Monday, November 30, 2015

DifferencesHave you ever wondered how well a Jewish membership got along with a Gentile one from 30 to 70 A.D.?  Were there any problems?  Any differences?  Arguments?  Hurt feelings?  Grumbling?  Gossiping?  Perhaps these emotions were expressed!  Notice what Paul wrote to the Ephesian church.  Why mention what he did if there wasn’t a problem?

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  (Ephesians 4:2-3)?

Gentile: Why do we have to please the Jewish brethren by using their time rather than the Roman one?  I don’t feel like I’ve really worshiped on the REAL Lord’s day (Acts 20:7-11).
Jew: Why don’t the Gentile brethren have their children circumcised?  To refuse to do so seems so unholy (Genesis 17:14)!
Gentile: Why do we have to meet to partake of the Lord’s supper in the evening?  (Acts 20:7-11).  Why not meet and do it on Sunday morning when all our pagan neighbors attend their worship?
Jew: Why are Gentiles so straight laced?  I thought some of them were going to climb Mount Tabor when that fellow fell down on his face and worshiped or when we raise our hands in prayer (1 Corinthians 14:25; 1 Timothy 2:8).
Gentile: Why do our Jewish brethren make us feel like we are sinners because we don’t practice circumcision?  Haven’t they read the letter from the apostles, elders, and James, the brother of our Lord (Acts 15:23-29)?
Jew: Why do our Gentile brethren make us feel like we are sinners because we continue to pay the Levitical priests to make sacrifices for us at the Temple (Acts 21:17-26)?
Jew: Why can’t we sing the Psalms like we always did before those Gentiles became members?  They always want to sing the new inspired songs rather than the old faithful ones (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
Gentile: Why do we always seem to be taking up a collection for Jewish brethren?  Gentile Christians have needs too (1 Corinthians 16:3)!
Jew: Gentiles, Gentiles, Gentiles!  That’s all you hear.  Don’t they know they wouldn’t be saved if it were not for us Jews (Romans 1:16)?
Gentile: Why do we have to dress like the Jews?  We aren’t Jews.  We are Gentiles.  Why can’t they dress like us (1 Corinthians 9:23-29)?
Jew: When we have a love feast, those Gentiles are always bringing pork.  Don’t they know that it is filthy, unclean meat (Leviticus 11:7)?
Gentile: Why does Peter eat good ol’ Roman food with us until Jewish brethren come from James, then he refuses to sit at our table and fellowship with us (Galatians 2:11-14 NIV)?
Jew: For ten years the Gentiles were not allowed into the body of Christ.  We had Jewish style worship.  Why do we have to change just to accommodate them?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us.”  (Ephesians 4:31-32; 5:1-2)