@ConsecratedLife I too recall the sorrow and shock of the Jim Jones crisis. It was an event propagated by deception, and a vie for power that has been going on since the beginning of time resulting in division and destruction. Jones could call it whatever he would, but it was a cult that preyed on vulnerable people who desired noble things. And he should have been held accountable for significant criminal activity long before that horrible day.
It is also a very costly example of biblical illiteracy. When it comes to identifying the work of the Holy Spirit we need to engage the Word of God because they will always be in agreement.
Your reference to the “synagogues of Satan” from Revelation is a good example of the cult deception. In that reference those posing as Jews, but are not of true Israel, commit blaspheme and slander (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9). Just as false Jews are present in the end, so do we have false representatives of the church.
But here I don’t think we’re advocating forced diversity, or “recruiting” races of people. It’s about allowing it, and possibly to even expect it in a true biblical sense.
As members of the Lord’s church we should guard against anything that prevents a seeker or fellow believer from experiencing the reality of Jesus Christ in our fellowship. I believe that’s really what this dialogue is about.
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. James 2:8-9
Like you, I have attended a church where Ravi was guest speaking. And like your experience there were many races and people of all sorts, and some who had driven great distances.
What brought us all to this place and hour to hear Ravi?
In my opinion it is the universal search for truth and love that deep down we realize we cannot find apart from Jesus Christ. But we do expect to experience these things in His church where His Word is truth.
What is the greatest thing we have in common?
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
Praise God! I hope that, like that day Ravi spoke, all who seek the Lord in His church can be welcome and enjoy the communion of believers in joy and expectation of eternal fellowship in the Presence of the One Who created each of us in His image.
In the end, as noted in Revelation, the Lord will judge the church and sort the faithful from the impostors. He will clean up this messy world.