Saturday, March 17, 2007

Square Pegs Round Holes

This post seeks to reveal how the absurd conclusions from my previous post, Hockey Rules, is actually lived out in the modern day church. During the time of the New Testament, people lived out their new found faith in their homes, with likely not much more than 20 people being gathered together (ekklesia). (The greek word "ekklesia" is where we get the term 'church'.)

He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.

This is an excerpt from

1 Corinthians 5
We talked in another city recently about 1 Corinthians 5 and how that is such a clear indicator that, by and large, the religious world doesn’t have any idea what the Church is, and, therefore, is totally incapable of understanding a lot of the Scriptures. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 5 it says to get out the old yeast from among you (speaking of one caught in immorality with his stepmother), and Paul goes on to say that he wanted all slanderers, all grumblers, all idolaters, all the greedy, and all the sexually immoral put out of the Church, and for nobody to eat with such a person. “Expel the wicked ones from among you.” He wanted all of those people out, so that they could be a pure batch as they actually are.

Now, in the framework of the church system that exists today in America (pick your denomination or non-denomination, if you want to call it that), what you’ll find is that 1 Corinthians 5 in the framework of most people’s reference is absolutely impossible to keep. They’re going to look at 1 Corinthians 5 and say, “Well, we can’t throw out all the slanderers because we don’t know if there would be anybody left! We wouldn’t know one if we saw one anyway, and it sure would be awfully hard and cruel to do such a thing. So, we dare not obey the Scriptures.” If we are not going to obey 1 Corinthians 5, then we might as well forget about Acts 2:38, John 3:16 and the rest of them, too. You can’t throw out the Word of God and still claim to be the Church of the Living God.

In 1 Corinthians 5, it says that he wanted all idolaters, all slanderers, all grumblers, all the greedy, and all the immoral—every last one of them—out of the Church. Not those who don’t claim to be brothers, but every last one of them who do claim to be brothers have to leave. We are to expel them. The purpose, of course, is that their souls would ultimately be saved through the pain and the agony of being taken away from their life source—taken away from the people that they know would die for them in a minute. The agony of that would cause them to repent. That’s GOD’S method. Jesus Himself talked about it in Matthew 18 as well.

The point is this: If we claim to be the Church of Jesus Christ, but it is impossible to deal with 1 Corinthians 5 (we have to throw it out the window and not do it), if that’s true, then we’re not really the Church. We’re coming from the wrong framework. We’re trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. You’ve got a square peg in 1 Corinthians 5 and a round hole of the religious system today, and there is no way that they’re going to fit. They can’t fit.

If it’s impossible for us to deal with 1 Corinthians 5, then we are not the Church that Paul was writing to, that the Holy Scriptures refer to. We’re doing something totally wrong if we can’t deal with the slander. If we wouldn’t know a greedy person because everybody says, “We can’t judge…,” then we’re not Jesus’ Church. If there is not enough relationship to know who’s greedy, to know who has a bad attitude, to know who’s immoral in their mind or in their life… if we are not close enough to be able to keep that Scripture with one another, then we are not the Church of Jesus Christ. We might be Christians, but we are not Jesus’ Church. Again, I need to point that out because the reason a lot of these Scriptures about women are so difficult is because we are trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

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