PEA RIDGE I was reminded recently of how often we fall short in our obedience to Scripture.
As my wife often says to me, “there are always three sides to every contention;
your side, their side and then there’s the truth.” Boy, do I hate it when the one the good Lord chose for me is so right.
I had been privileged attend a function at another church and while I met some wonderful people, I also encountered an attitude - along with it’s attending rudeness - what I’ve come to call the “my house (think church)” attitude; “you ain’t at your house now - you’re at mine, and it’s my way or the highway.”
You might think “Well, there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s the way it should be. After all, it is my house and last time I checked, this is still America, the land ofthe free and, by golly, what I say goes. The question that confronts us as Christians is how to reconcile this attitude with Scripture;
after all, as Christians, the Scriptures are to be the final “Word” on all our attitudes and behaviors, isn’t it?
Paul, speaking to us in Ephesians 4:1 says “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” and this should be of paramount concern to us because according to Matthew 5:14 we “are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
When we accept Christ, we become this light shining, a city that is there for the world to see, whether we want to be or not. We must be careful to “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” If this isn’t motivationenough for us to walk worthy, Scriptures tell us in 1st Peter 1:16: “But as he which hath called you (Christ) is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior).”
You might be thinking about now “what in the world does that have to do with the attitude you’re talking about?” I’m glad you asked. Paul continues in Ephesians 4:2-3 where we find we are to do the walking “With all lowliness andmeekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Would you agree it’s a bit hard to insist on having our way and truly deal with others in a manner consistent with these verses?
It’s been my experience, at least, that the attitude of “my way or the highway” does more to generate strife than bring peace.
Perhaps this is why there is more division than unity in the body of Christ. I even wonder if it’s just possible we are being a bit presumptuous when we have the attitude “my house,” “my church?” God really only gives us two choices - His way, or the highway - to obey or disobey, but you see, God is the only one who can truly say that because it is His house, notours.
Fortunately, God really doesn’t leave it up to us to decide, or leave it to chance we wouldn’t understand what He meant; He inspired Paul to continue to write to us in Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” One house (body) - His - you get the idea.
In this situation what my wonderful wife says fits because there are three sides this debate - our argument, Satan’s argument and God’s truth. We know Satan is a liar and the Scriptures tell us in Romans 3:4: “let God be true, but every man a liar.” So what does that leave us with? God’s way. We must always beaware of Jesus’ command to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16) - a bit hard to do when we take possession of what isn’t ours.
Church, Pages 2 on 11/18/2009
Print Headline: Pastor’s Corner Whose way to follow?