Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Acts 20:28-31(NASB)
28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
Be alert-we need more lerts. The search for heterodox doctrine shouldn’t be focused outside your church; Paul pointed out that the most dangerous heresies come from within the church, corrupting it from within. Take the modern-day United Church of Christ, one of the more theologically and politically liberal denominations in the US. Rewind the tape three-and-a-half centuries and that bunch is the Puritan Congregationalists of 1600s New England. Guys like Cotton Mather weren’t politically correct universalists; they were as much a Bible-thumper as Billy Graham. However, allow a little decay each generation, and the Bible-thumpers turn Unitarians in all but name within two centuries. It’s hard to weed out heresies within a church; excommunication or the right foot of disfellowship isn’t easy to administer. Sometimes the zeal to weed out heresies can kick out people who had a different but biblically valid view on things. However, we still need to look for the wolves; when domesticated, they can look like innocent dogs (sheepdogs helping the shepherd), so we need to know our scripture to differentiate between the dogs that are helping the church and the wolves that will tear it apart.

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