Is Your Worshiop a "Smack-Down" Event
6/23/2013

Is Your Worship a "Smack-Down" Event
John Gray

     There they were in "worship" in Jerusalem in ornate priestly garb, kicking, punching, breaking and destroying the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, during the annual "Feast of the Cross" celebration.  The combatants were Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks.  Police had to be called in to intervene and arrest offenders. 

 

The Cause of the fight itself is ironic. 

 

It is ironic that they were fighting about matters that the Bible not only never addresses, but would actually militate against.  They were wrapped up in a fight that boiled down to prejudices, territorial rights, personal prominence and opinions.  

 

2Ti 2:24-26 ASV.  (24) And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,  (25)  in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,  (26)  and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will.

 

They were fighting over who could and could not be present for their man-made religious service.  They were fighting over who could and could not be leading it.  Their battle was for things not even covered by the blood of Christ. 

 

While there are times when we have to take an unpopular stand for truth, too often our battles are over matters that have nothing to do with right and wrong, truth and error.  Our fleshly tendency is to line up behind personalities and even defend tradition that has nothing to do with the expressed will of God. 

 

There are many worthy hills upon which to stand, fight, and even sacrifice, but when people engage in a "death match" over tragically unimportant matters of opinion --- folks are on the "Wrong-Track".  In the resulting "Train-Wreck", I have seen weak and new Christians, young people and discouraged people become casualties of this partisan internal feuding, fussing and fighting.  These things ought never to be!

 

The place of the fight is ironic. 

It was in a supposed "house of worship." 

 

Jesus warned against bringing our fights into worship or of even having an ongoing problem with a brother or sister when we come to worship. 

 

Mat 5:23-24 ASV.  (23) If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee,  (24)  leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

God can see more than the worship.  He sees the hearts and lives of the worshippers.  It's not like He can't see the state of our relationships with others.

 

What an embarrassment for this monk meltdown to make the news.  What an embarrassment for a congregation of The Church of Christ to waste and consume itself feuding, fussing and fighting over petty personal matters of opinion. 

 

Rom 14:19 ASV.  So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.

 

Rom 15:1-2 ASV.  (1) Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  (2)  Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, unto edifying.

 

May we be so focused on biblical unity that we become more like Barnabas than Diotrephes.

 

3Jn 1:9 ASV.  I wrote somewhat unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence [My emphasis --- Who liked to put himself first; Who loves to be in charge] among them, receiveth us not.

 

Act 4:36 ASV.  "And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of exhortation [My emphasis --- Son of Comfort and Consolation; One who encourages others])..."

 






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