August 23, 2016


When shopping for some new shirts and blouses I found very little that appealed to me. The racks of clothes were screaming with bright multicolored prints, paisleys, flowers and geometric shapes. Quite frankly I don’t see such attire in church, the grocery store, at community events, or at business meetings, so I can’t help but wonder, who buys this stuff anyway? The church is not immune from following trends. I may have overlooked something, but the last big trend I witnessed on the religious landscape was the Purpose Driven Church movement of the mid-1990’s. Paul describes what we are like when we attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Eph 4:14-15 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Speaking the truth in love, according to the best of my ability to discern the Word and information, was the first trend the church encountered. It was not a trend without God’s participation, ask Ananias and Sapphira. Nor was it a time when deceit was completely absent from the church. Many of the New Testament epistles were written in response to dastardly deceits happening around the churches. It must have been a time much like all times have been, kind of a shake bag of good and bad. But the general trend in the bag of shake must have been telling the truth in love, for this is the condition to which Jesus called the early church to return, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Rev 2:4-5)
-----Nor do I think the church going into the 2nd Century AD ever returned to the trend of those first works. Although the 2nd Century replaced the persecutions by the Jews with the persecutions by the Romans for purifying the church body and shot-peening its faith, that century saw the seeds of division sewn in bantering about theological issues, especially issues regarding those Christians who bowed to the Roman demands, then returned to their faith with their cowardly retained physical lives in tow. There were hard issues to deal with, but there were hard judgments passed around a plenty. And that’s not love. Love resolves issues as well, but it does it softly with discernment rather than judgment (judgment = discernment + conviction x sentencing; love = discernment + edification x teaching/humility .) It took several centuries to shed full light on the fact that the first church’s lampstand had been removed from its proper place within the latter equation to its yet current misplacement within the former equation.

Love you all,
Steve Corey