Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Missing the Obvious

Human beings who are unregenerate often do not know the evil that they do; either they simply lack the wisdom to know, lack instruction from the Scriptures that would inform them of it, or have dulled their moral senses to the point where they can no longer recognize various evils as such. That is why, for example, people might give you a strange look if you were to tell them that revenge is rightly carried out by God alone (sometimes done through the agency of government) or that extramarital sex is a bad thing. (Cf. 1 Peter 4.1-4.)
How is it, therefore, that in my travels I have encountered church-goers who act as if they possess no knowledge of the following?
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3.8, NKJV)
Notice that on this last point I speak of blasphemy, filthy language, and perhaps even malice. Come to think of it, why also do the same people display no knowledge of the following--as if neither they nor their “pastors” have ever mentioned or happened upon the following from the apostle Paul?
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5.1-4, NKJV)
And why should anyone treat homosexuality--whether the inclination or the acts--as being good when our brother Paul, apostle of Christ, has told us the following?
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6.9-10)
The answer seems simple enough. There are at least three missions or responsibilities which the church apparently no longer carries out. The first is the Great Commission of Matthew 28.18-20, which calls for the raising up of disciples. The second is the preaching of the good news of Christ, which is the power of God to the salvation of those who believe (Romans 1.16) but is in many instances replaced by messages of ill-defined faith or messages which exhort people to trust in their works and obedience in order to please God. Pseudo-conversions of erstwhile unregenerate lawbreakers can be expected as results, and consequently we are left in a world full of church-goers who are indistinguishable from sinners.  Finally, a third responsibility is that people read their Bible; no one else will truly do this for you.

I mention all of this--perhaps even in repetition of a previous blog post--because, well, personally I’ve seen matters get worse in this regard.

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