Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Team Sports

 If the Lord were to tarry another hundred years, there would no longer be denominations. They are dying already, most are on life support, and it seems as though they are doing everything possible to bring a swift end to their brand. That’s all they are nowadays, isn’t it? A brand so far removed from its original founder’s vision and intent that if you removed names like Wesley, Luther, Calvin, Parham, or Williams and just read their current bylaws and mission statement, you’d spend the rest of your day scratching your head and wondering where Jesus was in all this pabulum.

I didn’t even include the weird ones like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Seventh Day Adventists in the mix because they’re like the slow kids on the short but at this point. Anyone who trusts a vegetarian of the female persuasion to set up the foundations of their denomination deserves everything they get. I’m sorry, but vegetarianism? You might as well tell me I have to wear itchy undergarments all the time to remind myself of myself. Some of you didn’t get the genius of that last one, and that’s okay, but those of you that did, you’re welcome.

I speak of things I know, have studied, and understand. Let’s leave it at that.

I’m not even poking hard. It’s not like I’ve set about deconstructing Joseph Smith or Ellen G. White, yet, I guarantee this writing will get the most backlash of anything I’ve written thus far. Why? Because people are loyal to their teams, and if you dare to mock or insult them, you’re in for a tongue-lashing at best.

Believe me; I know what rabid fans look like; I live in Wisconsin, and they have the Packers and the Badgers. If you want to see someone lose it while they’re talking football and how we may go all the way this year, interject and say, “I think the 49ers have a good shot this year. That Joe Montana’s looking dialed in.”

I had someone throw an empty diet Dr. Pepper can at me for that crack once, then I laughed another five minutes because they weren’t man enough to drink regular Dr. Pepper. I guess the beard and the flannel shirt was a farce after all. In my defense, the last time I saw a football game was when Joe Montana was the quarterback for San Francisco.

Salvation is not a team sport. It is not a collective. It is as individual and personal as anything gets. The soul that sins shall die! That’s pretty self-explanatory, and there is no addendum stating unless they belong to such and such denomination, either.

You can’t sit on your couch and cheer strangers on, hoping they beat other strangers. You have to be the one on the field; you have to be the one putting in the work; you have to be the one carrying your cross, and likely not to cheers or swooning fans.

When you stand before the Almighty, he won’t ask what denomination you belonged to, nor will he give you a pass for the effort of others. Well done, good and faithful servant sounds markedly different than great teamwork, guys, or excellent job team.

When the primary Christians tried implementing a microcosm of denominationalism, Paul shot it down without allowing for debate. The believers in Corinth had started forming cliques, picking teams, following either Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, causing division among the brethren. In his letter to them, Paul makes it clear that it doesn’t matter whom you say you are of if you are not of Christ.

The question for those who still cling to denominationalism and insist on the supremacy thereof is whether or not their denomination is still of Christ if the edicts they hold to are antichrist. United Methodists, I’m looking at you! If your denomination is more permissive than the Bible, and more libertine than Christ, can it still be called Christian?

Matthew 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Well, there you go. You just disproved your argument. It says right there, if possible! You got me now! Well done! Except you’re supposed to interpret scripture with scripture, and Christ Himself begins His discourse with ‘take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’

If your argument is that the disciples were not among the elect, that’s one thing. If it’s not, then the idea that it’s impossible for believers to be deceived by false christs and false prophets is moot.

Take heed that no one deceives you! If you were beyond being deceived, or the disciples for that matter, why would Jesus have spoken these words?

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

1 comment:

meema said...

When I was much younger, and not yet mature in body and spirit, when someone asked me what church I belong to, I'd respond generically - well, I'm still looking. Once I reached the point where I didn't care what someone thought of me, I responded with a question - if you could ask Christ what church you should belong to, what do you think He would say? I would get typical answers and then I would say that I believed that Christ would say, 'If you can ask that you do not know me.'

I'm not very good at winning friends and influencing people. At this point I'm long past and even used to the feeling I am just talking to myself. I have said many times in recent months and thus I am like a broken record - the day does come when those who refuse to see are blinded lest they see.Are we there yet?