Slapping the church

This post is a response to some comments that were made concerning my post “Collateral Damage”.  The issue of speaking against the church, with all of its faults and misapplication of scripture was brought up.  Should we support what the church does by not speaking out against their scriptural misconduct?  Or should we be critical of the church where it crosses with scripture?  Is it just criticism or is it called accountability.

Paul speaking to the Corinthian church talks about how they as a church put up with being slapped in the face.  Many will not be familiar with this scripture nor understand Paul’s response.  But believe it or not this has to do with our topic.  But before I get into this, ask yourself one question.  Do you think Paul has the correct perspective on the church?

You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!  In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.[1]

Paul is telling the Corinthian church that they put up with abuses.  He even uses sarcasm, something many in the church believe is not fitting for the believer.  He says they are so wise to put up with this abuse.  They put up with those who wish to enslave them or exploit them or take advantage of them.  Sounds like a people who hold nobody accountable for the misapplication of scripture and the abuses that follow it.  This was my point of “Collateral Damage”.

Should the people of this day have put up with this, like they did, or should someone have said enough is enough?  Would it be appropriate to expose these exploiters and call those on the carpet that enslave men to bad teachings?  Or does this not have a place in the church?

Paul treats this abuse as offensive as someone walking up and slapping us in the face.  So how much slapping should we put up with from the manipulators and control freaks of the organized church?  Should we never question when they slap us in the face with their continual abuse of the body?

Paul says these Corinthians were so wise for putting up with those who take advantage of them, but he himself was too foolish for such wisdom.  He says he is to week to put up with those who abuse the church.

To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! What anyone else dares to boast about–I am speaking as a fool–I also dare to boast about.[2]

There is a contrast that Paul makes.  Those who put up with abuses are the wise ones and he who can not sit by and watch is the fool.  Those who are strong put up with the Collateral Damage, but he is too weak for that.

So are we following Paul as he follows Christ when we are so wise to put up with unbiblical doctrine and manipulation of the members to perform acts of service to the church?  Or do we follow Paul as he follows Christ when we say stupid is as stupid does?  And I am too stupid to put up with that!

[1] 2 Corinthians 11:19-20

[2] 2 Corinthians 11:21

3 thoughts on “Slapping the church

  1. I ‘see’….as was shown to John by Christ the Revelator…that the Seven churches contained those flawed and those perfect. But even the ‘flawed’ accomplished ‘good’ things.

    EPHESUS WAS FLAWED AND CALLED TO REPENTANCE. She was approved for her works, labour, patience, intolerance of evil, bearing of burdens (borne), stedfast service in the name of Christ…yet she lacked the one thing which would ‘save’ her….the First Love. She was given the message to ‘repent.’ The First Love is shown in scripture to be the presence of God in the heart of a man (charity is the outward fruits of a heart filled with agape LOVE which comes only from the heart of God).(1co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
    1co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. ‘

    SMYRNA WAS PERFECT. She was approved for her works, tribulation, material poverty but spiritual richness. She was assured by Christ that the persecution and martyrdom ahead of her by the blasphemous church leaders …would be rewarded in the afterlife with Christ.

    PERGAMOS WAS FLAWED AND CALLED TO REPENTANCE. She was approved for the works of steadfastly upholding the name of Christ, upholding her faith, giving herself to martyrdom….all in midst of an evil city. But in her midst…were those who served the lust of the flesh…who followed after Balaam…who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes
    …which God hated. He hated the doctrine because it claimed that Grace covered willful sin. It denied the need for Holiness, Righteousness…and it called God..’liar.’

    THYATIRA WAS FLAWED BUT HAD IN HER MIDST THOSE WHO REJECTED HER EVIL WAYS. . Christ approved her for her works, charity, service, faith, patience, ….especially her later works. But she allowed Jezebel to practice her fruits of evil and to influence others in the same…all while claiming to represent God. He assured the truly Godly members that their faithfulness would be rewarded.

    SARDIS WAS FLAWED BUT HAD IN HER MIDST THOSE WHO WERE PERFECT. She believed herself to be alive…but she was dead. christ alerted her practice the things which give ‘life’…the things she had ‘heard’ with her spiritual ears….to repent and whole-heartedly seek ‘life’. He commended those members within her who are ‘clothed in white’ and worthy.

    PHILADELPHIA WAS PERFECT. SHE IS SEALED. She is promised victory over the enemy of God…Satan/Spiritual Death. She is promised the ‘way’ to God through the through the narrow Gate.

    LAODECIA WAS FLAWED BUT LOVED/REBUKED/CHASTENED.. She was admonished for her pride, material richness…. for her conclusion that she is rich and in need of nothing…when she is actually miserable, poor, blind, and naked. She is reminded of the ‘fire’ she must pass through if she desires to return to Eden (Life). She is reminded that only God can clothe her nakedness. As He clothed Adama and Eve with the bloody skins of the sacrificial lamb…so, too, must she be clothed with the ‘bloody’ robe of righteouness provided by the Lamb of God. She is challenged to receive the salve of healing and to gain spiritual ‘sight.’ God desires that none ‘perish but that all come to repentance.’

    I know this response is lengthy….but necessary to express my sincere view of the established ‘church’ in the world from the time of Christ to now. Only Philadelphia was accepted…holy in and through fellowship with Christ. Maybe she represents the ‘few’ that will pass throught the gate called straight. I don’t know. But all the others, collectively, had in their midst the good, the bad, the ugly, the righteous, the unrighteous, the false, the true, the dead, the living, and they all had the HOPE of salvation throught the Gospel of Jesus. All were judged by God/Word/Christ/Gospel/Truth. All were accountable to God. None was accountable to man…to church leaders…to laws of man…and so forth.

    In my view of ‘church’ in our evil times….I see it the same as seen by Christ and revealed in Revelations in the message to the seven churches. And the ‘view’ proves another important Truth in the Word of God…..

    Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
    Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    I commend you for the burden your heart carries for the ‘wrongs’ within the contemporary church. Been there. Done that. But I have come to a place of KNOWING that all things pertaining to salvation are in the hands of God. And that the only way we are used in that plan….is when we were as Paul…and other early apostles…who were indwelled with the Living Lord whose power throught them cast out devils, healed the sick, and wrought numbers supernatural manifestations straight from the resurrected Spirit of Christ…the Holy comforter. I am not in that place…yet. I desire to be in that place of holiness….of righteousness…of power.

    Joh 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
    Joh 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

    My failure is that I have abundant WORDS….but the WORKS brough forth by the power of God is not there. The WORKS would be believed. But the WORDS are just ‘noise’…and the world…and the church…is full of ‘noise.’

    Wonderful post. Best wishes to you.


  2. I hold steadfast to the idea that correction is within our ability as believers, that it is not merely as long as you do well by the Lord, the rest are left to Him in the end. Most of the letters from Paul are letters of correction. These letters were written not to individuals but the church in an entire city. How many of the separate congregations within that city collective were blameless, and how many were in error, we have no way of knowing, safe to say its was a mix of good, bad, righteous, unrighteous, etc. The good and righteous amidst the bad and unrighteous didn’t keep Paul from writing said letter to the whole of the church in that city. The other apostles wrote letters to warn off not holding fast and true, not to individuals but to whole churches. Because that is what church is, a whole, not merely the gathering of individuals as we often treat it now, it is the whole of us. The righteous and unrighteous are counted together as a whole church, and are praised for the good together and held accountable for the bad together. Look at the churches in Revelation: though Christ approved those within for the good, the church as a body was still called to repent for the evil within. We live in a day and age where we all have our own Bibles to read, so we read these letters in our solo study time as if the letter is to us personally, when in the time the letters were written the congregation really only had one Scriptures to corporately study from, so when the apostles wrote their letters it was known that the letters would be read to the whole congregation, passed on to the next, so the whole city could hear the teaching. We need to start reading the corporate back into our scriptures, and part of that proporate reading is the corporate correction.

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