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Rant

January 12, 2012

Greetings,

“I urge you all to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.  Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”  Romans 16: 17-20

I read this warning today and I had several thoughts about it. One of the biggest ways that folks divide the Body of Christ today is by making a distinction between those who are “gifted” and those who “give” to support the “gifted”.  It is the mark of The Clergy/Laity division and it is a pox in the Church.  It is crippling the body and it is so very, very wrong.  Wherever one person is treated as special over and above others in the church it destroys mutual fellowship and any chance at true unity.  Because the truth is that EVERY member of the church is gifted and special in their own way.  We are all ministers in the New Covenant and when we come together everyone is expected to share and add their portion to the mix.  (1 Corinthians 14:26)  The whole concept that some are Ministers and the rest get to sit, listen, and pay is a totally bogus teaching and it is a division right from the pit of hell.

A major obstacle being taught today is legalism and observance of The Law as the standard, rather than simply living by grace and faith in Jesus.  Far too often we are taught to avoid evil of all kinds,  instead of to embrace and practice what is good and pure.  Too much emphasis on what not to do takes away from the Gospel and the importance of what we should BE in Christ.  The good news is the hope of glory, which is Christ in us.

Having God crush Satan under our feet is an interesting thought, but it seems to  me that in order for this to happen we have to be where Satan is and not in some sort of total avoidance of evil mode.  As followers of Jesus we are supposed to be Light shining in darkness.  We need to go where hurting and lost people are and not just pretend we are safe within the walls of religious structures.  In order to be like Jesus we need to get off our blessed ASSurance and be among the people.

I have no idea if any of this will make sense to those of you reading, but I feel like I have shared my portion today.  “The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

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6 Comments
  1. Well, that’s a can of worms. People seem love law. The reason I love God’s law is because it put everyone on equal footing. Break one you broke them all. Nobody could make the claim they kept the perfect law. The Pharisees certainly tried but Jesus reminded them that even thinking about breaking the law was breaking the law and hating equaled murder.
    Today, because people have hand picked which laws are still in effect, people are not on equal footing. The strong willed have an advantage over the weak. They’ve set up a system where they can in fact boast. They use grace to cover themselves if maybe they’re not taking care of their parents, but will tell a woman she’s an adulterer if she divorces her husband.
    The law in it’s entirety was nailed to the cross and in Christ it was fulfilled. Today we are 100% under His Grace. Of course then come the accusations that you’re suggesting people do whatever they want.
    I’d rather see Christians make mistakes in testing the waters of Grace than to remain in the prison of law where not only are they bound but they make life miserable for those around them.

  2. Gary Z permalink

    Amen! Amen! and Amen some more! And another Amen!

  3. Kim,

    What you describe in the church system is exactly the fruit of legalism and it is just as prevalent in the church today as it was when Jesus spoke these words about the Jewish leaders…

    “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:4 KJ2000).

    Paul carried on in the same theme saying,

    As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:12-14 KJ2000)

    The law of circumcision has many forms in Christian churches today: the law of the tithe, the law of unquestioned submission to church authority, the law of sola scriptura where their interpretation of the Bible must replace our listening to the Spirit of God for ourselves, etc. Men still desire to glory in their control over other men and women by legalism. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Turn, turn, turn.

  4. timbushong permalink

    Chris-

    “Rant”- maybe. It’s harder to interact with your post today, as it’s not as focused as some. And while I think I understand where you’re coming from (and where you may be going with it), I do have some concerns.

    You wrote that “One of the biggest ways that folks divide the Body of Christ today is by making a distinction between those who are “gifted” and those who “give” to support the “gifted”.”

    Do you also agree that there are different giftings in the body, and that some are more gifted in certain areas than others? How would you respond when some men are recognized by the local body as being so gifted to teach (with a commensurate life and doctrine) that they ordain those men to be full-time elders? Do you have an issue with that? I’m thinking especially in the context of 1 Tim. 5:17-20.

    You also remarked about “legalism and observance of The Law”. I’m reminded that the Pharisees weren’t rebuked for observing the Law- rather, it was for elevating their traditions above the Law, and even nullifying the Law by those same traditions. I believe that, technically speaking, that is legalism.

    How do you respond when the apostles, while writing the New Testament, used the Law as a reference point for the measure of Christian behavior? Deut. 25:4 is quoted thrice (Luke 10, 1 Cor 9, and the passage I referenced earlier) as an exhortation to pay the ‘workman’ what he deserves. Is that a proper application today, given the fact that we’re under Grace? And in your thinking, are the standards that are set forth in the law (as delineated in the 10 commandments) now abrogated and abolished?

    Thanks Chris- just askin’, bro…

    Tim

  5. Tim, Yes there are different giftings in the body and some are more gifted in certain areas than others. Everyone should be a full time Follower of Christ, no real such thing as a part time beleiver.
    I know and relate to many elders, men and women. And they do their portion in the churches they are in. But I doubt they would take the label of “full Time”. I think in Jesus the Law was fulfilled and that by loving God and others we fulfill all the other commandments. Sorry for the quick answer, but I am involved in some other pressing matters at this time. Thanks for sharing your portion Tim.

  6. Yeah…is it just me or do most churches these days look more like the synagogues of Jesus’ time complete with Scribes & Pharisees???

    So sad that Jesus’ responses to THEM seem to fit so well in churches these days.

    Also, gifting doesn’t equal authority and it especially doesn’t equal a “profession.”

    Glad to see more and more people seeing these things…makes me just a little hopeful!

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