Monday, January 12, 2009

Thoughts on 1 Corinthians

The church where my family and I are attending currently is doing a series on 1 Corinthians… Next to James this is my favorite book… I spent an entire year studying it in High School. I was apart of a “Bible Bowl” team where we would compete for scholarships. Questions were asked and the teams had to answer them. These questions would focus around not just scripture memory etc… but application, and meaning of the text. Backing up the text through the use of other New Testament or Old Testament scripture (I was once told any verse in the Bible preached by itself can be a heresy.)

Last week was a good start as we were looking at Paul’s conversation with the church at Corinth. This week we had a gentleman from the church preach who is apart of the council board at the church. What a difference a teacher can make…

He started out talking very solidly about what was dividing the church of Corinth and tying it even to today’s church. I can definitely agree that today’s modern, traditional church is screwed up… We have wandered so far from where God would have wanted us. For example did you know that the church use to LEAD industry, finance, retail etc… Christians felt it was their duty to be the best. Now we follow and sometimes not even that. The church went out and tried to find things to bring in the youth… They took modern day songs and changed the words. Some even took forbidden music and added lyrics. Those songs were bar songs and music written by slaves. They became what we know as Hymns. So why now are these the sacred Cow of the American church?

Anyways back to my point… Our guest speaker was listing these divisions and how they can be seen still today. He listed a bunch. Jealousy, Problems with worship, Doctrinal issues, Money etc… In the middle he would add an illustration. This is where I got a bit confused. His question on the issue of Problems with music confused me… He stated “What do you think of when I say Adult Entertainment?” He then went on to say that most churches today’s worship was nothing more than adult entertainment. So here was my thought: “In saying that aren’t you creating a division in the church?” That is why Solomon wrote that if you think you are perfect LOOK OUT FOR THE FALL!! The biggest hypocrite can be the biggest critic (Yes I know I am being critical ;^)
So then he went to Doctrinal issues and went on and on about how Calvinist and Arminianism “WHO CARES”... but then he mentions great people like John Calvin… so you can see he would claim to be a Calvinist… So my question is “If it doesn’t matter which one why take a side?” I am a Cal-Minianist…. Both show truth, although neither is fully truth, because they come from the Bible which is THEE truth.

His final bits got me too… He talked about how Paul says he preaches one message and that is JESUS… That is true and perfect! He talked about how if we did that, looked into who Jesus really was, we would be a revolutionary church. So what was said to be the place to look for to find the true nature or heart of Christ? The Beatitudes!! GREAT POINT and I still agreed with him… But somehow when looking at the beatitudes he stated that they all can be summed up that a “Good person will promote the good in others.” At this point I was really lost…

So where in the whole Matthew 5-6 and 7 do we get that? I see messages on what Christ was all about: Teaching believers that we were to tell the world. We are the SALT OF THE EARTH… We are the Light. Giving to those in need; Praying; fasting; and what about chapter 7 vs. 15 – 23 when Jesus talks about a Good Tree Bearing Good Fruit. To me that is what Jesus was all about didn’t He even say “Does a Dr. come for the well or the Sick... So I have come for those who are perishing.” Jesus spent his time with sinners and the destitute… NOT the CHURCH CROWD… Now he didn’t forsake the fellowship with the disciples but he didn’t buy into the church of the day.

So that is where I think differently about Jesus’ Nature, no what is a Revolutionary Church? First I must understand the word Revolutionary. A revolutionary, when used as a noun, is a person who either actively engages in some kind of revolution, or advocates the revolution, with recognition from some government or party which is effectively carrying out a revolution of the same category. In the political context, the term "revolutionary" is often used in contrast to the term reformist. While a revolutionary is someone who supports abrupt change, a reformist is someone who supports more gradual change. When used as an adjective, revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.

What then would a revolutionary church look like? A church that doesn’t seek to be normal. A church that wants to reach those who are without Christ. A Church whose focus is building up a mature nation.

If the typical way of doing church really worked then why do we have so few committed and growing Christians in America? Why do we spend 3 hours in a car lot trying to figure out a way to buy something we can’t afford yet we will not take 3 min’s to think about GIVING money we don’t yet have.

If the Church was doing what it needed to do we wouldn’t have so many Para-church organizations. THE CHURCH WOULD BE DOING IT!

If we knew what it was to truly worship God like a church in Iraq, China, and Indonesia etc… To go to worship God under and risk your life for you faith. Do you know how the early Christians would be baptized? They would dress in White clothes and parade through the streets to the local river, proclaiming their FAITH. Everyone who saw them would want them dead.

How then should we the church respond to these unity issues? I just heard tonight of a saintly elderly woman’s attitude towards the church worship attitude. She reminded the elderly couple who asked about the worship styles this statement “When we were kids we would spend hours on our knees in prayer in church. We would all be praying even over each other, on our knees with our arms raised towards heaven. The generation today spends their time on their feet singing their prayers at the top of their lungs to God. So even if I don’t like all the songs and music, I can LOVE the attitude of why they do it!” THAT IS THE SPIRIT ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE!!! IF WE DID WE WOULD BE UNIFIED! IF WE WERE THINK OF WHAT COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED!

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