As illegal aliens pour across our borders, the talk of building a wall has been met with a divided reaction. Some see it as our moral duty to admit immigrants, regardless of their appreciation for the law. Others celebrate the idea of strict laws and promote the idea of isolationism.
As we have seen throughout this entire series, the church has a parallel problem. Many in Christendom rail against leaders who would suggest that Christianity is exclusive. They cry "Divineness and disunity!" whenever it is suggested that God's laws of inclusion (Acts 2:47, Romans 6:3-4) should be enforced. At the opposite end of the spectrum, others in Christendom celebrate a selfish form of legalism that binds more than God commands. They make laws where there are none and use disputable matters (Romans 14) to keep people out in order to satisfy their own pompous power trips and preferences. Both groups are condemnable and must be called out!
In order to adequately address the topic of "building a wall," we will divide this discussion into two parts: 1. How to Maintain the Holiness of the Church and 2. How to Decide If a Matter Should Be Used as a Test of Fellowship.
Unfortunately, the damnable doctrines of Calvin have led the church into a lengthy period of passivity. Without the free will to accept grace or maintain our election ("Irresistible Grace," "Unconditional Election"), the church grows stagnant and irresponsible. Reform Theology (Calvinism Repackaged) circumvents biblical authority in order to satisfy the desire for a convenient conversion and a "don't judge me" lifestyle. (See the evidence provided in part three of this series.)
To cleanse the church, we must re-prioritize the objective of our being. We must re-discover holiness and sanctification. We must re-identify with the goal of being called out (church).
In order to maintain holiness, the church is called to be at least three things:
Fact: In order to maintain holiness, Christians must be separate and preferential to each other. While neither of those attributes are politically correct, they most certainly are spiritually correct. Notice two passages that record Divinely commanded exclusivity.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (NIV) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord."
While passages like this make us very uncomfortable, perhaps it is time to ask ourselves why. Why do we feel awkward espousing a doctrine that is directly commanded by God. Could it be that we have lived so long under the mesmerizing feel good sermons of politically correct Hollywood-style tolerance that we have forgotten how to truly be separate? Could it be that the world condemns exclusivity and, since we want so badly to be like them, we search for ways to water down Scripture and dilute exclusive holiness?
Read the passage again. Read the entire context again. Notice the opening sentence again. Focus on the command, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." What could these words possibly mean other than Christians are called to exclusive holiness?
Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Not only does holy exclusivity mean that we must be separate from the world, it also means that we must be preferential toward each other.
Of course, we are to do good to "all people," but that is not the theme of this point. Don't let the warm fuzzy preaching of tolerance entice you to rush past the application of that last phrase, "especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
Holiness, by its very nature, builds a wall between itself and that which is unholy. The very best thing we can do for America is cleanse the church with holy exclusivity.
Unlike Calvinism, which teaches "Limited Atonement" (Jesus' blood wasn't wasted on the masses who are created to be damned anyway), the Bible actually teaches that God created everyone with the hope of responsible choices. (See http://www.heybrothersonny.com/predestination-1.html.) Forget all the quotations from flawed Reformation leaders; notice what God says.
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Acts 17:26-27 (NIV) From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
Mark 16:15-16 (NIV) Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Holiness by its very nature builds a wall, then actively invites all those who are unholy to cleanse themselves and come inside (Romans 6:3-4). The very best thing we can do for America is cleanse the church with holy inclusiveness.
There is only one church and only those added by God are in it (Acts 2:47). That said, it must be understood that the church is not a building and it is not limited to a single collection of Christians. The church is a Divine description of ALL those who have heard His calling and, through a freewill choice to accept and maintain grace (2 Peter 1:10), have come out of the world.
Although there are many biblical descriptions of the church, we are never commanded to use just one. For that reason, names alone should not be trusted. The only way to determine if a person is truly a member of the church is to examine the paperwork (Bible). Have they entered into Christ by being baptized for the remission of sins (Romans 6:3-4, Acts 2:38)? The sad reality is this, there are masses of people all around the world who have been duped into believing they are in the church when they are not. There are a countless number of preachers and pastors who stand before very large groups of religious people every Sunday and are trusted to proclaim the word of God, yet, they, themselves, have never obeyed the Divine command to enter Christ through baptism. Study Matthew 7:21-23. Good intentions and human accolades are not enough! Only those who do the will of the Father are added to the church (Acts 2:47) and only those who honor the son (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4) are doing the will of the Father. Have you entered Christ by being baptized for the remission of sins?
Holiness, by its very nature, builds a wall then guards it with Divine conclusions. The very best thing we can do for America is cleanse the church with holy conclusiveness.
In order to be presentable for the Bridegroom and protected by the Bridegroom's Father, the church must be holy. We must be exclusive, inclusive, and conclusive.
In part 2 of "Building a Wall," we will conclude by looking at one of the most dividing/unifying principles in Scripture - how to decide if a matter should be used as a test of fellowship. An in-depth look at this important question can be found at http://www.heybrothersonny.com/fellowship-of-the-rings.html.
Missed the first three lessons in this study? Check it out!
The Best Thing We Can Do for America is Cleanse the Church!: "Illegal Aliens Among the Church"
"Draining the Swamp"
"Selfish, Spoiled, and Entitled"
Want to continue this study? Go to:
The Best Thing We Can Do for America is Cleanse the Church!: "Building a Wall, Part 2"
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