A Photo of Long Lines, A Blog About Problems And Patience, And A Random Clip About Starbucks' Church (Matthew Corbitt)
The book Acts records many victories of the early church, and many miracles, signs, wonders. It also speaks of the persecutions and inward fightings. I have a problem with romanticizing the book of Acts, I tend to do this often, but the truth is, when we ask for a “book of Acts” revival, we really mean the all of the good stuff, and none of the problems they faced.
The churches in the New Testament weren't sin free, ever-loving churches, as we sometimes like to think. They had real problems because they were filled with real people.
I have been learning, through my study of the early church, that we all need to have patience with one another. Patience without compromise. There is a huge difference.
From the very roots of our movement we have always had issues, (see the history of the PAW and UPCI) and we will have them until God returns, but it's not the problems that define a person or a movement, rather the way they address the problems that determine who we are and what we will be.
Paul and Barnabas got into a fight about Mark. Deacons had a problems with the old law and how, where, and if it still applied. People were fighting in the church about who was cooler because they were baptized by so and so, and many churches that were turning the grace of God into a license to sin.
I have found out why there is fighting, heresy, fornication, murder, gossip and slander. Gluttony, perversions, pride and jealousy come from this also. Care to take a guess what it is? The problem with the church is that it is made up of people, real human beings, full of faults and shortcomings, attitudes and character flaws.
We are hypocrites in many ways, you and I, because we preach and teach the Bible, knowing full well that we have not perfected that which we teach. (How many times last week have you have been overcome by gluttony?) Patience with people is what is needed. Not that we excuse sin, not that we soften our stand on social and moral issues, but that we understand where God has brought us from and help others to grow in Jesus.
Consider this when you are working with people and you are faced with problems within your friendships: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Remember also that the grace of God isn't a license to sin, but an opportunity to overcome that very sin. Preach hard, love strong, compromise none, and be patient, we are all human.
A neat little Youtube clip I saw about church marketing.