[forthright] Bought at a Price

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 14:52:37 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Reality Check

Bought at a Price
by Stan Mitchell

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received
from God? You are not your own; you were bought at
a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1
Corinthians 6:19,20).

Neil Anderson recently wrote, "you win a person to
what you win him with" (Gospel Advocate, September
2003). When churches "bend over backwards to cater
to their children," he explains, "the young are
more often alienated than won by such tactics."

If people are brought to a church through a
certain music or activity, for instance, then they
will leave the church on the same basis; their
departure will coincide pretty much exactly with
the arrival of a bigger show across town, a more
dramatic version of that program in a rival
church, or a ratcheted up version of what brought
them to church in the first place. The pressure
will always be to outdo last year's production, or
lose the "loyal" customer!

Instead of bribing them to church, maybe we should
bring them to Christ. Of course, Paul declares
that we have been "bought at a price," not "bought
for a price!" We don't (or shouldn't) make demands
on churches and on Jesus; he makes demands on us!
We don't negotiate our terms of entrance into the
church; he dictates them! The Lord doesn't have
responsibilities to us. Everything he did --
everything -- was a gift he was not obliged to
give! We have responsibilities to him!

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