Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

A Brother’s Wisdom 38

Snob.jpgSnobbery is a major problem at work among the messianists. Notice these words from James 2:

5 Listen,
my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of
the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised
those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor.


How have they despised the poor and become the snob?

When the poor enter into the community gathering, the messianists have assigned them inferior seating. They have failed to listen to Jesus. Read this parable of Jesus’ that is all that needs to be said:

“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of
honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If
so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give
this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least
important place. 10 But
when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host
comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then
you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:8-11.

Jesus makes it clear that we must work at this intentionally and consciously. What can we do?

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Carl Holmes

posted April 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Seek God and ask for Wisdom. God said he will respond when we ask genuinely for that wisdom.
I try and do the Proverb a day reading. I am not always the most faithful, but when I take the time and read them it has a tendency to put me in my place pretty quick. I can not read through a proverb and genuinely ask myself “where am I in this scripture” and not see myself being convicted by them.
Now I will say no more less I seem to be “not humble”

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posted April 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Whoooeee! Ya mean I have to sit next to stinky next Sunday? I really wonder what would happen if all of a sudden we really opened our doors to the street people and they actually came. You think we’d seat them? I sure hope so.
Maybe they’ll come if we go out and love ’em. And I don’t mean just slipping them a buck or two. How about an invite to church and offer to pick them up? And then afterword take them out to lunch. Hmmm, now that’s gettin’ radical. Maybe a little scary too? I bet Jesus would.

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Your Name

posted April 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm

james is about people being assigned seating, seems the fault lies with the ushers. Jesus is telling the person to take the lesser seat. Very pragmatic I might say – you’ll look better when asked to move to better seating. Too bad it doesn’t work at concerts or sports games. (:

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posted April 21, 2009 at 7:56 pm

FWIW, A church my family attended for a number of years when I was a kid did just that. It cooperated closely with a rescue mission sort of ministry. It was routine that every Sunday we would go pick up van-loads of homeless men (sometimes women but this group was mostly men), bring them to church, and feed them a potluck lunch. I am sure the Lord used this and it was nice that the church did it. However, for the most part, what I saw was a bunch of guys who complained about anything and everything, felt they were owed more than what they were given, talked about where the next free meal was…
I’m glad for ministries that reach out. I just can’t help myself pushing back once in a while when it sounds a little like someone is throwing the ol’ “if the church would just…” cliche out there. I think it’s easy to criticize the church for what it doesn’t do. It makes us feel better for saying it but that doesn’t actually accomplish anything per the verses posted. Different story if we say “Hey – this convicted me to do xyz this next week…”
Sorry if I come across rude. I’m not trying to slap you down. It just gripes me a little when people throw that easy complaint out there without backing it up with personal action.

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James Petticrew

posted April 22, 2009 at 4:31 am

I am interested as why you have used a cartoon connected to the Scottish Parliament (Hollyrood) and about MSPs (members of the Scottish Parliament) and I am trying to remember what the original issue was that inspired it

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posted April 22, 2009 at 10:32 am

My church feeds the homeless, including a breakfast every Sunday morning. When a visitor has to walk by a homeless person to enter the church, it’s a real litmus test. A lot of times they don’t come back.
You and I are but one medical case away from living on the street. I go with a buddy of mine to buy arrowhead collections and we often get them from people who are selling all their possessions so they can get treatment for breast cancer or cystic fibrosis or some such. He often buys what he doesn’t need or pays more than he should because he wants to help them out. I told him last weekend that if we ever get universal health care his supply is going to dry right up.

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posted April 22, 2009 at 10:48 am

I actually agree with you Matthew. I only brought it up because I’ve seen the hurtful rejection of an “outcast” who dared to venture into the “sanctuary.” But let’s face it. Those of us in the American church, and especially the American “mega-church” are in a waspish atmosphere. Here in the Bay Area, we’ll often have a healthy Asian/Caucasian mix, but it’s primarily middle to upper middle class Christians. There may be a smattering of other ethnic folk but that tends to reflect the general overall percentage of the population in our community. And in our church in particular, we are a wealthy church with many who are in the 1 percent of the wealthy in the country. And like, Joseph here, we have a healthy ministry to the community on a daily basis along with an annual Compassion Sunday where we shut down the services to go out into the community to minister in a myriad of activities.
But I know across the country, that is not is what is happening in other churches and for the most part is the reason so many are ignoring the church.

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Your Name

posted April 22, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I love the “A Brother’s Wisdom” series because it challenges my lifestyle and exposes me as probably worse than those who have assigned the poor inferior seating. And I really don’t know how to deal with my predicament. I’m your typical fairly affluent (3BR/2B 2 car and lots of material possessions) American who is out of touch with the reality of half of my brothers and sisters who struggle for enough food to eat. I know one of Jesus’ teachings is to give everything away. I’m too scared (and, no doubt, too selfish) to do that. I think there are other, less severe ways which include charities and politics. I try to do my part which is really very little compared to what Jesus asks. I also try to be a positive force on this blog even though I suspect I’m mostly seen as unhelpful. If we all really tried to live the Jesus Creed, there would be a lot less poverty, wouldn’t there? Maybe part of my reason for arguing ad nauseum for a Christianity based on the Jesus Creed and not on doctrines is that I see Christianity as potentially a powerful force for personal and cultural transformation that is stuck in the mud of doctrinal conceit.

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Scot McKnight

posted April 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for your honest comment. There’s a matter-of-factness about James that just can’t be reduced.

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