Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. Hebrews 13:8,9 NIV
Then there is the other old saying: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. (From Machiavelli in "The Prince" which is the definitive primer for how to be a dictator.... hmmmm)
The Church of the Nazarene holds its General Assembly in Indianapolis in June, and I am hoping that there are no surprises for me to digest. I say this for two reasons, firstly, we live in a democracy and that includes church, and secondly the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been convening in Edinburgh this past week. In that particular gathering, they came up with two surprises (at least for me!). Now before I say what they are, a word for my regular reader and welcome contributor ‘Anon’. What I say will be observations only, and not judgements, so please don’t start jumping up and down and getting your blood pressure in the red zone! Of course if you still want to comment, you are welcome to do so!
The CoS has been in the news recently as it tried to distance itself from the nation state of Israel, saying that the Jewish people had ‘no divine right to the land of Israel’. If they were on Facebook the church would have ‘unfriended and blocked’ the Nation State of Israel. If you are interested and want to know more, the following link might help: http://www.scojec.org/news/2013/13v_cos/cos_4.html
The same church delegates also agreed to welcome homosexual men and women into their family of ministers to preach and spread the Word of God. To continue with the Facebook analogy, that’s a bit like not only adding the LGBT community as friends, but also as a close family member.
I once heard a friend (not a Facebook friend, a real one!) say that we get the church we deserve, and maybe there is an element of truth in that. Of course it is also true to say that because there is an earthly church, it doesn’t mean they are automatically part of the true church of God, the one that ultimately matters. Let me leave you with some other Bible quotes which are directed at the church, not the faith-less or unchurched:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 NIV
I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18 NIV
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15,16 NIV