« Special Needs Boy Removed From Worship |
| The Heart of Authority: Relationships »
June 15, 2011
Loving ALL people in the church is not an option.
posted by UrL Scaramanga
| Comments (11)
Related Tags: Church Health, Community, Community impact, Diversity, Fellowship, Unity, Values, Video, Vision
L E A P!
Posted By: Brianmpei | June 15, 2011 10:04 AM
"inclusive of all people" I would like to have that defined a little bit...is that all people of faith, or inclusive of all people period? That wasn't quite clear enough for me.
As for the interpretation of Rev. 2, that is interesting...though I am always a little wary when 100's of years of commentaries and preachers have gotten it wrong. You would of thought one Greek scholar over the past 100 years would have picked up on that...maybe the brother has it right, just as long as he was not making it fit into his thesis of making the church inclusive, hard to say since we only get to hear that little portion. Was the message on Revelation 2, or Ephesians or on breaking down the racial/social walls within the church?
Posted By: Randal Kay | June 15, 2011 4:26 PM
Well...that was a good law lesson (what WE SHOULD DO).
There was no gospel there. But it was a short youtube. Although he did say that he was near the end. maybe he did get around to handing over the forgiveness of sins for Jesus' sake...but so many of these modern preachers feel no need for that anymore, and therefore the whole ball of wax reverts back to you...and what YOU ought be doing, or not doing.
Posted By: Steve Martin | June 16, 2011 1:38 AM
Thanks to both of you, Brian and Steve, for your comments. In reply ...
Steve - Yes, on tearing down the walls. Catch the entire message (piece by piece) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AsDgCP2zms
Steve (re. inclusive) - not of diverse theologies, but encouraging local churches to embrace diverse people of Christ-centered faith for the sake of the gospel, and move away from the systemic segregation that currently exists and undermines its proclamation.
Steve (re. 100s of years) - hard to believe, isn't it; but this point is exegetically sound.
Brian - Hmmm ... three things I have never been taken for: 1) a modern preacher; 2) preaching the law; 3) typical. :-)
Posted By: Mark DeYmaz | June 16, 2011 11:36 AM
Mark - my only comment was LEAP. By that I meant you were taking a great leap of faith with the text. Your explanation is NOT exegetically sound. If Revelation and Ephesians were written by the same author (your view of inspiration notwithstanding) you might have a case to make. Your pastoral point is sound but you are reading into the text, not discovering what the text actually offers. Nothing against you or your point, just think it's better to make your point rather than try to make the text say it for you. :-)
Posted By: Brianmpei | June 18, 2011 1:51 PM
Mark De Ymaz,
I didn't mean to be overly critical of you personally. I know that you are a sincere man and want to preach the gospel in the way that will best help people in their faith.
My problem is with the theology that denys the Sacraments. When Christ is not present in Baptism and Holy Communion (when they are mere symbols) then the whole Christian faith turns into a 'becoming a better Christian project'. It just naturally goes there.
When we trust in that Word that comes to us, from ourside of ourselves, then we rest in what Christ has done for totally apart from anything that we do, say, feel, or think.
And therein lies the freedom that Christ has won for us on the cross.
My 2 cents.
Posted By: Steve Martin | June 19, 2011 12:11 AM
Great point about the priority of love being about others, but this point is not absent from the years of commentary. The lack of Ephesian love for people is noted in Kenner's and Mounce's commentaries on Revelation. Thanks for a helpful redirection away from the popular view of "lost first love for God."
Posted By: Jason Cusick | June 20, 2011 5:55 PM
The first love rather than priority love for God is not all that unusual. First love was the preferred understanding when I was in seminary (late 70's) Not sure the focus of Jesus in Revelation or the description in Ephesians is racial although that is a legitimate application I suppose.
Posted By: Gregg | June 23, 2011 9:45 AM
1. I'm curious as to how we know that racism and segregation crept into the church in Ephesus in the 90s.
2. There's significant textual and contextual evidence that Paul's letter "to the Ephesians" was most likely not written to that particular church, but was a circular letter. That make us very cautious about reading "first love" in Rev. 2 back into Ephesians 1.
3. The Greek protos can mean leading, priority, foremost; or it can mean earlier, previous, first. Either is an appropriate translation, given the context. The Greek doesn't support this reading over the more widely accepted one.
4. Early Christian writers place John in Ephesus (or at least in the province of Asia) for most of the last years of his life. Rather than reading Revelation based on Paul's writing of a likely circular letter 30+ years earlier, why don't we look at John's emphases in his contemporary epistles? John certainly is concerned about our lack of love for one another; but that love is fueled by our first love -- love of the Father. I think looking outside Revelation confirms the traditional reading.
Posted By: Jeff Schultz | June 23, 2011 2:33 PM
Let me also say that I don't disagree with DeYmaz' application. I just think it's important not to import even a valid application into a text that doesn't support it.
At the least, I think it would be wise to point out that there are different ways to read "first love" -- and that if our problem is with loving others, John would tell us we don't really love the Lord anyway.
Posted By: Jeff Schultz | June 23, 2011 2:39 PM
Love the interaction, folks; and thanks so much for the engaging conversation! I really do appreicate the time you have taken to weigh in and I do respect all of you and your thoughts. So ...
Brian ... simply saying my point is not exegetically sound does not mean you are correct. The fact is, my point IS exegetcially sound ... and I am not saying so just because I have an MA in Exegetical Theology:-)
I have provided both grammatical and historical support for my rendering of the text: i.e., in the translation of the Greek words "protein" (Rev. 2:4) and "prota" (Rev. 2:5) = "first" as in prior, not priority - former, very first, etc. (see Strong's G4413); and in appealing to the love for all the saints in the earlier history of the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15).
Furthermore, as is plainly evident from the English translation, note that "the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand," Himself, confirms the fact that the "first" He is referring to is something "prior" and not "priority," i.e., "repent and DO THE DEEDS that you did AT THE FIRST," i.e., formerly, in the beginning (Rev 2:5).
Of course, love is more than a feeling; it is an action, a deed ... and to Jeff's 1. the fact that the church at Ephesus in 90 AD or so is no longer loving ALL the saints (whether of Jewish or Gentile background) as they were at the first, in 55-60 AD or so (see Eph 1:15), is evidence of racism/segregation creeping into the church at Ephesus (others?) by the end of the first century. Sadly this segregation remains the status quo in local churches today; but we're working on it!
As to Jeff's 2. comment that the letter to the church at Ephesus was "most likely" circular and not written to "that particular church," of course it was circular ... we're still reading it today! It's a both/and not an either/or, bro. Think about it ... weren't the seven churches of John's Revelation really churches? And wasn't one of them a real, local, church at Ephesus? Now don't you think Paul was writing to a real, local, church, too, at Ephesus, some 30 years earlier and that yes, in addition, his thoughts would have been widely circulated and applied to other existing local churches? Indeed, this further makes the case that Paul expected all churches of the NT to be multi-ethnic and not segregated along ethnic or economic lines! This, in fact is the theme of Ephesians ... the unity of the church for the sake of the Gospel.
One in Christ with you all.
Posted By: Mark DeYmaz | June 28, 2011 4:42 PM
© 2013 Leadership Journal & Christianity Today