Becoming the church

The beginning of a year is a good time for reflection and planning for the future. 2012 was a hard year and we saw in many ways how the church was either an important part or absent in those events that we experienced.

So in a society that is visibly degrading progressively, we as believers have to ask ourselves where is the church. On my last post I talked a little about who the church is and the importance that the church has for Jesus Christ. He is the one we say we follow and worship. But the bottom line is that WE are the church. The church is not a building or even an institution. Every time one of us makes the decision to follow Christ we become the church.

The word “church” as rendered in the New Testament comes from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning “an assembly” and “to call out” or “called out ones.” In summary, the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ.

So when we ask where the church in the tragedies, the sadness and the scandals was the question really is, where was I? How did I contribute to this situation? Was I an element of healing or part of the problem?

You may wonder, what is it required from us. To love others as we love ourselves.

Don’t know where to start. I’ll give you a good starting point.

Follow Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Until then, be blessed

clip_image002 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

Call to sanity: Bishop Eddie Long

I really didn’t think I was going to address this subject, but the more I hear about it, I feel compelled to do it. I’m talking about the situation that Bishop Eddie Long is being named in.

 I think as Christians we have lost perspective. Part of the reason why I didn’t think it was a matter worth talking about is because this is a legal issue between the accusers and the accused. Yes, Bishop Eddie Long comes on television. He’s still a human being and so are the young men who are involved in this process. I do recognize that is sad to see Christians involved in things that go against our beliefs, but we can’t lose perspective these are human beings as well. Sin is sin; lies, abuse, murder, adultery, stealing is all the same in the eyes of God. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” John 8:7

 It comes down to this…someone needs to repent and someone needs to forgive, end of the story! I don’t know who is guilty or who is not and it’s not my place to know. I know that if justice is not obtained on earth it definitely will be achieved in heaven, so all I hope is for a transparent and honest process from both parts and that whoever did comes forward with the truth and repentance and who ever received the offense is ready to forgive.

 Why did I decide to write this? I’ve heard of fellow Christians enraged by the situation, which it’s understandable, but I think we are focused on the wrong thing. Our duty right now is to pray for all the parts. For those who are near Bishop Long and the young men, they need to pray for wisdom to give adequate counsel and to determine where God wants them to be at this moment in time. We all need to pray for a congregation that is hurting because of these allegations.  

 I have never stepped a foot on New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but I feel for all the people in the congregation, because I can understand that they are hurting. This is their time to look to God and not towards men for their answers.

 I love my pastors. I’ve been part of my church family for 5 years now and I have a great respect for my leaders. I do recognize that they are humans and that just like me they can fail and that because of their visibility their attacks are way bigger than mine. I pray that God covers their every step, but if tomorrow something was to come out, true or not, my pain needs to turn into prayer because I can not forget that before they are my pastors they are souls to the Lord. Isn’t that what we as Christians are called to do?  Isn’t our job to go after the lost? I don’t know who is lost in this case and as it’s not my job to judge, so I don’t care. I do exhort everyone to pray for ALL; Bishop Long and the young men that have filed these accusations. Both sides are hurting, and both sides are important to the Lord.

 Be blessed.