THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
KEEPING ON TRACK
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-11
What is the wonderful nature of our calling in Christ? We
as God’s people are the bride of Christ. We are betrothed
to God, who as lover and husband is jealous and possessive,
as is fitting. Thus, in Paul’s work of proclaiming the
gospel and bringing people to God, he too was mindful of such
calling, and jealously and zealously worked to keep God’s
people on the right track. “For I am jealous of you
with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (v.2).
We are to be mindful of our covenant, in the context of love
and marriage. We are to be chaste, pure, holy, as is fitting
for the holy and divine Bridegroom.
just as the devil is destroying marriages today (actually
from the beginning in Eden), the devil continues to deceive
us about such calling, in order to draw us away from God and
away from our destiny. “But I am afraid that, as the
serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts my be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.” (v.3).
We start off professing love for and commitment to Jesus,
and then later veer away. This happens as we no longer strive
to be holy, as we do not live out our covenant in community,
as we remain self-referential, as we dissent from our vision
and mission, as we fail to live out servant leadership, as
we are reluctant to embrace the cross of Christ. Such corruption
of mind is the work of the enemy.
This is why it is important and necessary to keep harping
on our vision, mission, call and culture. This is the purpose
of these From the Servant General articles. Thus
“in every way we have made this plain to you in all
things.” (v.6b). But are you listening? Are you even
reading and meditating on these articles? If you do not, then
you can be more easily seduced by the enemy and swayed by
others, even including other Christians. “For if someone
comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up
with it well enough.” (v.4).
are these other Jesuses?
who in the name of mercy and compassion will stop short
of calling sinners to repentance.
One who loves all people such that no one will be condemned
who does not call for self-denial and embrace of the cross.
are these different spirits?
The spirit of complacency that makes us comfortable in our
spirit of contradiction that makes us insist on our own
ideas, priorities and agenda, even to the point of conflict
The spirit of worldly leadership that looks to power, position
and perks, contrary to the call to servant leadership.
spirit of competition and exaltation that makes religious
organizations look basically to their own interests rather
than to that of the wider Church, even to the point of causing
scandal and disobeying bishops.
are these different gospels?
The gospel of prosperity that shuns the cross.
The gospel of kumbaya that just looks to getting
along well together and feeling good in each other’s
company, while ignoring the demands of the authentic gospel
for righteousness and discipleship.
The gospel of sects and cults that reject Jesus as God,
the one true Church that is the Catholic Church and Mary
as Mother of God and Mediatrix.
There will always be attractions offered by the world and
the devil. Even assuming we are firmly in Christ and will
not easily fall into serious wrongdoing, we can still be deceived,
and thus disarmed. We must understand and embrace the fullness
of who we are and what our call is as CFC-FFL.
One more thing. We proclaim the gospel free of charge. We
are like Paul, who “preached the gospel of God to you
without charge.” (v.7b). Other Christian preachers are
making oodles of money from preaching the gospel. This is
not our way. We do not benefit financially from the gospel,
individually or corporately. God intends the gospel of salvation
to be preached to the ends of the earth, and grace is God’s
free gift. Thus paying money to hear the gospel should not
be placed as a stumbling block.
is why our CLSs are free. This is why the NEC was free, even
as it cost us a bundle to mount it. How can the poor participate
if they have to pay? I would like to see the day when we do
not charge anything at all for our programs and events--MERs,
conferences, anniversaries, etc.
then do we pay for our expenses? We must exercise financial
stewardship and pay our tithes. If all CFC-FFL members gave
something, even not a full tithe, we would have more than
enough to fund all our expenses and expand our work even further.
Then there are resources of parishioners, which remain to
be better tapped. Then there are other sources, such as foundations
and CSRs of corporations. “I plundered other churches
by accepting from them in order to minister to you.”
(v.8). There is more than enough money available. The problem
is what God intends for mission has remained in the pockets
of His people. Shame!