A few days ago I read an exchange on FaceBook between a pastor and a lay person. The post celebrated the ministry of a long-running Camp Meeting that has brought souls to Christ for decades. The lay person asked, “Do progressives go to Camp Meetings?”
I can’t ascertain the reason behind this question, but it broke my heart. The practice by many of dividing our flock into two labeled camps is a hurtful witness to the world. When the world sees us so divided, they have no reason to seek out Christ through what we do.
Paul was keenly aware of this. He called his church at Corinth to drop their differences in order to enter into God’s work. God calls us to be RECONCILERS. As we proclaim the good news of God’s reconciling work on the cross, where the sinful world was reconciled to the Father through the shed blood of the atonement, we must be reconciled with one another or our witness is diminished.
I believe Paul speaks directly to the church today as well.
2 Corinthians 5
20 God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
6 1-10 Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us,
I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.
Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details.
Church, now is the time to listen. We dare not squander ONE BIT of this marvelous life God has given us. When we publicly squabble within our Body, we put a question mark over everything we’re doing.
Our work indeed gets validated (or not) in the details. If what you are saying, doing, posting, and proclaiming brings harm to the Body, keep it to yourself.
People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly …in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
We have the world to win for Christ. But first we have to enter into God’s work of making things right between ourselves. Stay at your post…people are watching.