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Doctrine in dialogue format



The Parsonage


Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Have you ever wondered what the life of a minister is like? Well, wonder no longer, because it's time for The Parsonage where you will experience a day in the life of Reverend Leopold and his wife Ermintrude Bach, patriarch of the perish.

In today's episode we find Pastor Leo summarizing his sermon. Listen:

"We must always keep in mind that our purpose as a church is to assist one another in our efforts to uncover and expose sin, both in ourselves and in one another. We are a body, and as a body we are to keep the body, the entire body, clean and healthy. What effects one part of the body, effects the rest of the body. If one part of us hurts, the rest of us will hurt as well and concentrate all our attention on the hurting part. We see this in the natural in that blood rushes to an injured part of our body in order to heal it as quickly as possible. If we see a spot or wrinkle, or other infraction of God's law and desires for us, it is our responsibility to make an effort to correct the problem, especially in ourself, but also in our brothers and sisters in Christ as well. Jesus demonstrated this by washing the disciples's feet, indicating it is our walk that must be watched and put back on a clean track. He also said that we are to wash one another's feet, showing the need to keep one another on a clean path. The laver, where the priests washed their hands and their feet is another example of this principal. At baptism we are made clean, but our walk after this cleansing is our responsibility. This is much like having a serious operation where a cancer is removed from us. This does not mean we are now free to continue living in such a way that contributes to the cancer. In the same way, if we see our brother or sister falling back into bad habits that caused the problem, we do all we can to help them overcome that backslidden condition. Of course such a thing, that is, the pointing out of one another's faults, can easily get out of hand, and someone think this gives them license to be a busybody or to be hypercritical of others. We must always keep in mind what Jesus said, to first remove the log from our own eye, and then we can see clearly to help our brother or sister with the speck in their eye. The old saying, one hand washes another is very applicable to the church. And washing does not mean that we try and make others do what causes us to feel good. Jesus was confronted with a situation where a man came to Him and wanted Him to tell his brother to split the inheritance with him. Jesus said to the man that He was not a judge of such matters. And neither are we to be. But Paul made it very clear that we are not to allow sin in the church. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. When Paul heard that a man was cavorting with his father's wife, and no one was doing anything about it, because, as it seems, they were proud of their liberal acceptance of everyone and everything without judging ways, he made it very clear that such a behavior will not be tolerated. He even went so far as to tell the church to cast that person out of the church so Satan could deal with him. In my mind, that is a very strong argument for the need to better ourselves so we will be presentable when we stand before the king. With that, I will bid you good day, and we will see you all tonight, God willing."

"Got to hand it to ya' Rev. You hit the nail square on the head with that there speech a' yours today. Yep, one time I was at a church meetin' an' the preacher man said how some tardy folks done missed a whoppin' time 'cause he done sang a solo the week afore. An' lo an' behold the folks what was there done backed him up an' said He done had a fine voice. Course I never heared him sing before, so's I couldn't say one way or t'other about it. But it weren't but a minute or so later I gots to hear for myself. The preacher-man couldn't'a carried a tune in no bucket. An' I swear Rev, this here preacher-man done had a ego higher than the clouds above he did. But would nerry a sole tell him so? Nope, they just let him fly on by. I'm a guessin' that folks is afeared if they points a finger at a fella, than fingers'll be pointed back at them. Now me, I thinks fingers pointed at me is good, even if they is illegite an' abusively intent. Cause that's how I learns about my errencies that is hid from me, if you know what I mean."

"I do indeed Mr Plebe. And as you say, we need others to serve as a mirror for us in order to spot the dirt we missed behind the ears. Thank you for that example. It's exactly on target with what I was getting at. I wasn't sure I was getting through to anyone today. With the lax attitude so prevalent in the churches, and it growing ever more so by the day, it's hard to preach a sermon with any meat to it. People come to church to be told nice things, comfortable things, and not to be told they must change or miss out on what God has to offer through Jesus."

"I hear ya Rev. Yep, I hear ya loud and clear. Well, till t'night Rev."

"Pastor Leo, I'm glad you preached the sermon you did. It's about time you laid it on the line with this congregation. They've had it coming for a long time."

"Sister Beadle, did I hear you correctly? Did you say you're glad I preached a sermon on the need to straighten up our lives, and to point out the faults we see in others?"

"Of course, Leo. You know perfectly well that I take it upon myself to point out the faults of others so they can make the improvements they need to make? It's the sacrifice I make, that of correcting others. For instance that Plebe family, and the Philistines. They need to straighten up there ways and see the light. I try and try to tell them what to do, but they just won't listen to reason. Some day they'll have to stand before the throne, and it will be too late. But it won't be my fault they will have to endure the consequences of their actions in this life. I did all I could to get them on the right road, and to act like us decent folks."

"Yes, well sister Beadle, I'm glad you heard my message today. I just wish you also knew just who I was intending it for."

1It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1Cor 5:)

1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 6Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Mat 7:)

12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Col 3:)




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