Starting in the very early centuries of the church of the Son, there have been splits. Alphas declare other alphas to be enemy, declare themselves and their friends alone to be the holders of the truth and the right, enough needy sheep follow, and splat.
For centuries, military and police forces were employed to eliminate those who did not follow. Then the churches and states slowly began to leave each others’ beds, and alphas used words by the billion instead of armies...and more splitting happened.
Today there are a large number of splittoids, many of which no longer consider themselves the sole holders of truth and right; many of them have even stopped declaring that everyone else is more wrong. But as this happy trend is growing, another trend is growing too: militant sin.
Churches and states are in bed together less and less. Less and less, do statespersons have to be or to pretend to be churchpersons, in order to remain statespersons. And as pretence diminishes, sin becomes very public; increasingly people announce that their favorite sin is good, and demand that everyone else encourage them in it.
The church does suffer in this environment, and will suffer increasingly. This is not a problem to be solved: the Lord said that His church shall suffer in this world.
This is not a problem to be solved! The purpose of the Church of the Lord Jesus is not, and never has been, to make this world a wonderful place in which to live. Our Lord has said that our purpose is to feed His sheep, which means, to help those who recognize that His words are the best, to learn more of them and follow Him.
But the sin-militants are trying to invade churches. Most of their targets implode if the invasions gain power, because a church which tries to geld its Lord is no use to anyone or anything, except the temporary self-esteem, salary, and pitiful self-exaltation of its pastorate. But there are some which don’t implode quickly.
Much written and archaeological history shows us large church-groups which, despite much institutional sin, did not implode for centuries. In the Bible we have several examples of churches, major exemplar churches, which did not implode for a very long time. Likewise, today, the leadership of all of the largest denominations, and a great many smaller ones, have been invaded by sin-militants, whether they admit it or not.
But God does not support the cutting-off of any church founded in the love of the Son.
In the Bible it is plain. There are many churches listed which are publicly known for fostering all of the various sin which militants today are pushing so hard. God created these churches, and He does not ever speak of cutting off any entire churches, ever, in the holy writ. Individuals, yes: churches, never!
We suggest that we should follow God in this example He gave. Our purpose is not to make sin-lists as preachers of old were wont to do; our purpose is not to chop off “impure” churches from “pure” churches; and certainly we do not follow anyone in the murder of neighbors who are publicly dedicated to sin. Vengeance is His alone, and He will repay, so He saith.
For a great many, however, there is and has been an elephant very troubling in this room: obedience. Obedience to the pastor, obedience to the bishop, obedience to the priest, and so on and so forth. It is suggested by many that good behavior by a servant of the Lord, only occurs during obedience to one or more other nondivine persons. Some of the denominations have extremely large and complex definitions of good and legitimate obedience, consisting of reams of canon law. Disobedience is thus often considered major.
On the other hand, God Himself has stated that He is eager to free us directly, Personally, from all unhelpful obedience. When persons were disobedient to the very Empowered Disciples of the Lord, and yet did miracles by His name, the Lord said that the disobedient persons were right, and the Twelve were wrong when they scolded. It is thus that we can and, if the Lord leads us to do so, shall, bring the good He defines, to people, within all churches, regardless of what the persons in leadership do or demand. Love itself is a miracle in this world, at and we should be eager to bring it as much as we can, everywhere He is willing to manifest it to His purposes. Freedom from sin is also a miracle in this world, and we should be eager to bring it too, Lord willing.
Thus it is that a bishop devoted to all of the truths the Lord has declared in Holy Scripture, can and did in the past, in obedience to God and service to the Son, exist alongside a bishop devoted to various and sundry sin, and take great care to deliver the good only when the immediate church will not be harmed. Were we limited to the common human standard, this would be impossible, we would be fuming in the errors of the puritans of London all over again. But if it is the Lord who is empowering us in the moments, there is no good which we cannot do. This is how and why it was right for Luther and Wesley to not want to participate in divisiveness.
We can learn to love all kinds of people, and to help any of them who desire to grow into the future Kingdom as we do, regardless of current situation terrible or not. We can learn that none of us can know anything good, except by very Act of the Lord Himself upon our souls. We can learn to confess that there are no pure churches in this world, because all of us still employ impure flesh. We can learn that our purpose is to feed His sheep in any way He makes possible for us. And we can learn that His missions for each of us are specific: we have no right to be frustrated when we neither lessen nor eliminate evils for which God has already decided, that this world shall be destroyed completely, and then replaced afterward with something much better.
God describes this world as His footstool. When an owner of any footstool, back in the day, decided that it was rotten or broken enough, into the fire it went. He has already told that this footstool upon which we live, has a date for the fire, sometime in the future. His Son has already stated that the cares of this world squeeze out the purposes of God. His Apostle has already stated that we must not love this world and things of this world. Our purpose is to help bring His sheep through to His side, so they do not perish along with this world.
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