaves her husband? Does anyone care if Jack marries Joe?

We don't dare tell them to repent, but I say how dare we not show the love of Christ by trying to reach out to their souls!??! Yes, I have done this. I've ignored the elephant in the room, too. I am admitting to it. Too often I have been a mere passerby in the lives of people I call "my brothers and sisters in Christ." I keep our conversations on the surface level, never daring to delve deeper into REAL relationship.

So, let us pray that this generation will be one that seeks out the things that are difficult. Let us seek higher things. Let us give up on being "proper" and may God call us to dance like David. Let us not be ashamed of God's law, whether it be proclaiming or obeying.

title from 1Corinthians 6:10 NKJ

1Timothy 1:19 says, "Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked."

...and 1Timothy chapter 3 says, "It is a true saying that if someone wants to be an elder, he desires an honorable responsibility. For an elder must be a man whose life cannot be spoken against. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home and must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, peace loving, and not one who loves money. He must manage his own family well, with children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church? An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not fall into the Devil's trap and be disgraced. In the same way, deacons must be people who are respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers and must not be greedy for money. They must be committed to the revealed truths of the Christian faith and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability. If they do well, then they may serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not speak evil of others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.
A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus."
-New Living Translation

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