Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.


September 10th, 2006 Viewed 3452 times

Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. – II Corinthians 6:17-18

BricksSo begins one of the most difficult and complex topics that the church has faced since its founding. It is this topic that has divided churches over the color of carpet or issues of doctrine, and has created the multiple different “flavors” of Christianity we see in the world today. We all can agree that separation is important– God will do it ultimately when he separates the sheep from the goats (the saved from the unsaved), but how do we know who to separate from now, and what are the criteria?

Since there are multiple ways to begin this discussion, let’s start with the differences between the actors. There is Personal Separation and Ecclesiastical (or Church-based) Separation.

In Personal Separation, there are fewer guidelines and complexities, so I will cover them in short order. There’s a command in II John that if someone comes to your house and does not bring the gospel of Christ, then you are not to let him in the door, because that makes you a partaker in his evil deeds. Why? Because you will be seen not as taking a stand against the person’s beliefs (they are probably well known). If you feel the desire to share the gospel or try to reach them, choose a neutral place where you can talk with them.

Also, you are to choose your friends wisely. There are many passages that talk about the effect someone has on a friend and vice versa. However, the Holy Spirit saw fit to make sure that we realize that we are in the world and not of it and that we are to be witnesses. If we were to take a position of separation from all sin, we would not be able to witness. Christ went to those that needed Him, but He never went somewhere that would have been equated with sin.

He went to Zacceus’ house– a sinner, publican, but the house was not necessarily associated with sin. Mary Magdelen poured ointment on his feet and head, but again the person was a sinner, not the location. You’ll never find Jesus in the New Testament going into a idol’s temple. You’ll never see Him visiting a house of prostitution (he doesn’t even go to the women at the well’s house, maybe for the association with that house?). We too need to make sure that the places that we go and who we invite in do not have something attached to them that people would get the wrong impression.

When we get to Church-based separation is where things get difficult.

Not Meeting Expectations

August 7th, 2006 Viewed 1849 times

Battle In the SkyThis past Sunday’s message I explored the divergence between what Christ said we should expect and what we are seeing in our everyday walks with the Lord, and see if we are meeting expectations.

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, just before His prayer to the Father, He spoke words meant to encourage the disciples, but I cannot but wonder why He was saying them and what they would face. He gets done with a tremendous promise in John 15:1-11, ending on such a great note– that their joy may be full. Then his talk changes to talk of death. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Who You Are, Not What You Are

August 1st, 2006 Viewed 2458 times

Which WayWho was better equipped than David to teach us about God’s leading? (I guess you could answer “Christ”– being very God Himself, but I mean of the human with the capability to sin variety.) David started out on the fields of his father Jesse. From there he was chosen to be king of Israel, but only after all of his brothers were passed over. From there, he conquered Goliath at God’s leading, and then spent years being chased by Saul. He went into battle and expanded the empire, and even after he sinned and was paying the penalty, the Lord was still leading.

Global or Known World?

December 29th, 2004 Viewed 2122 times

Wooden NativityPage 7

Summary: Meacham continues his comparison with Augustus but notes that there are no other stories in history/mythology that completely parallel the Annuciation. He goes on to say that Luke and Matthew would resonate with the people of the times because of the familiar stories, and that there were many factions within Christianity at the time. He starts to discuss the heresy of gnosticism and their beliefs. He closes stating that Christians have to know and address these “mysteries” and that Christianity is worth while despite them.

No Local Census?

December 28th, 2004 Viewed 1543 times

Wooden Nativity Page 6

Summary: Meacham starts out by saying that Luke has a problem in getting Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem since he has them living in Nazareth, so Luke apparently grabs at history to select an event– a census– to get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Meacham quotes Brown who claims that Luke’s history is “dubious on almost every score.” Meacham claims there was no global or local census.

Jesus’ Virgin Birth

December 22nd, 2004 Viewed 1939 times

Wooden NativityPage four.

From there, Meacham goes into how the virgin birth was a cause of ridicule in the early church times since people thought poorly of Christianity for it. He then introduces the claim that maybe Jesus was born to Mary and Panthera, a soldier. The account continues that Jesus picked up magic tricks in Egypt that he then used to proclaim to be God. He recounts a gospel passage in John that speaks of the belief that Jesus was illegitimate. This would, Meacham explains, make the virgin birth a good cover story for Joseph having a child with Mary before they were married or covering up for an affair. Meacham then goes on to say that Matthew and John did a lot of work of attaching biblical prophecy to Jesus, taking passages from the Old Testament to authenticate the birth.

Second Vatican Council

December 15th, 2004 Viewed 1529 times

Wooden NativityThis next page of Meacham’s article starts with a pretty funny analogy. He said “In 1965, the Second Vatican Council held that while the Scriptures are ultimately “true,” they are not necessarily to be taken as accurate in the sense we might take an Associated Press wire report about what happened at a school-board meeting as accurate.” Now, I know the AP is considered pretty reliable, but I also know that they’re considered biased, just as Mr. Meacham. I digress… Here’s the summary of page 3:


Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.