the weblog of Alan Knox

More on church and community…

Posted by on Jul 5, 2007 in blog links, community, definition | 21 comments

In response to my post called “The Other ‘Church’ of Ephesus“, Dave Black posted on the meaning of εκκλησία (ekklÄ“sia) on 7/4/07 at 8:10 am. After agreeing that it is a fallacy to “define” εκκλησία (ekklÄ“sia) by it etymology as “the called out ones”, he discusses several possible glosses. I love his choice of “community” and appreciate what he says about the church as community:

How, then, should ekklesia be translated into English? Of the many glosses that have been offered (“congregation,” “assembly,” “church”) by far my favorite is “community,” for that is exactly what the term refers to. A German equivalent might be Gemeinde, a word that can be used in a purely secular way (like the Greek ekklesia) or in a religious sense. Thus, while driving in Germany I might see a sign welcoming me to the “Gemeinde Lörrach” (the town of Lörrach), and when I enter the town I might well visit the “Baptistengemeinde Lörrach” — the Baptist church of Lörrach. Thus, the church that I attend here in southern Virginia might well be called Averett Baptist Community, for that is exactly what it is!

One other thought: you can go to church but not belong to a Christian community. In a community there is a deep sense of belonging, of permanency, of mutual care and compassion, of helping each other out, of carrying your own load, of cooperating for the sake of the larger community, of disappointment when a member fails, of joy when a member succeeds, of pain when a member suffers. The worldwide church is just such a community. When a brother in Ethiopia is killed or when believers in Turkey are martyred or when Christians in India are beaten, do I suffer with them? I can and must. Likewise, when my neighbor’s crop fails or when my elderly neighbor down the road needs her rain gutters cleaned out or when the local nursing home beckons for a visit it is not someone else’s responsibility to meet these needs, it is mine, because this is my community. This is Christianity at its simplest, yet we so easily lose out because we are so busy going to church rather than living as church in community. I have a responsibility to care for my neighbors (most of whom are believers and many of whom attend Averett), for I am one with them. And even if they are not Christians, I still have an obligation, taking “community” in its broader sense.

If we continue to equate the church with an organization with a hierarchy and structure, then the organization and its leaders become the responsible party, and we must explain away many of the scriptural descriptions and prescriptions for the church. If we begin to understand church as community, with each believer as a vital, contributing part of that community, we will also begin to understand what Scripture says about the church and about our relationships and responsibilities toward one another.


21 Comments

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  1. 7-5-2007

    Amen to the fact that the church is something that we are to be, not something we are to go to. But I believe that it is possible to have structure and order without being given over to them. The calling of elders and deacons, the identification of spiritual gifts, and teaching are matters that are not to be handled by every believer at the moment of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are to be administrated by the leaders of the church. The church is not identified by its leaders, but that does not mean that the leaders have no authority to carry out the administration of the gifts that God has given them through the Holy Spirit.

  2. 7-5-2007

    Bill Lollar has a nice accompanying piece to your post here.

  3. 7-5-2007

    David,

    I’m glad that we can agree that we are to live as the church and not go to church. I agree that the church can organize itself as necessary – as long as that organization does not become synonymous with the church, which has often happened.

    You made several statements that I would love to see backed up by Scripture. Perhaps you can point me to Scripture that teaches that “The calling of elders and deacons, the identification of spiritual gifts, and teaching are matters that are not to be handled by every believer at the moment of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are to be administrated by the leaders of the church.”

    Guy,

    Thank you for the link. I’m looking forward to reading more on that blog.

    -Alan

  4. 7-5-2007

    First, the simple fact of Paul (a leader) giving instruction to Timothy (a leader) and Titus (a leader) in these matters is a precedent. Why would Paul instruct men in these matters if all that were required was the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit?

    And since you wish me to pull a verse out of a hat, I’ll pick I Timothy 5:17. “Elders who rule well. . .”

    Elders rule. They don’t lord it over those they rule, but they rule. And if they rule, that implies that some must be under the submission of their leadership.

    I really don’t feel that we’re that far apart in our thinking. I’m not trying to justify bureaucracy or anything like that. The church is organic, and so is its leadership. But we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  5. 7-6-2007

    David,

    I agree that we are not far apart on these issues. It would be much easier to discuss them sitting around our living room with a group of friends.

    About a month ago, in a post called “Exercising Authority“, I discussed several Greek verbs that have to do with ruling and exercising authority. These verbs are always presented negatively in the context of believers (i.e. Matt 20:25-28; 2 Cor 1:24; 1 Pet 5:3). There are another set of Greek verbs that are used to indicate how leaders within the church are to interact with others. Sometimes this verbs are translated “rule”, but I’m not sure that is a good translation. To me, “rule” = “exercise authority” = “tell someone else what to do”. This is not the same as “serving”, which is what Jesus called us to do in the gospels. However, this disucssion is too detailed for a comment, so I will post on this soon – hopefully next week.

    But, for the time being, let’s assume that pastors/elders rule, as you said. Even accepting this assumption, Scripture does not tell us that pastors/elders are to “rule” in the areas of “calling of elders and deacons” (Acts 20:28 – the Holy Spirit has made you overseers) or “identification of spiritual gifts” (actually, I can’t find anything about one person identifying another person’s spiritual gift, so I don’t have a reference here), or “teaching”. For teaching, especially, every believers has been given the responsibility to teach (Matt 28:19-20; Col 3:16; Heb 5:12). Note that I am not saying that all believers has the spiritual gift of teaching. However, just as all believers are required to give and serve even if they do not have the gifts of giving or serving, so all believers are responsible for teaching. I cannot find where Scripture says that (quoting you), “They are to be administrated by the leaders of the church”.

    I hope that you do not think that I am being contentious. That is not my desire. For a long time I studies and taught systems of ecclesiology. But, when I started studying what Scripture actually said (instead of what I tried to make it say), I found something completely different. This is why I keep pointing people back to Scripture. If Scripture is authoritative, then let’s allow Scripture to speak.

    -Alan

  6. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  7. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  8. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  9. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  10. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  11. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  12. 7-8-2007

    dear fellow brothers, David and Alan,

    First let me introduce myself, i’m Jave from Malaysia, born 1985.

    It’s really something joyful to me, to be able to find a blog where Christians’ discussions are being brought out, and being a place where i can learn from.

    In fact, all that you both said is very much agreeable. Just, it depends on the context. David’s quotes can be found in the ‘Letters of Paul’ (timothy, titus, corinthians, romans, galatians, etc.) Probably it’s David’s use of words that made a little miscomprehension here.. but i’m sure David is talking about ‘submission to authority’ as in Romans 13. (instead of the word ‘rule’) … While Alan is speaking tactfully, yes, i hold the same principle as Alan does, ‘back to the Scriptures’.

    However about the matter of ‘submission’ .. since both parties were discussing about this, i’m sorry that i interrupted.. but i want to share my understanding about ‘submission’. If we think about it carefully, being observant i’m sure we all know that human-management always have problem. While we learn how to love, yet in relationships and marriages we can have so many problems that both parties start to blame each other for faults. Sometimes, can’t even distinguish what’s right or wrong..

    here’s what i’ll say, according to my understanding towards the scriptures.. “woman’s submission comes AFTER the love of her husband.” In which i meant to say, if God’s love wasn’t unconditional, what makes us WILLINGLY submit to him? It’s not force, not laws, not knowledge, not power, but Love (the basis of all commandments). Now that we’re talking about ‘Shepherds & Sheep’, to me, same concept applies. If we’re talking about ‘leadership’, consider how the LORD led His disciples. God being the ‘leader’ in every individual relationship, He portrays Truth in Love, NO partiality. And what is Love? in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” .. it’s always easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but how many can mourn with those who mourn? how many sow seeds in tears?? If we can’t do this, don’t even dare say in front of non-believers, “I LOVE GOD.” … that’s what made them hate us – Christians, and that’s what made them think of us as hypocrites, that’s what made obstacles on their way (considering 1 Corinthians 8), that’s what made them stumble. (considering 1 Corinthians 10)

    In fact, in Romans 13 it tells us to submit to authorities, however.. The way God has been communicating with His people, is rather through those who are humble in heart, humble enough to be willing to HEAR His word; in which i meant to say, NOT accepting ONLY things that we’d LIKE to hear, but including critics, rebukes, harsh words. You might like to refer to the 7 letters in Revelation written by John (Yuchannan [Hebrew]).. In all the 7 letters, it did not address: “To the ELDERS of the church.” , NOT “To the LEADERS of the church.” , NOT “To the PASTORS of the church.” , NOT “To the TEACHERS of the church.” , but rather “To the Angel of the Church in …” ; Now who is/are the ‘angel’ of the church? Note that angel can mean ‘messenger’/’servant’ of the LORD. Clear enough the last few sentences in each of the 7 letters have this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” … WHO?? the ‘Angel’, WHO is/are he/she/they?? Those who are humble enough, live a life with Love as the foundation, and showed NO partiality in upholding integrity – that’s who they are. Proverbs 24:23 – “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good” ; One thing i hope we notice, that there are many ‘leaders’ who are spiritually blind too.. Ministry of Love becomes routine or duty, the work of ‘caring’ becomes a ‘Ministry (working department)’ rather than ‘Love’, etc. And all that they preach, they became so numb that they do not even realise if they’re playing half-truths; worse, some of them emphasise too much on man-made ‘rules & regulations’ for the churches, and due to differences they seperate from each other. “I’m a lutheran”, “I’m a methodists”, “I’m a Calvanist”, “I’m a Baptist”, etc… yet everyone proclaiming the ‘church of God’. I guess they don’t even understand what it means by the ‘Church of God’. It’s NOT a building, NOT a place, NOT a group, NOT an organization, NOT a ‘name’, NOT a ‘congregation’, NOT a ‘number’… the ‘Church of God’ simply represents the True Disciples, those who hear the Word, and LIVE with it. If there are any contrary opinions towards this, i’ll appreciate if you all will voice out, but don’t forget – the approximately 400 years when Israel was without God-appointed prophet, in order to keep the laws and doctrines of God, the Pharisees appeared in history. They WERE the ‘leaders’, the ‘authorities’, the ‘teachers’ … Yet, Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) calls them hypocrites for many reasons. ‘spritual blindness’…

    When is a person blind? It’s when he doesn’t even realise that he’s weak. Can we instruct our hearts to beat for even a few more times that we may live for that few seconds? Yet we take credit for what we have not done!! And dare we call ourselves ‘Christians’? An insult to God!

    I like the book of Ecclesiastes, because it teaches us how profound ‘wisdom’ is… Ecclesiastes 7:3, if we couldn’t even understand what this means –> “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” … perhaps we might like to re-consider if we are REALLY humble in the sight of the LORD.

    To gain the LORD’s favor is not by understanding towards His words, not knowledge, not ‘self-righteousness’, not efforts… it’s this: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yourneck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4 … One thing remains: Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Leaders are no different from others, we remain weak. Just, in His MERCY & GRACE, He appointed us for His ‘ministry of reconcilation’, my definition of LEADERship is this: “leaders Learn from Examples with the right Attitude, to make Decisions through Experiences, only when there is a Responsibility.”

    L – Learner
    E – Example
    A – Attitude
    D – Decisive
    E – Experienced
    R – Responsible

    Best Regards,
    Jave Ithiel

    shalom~

  13. 7-9-2007

    Jave,

    Welcome to my blog and thank you for the comment! I agree that love should be the focus of all we do. As we learn to rely more and more on God, he will create love within us which will spill out onto those around us. In fact, I think that as we love God more, we can’t help but love others more with a love that demonstrates itself over and over again.

    -Alan

  14. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  15. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  16. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  17. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  18. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  19. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  20. 7-9-2007

    ^^ Hi Alan, thanks for reply. yea i agree to that.. But i do it in slightly different way – instead of considering how much i Love God, i’ll consider how much God has loved a weak and unworthy person like me. Receiving such mercy & grace from the Most High despite my ‘ugliness’, what’s more to stop me from sending this SAME ‘Love’ of God to those who are weak, depressed, broken, suffering, etc ? ^^ … whether i love God or not, the LORD Himself knows; even if i have that passion, yet without ‘whole’ action, and if i say: “I Love God” and cause some to fall, i’d rather not say at all.

    In other words, if that’s the case, then i’d rather be a people-acceptable ‘bad-guy’, than to be a hypocrite hated by people and dishonouring God.

    When we love, it’s not ‘our’ action. Not ME being so nice or noble that i ‘can’ Love, but that IF even a person like me is given such grace and Love by God, why not anyone else? Not even a serial-murderer shall be hated for everyone WERE born innocent. That’s my thought.

    Thanks for everything!

    brother,
    Jave Ithiel

  21. 7-9-2007

    Jave,

    Thanks for continuing this discussion. I think we are in agreement here.

    -Alan