Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Limits to Invitation, Welcome and Inclusion in the Church

KOPP DISCLOSURE

(John 3:19-21)


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Limits to Invitation, Welcome and Inclusion in the Church


Believers don't mix well with non-believers.

It's the difference between good and bad leaven.

Good leaven mixes in to make better.

Bad leaven mixes in to make worse.

There's more WORD on that in Matthew 13:33; 16:5-12.

It's the difference between light and darkness with Isaiah 5:20-21 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 in mind.

Opposites aren't complementary in the Church.

Fidelity and infidelity don't share pew and pulpit space.

There's no egalitarianism in the Church when it comes to the Godly and unGodly.

For example, Christian behavior is shaped by belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book with the hallmarks of grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in agape which is praying and laboring for the highest good of everyone no matter who, what, where, when or why without the need or expectation for response, regard or reward.

For example, noting the big difference is John 14:1-6, Muslim behavior is shaped by belief in Mohammed as the model and Koran as the manual and does not share the Christian hallmarks of grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in agape.  Just ask women and gays!

Just saying.

Anyway, that means there are limits to invitation, welcome and inclusion in the Church.

While we want everyone to be saved - live confidently in the assurance of living forever by grace through faith in Jesus - because that's what Jesus wants with John 3:16-17 as the HEADline, those disrespecting and disbelieving in Jesus as Lord and Savior by the book cause dissonance, distraction, poison and pollution in worship, fellowship and leadership.

Remember, there is a difference between evangelism (inviting, welcoming and including people to a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior as the prerequisite to salvation and membership in the Church) and worship, fellowship and leadership in/through/for Him.

For example, Jesus-loving-Bible-believing churches tend to distance themselves from the contagiously apostate viruses in universalistic and syncretistic gatherings masquerading as churches - wolves in sheep's clothing a la Matthew 7:15-23 - because they are dedicated to undershepherding to the Good Shepherd who explained in Psalm 23 and John 10 that fidelity requires guiding away from bad leaven and darkness, providing WORD to save and sustain and protecting the sheep from the wolves with rod and staff as necessary.

Practically, that means everybody's invited, welcomed and included into worship, fellowship, membership and maybe leadership according to charismata in a complementarian not egalitarian kinda way pero everyone's opinions are not invited, welcomed, included, enabled or allowed in worship, fellowship, membership and leadership.

Churches are not community buildings.

Churches are consecrated to the glory, laud and honor of the Holy Trinity alone.

Alone!!!!!!!

That's why Matthew 10:16 has been the guiding principle of my undershepherding: "Be as shrewd as a serpent and as innocent as a dove."

Undershepherds have to be as shrewd as serpents or tough-minded because there are predators eager to slaughter the sheep and steal their souls and we must be as innocent as doves because there are women and men that are hungry and thirsty for intimacy with God through Jesus to be empowered by the Holy Spirit for lives of service provoked by gratitude for their existential relief and eternal salvation.

Personally, that means I always have time or make time for people that want me to talk with them about Jesus and pray with them to receive Jesus into their heads, hearts and guts as Lord and Savior.  I always have time or make time to be with people that are hungry and thirsty for intimacy with God.

When it comes to people that aren't really into Jesus by the book or play some religious game of church like a child at Candyland because they can't get into Rotary or Junior League or some other secular sorority or fraternity, I really don't have the time or inclination to hang out with 'em or invite them to lunch or a movie.

I mean, really, there's only so much time.

I'd rather give it to those that are serious about God.

Yes, I want to be cordial and friendly and I will do His best through my sinfulness to love Jesus by loving like Jesus with grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in love for all.  That's the difference between a Christian and, let's say, a Muslim.  Go back up to the top for more on that.

I take the existential responsibilities of a Christian in Matthew 25 very seriously within its eschatological context that is most compelling to the existential responsibilities.

No, I won't waste my time with people raising hell.

There are limits to invitation, welcome and inclusion in the Church.



Blessings and Love!


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