Monday, October 14, 2013

Foundation or Anchor?

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;
~Matthew 16:18

Rocks in Israel were (and still are) plentiful and have been used for all kinds of things that have been replaced in our modern times with other materials, so I think we do not understand the importance of this promise Jesus was making. It takes the right kind of rock to be used as a foundation of a building, one that will not break under the weight of all the other rocks that will be placed on it. It can have flaws but not ones that will compromise its purpose under pressure. That was the kind of rock that Peter was. That was the kind of people on which Christianity was built as Jesus promised.

In places, like here in America were Christianity is a well established religion and there is freedom of religion, we have very few foundational rocks. Most of us have never and will never be tested under the kind of pressure that the early Christians suffered or even Christians still do in some other countries. We sit comfortably in places of worship openly, perhaps a bit too cozy, for a foundational rock is always under pressure.

Another use for rocks in the time Jesus walked with men, many of them fishermen same as Peter, was an anchor. Do you know that the Bible has no record of Jesus ever referring to an anchor? (I confess that sometimes I am more fascinated by what Jesus did not say than what He did.) Here He is in the company of fishermen and He did not say that Peter will be the anchor on which the believers will hold steadfast in times of turbulent seas. Think about it! Is this not what the Western Christian church has become, people trying to anchor Christianity while the turbulence escalates?

Are we to hold steadfast? Yes, we are to hold steadfast in our belief, faith, and love for the Lord, but that does not really build the church. One could be a very devout believer and stay at home, however I also believe that if one has a close relationship with my Lord that He would not be asking the person to stay at home.

How about the church pew? Would it be enough to please my Lord to just show up in a church pew on Sunday or better yet have some task to do in the church? So many Christians believe this that the church has not taught them how to be Peter, the rock on which to build the church...other than just politely inviting people to church. I am trying to imagine a meek Peter politely asking someone to come worship with him after He witnessed Jesus die and be alive asking him to feed His sheep right before his eyes! Yeah, that just does not work for me.

Peter was a passionate man, fearful at times when not with Jesus but once He realized Jesus would always be with him, he as even more fearless in building the church than when he tried to protect Jesus from being taken from him by the Roman soldiers! Peter had an invincible spirit...as long as Jesus was with him and he was with Jesus.

So, which are you, the rock at the bottom of a turbulent sea holding steadfast or the rock on which Jesus is building His church even under pressure that could break other rocks?

~ My Lord, thank you for the freedom we have to worship you, but help us who love You be foundational rocks on which to build the church for You rather than just anchors. ~

3 comments:

  1. I must comment about anchors, being a sea girl used to boats & all that. ☺ When you put out a storm anchor, which is what you do when the storm hits, you do not want to hit bottom. That would be disastrous. What you want to do is create drag. The anchor will [hopefully] face the boat correctly into the waves & slow down its rate of drift but you must ride the storm.

    Christianity has been meant to slow the corruption by creating drag; Jesus called it acting as salt. This is not the same as proactively building the church. What the church has failed to teach adequately is that every believer has a ministry & is meant to be active in it.

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    1. Thank you for another perspective. I am sure there are several analogies that can be used about anchors.

      This thought was not my own but given to me, so I think that details about how to properly use a storm anchor would come in very handy if the Western church was really truly in a storm of persecution, instead of a few little squalls of ethical degradation coming from society at large.

      "What the church has failed to teach adequately is that every believer has a ministry & is meant to be active in it." My point exactly. The church we have been attending--in fact, all the churches we have been visiting all these months--does teach this. The evidence proves how they are actively building the Church. Also, if we do a better job at building the church, that salting throughout our society would slow the corruption of it.

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  2. Exactly! Which was what was meant to happen, of course. I think it has. We forget sometimes the church is not just the western church but even so a dear friend of mine once pointed out that every country reached by Christ has seen vast improvements in the treatment of its people, its finances etc & the darkest places are those where Christ is not.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.