Who Are You Following?

Screenshot (50)
1 Corinthians 1:10-13I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? (NIV 1984)
My Musing – It can be a dangerous thing to do, to get so wrapped up in a leader, that you lose sight of who it is that you were following in the first place.  We’ve gotten a taste of that in recent weeks and months as certain high-profile ministry leaders have “fallen,” or at least stumbled.  Where does that leave the faithful flock?  Or the “replacement” shepherd that must carry on?
We also see it on occasion, when there are changes in leadership due to retirement, pastors moving on to a new flock, or other such changes in a Church.  Some followers, leave the flock to follow the past leader to their new “pasture,” never giving the new shepherd a chance.  Others simply fall out of the flock altogether, so tied to the former shepherd to continue on anywhere.  Still others remain as “baaad” sheep, criticizing the new shepherd (“our old shepherd never did it that way”) or otherwise causing quarrels and creating divisions amongst the rest of the flock that is trying to remain faithful.  Then, there is that last group.  Staying faithful throughout the changes, some of which might be hard, uncomfortable or involve a shepherding (worship?) style they really don’t prefer, all for the sake of the rest of the flock and the shepherd they really have been following all along – the Good Shepherd.
My Advice – When changes come (some that may personally disappoint), and they will, stay faithful to the flock and to Christ.  Paul, Apollos and Cephas were all good shepherds of the flock.  But all were following Christ.  Eventually, they passed the torch to others. Paul was martyred and left his calling to people like Timothy, John Mark and Luke, also all good shepherds.   And the Church survived.   After all, who was it that was really crucified for the Church?  For you? Soli Deo Gloria!

Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Prostitutes

Screenshot (242)

A MYSTERYThis title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES, AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? (Revelation 17:5, 7)

Spiritual Babylon – In the last days, many believe that a one world church will be formed, perhaps an amalgam or intermarriage of all world religions in the ultimate in coexistence. This world church (the harlot) will be involved in Continue reading “Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Prostitutes”

Engages With The Church

Screenshot (268)

Romans 12:5In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (NIV 1978)

Screenshot (271)

My Musings – While not the only reasons, some believers have forsaken the church because they feel it is full of hypocrites or they believe they can worship at anyplace or anytime. It is true that there is Continue reading “Engages With The Church”

Whatever Happened to Evangelical Christianity?

Screenshot (4)

Introduction – What Does It Mean To Be Evangelical?

Evangelical – of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels. (Webster)

In a 2007 survey by the Barna Group (a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture), 38% of the respondents self-identified as evangelical, suggesting Continue reading “Whatever Happened to Evangelical Christianity?”

The Church In America: A Letter In Waiting?

Screenshot (90)

HOW THE LETTER MIGHT BEGINTo the angels of the churches in America write: These are the words of the God in whom you trust.

Of course, there is no such salutation in the book of Revelation, or anywhere else in Scripture for that matter, addressed specifically to the churches in America. For at that time, these churches were only known by God. But after reading the letters to the seven churches one cannot help but wonder what Continue reading “The Church In America: A Letter In Waiting?”

Laodicea: Neither Hot Nor Cold But Lukewarm

THE LETTER – “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 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. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22)

Background – Laodicea was located in the southwest portion of Phrygia, lying between Colossae (not one of the seven) and Philadelphia. Phrygia was an ethnic territory, not Continue reading “Laodicea: Neither Hot Nor Cold But Lukewarm”

Philadelphia: Little Strength But Loyal To Word

THE LETTER – “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:7-13)

Background – Philadelphia was seventy-five miles southeast of Sardis. The adjacent region was celebrated as a wine-growing district, and its coins bore the head of Bacchus, the pagan wine god. The population included Jews, Jewish Christians, and gentile converts. It suffered from Continue reading “Philadelphia: Little Strength But Loyal To Word”