Keith Hunt - Towards Unity - Page Twohundred- sixtythree   Restitution of All Things

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Towards Unity

The Important things


A UNIFIED CHURCH


By Dave Moore


In the Bible, Psalms 133:1 states: "Behold, how good and how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." This
unity is very important, especially in this time of trials and
troubles that we are expecting as the last days come upon us. It
seems, though, sadly enough that too many times we are facing
splits in our churches over things no more salvational than
arguing over the color of carpet that should be put in the
sanctuary, or what song books to buy. I know that these are not
the type of things that causes a church to split, but in reality
some of the things that do cause splits are just about as
meaningless. Unity means a lot more than just getting along for a
few hours a week during a church service. It means that the
people are truly working together to accomplish the goals to the
benefit of the whole body. A house divided cannot stand. and a
threefold cord is not quickly broken, are two state ments that
are very much to the point on how important it is to have unity.
If we fail to worK together we don't accomp ish as much as we do
when we work together, just as a rope that is tripled up can pull
more than a single strand.

The church in Romans 12 is referred to as a body. Just as a
church has many members, so does the body. We all can't be the
head or the brain; someone has to be the hands or feet, legs and
arms, etc. Every part of our own bodies is connected through a
series of nerves so that if we even get a little splinter in our
finger it affects the whole body. It should be the same for us
with the other members of the church. When one of the members has
a problem, it should be felt by all the others in that we should
have a sincere concern about getting the problem addressed, and
taken care of. Also, a body that is kept in shape, properly
nourished and rested is capable of doing more than a body that is
malnourished and tired and worn out. A church body will work
better the same way. If we keep the church body properly fed with
sound Biblical teaching, getting our Sabbath rest, and keeping in
shape by joyfully doing the work of God, we can do all that we
are told to do by our Savior. We will be salt and light to a
needy world that is in need of being shown the path that leads to
salvation.

Our bodies need our heads not only because it tells the body what
to do when, but because without it we would die. The church is
the same way. Without a head, a leader who is guided by God, we
will not know the how of the things that we need to be doing for
our Heavenly Father. Too many times we choose our leadership in a
process of popularity instead of seeking leadership that is led
by God. I have seen many times that it is a person who is liked
which is elected more often than someone who is led to get done
what is needed to be done. I have seen instances that people want
to lead according to their own desires than to lead in the way
that blesses God and His people. When this happens the church
often times is hurt to the point of the body becoming
dismembered. This is truly a painful thing to see let alone
endure.

When are we going to see that changes in our doctrines, our core
beliefs are not going to be a good thing to do for the church?
There are those in leadership positions that feel that we need to
make our churches more like the mainstream churches so that it
will be easier for us to convert them to our beliefs. And we
should accept Christianized pagan symbols like crosses and
steeples as a way to show the outside world that we, too, are a
church. If people don't see our lives as being a living testimony
of our Heavenly Father's love to us and others, then we are truly
missing something in our own lives. We should not need to be
paganizing our churches just so the outside world will be more
comfortable worshiping with us. I've heard it said that God loves
it when we Christianize pagan symbols. Where in scripture can we
find that God loves the use of sinful things for holy worship?
It's not there. It is this type of thing that causes disunity. In
a time that we should be striving to bring us closer together, it
seems we are trying to create an ever widening gap within our
churches.

How then can we get more unified? We need to forget about our pet
projects and peeves and start focusing on the work of spreading
the gospel to all people. The things that drive us should be
those things that are bringing the lost to Christ. That is what
matters, not the politics that sometimes goes on behind closed
doors.

In 1 Timothy chapter 3 we find the qualifications for a church
leader. If a man desires the office of a bishop, it tells us that
he desires a good thing, but there are also some other things
that are to be considered, like having his own house ruled well.
If a man cannot rule his own house well, how can he lead the
church in the way it should go? This is a valid point. Would you
want someone leading your business that failed at running his
own? No. Then why should we be happy with someone leading the
church family whose own family is failing? This, too, I have seen
happen with disastrous results. Not only did the family suffer
with falling away but the church suffered too. Anytime a member
is lost it affects the whole body just like losing a finger or
toe on our own body.

Being unified is something that is of utmost importance. We need
leaders that righteously lead and a body that is fit for the work
of God, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
......

David Moore is a licensed minister and writes from Keytesville,
MO. David serves as the chairman of the Maranatha College board.

Taken from "Acts" magazine - April 2010 - a publication of the
General Council of the Churches of God, Seventh Day, Meridian,
ID. USA.

Note:

In my years of ministry, since 1982, I have only known of ONE
minister (an SDA minister) who willfully resigned as an acting
minister. His two teenage sons got into real serious problems
with the laws of the land. The minister could see where he had
not been able to "rule his own house well" and so he resigned
from the active ministry. I thought at the time how courageous
and honorable of him. I had great respect for him. 
Let me say or add to this. After those teenage boys became adults
and were no longer under his guidance, out on their own two legs
shall we say, that minister would be entitled to re-enter the
active ministry. Some men may never have children and can be
counted in the ministry. We are not told in the NT how many
ministers of that age had any children, some no doubt did, but
some no doubt did not. You can be a minister of the Lord and have
no children, why, indeed you can be a minister of the Lord and be
not married. Hence after your children are grown and adults and
out on their own, it is as if you had no children; you can be
an active minister of the Lord. If you are called to the active
ministry and have children under your roof till adulthood, then
this qualification of Paul's outline for an Elder would apply.

Keith Hunt            



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