Showing posts from May, 2013

The Church - Part 5 (Final)

"Unity in the church will only occur when we are Heaven." This attitude is prevalent among most Christians, but I think it shows a lack of faith. Jesus prayed not that we would be one in Heaven since that is already a reality, no, He prayed that we would be one on this Earth.
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (John 17:20-21). One of the barriers to unity in the Church may be that we don't even know what unity means. Does it mean that we will all meet in the same geographical region? Does it mean that we will have the same doctrine? Does it mean that we will all be identical? I don't have the answers to these questions but I know it needs to start somewhere. Most churches are experts in division but they know nothing of reconciliation. It is obvious that we are b…

The Church - Part 4

We typically think of a local church as a group of Christians who meet regularly in a certain geographical location. The problem is that geographical location does not determine faith. Every Christian community is a mixed bag of those who truly believe in Jesus and those who don't. The difference between these two types of people is only distinguishable by God. We may have high confidence that someone has faith but only God knows for sure.

There is only one Church and that consists of ONLY true Christians. People who claim Christianity and do not bear fruit are not part of the Church (John 15:1-17). We are not part of the Church because we are part of a particular Christian community. We are part of the Church as individuals, not as groups. This is made clear by Paul's assertion that we "are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor. 12:27),"  and that our gifts as members of the body are apportioned by the Spirit "to each one individually as He w…

The Church - Part 3

Christianity is about the internals, not the externals. It is not about how you look, how much money you have, or how many friends you have, it is about whether you have been changed by the life of Jesus Christ. This key distinction is made clear by the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles in the gospel.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility (Eph. 2:13-16). The big debate in early Christianity was about whether Gentiles had to follow Jewish customs, specifically circumcision, to be a Christian(Acts 15:1). It was decided that the Gentiles did not have to participate in circumcisi…

The Church - Part 2

God takes divorce very seriously. He says, "for the man who does not love his wife but divorces her covers his garment with violence (Mal. 2:16)." Likewise, He also says that what He "has joined together, let not man separate (Matt. 19:6)." We understand this practically in our marriage vows when we make the promise "till death do us part." Death is the only legitimate way to break the bond of marriage.

A husband and a wife become one body when they consummate the marriage. Similarly, we become one spirit with Jesus Christ when we are joined to Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The first relationship is physical but the second relationship is spiritual. This spiritual relationship however does not just apply to Jesus but to the body of Christ. If we are each joined spiritually to Christ are we not joined with each other? This is what Paul is trying to say when He says, "for just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, …

The Church - Part 1

I grew up in the country, building tree-forts and playing sports. It was a great upbringing with many fond memories and great friends. However, I always knew that I was different from everybody around me. I did not have a TV or know about popular culture. I went to church 3 to 5 times a week and traveled to various camps and conferences on the weekends. Despite the difference, it was an idyllic childhood. This all changed in the year 1991.

In the 1991, my family and many others across all of North America were excommunicated from our church. People my family had known their whole lives stopped talking to them. People stopped shaking hands with us and would not eat with us. Our friends were no longer allowed to play with us. Being 11 years old I did not understand the big picture and bitterness and anger began to grow.

My teenage and early adult years were spent doing normal things gradually drifting away from Church, not because of my experiences as a child, but because I was struggli…

Men and Women are Different

Men and women are different. Most people agree with this statement, but why are so many people upset when you start pointing out some of the differences? If men and women are truly different, there must be some evidence that shows that. It is foolishness to say that men and women are different and then not be able to name any differences whatsoever.

It is a proven fact that men generally have more upper body strength and by definition have different anatomy, but is that the only thing we mean when we say they are different? Hardly, that is a given, we are usually talking about the differences that we find in relating to each other. There is no need to name some of the differences because that will only cause a controversy, and that is not the point of this discussion. The challenge is for you to think about what differentiates men from women.

I am tired of being told that men and women are not different whenever you bring up a practical example, when there is clearly a difference.