Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Church as Worldly as the World

1 John 3:13 KJV
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Sincere Christians are taught not to marvel or to wonder if the world hates us. The world is as opposed to acts of righteousness as they pretend to be of acts of immorality. As time passes, worldly people have become more and more bold in their immorality and more vocal in their hatred of those who serve as salt and light, attempting to restrain the growth of immorality and sin. Though the United States has offered a haven for Christians, that haven is disappearing. We should not wonder if the world hates us.

But while we are not surprised at the hatred, neither do we enjoy it. Surely we would much prefer
  • Acceptance
  • Community and
  • Love
This serves as a segue into this chapter's next thought; we ought to love our brethren.

Though hated in the world, we still have
  • A haven,
  • A place of belonging,
  • A place where we are loved
That place is our place of worship, among the members of that church to which we belong.

Worldliness among Christians has spoiled that in many ways.
First, too many Christians are quite welcomed in the world
They suppose they have found a way to be free of the bondage of Egypt while still enjoying the leeks and onions and garlics there.

Second, those very same Christians enter into churches and bring the despite of the world into that church
They have compromised with the world and they don't want to hear from those Christians who have refused such compromise.

The conflict between Cain and Abel has entered into the walls of local churches as compromising Christians, who are accepted in the church as brothers and sisters, but whose need for belonging is more than met in the world, now attack separated and sincere Christians in the very house of God.

The answer, as I see it, is a threefold process
  • First, do as John does and urge Christians to love one another
  • Second, do as John does and rebuke those Christians who love the world, calling them to separate
  • Thirdly, in the case of those who refuse to separate and to express love and support for brethren, separate then from them

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