Untie the "nots"
The word solo is defined as “Alone, no additional voices, separate.” There are many Christians who don’t get that church is a symphony not a solo. It is about being together, hearing different voices and not getting all tied up in “nots” about it.
I did “not” like the message, the music, the comment, the version of scripture, the length of the service.I do not like so and so because of the way they __________. You fill in the blank. The list is endless.
But The first century church taught people to “untie the nots”. In every single case they were showing the “one-another” of Jesus that so dominates the New Testament. Even under persecution and difficult times, every effort was made to stay in fellowship. If you want to know the secret of the Church’s survival, there it is. If you want to hypothesize about the Church’s decline, there it is.
Church-less Christians or Christians in Church without loving fellowship cannot experience the most basic command of Christ or fulfill it-“ Love one another”. There are Christians who say they love God…. his children? not so much. They flee from any differences of opinion or do worse- create dissension hoping to drive the other away from those they do like and agree with.
They love Christ but some parts of the body they don’t value much. They might say “well they are….” and immediately we see the issue . The finger pointing, old sinful judging, critical self blinded by the protruding log in their own eye which clearly shows they have not prayed about the matter, not restrained their tongues, have not exhibited mercy over judgement and a dozen other biblical directives. Something rings very hollow when a professed Christian does such.
Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church… HIS Church. The one designed by him to be loving, accommodating, encouraging.Serving one another, loving one another,FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER. His Church would stand Together in strength and unity.
Hell and the Devil love fragmentation in the church; Insert the wedge, break apart unity is the simple tactic. We so often fail to see that we are being used against the work and purpose of the Church the moment we say “They” or perpetuate gossip “ did you hear” ? Dismemberment is not a pretty picture to think about but that is just what happens when we do these things. We start the spiritual tearing apart of something so special to God. And I shudder to think about our examination before the Bema seat of God, if we made it that far.
Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us to “ not neglect meeting together as is the habit of some, but encourage one another, all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Pastorally, I look at the world and people’s lives and hardening hearts and I see “the Day” approaching. The prior verse 24 tells us how to spend our time: “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”
Church-less Christians cant do that and Church Critics certainly don’t because there is no “one another”, just the self centered, the self righteous, all tied up in “nots”. So just what are they?A solo act. Contrary to every new testament definition of what Christians should be like.
“My prayer- Lord, help us “untie the Nots” in the body of Christ as we see the day approach. Let us glorify God in the way that the Church relates within itself and witnesses to the people watching.” Philippians 1":9-11 tells us “ whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the Glory of God”.
That’s hard to do as a solo act at home with no interaction with the body of Christ.