Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Covenant Network & Jeroboam's Baals
Nave who will be the counsel for those who filed the complaint is suggesting in his article that ECO is not recognized as a denomination and has “no existing congregations,” which is untrue. But what I really want to address in this posting is the orthodox’s concern that there will soon be no place for them in the PC (U.S.A.) as both the guidelines and the complaint make clear. There is scripture that tells of just such a situation in ancient Judah and Israel. In fact it happened almost immediately after the tribes split apart.
In 2 Chronicles 11, Jeroboam in a measure meant to secure his position as king of Israel instituted a false religious system. He made golden calves and satyrs for worship which would have constituted worship combined with sexual perversion. He also made sure that none of the Levites were allowed to lead worship, and instead choose his own priests rather than the ones chosen by the Lord. But the Levites stayed faithful:
For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem for Jeroboam had excluded them from serving as priests to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 11:14)
And amazingly the faithful among the people followed them:
Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers.
Judah would also waver back and forth between the true God and idols, but because of the people and priests who fled Israel for Judah the scripture states that Judah was strengthened for three years. And strengthened in a righteous way. This is just a small incident in the history of the tribes of Israel but it is a very clear picture. When those who are disobedient to scripture make it impossible to remain, when they push out the ones who hold to the authority of scripture, the Lord has good pastures elsewhere. And those who are faithful will always strengthen each other in the Lord.
But there is something more: The Levites who went to Jerusalem to perform faithful worship, and the people who followed demonstrate true unity and that kind of faithful unity continues on in the New Testament. As Martin J. Selman in the Tyndale Commentary points out, “…the phrase set their hearts at seeking the Lord (v. 16) underlines the inward aspect of biblical religion. ‘The true kingdom is a gathered community (Ackroyd) of those whose way of life is to seek God, that is they continually seek his will for their lives (cf. e.g. 1 Ch. 13: 3; 28:9; 2 Ch. 7:14; 15:4, 15). Such an attitude derives from a heart set towards God.”