Bailing

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As fishermen of men, we are all in the same boat. When a fishing boat is taking on water that might cause it to sink, you can do one of two things. You can bail or bailout.

Bail or bailout.

Jesus said "Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men."[1]

The quest for the Church established by Jesus Christ is like fisherman seeking a great catch. On the sea of Galilee they fished with nets and among fishermen there is an old saying that expressed the principle that everyone on board a fishing boat works together. You either "fish or cut bait".

Our description of the different minister groups as "row only groups" confirms this principle of everyone participating together as a team. The same idea was pervasive in the early Church where historians like Edward Gibbons who wrote of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" praised "union and discipline" of the Christian community. Christians not only survived that collapse of the government of the world but they thrived.

What bound them together was different than the bonds of other governments. Christ appointed a kingdom which was different than other governments. What set men free then, and will now, is a responsibility that needs to be pursued with diligence of the heart and mind out of love for Christ and the love of your neighbors as much as yourself.

In the Church appointed by Jesus Christ the ministers have authority over things freely given to them or produced by them but they do not have authority over the people. The governments of the world have a persona jurisdiction [persona juris civilitis] and authority over the people established through contracts from generation to generation. It is through their covetousness, wantonness and sloth. It is through their appetite for these gifts, gratuities and benefits of the Benefactors and of the world and fathers of the earth that consent is obtained. Because the people have chosen to bite one another in a socialist system by eating at the tables of rulers who exercise authority they themselves have been devoured.[2]

We created an email Network. We laid down Guidelines to govern the use of that Network creation and invited people to come and use it. No one rules over each other. The people must organize themselves in Free Assemblies and become Congregations of Record or CORE groups. Even the ministers whose purpose is to connect these groups must learn to work together like unhewns stones of living Altars.

There is no authority to remove or excommunicate someone or people from that email Network for any reason other than those we have spelled out in the Guidelines or Purposes of the Network. That email Network is not the Church. It is an opportunity to organize yourselves like the early Church.

It is a test.

The Kingdom of God reaches beyond those who love you and can help you. Seeking the kingdom is not about "you" or your comfortable group. It is about each off us starting to think about others as much as we think about ourselves. It is about coming in the name of Christ which is about the righteousness of God.

If we do not come together to serve others, strengthen others, protect the innocent from injustice including those who may be far away and cannot immediately benefit you then we are not coming in the name of Christ.

The early church was extremely well organized all across the Roman Empire and beyond because it was full of people who cared about others enough to be there for each other in good and bad times. Christians were not tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine but sacrificed daily building relationships with those who were near and far through a vast system of charity.

Those people who do not become a part of congregations and contribute regularly to build that charitable network are giving evidence that they are not really diligent in seeking the Kingdom of God.

Those who start to come together but fail to persevere[3] in that quest for Christ and His ways are failing to do as Jesus said.

We must be Doers of the Word and will be if we have true faith.

We are all works in progress.

We should not be bailing out but coming together to help one another.

We should be making our yes, yes.[4]

We should be striving.[5]

We are not known as followers of Christ, Christians, because of what we say but because of what we do or do not do.

We should be diligent in our pursuit of Christ if we are to to pass the test.

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
    Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
  2. Proverbs 23 1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
  3. Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
    Acts 1:14 These all continued <4342> with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly <4342> in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
    Acts 2:46 And they, continuing <4342> daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
    Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually <4342> to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
    Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued <4342> with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
    Acts 10:7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on <4342> him continually <4342>;
    Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant <4342> in prayer;
    Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually <4342> upon this very thing.
    Colossians 4:2 Continue <4342> in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
  4. Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
  5. Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.