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It doesn’t matter but we’ll fight about it anyway.

September 13, 2007
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Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Acts 6:1-4

Something in this passage was worth fighting for and something wasn’t, can you identify which it is? This passage teaches us a lot about, deacons and how to select them and that they can only be men, or is it something else? This past Sunday we discussed this passage in our class time because I think it is something else.

Two groups here don’t get along. Let me know if this sounds familiar. One group says it must be done the way it has always been done in language, practice and culture. The other group has adjusted what they did for time, place and culture. The Hellenists were influenced by the culture of the day, they became Greek in many ways. The Hebrew Jews tried to keep these changes out and looked down on those who had not kept everything pure.

The progressives vs. the traditionalists. It doesn’t get any better then this. The apostles, knowing how important this issue is in keeping the old paths or starting a new set will understand that they have a perfect opportunity to clarify this for all time. Certainly the inspired Spirit will understand what is most important about this issue.

Surely you have heard that one side has to be right. One side must be holding to the truth, both can’t be right can they? So here we have a conflict between these two sides and the apostles knowing this about truth are going to fix it right?

I guess not. In fact the issue never even comes up. What does come up is the fact that widows are being neglected. Those who are without who are supposed to be helped are being left out.

You see they have an opportunity to clarify this idea of change or stay the same but could it be that it doesn’t come up because it doesn’t matter? Maybe the apostles know exactly what is most important, helping someone in need.

For all the use of patterns by some have you ever wondered why they don’t do something about this one? How many senior widows in your community go without? How many churches are delivering meals to the widows on a daily basis?

I spend time at our senior center and they tell me countless people don’t have what they need. This Christmas we are focusing a ministry on the seniors in our community. Our Angel Tree will have names from widows. We are planning on having the kids sing for our seniors. WE already have a home improvement ministry dedicated to helping seniors with work around their homes. It may not be food but I think it is in keeping with the attitude presented in the text.

That was what was important, taking care of the widows, meeting the needs of those who can’t help themselves. The next time you see a fight about progressive or traditional, ask them about the widows in the community, have they had a meal today.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2007 7:23 pm

    AMEN DARIN!

  2. Jim Sexton permalink
    September 14, 2007 9:19 pm

    “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.”

    ‘Maybe the apostles know exactly what is most important, helping someone in need.’

    I would contend that the most important thing was to find a way to involve more people so that both could be done. They did say that getting the word out was not to be halted in exchange for waiting on tables.

    I feel the point is that BOTH are very important, and the challenge is to involve as many as possible in the work of the ministry so that neither has to fall by the wayside.

    Some of our churches (and I don’t assume your congregation to be one) neglect one of the other… both are of great importance and wasn’t it James that defined true religion as taking care of widows and orphans?

    You see, they must both be done… to the glory of God.

    Jimbo

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