Tuesday, September 17, 2019


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Mt 4:4.

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Feb 26

Written by: Andries
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 1:26:00 AM  RssIcon

The most important resolution to take as a visionary local church, is to dream to become a welcoming, reconciling faith community. Do this for the sake of the Gospel that we may share in the blessings of a Christ redeemed and loving family in the Lord!
 
In 1 Corinthians 9:16–23, Paul says: "I have become all things to all people...to the Jew, I became as a Jew...to those under the law...as one under the law...to those outside the law, I became as one outside the law...to the weak, I became weak... I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings."
 
The majority of the members in your church community will feel good about being an open minded, welcoming church. We feel good about being part of a reconciling community. We value the inclusiveness. We value the freedom we enjoy in Christ. We value this emphasis of the ministry we have been called to.
 
However, beware that just when you reach the place of loving where you are, you approach the point of being exclusive. You may value so highly your relationship to your faith community that you begin to close in on yourselves and risk becoming un-evangelically exclusive.
 
As a reconciling congregation, you will value the atmosphere of a congregation where there is no longer an emphasis on how we are different from each other, but how you are one in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some members are still exploring and unlearning their biases, including sexism and racialism. We remain a work in progress. Yet the openness of a welcoming, reconciled local church enables us to talk about differences in theology and culture without scandalizing or stereotyping each other.
 
The special character of a faith community as an open, inclusive, and reconciling community puts us in a crucial place to witness to a wider community and society that is being destroyed by legalism, intolerance and anger.
 
To be a welcoming, reconciling congregation must signify to us that we simply have to reach out beyond our walls, reach out beyond ourselves, and reach out beyond our self interests to effect reconciliation and healing for all –always and only in and through Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer. 

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