You know, over at Leighton's site (the heresy, link to the left), there has been quite a lot of discussion going on. I have been watching it closely. But in the end I have to ask myself - what are we doing here? If I were not a Christian, what would I get from those posts and all those comments. (last time I looked they were at 61, and his new post is already reading 19.) The truth of the matter is, I think I would not want to be a part of what all those people are involved in. It would turn me away. I do remember how I once thought as a non-christian. We as christians seem to be fighting, over analyzing and dragging things on like we all know everything. Like we are holier than though. We are not! I know you would say that we are all entitled to our opinion and we have our own beliefs but hello..... I think we need to stop what we are doing and focus ourselves on God. God is the truth, he will reveal what He wants to us. As for the rest, lets just say that its a mystery and that we do not know the answer.
Over at the heresy they have been discussing the early church. Who is so sure that they got it right? As far as I can see no one has. We are not perfect nor will we ever be. When Jesus comes back He will be looking for a church without a spot or wrinkle. Are you a part of that church? Are you planning to be?
Why do we always as humans have to argue and discuss things that there really shouldn't be a discuss about. Was Jesus being exclusive to his disciples? Of course not! He was closest to His disciples, we are all closest to some, but He never excludes anyone.
1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matt 18 vs 1-6 KJV
11For the son of man is come to save that which is lost. 12How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. 15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone, if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in HE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matt 18 vs 11-17 KJV Pls continue to read the rest of Matthew 18.
Just my thoughts but in the verses mentioned above I think Jesus is trying to teach us the way in which we should treat the ones of the church and the ones gone astray. I am thinking that if I was in a church and was not included in all aspects of the church it would offend me. And if I went astray, which I have at times, if no one was there to guide me back-where would I be now. As for the trespasses of the brother I would say that you could use that in the context of how you would deal with everyone, including church membership (meaning although we are to forgive his trespasses no matter how many times he trespasses against you, you can not give up on him. Where would we be if God had given up on us. I think in referring to Leighton's site, that is why I don't believe in rules for membership. Because if there are rules for joining then there has to be rules for kicking out. We should never be in the mindset of wanting to give up on someone, even if they have given up on themselves. I truly believe that the church should be open to all. Jesus demonstrates it often in the NT. HE does however describe what it means to follow Him. It is up to us to give up what we have and take up our own cross to follow Him. No human has a right to judge what that means to each individual. So many churches have hurt people by giving up on them. Only God is the judge! I am by no means a scholar but I don't think I am that far off.
I have more to say on this but wow, its late and it seems to be getting a bit jumbled. I hope ya'll understand what I am trying to say. I am not specifically talking to one of the commenters merely, giving my thoughts on so many things that were said over at the heresy. Hats off to you, if you made it to the end of this post. :-)