But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you… 2 Peter 2.12, 13
1 Clement 47
Clement of Rome (fl. ca. 90-100 AD)
“Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you. But that inclination for one above another entailed less guilt upon you, inasmuch as your partialities were then shown towards apostles, already of high reputation, and towards a man whom they had approved. But now reflect who those are that have perverted you, and lessened the renown of your far-famed brotherly love. It is disgraceful, beloved, yea, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of as that the most steadfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in sedition against its presbyters.”
Ouch! Suddenly a very pastoral letter became a very hard brick. But this doesn’t make it any less pastoral. Sometimes the only way to make a point is to make it firmly, earnestly, and urgently. Clement had to speak harshly to this church because upsetting the established order in a church is a serious offense. He wanted these subversive people to understand what’s at stake when you throw out the Lord’s process and leaders to assert your own peculiar interests. What would become of their “far-famed brotherly love” if such seditious behavior were not corrected? He continued by saying the “name of the Lord is blasphemed” because of this treachery. It was time to bring this to an end and restore the proper order and leaders in the Church. When it comes to building His Church, Christ intends that we should follow His agenda and His plan.
What are some things that get in the way of the “far-famed brotherly love” that Christ expects in His churches today? How can we overcome these?
T. M. Moore
Men in the Gap for Prayer
The Lord came seeking men who would stand in the gap in prayer, so as to hold back His hand of judgment. He found none, and Nebuchadnezzar was the result. He’s seeking men to stand in the gap today. Are you one of them? What about the men in your church? Download our free PDF, Men of the Church: A Solemn Call, and ask the Lord what you can do to shore up the walls of His City before it’s too late. Watch this brief video explaining our Men at Prayer movement, and the booklet, If Men Will Pray, and how you can use it to enlist and equip men for a more consistent and fruitful life of prayer.
Mission Partners Outreach
Pastors, here’s a disciple-making resource that can help your people live Jesus in their everyday lives. Watch the brief video explaining our Missions Partners Outreach (click here), then enlist one of your leaders to join you in bringing this Personal Mission Field ministry into your church.
Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.