John T. Willis

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Majoring in Minors--Part 1

Through the centuries, all churches have been plagued by focusing on matters which are of no significance to God. People always support their views by quoting various texts or explain texts away from what the Bible actually says. The Church of Christ denomination is no exception. In the next few blogs, we will briefly address only some of these issues in which we "major in minors."

I. Wealth.
    a. Like all churches, WEALTH has always played a huge role in the hearts and lives of our churches and institutions. We desire BIG churches. The bigger the church, the better the church. Yes, we explain all this away, using this argument or that argument. But Jesus taught us very clearly that wealth is meaningless in the eyes of God. For example, Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:19-21:
     Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your HEART will be also.
     Universities cater to the wealthy. Their real concern is not in focusing on God, learning and following the Bible seriously, and engaging in difficult issues, but in keeping their constituents content and satisfied. Administration, faculty, and staff meetings rarely discuss difficult heart issues of life. The concern is to have bigger and better buildings, a well-kept campus, plenty of entertainment, food, supplies, etc. But where is the serious thinking and praying and living in the lives of all who attend?
   b. Paul teaches in 1 Timothy 6:6-10:
       Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

II. Beauty.
     a. Beauty attracts all people. God is the giver of every beautiful person and thing. But it is very easy for all people to focus on external beauty rather than on the heart. When Yahweh told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the next king of Israel, Samuel brought out the sons of Jesse. The oldest son, Eliab, was tall and handsome, a very good looking individual. Samuel immediately said:
         "Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord. But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
     b. A clear example of this principle is the existence of divorces in the United States, and in all the churches. A person often marries another person because that person is handsome or beautiful physically or externally. If one will just take time to learn the heart of that person, many marriages will be averted. God's picture of marriage is Jesus and the church in Ephesians 5:22-33. One must carefully restudy all the aspects of that relationship in this text.

Share YOUR insights and concerns and relationships and shortcomings and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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