Tag Archives: Church

Disrespect of our elder brothers and sisters

What a reprehensible display of disrespect; “Church” asks older members to worship elsewhere.   I put church in quotes on purpose.  The Lord said others will know His disciples by their love for one another.  Looking at the leadership of this supposed church it is clear they do not love their fellow congregants, nor do they love the Lord.  The older members of this particular Methodist congregation were instructed to stay away from the new congregation that was forming at a new location.  The over 60’s were told they could continue to care for the old church location, and of course are free to keep giving money to those who kicked them out!

Why are they being asked to buzz off?  They aren’t wanted anymore because they are elderly, the church wants a brand new “image” and these longtime congregants don’t fit the bill!  Disgusting. I would urge those congregants to find a new church, a real church where the fellowship and the servanthood of those in leadership roles are biblical.

Proverbs 16:13 A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.

Leviticus 19:32  ‘You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Take head that you don’t abide false shepherds in the flock; they don’t care for the sheep, they throw them to the wolves. For shame.  Value the elderly people in the church, they are a wealth of experience and just as much brothers and sisters as younger members.

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Filed under Christianity, Musings, Of Interest

Politics, Hierarchy, Egotism, and Christianity…

There’s a lot going on within Christianity today.  God seems to be working overtime shaking things up, denying anyone a status-quo , making sure believers know what they believe and why.  It has much to do with our relationship with each other as believers.  I honestly believe that one of the things becoming clearer and clearer to me is that internal politics, hierarchy, and egotism have no part to play in Christianity amongst believers.

As always, definitions first, and thank-you to Dictionary.com.  Politics: 1) the science or art of political government. The politics I’m talking about here are formal politics; the control and manipulation in a hierarchical setting of the individual members of an organization.  Hierarchy: 1) any system of persons or things ranked one above another. Notice in this definition that the emphasis is on a ranking “one above another.” Egotism: 1) excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing; conceit; boastfulness. 2) selfishness; self-centeredness; egoism.

I hope, dear reader, that you are starting to get a sense of my point.  The idea of hierarchy is addressed several times in scripture.  The apostles themselves were not originally above jockeying for position, fighting amongst themselves to see who was the preeminent disciple. Jesus made His point even more clear by stooping physically to wash the feet of his friends and disciples.  There is no “above” position in the body of Christ, besides Christ being the head of the church, and also the foundation.  We are to serve one another even while we, as individuals, are called to certain positions.  We are indeed called to different things; preachers, teachers, evangelists, deacons, elders, etc… but these things are organic to the body, not hierarchical in nature…I should say, “these things SHOULD be organically understood, not hierarchical.”

Listen to Peter: 1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Christ is clearly the cornerstone, and we are all stones of the same house, we are all a holy priesthood.  One has to watch, in any church, a hierarchical structure that places one “type” of believer over another, whether it be a protestant church such as Lutheran, UMC, etc… or the Roman church system with the Pope, cardinals, etc… that are over, and “ordained” above the other believers in Christ.  The actual, biblical positions mentioned in scripture are ones of servitude, even the “teaching” positions.  Even “servants” are not “below” other members, but rather we are all on the same level and should lean on one another and rely on each other.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Notice the context of these passages; they are about Spiritual gifts; the emphasis is on the fact that we are all part of the body of Christ, each important.  When there is emphasis on position, the emphasis is on the gift, NOT the person.  Again, notice it talks of coveting the best gifts, not coveting the position.  Why?  Because the better gifts serve the whole body.  Formal hierarchy, such as we see in secular circles that have invaded church consciousness, separates the “leaders” from the rest of the people.  Hence, formal hierarchy breeds politics, and a quest for power within whatever system is set up.

Egotism is also rampant in the church amongst leaders and members both.  There is this odd emphasis on certain “famous” individuals instead of on the message.  Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and the like are the focus of news stories, books, TV shows, etc…  The Pope gets the attention in the Roman church.  There is a centering on the self.  What kind of floors me is the fact that we still have people struggling to make a name for themselves by finding the next gimmick or the next new marketing tool…there is nothing new under the sun.  Pastors out there desire not just to teach the flock the Truth from scripture, but a truth that no one has ever discovered, something they can pat themselves on the back about.  Also, there is a horrible trend of the leadership totally abandoning humility, and also self-awareness.  It can become easy for the leadership to play the “I’m a better Christian” game.

There is just as much egotism amongst the congregants of many churches. Legalism, backstabbing, gossiping, judgmentalism, etc… springs from pride.  Our call is to love God and love one another; in fact Christ is clear that when the world sees these things they will know we are HIS disciples.  If we have not love, we are clanging symbols.  Love doesn’t boast, it isn’t proud or self-serving.  Love serves others, and focuses on God.  If Christ is to be our ultimate role model, isn’t that what we see most in Him?  Love God, Love our neighbors.  Servant-hood.  Brotherhood. Egotism picks at people, it constantly says, “I could do better than so-and-so” with pride and very little action, if any.

This is by NO means a call to a social gospel, or a call for churches not to have pastors or church boards; it is a call to view it all a little bit different.  How much momentum is lost by all the gossip, infighting, playing politics, and competition in our churches?  Isn’t that a sad thing?  Supporting one another, learning together, praying for one another in sincerity (not fake one-upsmanship), focusing on the word and on God, worshiping together, studying together, eating together…  If anyone here thinks I’m putting myself above all this; I’m not, I need to hear this type of thing and to read scripturally accurate articles and sermons about such too.  I do believe we’ve been given a lot to think about by what is happening across Christendom, so let’s think about it, pray about it, pray for one another, search scripture, and discuss it with kindness and humility!

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

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Filed under Catholicism, Christianity, Religion and Politics

Where two or three gather…

This is, and always has been one of my favorite verses: Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. It is one of those “simple” verses that to me, contains great truth, and comfort.

We all know that He is with us even when we are alone.  But, this verse pertains to any and all meetings that we call together in His name.  We have His direct assurance that He is with us as a group of people.  One of the most important things to note is that this verse has no limit as far as place or time.

It doesn’t matter if we are gathered in a church building, at a park, in a prison, on a boat, on top of mountain; doesn’t change the fact.  Doesn’t matter if it is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.  He is with us when we gather in His name.  We have His promise, and we believers know that God keeps His promises no matter what.

Why else do I find this a great comfort?  Because when you read about even the angels in the Old Testament; they ran into trouble coming to the aid of the Old Testament faithful, take for example;  Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

When the Lord became human, living for us, dying for us, raising for us…He took back certain…domains that Adam has lost.  The prince of the power of the air has no dominion over Christ.  The adversary cannot harass Jesus, nor keep Him from us, as he could perhaps harass the holy angels.  Jesus is with us always, as I said, and we are assured of that when we come together as believers as well.

I got really sad once reading a Roman catholic mother explain (on a Roman board that doesn’t allow non-RC’s to post) how she teaches her child about the mass…”Do you hear that bell?  When that bell rings Jesus is really and truly comes to be with us here.”  Okay…what have you just taught your child?  That Jesus is sometimes not with us, and that He did not really mean it when He said the when two or three are gathered in His name that He is already there.  Really and Truly. Doesn’t need a set of misused words such as what are said at the mass, doesn’t need a bell, doesn’t need to be in a cathedral, doesn’t need to be with a crowd.

So, never forget, He is with us, and if you want even more assurance find another believer gather together in His name, and know.  We are most assuredly not alone.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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Filed under Theology

Church of the New Atheists…

Anyone that has been in the land of Christian Apologetics online knows that atheists like to proselytize their own religion…er,um…beliefs…even when they are on websites, such as Christian message boards, where that type of thing is strictly prohibited in the ‘board rules.  When someone comments or blogs about atheism, often times it is the atheists that come swarming to read and respond, whilst responses from those from other belief systems are few; they wish to defend their belief system, just as I do, I get it; but what is the logical reason?

Make a post or a blog that doesn’t even have direct connection to Christianity, such as Intelligent Design, and they still come out of the woodwork.  Now, this is statistically an odd occurrence, since, for example, atheists make up only somewhere between 3-9% of the US population from what I can gather by looking at different polls (of course, this number is really hard to pinpoint since the way questions are worded in polls sometimes muddy the water, but the point still remains), of course responders and posters can be from different countries, but still, it seems sometimes that the ‘net is favored as an atheist playground in some respects.

I realized that along with the priests of New Atheism, such as Dick Dawkins, and their prolific proselytizing, the New Atheists also now have a Church and it is apparently the internet itself, or rather, certain corners of the ‘net.  It does make sense; before the internet (yes, all you younglings out there, there was a time before the internet) , with such a small percentage of the population declaring themselves to be atheistic,  it had to be hard to find a place of fellowship.  Of course I use the term “church” loosely, for instead of being outcalled by God, they attempt to outcall themselves in some manner.  If you do a search, which I can’t really recommend, trying to find a Church of Atheism, you’ll find them outside of cyberspace as well, but where else can such a large group of non-believers get together to fellowship, praise and offer thanksgiving to…themselves, and…materialism?

My husband brought up a good point; aren’t secular universities Atheist Churches too?  I’ve given it some thought, and I think secular universities as “Atheist Seminaries” is a better descriptive.  Go online and you will find an actual “First Church of Atheism” which offers ordination…yes, one can actually be an ordained minister…of atheism; but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is another religion…did I mention that they think that they should be allowed to preach what they believe, and that one reason this is available is so that atheist couples can have a minister to preside at a marriage ceremony…but, nobody better make the claim that atheism is just another religion *footstomp*

Make no mistake about it, many of the “New” Atheists take discipleship seriously, find a teacher (or teachers) to latch onto, and wish to churn out disciples of their own.  Sometimes, when you run into these disciples online, you can literally tell where the conversation will head, because they are all reading off the same attack oriented websites…because in their religi…I mean belief system..I mean lack of belief system, it is apparently part of the Creed to attack the belief in God, especially Christian belief, and if you can’t attack the beliefs directly, hang out and bash those that hold said beliefs.

Christians believe that God wishes us to share the good news, and no, that doesn’t mean bashing someone over the head with The Bible, as some of my overzealous brethren sometimes tend towards.  Our motivation includes a “higher” calling; one from God Himself.  Our gathering together is called for as well as our sharing of the good news.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to proselytize, what is their logical basis?  It isn’t as though they believe we humans are immortal beings and are trying to sow seeds that will help insure a right relationship with something above us, and a positive life in eternity.  Why exactly do atheists feel the need to be married by a minister…why do they feel the need to get married in a non-civil sense at all?  Besides the very grave, very serious spiritual implications, various studies have shown that things like faith in something greater than ourselves, prayer, hope, religious belief, etc… is a good thing for us humans…so what exactly is the joy in trying to tear down someone’s faith in God?  Usually some twisted idea that Christians are all a bunch of illogical, irrational, deluded idiots is set forth by non-believers…unfortunately for the atheists, that isn’t so.

A major point here being that the atheists have found a nifty base of operations online.  So, if you are out there contending for the Faith, and doing Christian Apologetics, or even Intelligent Design apologetics, be ready to meet and engage in dialogue with people from all backgrounds and beliefs…especially those that have found a non-believing church home on the ‘net, that wish to evangelize you to a state of…non-belief. Or, as I see it as a Christian; evangelize you to a state of having faith in something other than the only thing that deserves our faith; the One True God.  I write this too, to remind fellow Christians to support one another in real life, and especially online, as we have discussions and also share the gospel.

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Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Humor