First of all, a small correction, “Kahu” means honored attendant, a keeper or protector of something, an administrator (like a Pastor). “Kanu” means to bury (as with a dead body). HA!! That one letter makes a big difference!
Thanks for the engaging conversation. I appreciate being able to discuss the ways of God in a safe and uplifting forum like this. The ability to share perspectives is so important in this day of doctrinal challenges.
I do see things differently from the perspective of the Word when it comes to “the Church” and “judgement” than the “mainstream” opinions that are more prevalent today. I’m sure I’m possibly not 100% accurate in my current understanding though, which is why I continue to discuss things with others.
I was raised and taught that “The Bride of Christ” always referred to the “Church”. This was mainly backed by the scriptures in Ephesians which speak of how Christ’s treatment of the Church is used to demonstrate how a husband should treat his wife. It doesn’t really say there that the Church is Jesus’ wife. In fact, the Heavenly Jerusalem, or The City of God, in Revelation is also spoken of as coming down from Heaven as a Bride adorned for her husband. The Church is also spoken of as an Army, a nation, the Commonwealth of Heaven and several other descriptions.
The one that is specifically descriptive of the Church’s relationship to Christ is that we are His Body and He is the Head. Ephesians 4:13 describes the mature Body of Christ as “a perfect Man”, not a perfect woman, which make more sense to me as Jesus is a man. The concept of Christ having a male head and female body is challenging for many believers. The idea that a male believer is part of a female “bride of Christ” is also very challenging and actually turns many men off because it’s not a proper spiritual order. In fact, homosexual “churches” use these concepts to “scripturally” promote their lifestyle as being sanctioned by God, along with the scriptures that in Heaven there is neither male nor female. This is where “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” is so important. I don’t think it’s proper practice to derive doctrine from Biblical analogies. Otherwise the Church may end up looking like a female body with a man’s head wearing army boots and carrying a sword and shield while wearing a wedding gown. Kinda strange.
I believe the Word and Spirit are still revealing who and what the Church actually is and we need to stay open to that revelation when it comes rather than take a hardline stance right now. Hey, I’m willing to be wrong right now on this in order not to miss out on the truth later.
As for judgement on our Nation, I believe that the truth that God is the same today as He has always been is accurate. The challenge is to see this accuracy in light of the entire scope of Biblical history and eternity. Judgement can be both positive or negative. As a consequence produced by righteousness, judgement comes in the form of blessing. As a consequence of sin, judgement comes in the form of a curse.
Under the Law, there was nothing to redeem a person or a nation from the curse of sin and death, hence, under the Law, there was nothing to prevent the wrath of God from bringing destruction. However, under grace, through the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, the wrath of God (not the consequences of sinful actions) is held back until THE Day of Judgement when the unrighteous will be eternally judged and sentenced.
This is demonstrated several times in the OT to show the Nation of Israel the grace that was to come by the sacrifice of Jesus.
Deliverance of the Jews from death in Egypt, even though they were living sinfully and in rebellion.
Grace on Sodom and Gomorrah offered if even just 10 righteous were found there. (The U.S.A is nowhere near the sin level of Sodom and Gomorrah and there are WAY more righteous than 10)
These and other demonstrations of Grace were given Under the Law to show what was to replace the Law through the Cross. We, as believers, are not given the wisdom to judge the World because it’s not our place to do so. 1Cor. 5:12-13 (ESV) “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside.”
We are to judge ourselves and the things done by people inside the Church. Even in that however, we are to judge “things” not people or their hearts. We should judge our own hearts though. (1 Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.)
Unbelievers are judged by God alone as only He can see the heart. So I see it as, if God is still telling us to pray for the unsaved of our Nation, to repent and turn from our (Believers) wicked ways, seek His face, and He WILL HEAL our land, that means He is still withholding the judgement of wrath because of His mercy. If so, then we should not go against that by having faith for destruction rather than faith for redemption.
As for bringing people to church to “get them saved”, Paul says that he was willing “by any means” that some might be saved. I think we can get lazy and out of balance in anything. And yes, in many local churches there is an off balanced dependence on the minister being the main one who leads people to be born again. There is also an imbalance and laziness when people depend only on teaching from ministers rather than by personal studying to be fed the Word. This is not an opportunity to find fault as much as should be an opportunity to regain the proper balance of all things. Much of Paul’s Epistles to the Churches were given to correct these kinds of imbalances in order to mature the Churches. We should do the same I think. Paul condemned and corrected the imbalances but not the Church. Until we are all perfect and mature there will always be a need to correct and adjust ourselves, and encourage others to do likewise. I’m my brother’s keeper, but not my brother’s boss, I can’t change him. So if people bring people to Church so that they get saved, and then they do get saved, isn’t that good? It’s also good when someone is mature enough to bring others to Salvation on their own. Hey, whatever works!
Finally, I believe it’s of utmost importance to our “spiritual sanity” and health to always view the Church from God’s perspective of perfection in process. The Church is bought with a price and its value is determined by the price that was paid. God is not worried that the Church will fail. He doesn’t see it as bad. We should operate and see the Church (which includes us probably) through the eyes of Grace rather than through the eyes of what is done right or wrong. My church was perfect until I got saved! God’s not frustrated with the Church, He’s nurturing us.
The Ark Christian Church
“A WORD AND SPIRIT CHURCH”