“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28 (NKJV)
Lately I have noticed so much being said about “The Emerging Church” that I wonder if anybody even remembers the actual concept behind church. Thanks to social media there has been much put out there by friends just sharing what they read about how the church is straying and buying into another Gospel that it boggles the mind. Even I belong to a few “social media” groups that claim good sound Biblical doctrine but that doesn’t stop the “knuckleheads” from creeping in…”For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4) There wasn’t social media when this was written in Jude (back when it was called Face to Face) but it is still true centuries later.
So that doesn’t mean we should cast a wary eye on everyone who come into our churches when they are looking to become a part of a church and then hopefully part of the body of Christ. I even think we have gone as far as to having our language amongst ourselves so complicated that when someone who needs the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ on a beginners level comes in and hears us talk they can’t relate and then wind up going to a place that can tickle their ears without them knowing about it. We can chase people away simply because they can’t relate to our five points of Calvinism’s and the eight; no wait nine, dispensations that we discuss right out in the lobby. Or maybe we’re just too churchy with our Sunday morning faces that the new believer can see past the plastic and thinks they can’t fit in.
Well that’s not how the Apostle Paul saw it, oh no…so much so that I dare share it like this, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-
saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”—1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (The Message)
And yes I have just used “The Message”. Not to be sarcastic, however, but to pull something out, the phrase “I kept my bearings in Christ.” That tells me that I need to keep my moral compass set on the things of Christ; because that is the main thing to me. King Solomon said, “Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations” and it really speaks to the ownership of land, to me the boundary marker has been set up by Christ and the “religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever” needs to see that in me. And the only way to do that is to meet them at their level and introduce them to The Cross and let Jesus Christ raise them up to His level.
I like this phrase also, “I didn’t want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” Being part of a church is an important thing to me but being a member of the Body of Christ is something totally different. My fellow Freedom Fighter writer, Rob Russomano, has said at times that he “gets the privilege” to do for the body of Christ. I think that’s where we all need to be. Not so much that this puts us in some club with a silly handshake but part of “The Club” that puts us out there bringing the lost to a saving grace knowledge of Jesus Christ. It will be to this effect that we won’t need to put special “MEME’s” on our social media pages to warn people of an EMERGING doom. The Message will be simple and they will know we are Christians by our love. Amen? Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and blogs weekly for Freedom Fighter. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “You and I are going to be one in the Name of the Lord and stand our ground against the enemy! There we have something altogether different from the attempt to get on with one another on a natural basis; we have a dynamic for fellowship. We have to get on with one another in the Name of the Lord, or else the Lord’s testimony is not established.”—T. Austin-Sparks
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. Psalm 25:11