May 03, 2017

The Interest of Others

I’ve been trying to put my finger on what I dislike about worship services that lack structure and I am finally seeing a similarity between that type of church and a bar/lounge. In a lounge you can sit alone at the bar, or you sit with others in large or small clusters around a table. You are free to walk around, get another drink, or strike up a conversation with anyone else in the facility. You can lean against a wall and watch others play pool or throw darts and even though you are just an observer, you are included as part of the overall experience. You can listen to the music, join in with karaoke, or talk above and around the music. Everything is fluid, and everyone looking to their own interests and comfort. Paul said, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like–minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:1-4 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----God’s not the author of confusion. He author’s accord. Consistency is one of His most basic attributes. All of His ways are consistent with each other. Everything He does is done in accord with every one of His purposes. Making us in His image is something He did for a purpose. And if we are interested in imaging Him, we need to be well adjusted with seeking accord with one another, not merely tolerance.
-----Discord is our Father’s enemy. Eve had accord with God in Eden before the serpent convinced her to try a little discord. She bit the apple unleashing Rahab into the affairs of mankind. All ancient civilizations have in their Middle-Eastern roots a belief in a beneficent God struggling against chaos to maintain order in life. Rahab was the Hebrews more personalized term for leviathan, the sea monster representing the chaotic discord destroying the beauty of what God created.
-----Sometimes I think dictionaries hold the same value that catalogues have in outhouses, particularly where they attempt to deal with religious concepts like “worship”. Being secular works, they can not get too close to the true meaning of terms having relationship with real spirituality, otherwise they might loose their perception as being “scientific”, for science is worshipped today.
-----That statement causes public retort about science not being a religion. But learning the meaning of “worship” from all its usage in the Bible, we realize that whatever is the consistent shaper of our core beliefs and behaviors is what we worship. Our core beliefs are the pinnacle of what we are; our behavior is the expression of those beliefs. That we can not escape. It is the inner truth about our relationship with our surroundings. At any given moment we allow something to impress its image upon our core beliefs; we are worshipping something. By deliberation we should allow nothing to impress us that is not consistent with all of God’s attributes, in church or out.
-----It is enough that we often worship Rahab in our thinking and actions while going around and about. It is admittedly a bit hard to reach a high level of accord with a community of people carrying on every variety of interest at the same time in the same place. But when we gather for worshipping God, at least a modicum of accord ought to be in all our behavior. We should express at least a bit of what we claim to worship. Sometimes I think it proper to be straight forward, like God is straight forward: “SIT DOWN, everyone, SHUT UP, and PAY ATTENTION!” Maybe it would be the loving thing to do, because on that coming judgment day, God is going to reject all inconsistency and discord, no matter how minor. Maybe these Laodicean churches need a little fear of the Lord, a little beginning of wisdom.

Love you all,
Steve Corey