In 1514 Copernicus theorized the planets orbited the sun. A century later Galileo, with the newly invented telescope, found his theory was indeed correct. In 1616 and 1632 the Catholic Church commanded Galileo not to defend or hold his doctrine, and in the latter year placed him under house arrest for life. Galileo called them, “Stubbornly stupid.” This treatment of Galileo has made the church a point of ridicule by scientists, and allowed them to brand the church as ignorant, intolerant, and blind.
Today the theory of evolution is put forth by scientists. It states that all life is the product of a prime-mortal soup; life is an accident. Like the church of 1619, scientists today forbids anyone to defend or hold the doctrine of creative design. Despite the fact that the makeup of living cells is so complex, with its numerous chemicals, hormones, enzymes and proteins, that the probability of life happening randomly is calculated to be 1 X 1040,000.
Two points: I think scientists who believe in evolution are being stubbornly stupid, and those who do not believe in God are intolerant, ignorant, and blind. At least the church apologized to Galileo in 1992. Will scientists someday do likewise to the church?
A man wanted to know God’s will, but didn’t want to spend time studying the Bible. He decided to just open the Bible and read the first passage he came to and believed that would be God’s will for him. He opened his Bible and read, “Judas hung himself.” Shaken he tried again and read, “Go and do likewise.” Nervously the man made another attempt and read, “What you do … do quickly.” This is a sad way to read the Bible!
What made me think of the joke was I heard someone quote Jesus as saying to an angry mob who wanted to stone an adulterous woman, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” He was pointing out that Jesus did not judge the woman and therefore we should not judge anyone. The problem with his selective quotation is that he did not finish what Jesus said, for he turned to the woman and said, “Now go and sin no more.”
You can make the Bible say anything, but miss what it is teaching. The man was right Jesus didn’t come to judge; he came to save, and that means repentance on our part.
Thinking About N. V. C. C.
Paul wrote to a young pastor named Titus and said, “Set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you” (Titus 1:5b). For many people the issue of church structure doesn’t matter. However church government is an extremely significant issue. If your view is that church polity it is not important please consider some points:
1. Much of the damage that has been done to the Christian faith is the result of unscriptural forms of church structure.
2. How the church is structured determines how things are done in the church. Just as a society should be careful how it structures its government so should the church.
3. Church structure reflects our theology and beliefs.
Next week we will have a church meeting to vote on two church elders. This week I ask you to do two things. First, read the New Testament books of Timothy and Titus. These are Paul’s letters to the pastors who would follow in his footsteps. In these letters he lays down the roles of elders in the church. Second, pray for our church, and how you will vote as we take this next step in our growth.
In music when a note is played that is different from the other notes the sound is unstable; it is called dissonance. When the dissonance is done on purpose it is to create interest in the musical score. At first when the composer does this the note does not sound right, but in the next note he will use a note to resolve the dissonance and make the note sound stable.
Have you noticed that everything in creation, with the exception of man, does what it was created to do? Everything from elephants to ground hogs, sequoias to dandelions, eagles to roadrunners, and blue whales to minnows; there is no dissonance in them. Man stands alone in creation saying, “I am, I will be, and I will become.” Doesn’t sound right does it?
God, our great composer, sent a note to resolve this dissonance of man in creation; His Son Jesus Christ. When you let Jesus play his note in your life, all unstable notes are resolved and made stable. The past dissonance becomes nothing more than a passing interest.