A chosen lifestyle, and an identity formed around it. An innate orientation that one does not choose. What causes it Multiple causes including:
The hurricane winds of change are howling around the world. The human race seethes with unrest and rebellion. Our political institutions are polarized, divided to the left and right without any common ground in the center.
Despite the signs of current prosperity, our debt-ridden, hair-triggered economy seems precariously balanced on the verge of collapse. We have barred and dead-bolted our homes, making ourselves prisoners while criminals roam free in our neighborhoods, graffiti-tagging and shooting at random, filling our hearts with fear.
With every day's headlines, with every new atrocity or terrorist attack, we see more evidence that there is a very thin line which separates civilization from anarchy.
We seem to be approaching not just a political breakdown, but a cultural meltdown. What is our response? Is there anything the church can do in the face of such complex and insoluble problems?
Can the church make a difference in this wobbly, dangerous world? Or has the church simply become irrelevant? Amazingly, when Paul wrote his letter to the Christians in the city of Ephesus, the Christians of the first century faced strikingly similar problems and asked similar questions.
Ephesus was a city in the Roman province of Asia, and the entire Roman empire was being shaken by political instability, civil unrest, crime, and radical change. Half the population of the Empire were slaves, sunk into such hopeless bondage that they were traded and sold like cattle. Except for a small class of rich aristocrats and patricians, most of the population eked out a poverty-line living as farmers, tradesmen, and laborers.
The moral corruption of Ephesus was legendary.
The city was the center of worship for the sex-goddess, Diana of the Ephesians. As for cruelty, the Roman legions were ready to march anywhere to suppress any rebellion or civil disorder with ruthless slaughter.
The ruler of the Roman world was Emperor Nero, whose sordid and savage life had scandalized the empire. Paul was in Rome, a prisoner of Caesar, when he wrote his letter to the Ephesians.
He was awaiting the hour when he would he summoned before Nero. Though permitted to live in his own rented house, Paul could not go about the city.
Instead, he was subjected to the indignity of being chained day and night to a Roman guard. Seeing about him the decadent life of the city and knowing the conditions which prevailed in distant Ephesus, what would the apostle tell the Christians to do when he wrote? The answer is striking and instructive: What does the apostle say to the Ephesian church in the face of so many desperate cries of human need?
What is his answer to the pleas for justice and relief from oppression all around him? Don't deviate from the divine strategy! In this admonition the apostle clearly recognizes the true nature and function of the church.
It is not a human institution. It is not expected to devise its own strategy and set its own goals. It is not an independent organization, existing by means of the strength of its numbers.
It is, rather, a body called into a special relationship to God. Within this letter to the Ephesians, the apostle employs several word-pictures to describe the relationship between God and the church: Paul says the church is a body under the control of its Head.
What a tragedy it would be if that body refused to respond to the direction of its Head! In realm of medicine, there are diseases which ravage the nerve pathways which enable the human brain to control the human body.
It is tragic and heartbreaking to see a person bound to a wheelchair or hospital bed, unable to control his movements and body functions. A church which is unresponsive to its Head is every bit as tragic and heartbreaking to watch.
The church is also a temple for the exclusive habitation and use of a Person who dwells within, and who has the right to do with that temple whatever He wills. The church is an army under the command of a king.
An army that will not obey its leader is useless as a fighting force.The lawyer hired by the church to investigate cleared Hybels. Boz Tchividjian, hired by the other side, claimed there were deficiencies in the church’s earlier investigations.
In answering this question, it is important to assert the question does not originate with me, lest someone out there think that I am bringing some new doctrine out to bolster the political.
The existence of Rama is basically a question of faith for millions of people. Therefore, no government or any other party can deny the existence of Rama. One other thing that I’ve learned in researching the first century church was that a great deal of what they spoke of regarding the Rapture and End Times comes from a great deal more study of Paul’s words versus the book of Revelation.
Westboro Baptist Church originated as a branch of the East Side Baptist Church, established in on the east side of Topeka. In , East Side hired Fred Phelps as an associate pastor, and then promoted him to pastor of their new church plant, Westboro Baptist, which opened in on the west side of Topeka.
Soon after Westboro was established, Phelps broke ties with East Side Baptist. Proponents of cosmological arguments think that there must be some explanation of the existence of contingent things, or the existence of the universe as a whole, or the occurrence of contingent events.