In 2012, God can inspire us to see ourselves as Presbyterian Christians together who disagree on how Scripture informs our faith in Christ as we all navigate through the unpredictable and turbulent seas of this life. These are disagreements that can serve us if we choose. Namely, they can help us all to grow in our faith and to better serve God.But more importantly the great Enemy of our enemy puts his gigantic NO not only upon our enemy but upon our own human agendas. His word is very clear. He will have his Church sanctified, washed and pure. By the use of his word he will present to himself “the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5:25-27)
Biblically speaking, false prophets call for peace when there is no peace. In the Old Testament it often happens that God sends judgment on Israel and in the beginning or in the midst of judgment false prophets keep insisting that it is a time of peace and reconciliation. They pretend to stand between enemies as a peace maker who will keep two opposing sides together. In some cases the ones calling for peace are those who have shattered peace by encouraging the people to sin.
The New Testament puts this idea of a false call for peace in a slightly different form. The corruption that shatters peace has to do with the peace of the Church rather than a nation. The Church is often under assault by those outside of the Church. But the Church is also often under assault by those within. Those who have waged war against the Church within the Church, inflicting her with false teaching and antinomianism, cannot turn and call for peace and reconciliation among members; instead the call must be for repentance and reconciliation with God.
And only the Holy Spirit both wooing us and inflicting us with the judgment of God can turn us back to our Redeemer. 2012, this is the year we pray God will inflict those of us within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with the mercy of his judgment that we might turn in repentance and faithfully listen to the words of God. We pray that in mercy the Lord Jesus Christ will not take away the candle of this denomination.