by Patte Smith on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:53pm
It would be too easy to dismiss this dislike for church as only another symptom of original sin and love of moral darkness, but I believe that explanation is too pat to be wholly true. It doesn't explain enough. Some persons, for instance, find church intolerable because there is no objective toward which pastor and people are moving, aside possibly from the limited one of trying to enlist eight more women and 10 more men to chaperon the annual youth cookout or reaching the building fund quota for the month. And believe me, that can get mighty wearisome after a while, so wearisome indeed that alert, forward-looking persons often forsake the churches in droves and leave the spiritless, the dull and those afflicted with permanent insouciance to carry on, if a phrase so active dare be used to describe what they do. To Paul there was nothing dull or tiresome in the religion of Christ. God had a plan which was being carried forward to completion, and Paul and all the faithful in Christ Jesus were part of that plan. It included predestination, redemption, adoption and the obtaining of an eternal inheritance in the heavenly places. Gods purpose has now been openly revealed (Ephesians 3:10,11). It was the knowledge that they were part of an eternal plan that imparted unquenchable enthusiasm to the early Christians. They burned with holy zeal for Christ and felt that they were part of an army which the Lord was leading to ultimate conquest over all the powers of darkness. That was enough to fill them with perpetual enthusiasm.