Friday, August 18, 2017

“There should be no divisions in the body (of Christ); but that the members should have the same care one for another.” - 1 Corinthians 12:25

From 1986 to 1990, Frank Reed was held hostage in Lebanon. For months at a time, Frank was blindfolded, living in complete darkness, chained to a wall, and kept in absolute silence. On one occasion, he was moved to another room, and, although blindfolded, he could sense others were in the room.

Although he was beaten and tormented, it was the loneliness and the lack of anyone caring that became unbearable. Frank said in an interview with Time, “Nothing I did mattered to anyone. I began to realize how withering it is to exist with not a single expression of caring around me…I learned one overriding fact: caring is a powerful force. If no one cares, you are truly alone.”

I just recently was asked by a friend to help him find a caring church for his friend, Gregg, who is located in another state. Gregg was born with extreme cerebral palsy and is bound to a wheel chair. Gregg has a desire to serve the Lord and be part of a church family. He has been attending a large mega-church, but sadly he is noticing that the church leaders are not allowing him to be part of the church. According to Gregg, it appears that they are keeping him busy in order to “keep him out of the way.” For example, Gregg asked to sing in the choir, but was told that they did not have the proper facilities for him even though they have an access ramp for the stage. Gregg has found obstacles at this church, rather than finding open arms. What Gregg is experiencing is loneliness even in the midst of hundreds of people in this mega-church. With all those people no one has reached out to care for him. Dear soul, God has so tempered the church body together, that there are no insignificant members. What is clearly obvious about this unfortunate situation is that we can see Gregg’s dedication to serve the Lord, while the church he is attending is spiritually deformed. Therefore Gregg has reached out to my friend to find a different church that not only teaches Bible truth, but also practices the truth that they preach.

It is absolutely essential for the church to not only preach the truth of Christ but also sacrificially live the life of Christ. The apostle Paul makes it very clear that the members of the body of Christ (the church) should have “the same care one for another.” When we do not express that same care, it causes division. All believers should suffer with those who are suffering, and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. This is not only called caring for one another, but this is the call of the believer’s life in Christ.

David C. Hale, pastor