November 30, 2016

Rather Than Hinder the Gospel

I continue to contemplate the church leaders and paid ministry staff who publicly confessed to being cold, slothful and not diligent in the study of God’s Word, or hearing the Word of God. “We have not honored the Spirit of God; we’ve had little of the mind of Christ; and we courted honor from men, not Christ.” The confession indicates the error of their ways is not new and to some extent, it has been tolerated or ignored by the congregation. Paul wrote that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. It occurs to me that those of us who are mature in the faith have a right to hold preachers, leaders and ministerial staff accountable; however, as Paul said, “But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ” (1 Cor 9:12b NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----When we examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word, we all have to join these confessing leaders. What they say is true of the most of us today. Paul’s zeal shows us up hands down. And not only his zeal, but his surrender to the Holy Spirit and his sensitivity to the Spirit‘s direction. Our shortness stands out clearly when we consider our actions and thoughts as compared to what we read of the first century church. For example, Ananias and Sapphira die for misstating the sale proceeds of their property. A shamefully large percentage of today’s believers, including clergy, support the lie that an unborn child is not a human soul and the consequential, daily mass murder of thousands of innocent children. Here is needed confession. Paul wrote that we should not go beyond what is written so that we would not puff up against one another (I Cor 4:6) and that each should be convinced of things in his own mind (Rom 14:5,) yet the Presbyterians are not the only ones with their little book of rules and regulations formulated far beyond what the Bible says and telling everyone what they should believe and how they should believe it. Here is needed confession. Dido the Rich Warren flood which washed away so much of what the church was. There is needed confession.
-----And it is everywhere amongst life’s subtleties. “Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Rom 12:10) OK. When was that supposed to start? We didn’t even read the first half of the verse, “Love one another with brotherly affection.” There are a few with whom we do exchange affectionate love. These are called cliques. We rarely carry our affection across the boundaries of our cliques. Here is needed confession. And, my! Should we even address the obvious one? I think not. It effects too many people. But isn’t our failure to not speak the truth because of who or how many it might offend something needing confession? Yes. So, let’s talk about forgiveness. That it is hard to forgive is a lie. And most people blame their ongoing, constant grudges upon that lie. It is not hard to forgive. It is easy. It is hard to die. And this is what we were called to do, to take up our crosses and to die for one another, even literally die when need be. Difficulty of forgiveness is an aspect of the dead man’s character. The aspect of new life rejoices to forgive. It readies forgiveness before an apology is even received. So what really needs confessed here? Hesitancy to forgive? Or hesitancy to take up that cross and die?
-----Thank God for the massive grace brought to us through Christ who was meticulously tested and found true in all things. That grace more than sufficiently covers the falsehood found by even the easiest of our tests.
-----God is real. He does not change. Consider the lamp stand removed from its place (Rev 2:5) History shows no repentance of the early church. It carried doctrinal bickering into the second century. And by the end of the fourth century, it was requesting the Christian Emperors to dispose of doctrinal opponents. And it was killing unrepentant pagans instead of showing them the gracious love of Christ. The Holy Spirit’s guiding light is not in the same optimal place in which it first was. The church always has worn far more “mask of love” than it has actually been filled with the love of Christ. But then. I guess that’s because we are men. And even that is something to confess.

Love you all,
Steve Corey