WHAT STUMBLES US

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Prophetic | 1 comment

We are in the middle of a significant transition within the Church. The last two years of social upheaval have caused many differences of opinion to surface within our ranks. As those differences are now out in the open, we are seeing the wide variety of our differences and that is making some people uncomfortable. While we are all following the same Lord, our differing opinions and nuances might have an onlooker think we are from different faiths. 

A great transition and a resulting controversy took place in the Church when the faith moved from Jerusalem and a focus only on the Jews to embrace the Gentile world. As this controversy brewed, Peter was called on the carpet to explain why he visited the home of a Gentile. Peter shared how he went into a trance when he was visiting Joppa. During the trance, a sheet containing all kinds of forbidden foods that Peter and his listeners had considered as unclean descended from heaven and hung in midair before his face. Peter said he heard a voice say ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat” (Acts 11:7). Peter explained that he verbally opposed the offer saying he had never eaten such foods. A second time the voice from heaven spoke, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (vs 9). 

The experience of the sheet descending happened three times. I think that repeated experience was to make sure Peter understood that God meant business. Soon thereafter, Peter was led to the house of a Gentile. When the Gentiles heard the message of salvation, the Spirit fell on all in attendance. Peter remarked “The Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning” (vs. 15). When Peter concluded his defense, he said, “Who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” (vs. 17).

Peter’s comment is one many of us should be uttering. The Church has become far more diverse than when she was first birthed on the Day of Pentecost. In that vast diversity, we have pacifists and protectors. Academics and illiterates. A rainbow of racial colors. Men and women. Right-wingers and left-wingers and all wingers in between. We have professional clergy and those who are clergy but lack a religious pedigree. We are a diverse group. Our choices can reflect that diversity without violating the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

It is not wise to interpret our disagreements on lesser issues than the Lordship of Jesus as division and allow those lesser issues to close our ranks creating a small camp of exclusivity that will have us remain in a personal Jerusalem of limited understanding. This creates a division that will distance us from other brothers and sisters who see the world through a different lens. At that point, we stumble and stall.

When the sheet came down in front of Peter’s face offering all kinds of foods Peter’s religious history had declared as unclean, he had a choice to make. We are at a similar moment in time. This time it’s not about forbidden food. The sheet descending before the Church at this moment contains opposing opinions, worldviews, and assumptions that we have considered to be offensive. Just like it was with Peter, the voice of heaven is speaking to us, inviting us to a renewal of our thinking. We need to listen to what the Lord is saying. The world is waiting. Who are we to stand in the way?

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Khan

    How much is change opposed by the human race! Even the changing power of God to operate outside the “box” of our limited understanding. May the Lord help us all to yield to His changing power. That we have one mind and mouth and not be divided in Jesus’ name.

    Yours in Christ,
    Apostle Jonathan Khan.

    Reply

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