A personal sacrifice

On this Good Friday, I would like to sincerely , victoriously, boldly herald the glorious power of the cross. That the atonement made by Christ is very active in its nature this very moment and not possibly active. Hallejuah!

If we were to look at the old testemant we would agree that its purpose was to be a foreshadowing of Christ. We only know this now because the holy spirit has reavealed to us “ the secret wisdom of God” and that is Jesus Christ. He has reavealed to us Jesus Christ and when we see him now in His glory , and when we who now stand or kneel before his beautiful feet ,we can’t help but see his mighthy shadow leaning over into the old testemant. But it takes us seeing him now stand over us to understand whose shadow that is. I find great healing and clarity in the shadow we see cover all the pages of the OT. Because I know its a shadow of Christ and anything Christ is very good even a shadow. 

If I can recognize the shadows of the Jordon logo and other famous persons then I certainly recognize the image of the shadow of the famous Jesus Christ in the OT. And if some were able to be healed from a shadow of a man named Peter, then I am safe to say we are healed by the shadow we see of Jesus Christ hovering over us in the OT. 
My point is, there is healing found in specifics truths on very specific topics. And the one I’m highlighting is the atonement.

I can touch on so many types/ shadows of Jesus Christ in the Old testement. I don’t know of any christian who doesnt find joy in the image of Christ in the story of Ruth and Boaz or other images like King David etc. These stories in fact are so much better when we see Christ,and that he is the one actually making these shadowy images.

The OT sacrificial system is a foreshadowing of Christ’s work on the cross. So lets begin to reasearch and enjoy His shadow. 

The sacrfices that were made in the OT were particular and not made with potential intent. They were made with the intentions to be paid for specific sins and individuals. 

“The work of Christ must also be interpreted against the background of more than 2000 years of sacrifices pointing to his advent, life and death. These sacrifices were offered by Israelites for themselves and their families. They were offered by the high priests for all Israel. They were not offered for everyone who ever lived” ( clark sec. 5.2).

We take great joy in the fact that Christ is very personal. We love to throw around the famous saying “ it’s not about religion but its about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” 
Thats statement is so very true. I enjoy how Scott Clark puts it 
““If God did not intend to redeem any in particular, then it means that the atonement was indefinite. If it was indefinite, then Christ died for no one particularly” (sec. 2). 

He is stating that an indefinite atonement, or universal atonement, makes the cross of Christ out to be impersonal. 
In light of the shadow of the sacrfice in the OT of its very personal intent ,we now see an even better image and picture of Jesus Christ our high priest and His intention and that is His merits did’nt merely make salvation possible , but it activeley achieves it. The power of this mighthy active nature is from Christ himself alone. Nothing from us man kind determines its power.

“Christ’s death was not a death of potential atonement for all people. Believing that Jesus’ death was a potential, symbolic atonement for anyone who might possibly, in the future, accept him trivializes Christ’s act of atonement. Christ died to atone for specific sins of specific sinners. Christ died to make holy the church.” Barlow

By making the atonement of Jesus Christ particular it now becomes a very sweet personal event. 
“A personal God, a personal Savior, is at the very heart of the Christian faith “ (clark sec. 3).

Some might see this to be a bit trivial and I would say when this is discussed not in love, then yes it is. I am very sad it divides so many. But to avoid it might also be equally an attempt to downplay this very glorius event, or better put this very glorious person Jesus Christ. To God be all the Glory. 

thanks for reading

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MORE THAN A SERMON

I have been a christian for almost 13 years now.  For some that might seem to be a long time.  I myself  am extremely in awe of His keeping power all these years.

But in the whole grand scope of things, my 13 years is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the history of the church.

I was born again into a church culture , that I like to call “ sermon culture” or “church of the sermons”.

We have websites dedicated to sermons, we name off our favorite sermons like there scores on our favorite team.

The favorite team being the preachers name.

We can pick and choose what kind of sermon we want to hear. It almost reminds me of the common practice in homes today, I do it every other day and that is

” I don’t feel like cooking , I’m just going to go through the drive through. Or” hey pop those TV dinners in the mic” funny how some of us can’t even say the whole word microwave. We are a fast quick culture and we are all about shortening things as much as possible.

If we don’t like it we just move onto the next one. Now don’t get me wrong this mass over load of sermons on the internet , on many levels this is  amazing and yes I can see God using this in hard to reach places around the world. I can see it as a storage house of bread, there for when a famine comes.

But thats my whole point, “the hard to reach”  mentality as been like fast food at a drive through. The marinating prayer life or prayer meetings have almost been extinct. The fresh ingredients of faith have been replaced with cheap spices of our quick life.

The full course home cooked meals of devotion have become a 3 time a year thing.

We love these sermons because there tasty and satisfying. A good sermon is like a gourmet meal. The minister has marinated the meat for a few days in prayer, he has made the bread from scratch, he has used the finest of spices, and he or she has taken their time.

I’m glad we can enjoy the word of God so freely, I’m glad we can enjoy the finer things in life of a well prepared sermon meal.

BUT, We are not like the old church of many many years ago, where the “common people” couldn’t read latin, so they depended on a priest to read the scriptures to them.

Our bodies can’t afford to take another bite of a glutinous fast food drive through sermons, there is so much microwaved food we can eat before our bodies recognize a deficiency in nutrients or we can use the analogy of fine dining on the best gourmet meals. And if we  fine dine  daily at restaurants we can go very broke and show up short when major expenses come.

We need to go grocery shopping for our selves at the fresh farm markets of the bible. We need to go to the orchards and vineyards and get the fruits of intimacy for our selves and taste and see for our selves. We need to take that meat for our selves and venture into how to cook it up for our selves, we need to take the marinating and cook books of prayer for our selves.

My point has just been confirmed by a family member, it actually reveals to me that the Holy spirit is being very active in my home this very moment.

I just began to read this out loud to my family , I said to them I had to start typing this because this thought came out of no where. As I was reading my mother interrupted me and said. “ WOW , i was just 2 mins ago thinking to myself up stairs we can do this our selves, we can have the very same thing here in our lives” She was speaking about just the basics of our christian walks, studying the word etc

Of course I will still listen to those great sermons, but I feel compelled to go old school a bit and start making some home cooked meals. I want my house to put off the aroma of fresh baked bread , cookies, crock pots, etc.

I end on this note, may we become a church culture of “more than a sermon” and “ more than a meal”  but going boldly daily before the thrown of grace to kiss the feet of Jesus for our selves, simply because we can, because he has made this available to us and what a privelege it is. Plus Jesus is better in person, amen.

By His Grace

Patrick KucharskiImage


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Can I be transparent about a subconscious pain I have battled with my whole life?

 

 

Today I was made aware of some subconscious pains in my life. This moment could have only been made clear to me by my counselor. I’m speaking of the Holy Spirit.

 

For many years even as a child, I wondered why I was so drawn to men. Whether it was sports figures, teachers or even my uncles.

 

At the age of 13 my grandfather died. My only father figure. When he died I didn’t know how to express my pain, but I felt like I lost a part of my self. I felt like I died. My grandfather and I did everything together. We collected comic books together, baseball cards, we went to met games together, we wrestled together, fished together, he told me awesome stories about his experience in world war 2, he passionately told me stories about ebbits field and the brooklyn dodgers. We hiked together all over NYC. We played catch together etc etc etc. The list was grand. Yes he was my GRAND father. I loved him so much. ( Thank you Lord for meeting him on his death bed, I’m so grateful i will see him again)

 

This void followed me through out my teen years. It effected me deeply, and I did not even know it.

 

It even went into my Christian walk as a young man, age 20 till now 32. Even though I experienced a revival in great lengths, this pain has stayed. I didn’t even know it.

 

I found my self again drawn to men.  Great men of God with authority. Yes I loved their passion and zeal but deep down I hoped some one would in many ways  adopt me. Take me under their wing. But the Lord never permitted it.

 

I did get to know many of these men but not at the level I longed for. This was not because of any thing on these mens part. These men are just men, with there own circle of friends and family. This kind of rejection was a sovereign act of God that would blossom about 13 years later. In all honesty I just see a few buds but it’s ready to bloom real soon.

 

Recently I saw a few men of God that I looked up to. One man that I considered to be a friend. We had a little history. When I went to greet him , it was as if he did not know me. Yes I did feel a bit rejected. Perhaps dumb.

 

I’m in no way bitter or mad at this man. I see this as a sovereign glorious act of Christ. I heard God say , these are just men limited. They can go so far.

 

I the heavenly Father who sits on the throne am available 24/7. I am your Dad who adopted you, and I delight in you my son.

 

Yes I want a dad to physically grab my shoulder, or pat me on the back, but God has allowed this void for another reason . A great reason too.

 

Today I was wrestling with my kids. They were playing with my fat tummy like a trampoline. They were climbing me, hugging me, kissing me etc etc etc.

 

I had to leave a little while ago to go run a errand. Something so sweet happened. They started crying. Clinging to my legs. Tears running down their face. Screaming daddy please stay, please stay. So they melt my heart and I lay on the floor an extra 15 mins and become a human jungle gym again. It is so sweet, to be loved like that.

 

As I’m playing with them. I hear a whisper from my heavenly Father. ” what you always wanted in life, you have become. I made you a dad and you know their need. ” I always said it’s not hard to be a dad. I just give them what I always longed for.

 

Yes as much as I love these heroic Christian men of the faith. They can’t give me what I have with my kids and my heavenly father.

 

The Lord has placed a call on my wife and my heart. We have always been drawn to orphans. When we first got married we lived in Africa for a year to work with orphans. About 2 years ago God spoke to us and said he was going to use us to start orphanages and rescue them. We had our doubts in this call. Do to some insecurities.

 

The Lord said to me today. I won’t fully remove this pain from you, because it makes you the dad that you are. I won’t remove this pain from you because you see your own kids faces in the faces of orphans.

 

I have given you more kids to love and rescue by accepting them . The hug. The shoulder grip you long for from a earthly dad , you know how to do so well and unconditional, because of your pain.

 

For those of you who have read this. Please pray the door opens up soon. As we have a huge orphan rescue project on our hearts. The door is cracked open. It is becoming a reality. But I don’t want this to be just a note about my pain.

 

This is about the faces of children all over the world . That need a hug. That need adoption. That need parents to tell them stories. These kids need more than money, or sad statistics presented in heart felt power point presentations.

 

These kids need human parent jungle gyms.

 

I’m ready yesterday to open up my arms in this rescue project.

Join with me even now and sing this song with me .

How deep the Father’s love for us,

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

 

How great the pain of searing loss,

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the chosen One,

Bring many sons to glory

 

Behold the Man upon a cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,

Call out among the scoffers

 

It was my sin that left Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

 

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

 

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

(REPEAT)

By His Grace alone

Patrick Kucharski

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Sincere honest questions, turn into praise.

I have a question that I’m beginning to think cannot be answered. Yet there is an answer. And I’m at peace and rest with this mystery. Lets say you have no food on the table, no gas money, no health insurance, broke broke broke, sick sick sick etc etc. Are we guaranteed God will provide? What does scripture say? Yes we have glorious verses of showing God’s kindness to various troubled people in history. But we also see equally glorious verses of scripture where physical needs were not met. There was a deeper truth to be found.

Yes we all have testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Yes we have seen God provide but in all reality is that going to happen every time. My problems don’t even compare to others around the world. And I’m speaking of other saints around the world. I know of missionaries who are starving in other countries. Being put in prisons for a life time, beaten, tormented etc. Families being killed in front of fathers or mothers. Families being separated here on earth forever till heaven.

I look at my former Pastors example. And the way he died. I tremble and yet rest in the fact that we are not exempt from sudden calamities.  What makes me think if i have a brother or sister in the Lord who is prison right now being persecuted for their faith. Or a family of 6 + living on a bag of rice for the next month. What makes me think That I’m promised to meet the bills this month etc etc etc.

I’m also beginning to wonder about all those scriptures that speak of asking and praying. Christ pretty much commands us to ask and pray. He ask us to believe. Because we know he will not turn us away. Luke 11 is I think the most incredible prayer chapter ever. The our father, the midnight beggar parable, the father who will give an egg if you ask, not a scorpion for an egg request.

“And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:5-9

As much as I believe this parable is an example of us Christians to be  persistent and diligent in prayer especially in dark times. I also like Carter Conlons twist on this parable. Christ knocking on our doors at midnight asking for a withdrawal of bread in these dark times. Are we available for Christ in this midnight hour. He might be asking us some serious stuff.

I would like to add to that twist. I can’t help but think of us the body of Christ. We are a part of Christ. He is so humble to actually refer to himself as, us. Perhaps it us knocking on the doors of fellow saints in the midnight hour asking for bread. My scripture for that would be.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

Christ is speaking of His brothers, the body of Christ. I wonder if God might be trying to show me a few things here.

  1. to be very aware of the needs of my fellow brothers and sisters in christ.
  2. 2. be available in prayer at the dark hour, to be available for my brothers and sisters in the darkest hour and available for Christ my brother at the darkest hour.
  3. . be willing to humble myself and not be afraid to go to my fellow body of Christ in the dark hour and ask them for bread.

I asked the Lord for a need and I really believe I heard his voice say, did you ask my brothers, did you ask my church. I have made them available for this.

What a community we would be. What an example we would be if we followed that circular system above. Then the world would know that we are truly his disciples for the love we have towards each other.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves;  we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair;  pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed;  always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

By His grace

Patrick

p.s I thought I was done with this thought for the day, until i just finished reading David Wilkerson’s devotional for this day. Here is a quote from the devotional God’s children are tattooed into the palm of His hand BY David Wilkerson.  “Dearly beloved, I want to assure you: You may go through trials and sufferings. You may be far from what you wish to be in the Lord. But you can know one thing more than anything else: You are a delight to him!”

Then as I was about to close my web browser, my eyes land on the “please pass the bread” logo on the world challenge website. Here is another quote from David Wilkerson regarding “please pass the bread”  “This is a mission the Lord has entrusted into our hands. We must be faithful to execute it with the utmost care, as unto Christ himself.” — David Wilkerson

I am reminded of the conversation David Wilkerson had with a grandson. The grandson ask “why is there so much hunger and needs in the world, if God is so loving, then why.” David Wilkerson’s response was classic. (Please excuse my paraphrasing)  “I can’t answer that question but I’m going to try to help those that are needy. “

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question?

I have a question that I’m beginning to think cannot be answered. Yet there is an answer. And I’m at peace and rest with this mystery. Lets say you have no food on the table, no gas money, no health insurance, broke broke broke, sick sick sick etc etc. Are we guaranteed God will provide? What does scripture say? Yes we have glorious verses of showing God’s kindeness to various troubled people in history. But we also see equally glorious verses of scripture where physical needs were not met. There was a deeper truth to be found.

Yes we all have testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Yes we have seen God provide but in all reality is that going to happen every time. My problems don’t even compare to others around the world. And I’m speaking of other saints around the world. I know of missionaries who are starving in other countries. Being imprissoned for a life time, beaten, tormented etc. Families being killed in front of fathers or mothers. Families being seperated here on earth forever till heaven.

I look at my former Pastors example. And the way he died. I tremble and yet rest in the fact that we are not exempt from sudden calamities. What makes me think if i have a brother or sister in the Lord who is prison right now being persecuted for their faith. Or a family of 6 + living on a bag of rice for the next month. What makes me think That I’m promised to meet the bills this month etc etc etc.

I’m also beginning to wonder about all those scriptures that speak of asking and praying. Christ pretty much commands us to ask and pray. He ask us to believe. Because we know he will not turn us away. Luke 11 is I think the most incredible prayer chapter ever. The our father, the midnight begger parable, the father who will give an egg if you ask, not a scorpian for an egg request.

“And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:5-9

As much as I believe this parable is an example of us Christians to be persistant and diligent in prayer especially in dark times. I also like Carter Conlons twist on this parable. Christ knocking on our doors at midnight asking for a withdrawal of bread in these dark times. Are we availble for Christ in this midnight hour. He might be asking us some serious stuff.

I would like to add to that twist. I can’t help but think of us the body of Christ. We are a part of Christ. He is so humble to actually refer to himself as, us. Perhaps it us knocking on the doors of fellow saints in the midnight hour asking for help bread. My scripture for that would be.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

Christ is speaking of His brothers, the body of Christ. I wonder if God might be trying to show me a few things here. 1. to be very aware of the needs of my fellow brothers and sisters in christ. 2. be availble in prayer at the dark hour, to be availble for my brothers and sisters in the darkest hour and availble for Christ my brother at the darkest hour. 3. be willing to humble myself and not be afriad to go to my fellow body of chirst in the dark hour and ask them for bread. I asked the Lord for something and i really belived I heard his voice say, did you ask my brothers, did you ask my church. I have made them avaible for this.

What a community we would be. What an example we would be if we followed that circular system above. Then the world would know that we are truly his disciples for the love we have towards each other.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 2 corithians 4:7-12

By His grace
Patrick

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From Gandhi to Bill Maher…….

“I like your Christ. I do not like your christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

He also said he would be a christian if it were not for Christians.

Today I was eating in a diner with my wife in colorado, and I could not help but over hear these vibrant intelligent voices. They were speaking of the errors of the “church” through out history. And they focused on events like the crusades. At that moment I recalled all my over hearing conversations in public places through out the past decade. I recall a conversation I over heard in a coffee shop in the village, NYC. They too focused on the crusades, the holocaust, slavery etc.

These conversation’s though each unique in them selves, always end up leaning towards an encouraging them selves in their sin and why they are not Christians. Ultimately they don’t like the “church”. These people really don’t say too much about Christ himself.

Take Bill Maher for example, He’s the biggest mocker of christianity today. He once admitted that he really liked the gospels and really could not find fault with Christ, so he continued on to make fun of christians. Now most christians to him are conservative  republicans. Gandhi’s view of christians was the british government in his time, ruling his nation.

My point for bringing Gandhi, Bill Maher and these other folk that I have come across through out the years, is to point out something they all have in common. That is, that they all look to man. I don’t necessarily blame them for their lack of faith in christianity, after all they are looking to man. And in this case most of their examples of what they think christianity is, are from groups who are not even regenerated new creatures. They are looking at politics, wars, hate groups, etc.

Now I have to wonder though if there has been a failure on the real church. Because there is a huge emphasis of focusing on man in the church today as well. It’s actually getting pretty wild too. In all camps. Whether it is the hyper exaggerated bunch who practically worship the “prophet” “healer” “apostle’ “bishop” or another bunch who always bash the “prophet” “healer” “apostle” “bishop”. Either or you find the pointing to man. So if these doubters who are observing and hearing the “gospel” are being pointed to man and ministries. You can’t blame them for their disappointment. It’s the message that is coming forth from the “church”.

I do know this. In the pattern of the bible, and church history. There seems to always be a small remnant . Unfortunately these doubters are looking to the masses and not the alive and well body of Christ. Because if they looked in that direction , yes they will find a nutty, faulty bunch, but a bunch saturated in Christ.

I can go on to write about the errors of us christians. Our faults our bad history and so on. But it’s not necessary. Most of what I’m saying here is my opinion. I have not done enough research on this. I’m going by some conversation I heard while eating an ultimate skillet in the village inn. ( By the way my favorite breakfast joint) I’m going by a conversation I heard while drinking a cup of Coffee I had in a Starbucks most likely. ( By the way I love the clover machine at Starbucks it’s such a great coffee high). And I’m going by a few Bill Maher programs I watched on HBO. ( by the way, HBO is naughty, and I don’t encourage it) I’m going by life experience I guess. When put that way, I suppose that is enough research.

Any way here is the good news. And when I say good news, I mean gospel good news. Whether these doubting sinners are justified in their disappointment, whether they are bitter. Whether I’m correct on the church and our faults and issues. And even though most “christian” history isn’t really christian. The good news is. None of it will affect the gospel message.

Jesus is very much alive. It still boils down to His grace. His love. Trust me much is required of us who believe. That’s for another note, perhaps for you to write. But when it’s all been said and done. Christ gets all glory and is absolutely victorious. I rest in the fact that He cleans up my messes in attempting to present the gospel. When time comes to an end. We will find that He has cleaned up History. And in the whole course of this messy christian history,  it is He who stands in the most lovely way with not one ounce of disappointment for those weary heavy laden wretches like me.

Be merciful to those who doubt… Jude 22

By His grace

Patrick Kucharski

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“The Church Is a Whore, But She’s My Mother”

I’m going to post excerpts from Tony Compolo’s book “Letters to a young evangelical” The main point is inspired from the St Augustine quote. “The church is a whore, but she is my mother”
It is a heck of a statement that really caught my attention. I’m not going to share my opinion. I’m just pasting. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Whether you agree or don’t. I would love some healthy dialogue on this.

“It is certainly true that our congregations have, at times compromised the radical requirements of discipleship prescribed by Christ, and you may find yourself put off by the church because of its failure to be faithful to his teachings. But I would urge you to consider this fully, and to think about the words of St. Augustine:

“The church is a whore, but she’s my mother.” That statement brilliantly conveys how I feel about church. It is easy for me, like so many of the young Evangelicals I know, to note the ways the church been unfaithful as the bride of Christ…

Unquestionably, the church too often has socialized our young people into adopting culturally established values of success, rather than calling them into the kind of countercultural nonconformity that Scripture requires of Christ’s followers (Romans 12:1-2).

Why, then, do I encourage you to participate in organized religion and commit yourself to a specific local congregation?
Because, as Augustine made clear, the church is still your mother. It is she who taught you about Jesus. I want you to remember that the Bible teaches that Christ loves the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25).

That’s a preeminent reason why you dare not decide that you don’t need the church. Christ’s church is called his bride (11 Con 11:2), and his love for her makes him faithful to her even when she is not faithful to him.

Through the ages, God has used the church to keep alive and pass down the story of what Christ has done for us. It is the church’s witness that has kept the world aware that Christ is alive today, offering help and strength to those who trust in him.

The story of Christ would have been lost during the Dark Ages if the church had not sustained it in monasteries where the Scriptures were laboriously hand-copied while barbarians were tearing down the rest of Western civilization.

Church councils have protected Christianity from heresies by examining new theologies. Today, it is against two thousand years of church tradition that our modern-day interpretations of Scripture are tested. In short, it is the church that has preserved the Gospel and delivered it into our hands.”

Thanks for reading
Patrick

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