Let me clarify Thank you for your comment. You said, â€śthe church...is an expression on earth of Christ and is there to glorify God.â€ť
Of course I agree with that. The body of Christ is to glorify God. The point is about when we are trying to grow the church instead of growing the people. When we want growth at any cost, trying to build a huge institution at the expense of being a holy incarnation, that is when we are just trying to build for the sake of our own kingdom instead of Godâ€™s kingdom. We create and must feed the monster, and the church ceases to be what she is called to be, which you correctly identify.
You said, â€śwe cannot equate the church with governmentâ€ť. Again, I agree, and I am sorry if I wasnâ€™t clear enough about the concepts I was trying to convey. Blessings to you.
Answering Anonymous Question pt.2 You also said, â€śI get confused as to what "peace" looks like in a personâ€™s lifeâ€¦.So does this peace "look" differently on each individual?â€ť
We also addressed that directly in the sermon. What were these things that they were supposed to practice (vs.9)? Itâ€™s what he was talking about in vs.8 â€“ the things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Philippians 1:6-11 mentions several of these things, and in 1:12-18 Paul exemplifies his own teaching. We can trace Paulâ€™s practice (1:6, 2:12-13, 3:14, 4:13). We all have concerns, but we can have a supernatural peace, and His supernatural presence. Pray, ponder, practice.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 â€“ Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.
Answering Anonymous Question pt.1 Dear Anon, those are some good questions. As to the first, you said, â€śI've been around those individuals who espoused this, but come to find out they basically had what I considered to be a lackadaisical attitude about responsibilities and life in general. I wouldn't think that's peace from God.â€ť
I agree, and the sermon addressed this matter directly: â€śThis is not just â€śhaving a peace about itâ€ť: Jonah had peace as he slept in disobedient rebellion. This isnâ€™t just being lazy, like we donâ€™t care at all, that we have a peace without concern. This is not just passively praying and mediating, and having a â€śpeace out, manâ€ť; vs.9 teaches us that staying active is part of the process.
Answering Anonymous Question pt.2 ...continued...
To the first point: Good, pleasing God should be our prime motive (cf. 2 Cor. 5:9)
Second: This is a matter for prayer and personal inventory. Becoming a Christian means we have to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. Our allegiance to Christ will cost us things. I am not saying that tattoos are something you need to drop, but think about your pattern of life. How has it changed; what have you left behind? When you say I â€śloveâ€ť, that is a strong statement. Would you be willing to give it up if God wanted you to?
Third: this is a matter of pastoral counsel. If you do not have a pastor, that would be a problem right there. I would ask if it is justifiable to continue being inked just because you now â€śonly get biblical scripture or picturesâ€ť. I would question the notion of taking things we used to or still â€śloveâ€ť and simply thinking that we can â€śbaptize them into sanctityâ€ť.
Fourth: Romans 14:22-23 â€“ if you are in doubt about whether or not something is sin, you shouldnâ€™t go ahead, because if you do, you are doing something that you think might be sin. And that is a sinful attitude in itself.
God bless you as you seek to please Him.
Answering Anonymous Question This will have to be in more than one part...
I do not know you or your motives. I cannot read your heart or your mind. However, I can read your words, and I do think that they tell us some important things.
First, you are concerned about pleasing God â€“ you entitled your comment â€śsanctificationâ€ť
Second, you are passionate about the issue â€“ you say, â€śI love ink (tattoos)â€ť
Third, this is something you loved before you became a Christian â€“ â€śSince I've become a Christian, I only get biblical scripture or picturesâ€ť
Fourth, although you have continued the practice since becoming a Christian, you are unsure about it â€“ but have been told I am still just feeding my "fleshly desires". Do you agree with what I've been told?
...answers in next comment...
Answering Questions Dear Anon,
Since I don't have your email address, I will simply point you to our "edocs" section on our SermonAudio page. There (and also on voiceofvision.org) you will find an article entitled "Why Church Membership?"
I would also suggest that you look at the pdf of this particular sermon.
God bless you.