Christianity is Counting the Cost and Not Sweating the Small Stuff

From Christianity is Counting the Cost and Not Sweating the Small Stuff, by Jan LaRue, published Nov 16, 2006, by Concerned Women for America:

jan-larue.JPG“Episcopal leaders vote to leave,” reads the caption today announcing that “two of Virginia’s most historic Episcopal parishes have voted to split from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia.” It’s a move that will likely lead to litigation and could cost the congregants of Truro Church in Fairfax (est. 1732) and The Falls Church (est. 1752) millions of dollars in prime real estate. George Washington was a member of the vestry of both churches. [Julia Duin, Washington Times, Nov. 16, 2006, p. 1].

When the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, an exclamation point was added at the end of the handwriting that had been on the Church wall for many years. Robinson is an open homosexual who left his wife and children for a man.

By the way, if they had consecrated as bishop an unrepentant heterosexual adulterer or unmarried fornicator, the sin would be just as grievous. Sin brings equal opportunity condemnation.

Christianity is all about choices, costs and consequences. The congregants of Truro and The Falls Church reportedly told their leaders that “the theological disconnect between Biblical Christianity and the road the [Episcopal] Church had chosen to walk was so profound, the time had come to separate from the denomination.”

One of the countless characteristics that makes Jesus unique as the greatest leader of all time is that although He came to save all mankind from the condemnation of sin, He never stayed where He wasn’t wanted, and He never kept anyone from leaving. His words had a thinning effect on crowds. “For many are called but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

In fact, He said that when someone leaves Him, it’s proof that the person isn’t one of His. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (I John 2:19)

Shaking off the dust of an unfriendly town and dodging stones came with Christ’s calling. But He never compromised. Everything He did was consistent with everything He said. He leaves no space between following Him and obeying Him.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) Christ suffered the agony of the Cross because of His intolerance of sin and love of sinners. We can’t bless and make holy that which God has condemned as sinful.

Christ offended people quite often, especially the self-righteous. Sometimes, it made His disciples nervous:

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? … ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’

“The disciples responded, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.'” (Matthew 15:3, 12-13)

The kindest, most-loving man who ever lived was crucified because He is intolerant of sin.

Consequently, you won’t be turning blue before unbelievers hurl their intolerance stones at the faithful who’ve departed the Episcopal Church. The disciples of diversity don’t distinguish between the narrow gate and a narrow mind or hatred of sin vs. hatred of people.

As G.K. Chesterton wrote, “These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.”

The world demands that we stand for nothing and fall for everything. But we can’t because the embodiment of truth planted a Cross on Calvary.

There we stand. Hate us if you will. We’ve been warned and we’re over it:

He said “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:18-20)

We are neither the first, nor will we be the last to count the cost. It’s in the counting that we remember that He paid the price we couldn’t pay to give us what we don’t deserve:

“Then Peter answered and said to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.'” (Matthew 19: 28-30)

We are to love God more than anyone or anything else, including denominational brethren and valuable real estate. No space. It’s the narrow way, but it’s well-marked and lighted. And best of all, it leads home.

To know Jesus is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him:

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.'” (John 14:23-24)

When God makes His home in your heart, buildings couldn’t count less. The faithful brethren at Truro and The Falls Church get it. Besides, who stays when Jesus has left the building?

This article was posted on Friday, November 17th, 2006 at 6:24 pm and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Anglican/Episcopal, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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