Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17
It is a good reminder of the seriousness of caring for the Bride of Christ; as well as where our true identity lies. I love verse 16. So much so, that it is the only verse on a wall in my house. I have other ones hanging in frames, but this verse in on the wall itself. As such, it isn’t surprising that it came to mind when I was reading this today.
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel said to them, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.” Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.Ezra 4:1-6
Because it has been on my mind so much lately (I think), the whole Critical Race Theory (CRT) debate came to mind on this. It has been particularly alarming to me as a long-time member of a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) affiliated church. As I’ve read more and more on the topic, it seems the pattern for the SBC has been, “We don’t know what CRT is” → “We don’t have any CRT in the SBC or it’s seminaries” → “Well, it can be a useful analytical tool” → “CRT is incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message” → “Fine, we’re leaving the SBC if they don’t support CRT.” Obviously that’s over simplified, but once Resolution 9 was adopted, CRT and it’s impact on the church moved front and center.
SBC leadership has been twisting and turning, avoiding, dodging, and trying to have the church and culture too. Now, feet are being held to the fire, and folks are being made to admit that CRT is opposed to Scripture. Certain elements in the SBC now are leaving since the SBC seminaries refused to accept an opposing worldview.
One pastor says “We out” regarding the SBC after the “final straw” which was:
On Dec. 1, all six of the SBC seminary presidents — without one Black president or counter opinion among them — told the world that a high view of Scripture necessarily required a corresponding and total rejection of critical race theory and intersectionality.Religion News
“I can’t sit by and continue to support or even loosely affiliate with an entity that is pitching its tent with white supremacy,”Washington Post
Imagine that. These two, and others, are not leaving because of the SBC rejecting scripture, but because the SBC seminaries are rejecting a racist ideology born of a godless, truth-rejecting worldview. Marxism.
When I read Ezra this morning, I couldn’t help but think that it provided an example of enemies of God’s people who easily lied and claimed they wanted to help build the temple. This, at a time when Israel was struggling to maintain their unique identity as God’s people.
Today the church struggle to maintain an identity separate from the world. It’s high time we tell the divisive, lying, saboteurs that they have nothing to do with building God’s temple today. Kick them out and drive them away. Do so knowing full well they will work to discourage, frustrate, and make fearful, those who are carrying out God’s Will in building the true church.