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Oneness as the Lord Lives

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In the history of the church of the Lord Jesus, there have been many attempts at oneness. Perhaps the earliest is described here:

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we told him to stop, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us."
(Mark 9:38-40)

There was a person doing wonderful things, and explaining that the reason and the power for them, was the Lord Jesus Christ. But the person refused to obey the Twelve Apostles, and so the Twelve demanded that the person stop. Churches throughout the centuries have done as the Twelve did.

But today, the Lord is making a different pattern. The progress is slow to our eyes, ever so slow, and careful, and usually gentle. But it is inexorable. His eternal purposes are never stopped nor hindered.

Today, more Anglican churchmembers are sharing faithful brotherhood with Roman churchmembers, neither cursing them nor killing them, than ever before. The same is true of all of the others. There are throwbacks, but the trend is here.

Today, more people care less about the unholy division -- that is what "heresy" truly means -- of the Church of the Lord, than ever before. Churches which devote themselves to divisions are weakening, and losing. These are churches which are devoted to excruciatingly painstaking distinctifications, to being hurtful porcupines to others of the Church with thousands of tiny doctrines, to grinding up centuries of camels in order to squeeze them through the eye of their favorite pet needle. They are weakening more and more, and are wondering why.

And why is very simple. The Lord has said that He has one Bride, and so He does. That Bride emerges now, and not by human power: not by the power of the sword, nor by work of human logician-porcupines, nor by camel-grinding, and equally not by demands that sexual foolishness be encouraged. All of the practitioners of those shall see their works reduced to dust one day, as the Bride is revealed by works of the Lord. As the Lord lives, as He exerts His prophesied will upon the world, there shall emerge a Bride which despises all of the foolishness of the historical church. This Bride shall be beautiful. And she is.

In the past she has been very difficult to see. She is very often a bit difficult to see right now. Many are frightened by her; devoted servants of the weakening churches, most especially. If we are willing, and Lord willing, we can accept her beauty as very good news.

And she is very beautiful. She is the wheat among the tares, the living among the dying. Her parts are scattered among others, but she works and looks to her Lord as one, and she does a huge number of beautiful things everywhere she is. She tries to help sinners suffer less, and to take them to the Son for redemption. For her is love, forgiveness, mercy, and release from sin; for her is not the vengeance of the Father; and for her is not the futile struggles of the world.

It can be very rough on us, to accept her beauty as the very good news which it is. So many are educated almost from very birth, to respect futile striving. We are taught that it is very good to struggle hard to win games in which loss is a certainty sometimes. We are taught that it is very good to strive to build things, improve things, and develop things of this world which will not last long.

But the Bride of the Lord does not do futility. Her purpose is that which will last forever. She may build church buildings, but when she does, she does not care about them very much; she cares about the souls to save. She may help tribes and nations stop terrible evils; but when she does, she knows that they still face the doom of God, which is only made joyful through her service to the Son.

In Christ we have news which is so good, it is often very hard for us to accept it. But we can. His news is the answer to all of the bad, sad, and distressing news of the world's media. We don't need to serve their causes: very little is truly helped, in the end computation, if we do. We need to serve the purposes Christ Personally spoke to us. We need to help add people to the Kingdom of God. It is the reason why we were made, it is the reason why we were saved, and it is the only reason for being which God has given in this age. And it is very good reason. It is the best reason ever given. It is the only reason which is good. Only God, is good, according to God.

The Bride is good. She is the one whom the Lord is creating for Himself. Let us work in her, be in her, live in her, forever.

Jonathan Brickman
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