The Relevance of “Christian Fellowship” (By Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin, Guest Blogger)

A great theologian once wrote, “How can God entrust great things to one who will not give thanks daily for the Christian Fellowship in which they have been placed…” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This resonates so powerfully today in the age of fleeting self-serving and self-seeking saints. Against all scriptural demands, commands and admonitions people refuse to respect and honor the local church in which God placed them for their growth, nurture and development. Many have forsaken the place where God revealed Himself to them in pursuit of selfish ambitions and personal gain in the name of the Lord.

Paul tried to explain a possible reason for some of this when he said:
1 Tim 6:5 NLT
5 These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.

Listen to the Message:
1 Tim 6:5
5 Eventually there’s an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck.

When people use “religion” as a means to make quick money we have fallen into a bad way with God. Just look at our “religious” networks. We are inundated with appeals for money so much, the gospel is barely preached.

And just the thought that this verse of scripture could be considered and “assault” or an “insult” to someone who really loves God is a sign that the text is true. Bonhoeffer is saying that an unappreciative attitude about the place that God planted the believer will without question hinder their potential for “great gain” and ultimate success. Be thankful and grateful for you local church, your local pastor, your local fellowship and stay connected to the “Christian Fellowship in which you have been placed…” that place where you came to know him in a real way.

The church as we know it is under attack for sure but here is something to remember for those who find fault with it:

“From a Christian perspective, there is no excuse for criticizing the church and then finding the exit. The church, for two thousand years, has been referred to as a great paradox – the bride of Christ and yet stained. As one anonymous Medieval monk once said, “The Church is like Noah’s Ark, the only thing worse than the stench on the inside is the storm raging outside!”
Anonymous author

May this New Year lead you home to the ark of safety of the Christian Fellowship that God has placed you in and not to a place that you have discovered for yourself.

—Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin

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