Tidings for Tuesday

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

A number of years ago in a certain Assembly, one Lord’s Day morning, after the emblems were passed, a young brother rose to his feet to give a brief word of ministry. This brother, who was not shy about stirring up controversy, read several verses in which several persons were addressed as ‘thee’, including one about the devil. His purpose was to dismiss the practice of using the pronouns ‘Thee’ and ‘Thou’ when we address God in our prayers. There was a a brief uncomfortable silence when he finished his message, and then an older brother spoke up. He quietly reminded the saints that reverence when addressing God is vitally important, and the use of the ‘King James’ pronouns is a valuable help in preserving reverence in our prayers. His excellent answer partly diffused a difficult situation, but the situation should never have come up, if the younger brother had been mindful of today’s text. He eventually left the Assembly to meet with another group more in line with his liberal views.

Respect for each other within the Assembly is one good reason not to stir up controversy. But respect for the Lord is an even better reason. It is His Assembly, and we need to keep that in mind. When we consider Who He is, and the reality of His presence among us, we must bow to His direction. And that direction includes His admonition not to sow confusion but to promote peace. Those who like to stir up controversy have no interest in peace. They are happiest when they can divide the Lord’s people, creating arguments and animosities. Nobody expects every member of the Assembly to be in perfect agreement with everything that goes on in the Assembly. But there is no reason why any disagreements cannot be handled in an agreeable fashion. To do otherwise is contrary to today’s text.

In the context of our text, we find the apostle discussing the use of tongues during Assembly gatherings, and speaking about those who prophesy during the meetings. Those things in that early Assembly tended to create confusion. Fortunately, those things are no longer with us as spiritual gifts. But there are those who would use the Word of God, or their particular spin on the Word of God, to promote their ideas about the Assembly. That is the reason for seasoned and knowledgeable elders to be in attendance, and to be aware of all that is being spoken to the Lord’s people. These brethren have the responsibility to guard the Assembly from those things that would sow confusion and disrupt peace.

God’s order among His people is good to behold. God’s peace among His people is sweet to enjoy. – Jim MacIntosh

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