Judged by the Spirit

Jan 29, 2018 by

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Approximately 60 years after the Resurrection, Jesus evaluated the seven churches in Asia Minor. At the beginning of each, he declared, “I know thy works.” At the end of each, he advised, “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says.” Everything we do is recognized by the Spirit for what it really is. The feelings of the heart, workings of the mind and performance of the body are laid bare before the Spirit. Six churches were characterized as having problems that needed to be resolved. The one exception was the church at Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13).

Within the Anabaptist tradition, is it possible that all the negative evaluations recorded against the six churches exist today within our institutions? If Jesus would write a list of evaluations to our churches, colleges, seminaries, conference leaders and pastors, what degree of negativity or commendation would the letter reflect? Organizations such as Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Disaster Service might be evaluated as Philadelphian. Who else would be? As an individual, are you in the majority, or are you a Phila­delphian? Discerning what the Spirit would or would not say to our churches would be a useful study.

Kenneth R. Ross
Manheim, Pa.

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