This week’s pastors ponderings comes from our regular blog writer: Mrs Jesus follower. You can read more of her writings on CBBC’s website christiesbaptist.org.au
The Church of the Jews and the Gentiles?
I paused in my singing and listened to the words of The Creed fill the building and waft out into the street. Although my understanding of the Scriptures is limited and my doctrine basic, I knew right there and then that the truth of these words is what makes us one in Christ Jesus.
With this experience still fresh in my mind, I listened again to Julie’s message and to the testimonies that were shared in a recent service. What do we mean when we talk about the filling of the Holy Spirit or being filled with the Spirit? I’ve listened to so many different perspectives over the years, all from godly people; all from people whose testimonies I believe to be genuine. Why then, does it have to be so divisive?
My mind goes back to the early Church. It seems the potential for division has been there right from the start!
I try to picture what it would’ve been like for those early Jesus followers …how challenging it would be for the Jews to worship with the Gentiles!
The Jewish believers had heard all their lives that they were God’s holy people. God did amazing things (and at times horrific things) through history to keep a nation pure and holy unto himself but now was he really asking them to worship with and to love these barbaric Gentiles? Impossible!
They came from a background of so many gods…so many wives!! How were the Jews, God’s Holy people, expected to accept these uncircumcised foreigners? Couldn’t there be two different Churches? One for them and one for the Jews…the real flock? But no, we’re ‘all one in Christ Jesus’ Paul states adamantly. This is the oneness Christ prayed for in John 17.
Can we, here at CBBC, truly be, as it were, ‘a Church of Jews and Gentiles’ ?
It certainly leaves me pondering…