Eph. 2:20-22 – – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
There is nothing like a good church fight. Churches fight over everything from choir robes to parking lots, from deacon selections to offerings. We’ve had our fair share over the years, we even had one because of my over emphasis of God in our services. Church people can be really mean.
The New Testament doesn’t try to hide the church’s blemishes. In the first days of the church (Acts 6) there was the first known church fight. This one turned into a food fight (fighting about food not throwing food). We had one of those in our church one time, feeding and reaching out to the poor and homeless was too much for some of our more “respectable” church members. The one in Acts 6 was not only about food but about race. Accusations were being thrown around that the needy Hebrews were getting more food than the needy Greeks. Sound familiar?
The next fight we see in the Bible is in Acts 15, that one was also about race. Paul had been planting gentile churches and the church was no longer mainly jewish, it was rapidly taking on a large gentile population with a very different culture. When Paul came to tell the stories of his gentile church planting, a fight broke out in Jerusalem at the highest level of leadership. The answer to the problem not only brought peace but was historic. The lead pastor in Jerusalem, James, spoke out in the form of a prophetic word using a text from Amos the prophet. What James was saying is that these gentile churches were the beginning of the last day temple of God. Here is how James said it.
“With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,
‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT,
SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’
SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.’”
(Acts 15:15–18 NAS95)
So church fights can bring destruction or, if cooler heads prevail and everyone yields to the leading of the Holy Spirit, great solutions can be forged. Today the Lord is restoring His temple, I am just glad to be part of His plan.