"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Great Idea

        Here's a great idea: For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. That's such a great idea, it aught to be in the Bible, so folks would abide by it.
        Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute. It is in the Bible, and if anybody's interested, they can find it at Galatians 5:13-15 (NASB).
        So, as that great idea is already in the Bible, God's church, consisting of Christian folks who get their marching orders from the Bible, must have it down pat ... or at least be aware of it.
        But ... there's a ... nasty rumor floating about ... to the effect that some congregations of God's church are having a bit of trouble in the "biting and devouring one another" category. Don't get me wrong, I do my best to avoid heeding rumors, but when they become so consistent and wide spread that even a saint would have to take notice ... well ... let's just say my halo is on back order.
        Okay, I've been accused of completely irrational idealism. So maybe I'm all wet, thinking God's church should naturally observe God's New Testament law. After all, we're only human.
        Jesus, however, seems to have higher expectations of His people. There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-3 ESV) That was, by the way, stated by the same Christ Jesus we Christians claim as our Savior and Lord (Lord, as in Master and sovereign King).
        This same Jesus said in John chapter 3, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6 ESV) While He spoke regarding spiritual rebirth, what He said can be applied as a principle, or spiritual law. "That" can refer to any action, attitude, motive, thought or plan as well. Are bitterness, backbiting, factions, pride, arrogance, greed and jealousy spiritually motivated, or are they of the flesh, sinful, depraved?
        Those who defend or deny such carnal attitudes within themselves are, quite simply, blind. Though Jesus came to heal such blindness, these "blind leaders of the blind" continue clinging to their "form of godliness" in church membership and even leadership, while blaspheming their Savior's Name before an already skeptical world.
        "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

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