Saturday 9 June 2012

Reading 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 v.1/6

These verses from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthian Church help us to understand why so many people have difficulty in believing the message of the Bible; also, why those who have been regular Church members for years, suddenly decide to fall away.

We all know people, as well as ourselves, who get depressed at statements and actions from within the Church. This has caused quite a few from the Church of England to move across to the Baptist or Independent Evangelical Churches, or perhaps the other way to Rome. The underlying message in either case is that people want something spiritually positive.

Paul is trying to give encouragement to the Corinthians where there was division. Some members wanted a more charismatic approach to worship, whilst others were trying to follow a liberal line of thought and action. Paul dealt with that problem in his First Letter, and now he himself is under attack. Despite all that, he emphasises he is not going to lose heart. And we too will be under attack if we try to preach the Bible faithfully.

There was no dodging the issue with Paul. He told people what he believed they should hear rather than what they wanted to hear. He was a straight talker. He didn’t distort or try to melt down the force of God’s word. He never tried to lead people astray.

The tragedy of falling away is that it becomes very hard to get back. I knew a very Christian lady both in commitment and practice, who gave much of her time to her Church, but was driven from it by a jealous new Vicar’s wife who did not like to see anyone more popular than herself. (It would have been difficult to find anyone less popular than her.) My friend was so dispirited to find such rejection by unchristian action, that it has taken some years for her to return.

A significant point is made by Paul when he says he has turned his back on ways and practices which bring discouragement. There are alas those given the privilege of preaching the gospel, of whom backs should be turned. An ex bishop features in the press just now, who has stated he does not see Jesus as the Son of God; who thinks the Bible should be used ‘merely as a guide.’

I think Churches should only be supported if they preach an orthodox Christian message. Look for a Bible based Church. Paul would never have allowed the Bible to be tampered with in the way it is now. People are selecting verses and using in isolation, to justify immoral ways of living.

Those of you who follow this blog will know I recently wrote about Baptism, and shortly after I was listening to a discussion in which a prominent Baptist Minister was displaying how verses have been used totally out of context to justify baptising infants. It can be too easy to decide you want to prove some theory and then find verses to justify this, when reading on a few verses would expose fraudulent use.

Next month the Church of England will be voting on the proposal to allow women to be appointed as Bishops. Expect the Bible to be vandalised as they try to justify approval. The more honest supporters will concede there is no biblical authority, but rather they are concentrating on equality law. Then let us all be honest and state this instead of leading the uninitiated to a false conclusion.

The Bible states’ all Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’. This being so, do not let men (or women) tell you otherwise. Above all, do not get discouraged

Be in Church on Sunday and may God bless you.

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