Monday, July 6, 2015

Prineville Presbyterian Church's photo.

Celebrating the 4th of July comes with fireworks. Fireworks is also a fitting description for reactions to the Supreme Court ruling expanding the definition of marriage to include same sex marriages.
Many follow-up postings and articles have launched a barrage of fireworks where this single issue has become a test; either you think like ‘this’ - or - you think like ‘that.’

It’s very divisive and whoever is asking the question is using it to determine for themselves whether or not somebody else is Christian.

The signing of the Declaration 239 years came with ‘fireworks.’ It  charged the king of England with “the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
Yet 4 days after the signing, Boston townsmen were told to report for the draft. The wealthy could hire substitutes; but the poor had to serve. This led to more rebellion and shouts that “Tyranny is tyranny, let it come from whom it may.”

History records greater opposition to taking up arms against England than support for it. The beginning of these United States came amidst strongly divided beliefs.

Imagine the ‘fireworks.’

Maybe like the ‘fireworks’ at the birth of the Christian Church?

The first Christians were Jewish converts and for them circumcision was the mark of being a proper Jew. As Acts 15 records it, some insisted that one first had to be circumcised to become a Jew in order to become Christian.
Paul, a leader of the early church disagrees. His friend Barnabus joins in the protest and what followed was “No small dissension and debate…”

They’re sent to Jerusalem to ask church leaders there. On their way they’re converting Gentiles to Christianity; Gentiles - people who were not Jewish - are now Christians.“
In Jerusalem and "after there had been much debate,” Peter - the very man whose faith Jesus points to as the model for building the Christian church - says:

“On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they [meaning the Gentiles] will.”
Nowhere does it say that people had to abandon their understandings, or that everybody came to the same conclusion.

What we do find is the very people that God used to bring the church to life acknowledged their differences and refused to let it divide them.
Instead they all submitted to God’s grace made known in Jesus Christ; a gracious space where God holds righteous love for us regardless of whether we have right or wrong answers.

Join us Sundays at 10AM in our chase for grace.
Together We Serve,
Pastor Mike

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