Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"But, look, gaze about...the ministry is flourishing!" - Matt Kennedy

We in the United States have watched as the courts rule again and again against bakers and photographers who decline to participate in same-sex weddings on Christian principles. Our Episcopal church on the other hand is in no danger of such litigation as it has been in the forefront of the "marriage equality" movement. Leaders of the Episcopal church seem to believe that all is well with the organization, but the numbers say otherwise. At least the world approves of what the Episcopal church is doing even if that does not result in growth. The Church that caters to the world may be misled by the world's approval and by the rare examples of short-term growth into thinking that it is following the Holy Spirit, but it is following an altogether other spirit, the Spirit of the Age. The following are some words of wisdom I lifted from Matt Kennedy's Facebook page which may help clarify my point,

"The Corinthian church grew rapidly from the start and by the writing of Paul's first letter is likely still growing. There are baptisms all the time, Communion is happening. The church experiences great outpourings of spiritual power. Many people exercise miraculous gifts; prophesy, words of knowledge, tongues. God’s presence and power is palpable. Of course, they’re biting and quarreling with each other and grumbling against Paul. Yes, they adjust the gospel to make themselves more attractive to other Corinthians and the gospel less embarrassing. So, yes, they’re divorcing each other and suing each other. And there's a man sleeping with his father's wife (but he really is a nice generous guy, you should meet him). And it is true that others are going to temple prostitutes and women refuse to have sex with their husbands. And, yes, just about everyone is participating in pagan feasts. But, look, gaze about...the ministry is flourishing! God is blessing the Corinthian Church! More, obviously, than he’s blessing you Paul. We’re saved, Baptized, empowered, sustained, Spirit filled...who are you Paul? You're beaten, reviled, chased from town to town...who are you to knock what God is doing in Corinth? 
Paul's response? Be careful. God is patient. He's long-suffering. Don’t confuse God’s patience with approval “Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" - Matt Kennedy  from his sermon of 03/08/2015  on 1 Cor 10:1-6, "An Illustration of Disqualification"

Let us turn back from adjusting the gospel to make the Church and ourselves more attractive to the world. That is not what the world needs most. The world needs the plain truth as recorded by the biblical witnesses that we are called to repent and not called to celebrate our brokenness, but to celebrate our salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

No comments:

Post a Comment