God's Truth In Love

Posts Tagged ‘Exclusivity’

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 22 – Seed of Disunity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Disunity, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on March 14, 2019 at 10:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last two postings focused on disunity within the Body of Christ.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 22 – Seed of Disunity

People’s fundamental lack of acceptance of who God created them to be is the seed of disunity. Ironically, it is in those differences that our individual beauty and value is found. In the passage of Scripture taken from Ephesians, chapter four, cited in the last posting, God addresses the need and reason for different spiritual gifts and ministry positions within the Body of Christ.

First, we have to realize that God’s grace is upon us to do certain things and to hold certain positions. If we attempt to act outside of that grace, we will not be able to adequately perform or serve as God intends us to and as is need for the rest of the Body of Christ. Grace enables us to do everything we do in life, without grace, we could do nothing; just as apart from Christ we can do nothing worthy of doing.

The saints must be equipped properly for God work. It is through God’s grace given to the apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers that these Believers become equipped and ready to use their spiritual gift and talents for Kingdom service. Additionally, the edification of the Body is the responsibility of these individuals as well. Yet, when these individual and the task they are given to do is not respected by both themselves and others disunity is often the result. If the pastor wishes to be a teacher, he could well interfere with the work of the teacher within that community. If the prophet wishes to be a pastor, he will most likely be a miserable failure and make others miserable in the process. If an evangelist attempts to be an apostle, they will find they are restless in their work establishing churches and longing to be on the road sharing the gospel. If the saints resist the work of these individuals, or worst wish to be these individuals and believe they can do better, they will become agitators and never grow as God wishes them to grow. In all of this disunity will run ramped.

A further and deeper purpose of the leaders is edifying and building the Body of Christ in order to bring it into unity around one faith; faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. To bring people to a fuller and deeper understand of who Christ is to His Church and to them as individuals. In so doing the leaders help the individual members of Christ’s Body to grow up in their faith and become grounded in their doctrine so that they are not easily led astray by false doctrine or wrong teachings.

Growing people often requires speaking the truth to them. Truth should always be spoken in love and for the hearer’s well-being, not the speaker’s fulfillment. We are not to go about bashing people over the head with our “truth”, but we are also not to remain silent when “truth” needs to be spoken. If we refuse to hear the truth, we will not grow as we should in Christ. It is only through hearing and accepting the truth that we can move from glory to glory being recreated in the image of Christ. If each individual continually focuses on the “in love”, aspect of presenting the truth then there will be less disunity caused by correction, exhortation, encouragement, and the like.

We all must do our part for the Body of Christ to be what it should be. We must all do our part to keep unity within the Body of Christ. We must all do our part in actually manifesting unity to the Body of Christ. Finally, we must all do our part to promote unity within the Body of Christ. Then and only then can the Body of Christ be what Christ desires for it to be.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 21 – Disunity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Disunity, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Righteousness, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on March 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last two postings focused on disunity within the Body of Christ. 

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 21 – Disunity

"a healthy perspective overlooks a multitude of "unresolvables" – Dr. James Dobson

Disunity, the lack of agreement or harmony, dissension, is found across the Body of Christ. No denomination, culture, race, social class, or region is excluded from this cancer, which is eating away at the heart of Christianity. What is the disunity all for in the end if we find we are all in heaven together worshipping at the feet of Jesus?

Once we have cleared the hurtles of the Deity of Christ, as found in the truth of His virgin birth, that salvation is through Jesus alone and no other, and that God’s Word, the Bible, is in fact His literal and definitive Word, why would there be any need for division. Nothing outside of those three things will effect a person’s salvation, eternal standing, or qualification within the Body of Christ as a brother or sister. Nevertheless, we have allowed the disagreements about biblical principles that we deem important or a larger priority to drive a wedge between our group and another group, both of which are part of the Body of Christ. With this, I have no doubt God is not pleased and not pleased at all. This is an act we justify, but in truth, we have no biblical justification for before God.

The Body of Christ, individuals, families, marriages, homes, business, government, and our country have suffered due to the lack of unity within the Body of Christ. Separation of church and state in the spiritual realm is a myth and would, nor will, ever be possible. The entire structure of society and life is based upon biblical principles. God has never and will never allow Himself to be left out of the sphere of His creation. The idea that He just dropped us here and left us to our own devices is simply not His way. Yes, He did give us freewill but that is very different from Him acting with apathy and indifference toward His creation.

The Body of Christ is knowingly and willingly hurting itself, its country, and each of its members by continuing in disunity.

Psalm 133 (NKJV)

Psalm 133

Blessed Unity of the People of God

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

The Body of Christ suffers from a lack of anointing when they are in disunity. Without that anointing, they lack the spiritual power needed to do God’s kingdom work in on earth. That lack of spiritual power leads Christians to the deterioration of themselves as individuals first, then their homes, then their congregations, then the Body of Christ, and finally their society and country. Without the anointing of God, we continually lose ground until the enemy has trampled us.

There is a way out of such a state however, and that way is to repent of our disunity and reclaim our unity. This has always been God’s heart and desire for us as His Church.

Ephesians 4:1–16 (NKJV)

Walk in Unity

4 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Spiritual Gifts

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,

He led captivity captive,

And gave gifts to men.”

9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

To walk in disunity is to dishonor God. We are called as Christians to walk worthy of the name. Walking worthy of the name “Christian” means to be humble, gentle, patient, loving, peaceful, and in so doing we exhibit the greatest form of love for one another by keeping unity within the Body of Christ. If we refuse to do this, we refuse to honor God and to obey His Word.

Even though we have chosen to identify ourselves with hundreds upon hundreds of denominations there is but one Church, one Body of Christ. The Scripture above from the book of Ephesians makes this truth clear. There is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord Jesus our Savior, one faith, let me repeat that – one faith, one baptism, one God and Father; there is only One. How is it possible to be divided when there is only One!

The problem with disunity seems to be found in the fact that we are different. We can be one, we can be unified, and we can be godly and still be different. God created us differently, gave us different gifts, gave us different passions, and chose us for different purposes; none of which He wanted to be used as an excuse or reason to bring disunity to His Body.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 20 – Exclusivity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Church Growth, Compassion, Disunity, Exclusivity, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Righteousness, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 28, 2019 at 9:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last three postings focused on exclusivity and disunity (disunity will be published in two parts).

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 20 – Exclusivity

The church congregation should be a place characterized by love, acceptance, and inclusiveness. Yet sadly, so many congregations are found to be characterized by “clicks” which creates an environment of exclusivity.

Exclusivity in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is defined as:

1 : the quality or state of being exclusive

2 : exclusive rights or services

Exclusive in the Webster’s dictionary is defined as:

1 : reserved for particular persons

2 : snobbishly aloof; also :

Take a few moments an honestly discern what is taking place in your own congregation. Do you find yourself or your group choosing to allow only yourself certain rights, services, or advantages in which other people in the congregation are not allowed to partake? Have you found ways to justify cutting people out of certain events? If you have partaken in this type of behavior then let me ask you a question, “Who made you god?”

Here are more subtle forms of exclusivity that you might find in a church congregation. Making your bible study just for your group. Your small group does not have room for anyone else because you have become comfortable with who is in it and do not want to add anyone else. Your group of friends all work for the same company so you have that in common and accepting someone new that perhaps works for another company is uncomfortable. Our couples group consists of people who all like the same things, we at the same level of incomes, we all have children, and come from the same type of culture; someone from their economic class and without children would not feel comfortable in our group. Lastly, the mother of all justifications regarding exclusivity, we are all the leaders of the church and therefore must remain to ourselves.

How it must grieve the Spirit of God among us when we choose exclusivity over inclusiveness. When we vex the Spirit of God, either as individuals, a group, or the Body we diminish our effectiveness greatly, if not lose it all together. The very act of exclusivity is contrary to a variety of ways Scripture instructs us to deal with one another as members of the same Body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:25–32 (NKJV)

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.