Wednesday, April 23, 2008

be of the same mind...

You might accuse me of “not protecting my own”, but in local New Testament churches, it is unavoidable that there are two people (even more) who are not in good speaking terms.

In Ephesians 4:2, Paul is beseeching (pleading) Euodias and Syntyche to be “of the same mind with the Lord”.

Okay, let’s not dig deeper on that. Let’s go back to the topic. It is unavoidable that there are two people or even more who are not in good terms one with another inside the church. Still though, it should not be tolerated. If you are church leader, a pastor and/or leaders given authority by their pastor, should talk this over. What’s the hard part? The leader should not force them to be in good terms. Apostle Paul’s old nature is sarcasm. Despite of that, he said the word “beseech” (to plead; to request).

Frankly, I find it sad when two brethren or more are not in good speaking terms one with another, even if they have their “valid” reasons why they did so. The church is the body of Christ. If brothers and sisters are not in good terms, it’s like the hand is punching his other parts of the body. It’s like a kingdom divided in itself. For short, it’s not a good scene.

You know what? I just don’t like it when believers don’t speak one to another because they hate each other.

MY BRETHREN, I HAVE EXPERIENCED ONE OF THE TOUGHEST CHURCH DISCIPLINES A CONGREGANT WILL EVER EXPERIENCE: DISMISSAL. DESPITE MY REPENTANCE, I’M STILL NOT YET ALLOWED TO GO BACK BECAUSE MY EX-GIRLFRIEND, ACCORDING TO HER MOTHER, IS NOT READY TO FORGIVE ME YET. BECAUSE OF THIS, I HAVE NO CHOICE, BUT DON’T STEP TO THE PREMISES OF THE CHURCH. ANOTHER PART OF THE CONSEQUENCE IS THE ALIENATION FROM SOME BRETHREN BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT THAT MATURE ENOUGH. I THOUGHT I WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE OF ATTENDING A BAPTIST CHURCH, MEET FELLOW BELIEVERS, HAVE MINISTRIES. ALMOST TWO MONTHS OF MY LIFE, I HAVE NO BRETHREN TO TALK TO. IT IS HARD. IT’S DEPRESSING.

THEN, GOD’S GRACE MOVES IN MY LIFE. A BAPTIST CHURCH ADOPTED ME. THE PASTOR KNOWS WHAT DID I DO BACK IN THE OLD CHURCH, YET HE ADOPTED ME. IN FACT, HE TOLD ME TO GET INVOLVE IN THE MINISTRIES, SPECIFICALLY THE RESURRECTION OF THE YOUTH MINISTRY (BACK THEN).

IT’S SO HARD TO LOSE YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHURCH (EVEN IF THEY SAY IT IS TEMPORARY; EVEN PARTIALLY IT IS YOUR FAULT). WHEN I WAS GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE BY GOD TO MINISTER AGAIN, I PURPOSED IN MYSELF TO ACCEPT THE BRETHREN EVEN IN THEIR WEAKNESSES.

BRETHREN, I’M PLEADING AS YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST TO STOP THE “FIGHTING” INSIDE THE CHURCH. IF THEY HAVE THEIR LAPSES, FORGIVE THEM. IF POSSIBLE, HELP THEM RECOVER. LOVE THE CHURCH BY LOVING YOUR BRETHREN THERE. I HAVE EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND HOW IT FEELS NOT TO HAVE ANY CHURCH, ANY BRETHREN AT ALL TO TALK TO.

BRETHREN, IF YOU’RE NOT IN SPEAKING TERMS WITH SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU THINK IT’S HIS OR HER FAULT, THINK AGAIN. NOT TALKING TO A BROTHER/SISTER IN CHRIST BECAUSE OF HATE IS NO GOOD. INDIRECTLY, YOU ARE SAYING TO YOURSELF, “HE OR SHE IS NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE CHURCH.” YES, THAT ONE IS APPLICABLE IN SOME CASES, BUT NOT IN THIS. INDIRECTLY, YOU THINK YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE FRIENDS, EVEN IF YOU’LL NOT SETTLE YOUR DIFFERENCES. MAN, ARE YOU SURE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE TO TALK TO YOU, TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

STOP THE HATE. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHURCH TO BE LOYAL TO. LOVE YOUR CHURCH. YOU LOVE THE CHURCH BY LOVING THE BRETHREN THAT IS PART OF YOUR CHURCH. LOVING THEM MEANS ACCEPTING THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE.

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