Monday, March 12, 2012

A Thought

“We are bound to give thanks … because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

Even before the time of Christ Jesus, the Old Testament makes clear the will and intent of the Lord: that all the nations come to know Him as the Almighty through His chosen Israel.  So we move from then to St. Paul’s time and into our own, and the transitions from then to now have (I think) rendered religious faith to have become something St. Paul would not recognize (I’ve often wondered what St. Paul might have to say to the “Church in America”)!  And this, I think, is the timelessness of the Scripture in Paul’s recognition of what can go wrong if we do not “stand fast and hold the traditions” we were taught.  We need only to look around to see what has gone wrong!

In the Church’s quest to be “with it” or “hip” or “popular” or “relevant”, the Gospel itself cannot be recognized; the True Cost of what it took to free us has become a more contemporary, feel-good gospel that asks nothing of us (virtually neutering “love” by removing “sacrifice”!) – in spite of Jesus’ very words!  “Personal” salvation has not translated into strength for Christ’s Holy Church.  Repentance has been relegated to the annals of tradition as something that once had profound meaning, but is now determined to have placed a “condition” on the Lord’s love for us.

There is a hunger in this world that only the Church can satisfy – but only if the Church is functioning as the true Body of Christ; and this requires active participation of ALL BELIEVERS – not just the ones who “feel like it”.  It is a hunger this world can never satisfy because there is nothing of lasting value this world can offer.  The new traditions are attempting to somehow merge this world’s temporal values with the eternal Value of the coming Kingdom.  It has not worked because it cannot work.  Those who are lost need the Church to “stand fast”.  They need a reason to hope, just as you and I do.

Old fashioned?  Yep, I’m good.  So are you – IF – we “stand fast” together in the shared hope of the coming Kingdom!


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