The Orchard Christian Church

The Orchard Christian Church__________ "where Fruit of the Spirit grows"____________________________ north Montebello ______________ Matthew & Kumi Perri

Monday, June 29, 2009

Model for ministry ??

The apostle Paul wrote: “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.” [Galatians 2:11] I agree with other Evangelical Christians that Peter was clearly in the wrong. However, does that have to mean that Paul was 100% clearly in the right, and we should “be like Paul” and model ourselves after Paul’s action here? Should we automatically assume that Paul’s method of handling this situation was 100% correct, without examining him in the light of his own inerrant teachings and the inerrant teachings of Jesus? Are we saying that we should rebuke an older man harshly, publicly bringing an accusation against an elder without any other witnesses and without talking to him privately first, and then brag and boast that we were victorious in a fight with a famous man and we proved him wrong? Or is it possible that, like all Christians, Paul was a work in progress, and he had some room for improvement in his walk to become more like Jesus?

Paul wrote: “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.” [1 Timothy 5:1] and “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.” [1 Timothy 5:19]

Jesus said: “ If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” [Matthew 18:15-17]

Pastor Tony Evans, who founded Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas Texas, has been quoted as saying “Where the Bible bumps up against blackness, blackness has got to go.” Building on this concept, I would say that where Jesus and the inerrant teachings of the 66 books of the Bible bump up against the imperfect life and ministry of Paul the Pharisee, Paulism has got to go.

Personally, I have blind spots when it comes to the Bible. What are they? If I knew that, they would not be blind spots! I can almost surely guarantee you that if you take any Born Again, Spirit-filled Christian who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, and sit me in a room with him, I will agree with him on all the major points. But if we talk long enough, there will be at least a few minor points of interpretation and application, where, in the eyes of God, he is right and I am wrong. And you know what? That is OK!

I’ll close with the words of our only perfect model for ministry, Jesus Christ. “I have spoken openly to the world” … “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong.” [John 18:20-23]


At 7:05 PM, Blogger The Orchard Christian Church said...

The silence is deafening. While I do not interpret silence as agreement, I do interpret it as lack of a solid Biblical basis for disagreement.

I’ve written to dozens of Christian friends, including Dallas Theological Seminary graduates and Calvary Chapel pastors. Based on the online rankings of this blog recently, thousands of other people have also read this post, and some of the previous posts.

I don’t know everything, and I don’t claim to. Through the Holy Spirit, God can speak to me and you today, through His unchanging, inerrant Word of course, and through other people, etc. always in agreement with His Word, including all the teachings of Paul the Pharisee. This includes the “hard teachings” that Paul taught others, in places like Rome and Corinth.

As to my main point, that all Paul’s teachings apply to everyone including Paul, but “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” including Paul in his life and ministry- a line from “Victim of Love” by the Eagles comes to mind; “I could be wrong- but I’m not.” I want to say this humbly, because I know that I am wrong about some things. But Jesus Christ is never wrong, and my desire is to try to be like Jesus. Jesus is the only perfect “Victim of Love” that ever lived. He came and chose to lay down his life for us, and then He rose from the dead and He lives forever. He did it for love, for me and for you. And he invites us to join Him in the family of God, and live forever, together.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger ken hernandez said...

What is the point of your post on my site? I'm confused instead of commenting on my post you seem to have your own agenda? Can you be more specific of your position and what you were trying to say because it was not clear?


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