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It's like I'm addicted to the approval of the Church?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Sink' started by Gottservant, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +415
    Messianic
    Hi there,

    The Kitchen Sink, seems like a good place to put this: I really don't think it fits anywhere, to be addressed to the Church in General, but not some or others, depending on how its interpreted. The question is simple: "Am I addicted to the approval of the Church?" I suppose if it came down to a scripture, it would be John 13:34 "a new commandment I give unto, that you love one another - by this all the world will know you are my disciples, if you love one another" There is a caveat there, I don't actually want the approval as some sort of sign to the world - if anything, it was a sign to me, personally, that I was walking with the Lord, just as others were. What do you think?

    On the one hand, approval from the Church, strengthens my walk with Christ - or at least my perception of my walk. It builds on interactions I had with the Church and causes my faith to grow, in the way that the Church's faith also had grown. There is an aspect of chance here, because my faith may differ from the Church, on specific interpretations of scripture or on works that are needed in the world, which I can only take part in to an extent. On the other hand, approval from the Church, depends on the strength of the Church being at least as advanced in learning, as my own - not everyone has studied the scriptures for decades, I can't say they are less believers, because of that, but it does affect the Church's ability to pass comment - simply on things that it doesn't understand. There is less chance taking on this second hand, because I simply need to stay close to the scriptures as I understood them; it is not as encouraging as it could be, but the promise is that with time, the encouragment if not the approval will come.

    So I don't know, it feels like love "wanting approval" but on the other hand, I can see that the Church as a whole, needs to grow together, some taking up the slack early, others coming after - I think that is what Jesus experienced, as well, actually. Now if you ask me "does Jesus need approval?" I'm not necessarily going to know what to say apart from the Holy Spirit; simply knowing that Jesus endures, is something, I suppose from that you can also say that Jesus not only endured, He endured to the end - the idea of Salvation, is His idea after all, if He wants to finish it, He has no choice but to persevere. But I suppose that is the foundation I have been getting at, if anyone wants to see Salvation to the end, He will have to persevere as Jesus did and if he perseveres, surely approval will help.

    Jesus specifically said "pray to the Lord of the Harvest" so maybe what can be said is that we need the Lord of the Harvest to approve, both of us and Jesus together. Would that make sense? As you can see, it is an open question. I may get to the end, with almost no approval from Church or I may get to the end, with scores and scores of people seeing the work that I have done and the point that was behind it - which do I need? What is the most appropriate? I even want to go so far as saying, that the Church's approval will change, over time - because let's face it, we approve more, when we understand what has taken place and why. Perhaps it will be something, I have to wait for, once I reach Heaven!

    So anyway, approve if you want to approve or not if you don't - I won't force myself to get hung up on it (even more hung up on it than I already have been, truth be told). Let me know, if you have the same feeling, that would be ace!
     
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  2. Richard T

    Richard T Well-Known Member

    +744
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    All I can say is that your post inspired me to want to do more for the church. If you are addicted to the love of the church, then that is healthy. It does not seem like you need men's approval, so I hope you continue.
     
  3. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 Pax et bonum! CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +7,227
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    I think our churches should be places of encouragement and exhortation and sometimes approval can be a helpful thing, especially when we are looking for clarity or direction in our lives.
    I don't think that to be happy in church we have to necessarily agree with each other all of the time. I sometimes disagree with my own minister on a number of issues. We all have different life experiences and being able to express our own views and listen to others is the hallmark of a compassionate, tolerant and understanding church. Learning from each other teaches us humility and helps us to grow and mature in our faith.
     
  4. Rachel20

    Rachel20 Active Member

    438
    +377
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Maybe I'm not the one to answer since I don't attend church and haven't in decades. But it seems to me a relationship with a church can be like a relationship with a person and go either direction - healthy or unhealthy. So I'm curious how you would see yourself faring if suddenly no church were available and you were left alone with no one to walk with but the Lord?
     
  5. Tony B

    Tony B Active Member

    351
    +296
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    I personally only seek the approval of God. Whether man approves of me or not is of no consequence to me, at the risk of sounding arrogant.

    What I do seek and need is encouragement from my brothers and sisters in the Lord, to help me stand upright and strong in Christ. I also need to know that they will care enough for me that if the see Satan dragging me off, they will have courage enough to go after me and help pry his hands off me, but being careful to protect themselves too, and then bring me back into the safety of the fold.
     
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