21 September 2020

This week the pastor’s wife attempted to preach[1]. And yes, she said some useful things, but not really based on much scripture. The idea of preaching is exegesis: expound the text and let the spirit of God do its work. I was left in a fairly grumpy mood most of the day, and that makes me tend to isolation.

But isolation is not how we were designed, even introverted bloggers. We need community: we need to meet together (and the current regulations where we have to get tickets to go to church sticks in the craw: no more than a hundred at a gathering. Unless you are the PM).

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But we have never been limited by the regulations of this world. Paul wrote from prison, and mentioned the people in that local church he knew. I think there are 20 people listed by name in this list, and at least three churches meeting in homes. Some were not: they were also in prison.

Romans 16:1-16

16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

One of the plans Kea and I had for 2020 was to travel: we have family elsewhere. We have friends we have long correspondence with who live fairly close to each other(which in the Antipodes means within 500 miles of each other, locally, or the same continent in the Northern Hemisphere). There won’t be travel this year, and I’m fairly convinced that travel next year will involve multiple regulations at every border, significant expense, and will be quite limited [2]. We have gone from no church to meeting in tens to less than a hundred to meeting again to back into less than ten again. There are some people we can travel to meet, within the Island we live on, but the bulk of my family are under tighter restrictions than we are.

We should be able to meet for worship, freely. But if we cannot, we can write. We can blog. We can use social media.

And if the social media and the blogging platforms are taken from us, we can build our own. The Soviet empire was bought down by a religious revival fueled by samizdat. Ideas that reflect truth matter. Talking about them matters.

Expect the rulers of this world to try to silence such. Talking truth has led to prison before. Pointing out the absurdity of government polices generally leads to official pushback. On secular issues, there is a place of OPSEC.

But in the body of Christ, there can only be support. For we will not be as this elite are at the end of this exhausted progressive cycle.

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1. Yes, this has been used as a proof text for women preaching and leading churches. It should not be. Women should teach other women. Not lead. Supporting women to teach other women and provide hospitality has always been within the faith.
2. Which means I can avoid Victoria. There is a silver lining.

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John Wilder
1 year ago

I’m blogging along a similar line tonight. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t have a ton of notes, so sometimes I end up taking a turn as the writing progresses.