“uncircumcised men”

Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners and he took hits for it from the “religious crowd”.  Now in Acts 11 after Peter spends time with Cornelius he takes hits from the “circumcised crowd”.  These weren’t just any men these were the church.  Acts 11:1-3 says,

“The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.  So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, ‘You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

In this story, Peter explains his vision and vs. 18 says,

“When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

A couple of questions.

  • Has your fear of what the church may think and say kept you from “eating with uncircumcised men”?
  • Who are the “uncircumcised” today in your life?
  • Now for the “church” – why do we fear who believers “eat with”? 
  • Have we come to the place where we think that the best way for the “uncircumcised” to get saved is in our controlled environments?
  • Have we enabled and even trained believers to think that the role of witnessing and communicating the gospel is the job of the “paid professionals”.  “Bring em and we will get em saved”.
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5 thoughts on ““uncircumcised men”

  1. Well here’s my two cents.

    “Has your fear of what the church may think and say kept you from “eating with uncircumcised men?”
    Not at all.

    Who are the “uncircumcised” today in your life?
    They’re everywhere. My co-workers and some of my closest friends.

    Now for the “church” – why do we fear who believers “eat with”?
    I think over the years the church leaders, paid pros or not, have forgotten that we can trust Christ more than ourselves so they teach that bad company corrupts good morals. I guess that must mean we can’t keep company with unbelievers. The sad fact is that once you leave the established church not even your Christian friends eat with you anymore.

    Have we come to the place where we think that the best way for the “uncircumcised” to get saved is in our controlled environments?
    Come to a place? We’ve been in that place for decades. It’s like the church is competing with the world, but the world’s not aware of it.

    Have we enabled and even trained believers to think that the role of witnessing and communicating the gospel is the job of the “paid professionals”. “Bring em and we will get em saved”.
    Dude! you gotta get beyond this idea. People in the church aren’t that impressed with the “paid pros” as you think. Even if they think they are more equiped to deliver the gospel most of them wouldn’t admit it.

  2. Ed,

    I am well beyond the “idea” but I don’t think the church and the “common church attender” is. If you look at most major churches in this city and around the country you will hear and see this idea almost weekly. Whether or not “people in the church are impressed” is not the point. They may not be impressed but that is still the message and the primary medium in the church for evangelism. “Who are you going to invite?” “invite an unsaved friend”. “your unsaved friends need God – bring em to church with you”.

    One of the “fastest growing churches” in Alb. right now has a standard practice for each new series. Right, wrong, or indifferent, here is how it works. Place 2 bussiness card promos in the program a couple weeks before each new sermon series. At the close of the service have everyone stand and hold up their two cards and pray for the people God wants them to invite. And then challenge them to take those cards and give them to two people.

    Impressed or not with the paid pros, people are inviting like crazy and the church is “growing” at an unbelievable rate.

    This whole process trains and enables them to rely upon the “paid pros”. Their job is simply to get them to an event.

  3. Putting it that way makes more sense. I guess I was was being a bit sarcastic because I get tired of the same old thoughts being tossed around. No offense intended. Besides I’ll never give you a simple answer to your questions so forgive me for being a blog-hog.

    It is true that we want people to invite others to the church so they can have an opportunity to hear the gospel, rather than taking the gospel to the people.

    I no longer go to a local church for various reasons. You know that even though I’ve done my share of campaining for the church, my thoughts have always been outside the walls. Questions like this kinda get me a little jacked up, because I can’t figure out why we keep asking the same questions, yet still do the same things.

    What’s the answer then? Paid staff are getting paid to do a job. What that job is should be determined and agreed upon before they take the job. What the body is responsible for is not so clearly defined. This is partly, IMHO, why so many people are leaving organized churches. Too much guilt on the body and too much emphasis on the paid professional to perform unrealistic goals. I and all believers are to love God and love others. Love! That’s not conditional and it’s not fabricated. It should be natural, but it’s not.

    Maybe the answer is for the church to meet with the church to celebrate together, offering up sacrifices of praise and quit investing in earthly temples that they can’t offord and saying they are tools for God to use to reach the lost. Jesus’ tool was his humanity. He used it to the full. The Father revealed himself to this world through his Son; Jesus want to reveal himself to this world though his people.

  4. I’m not quoting anyone. These are thoughts that I’ve had for years. I’m nobody to this world and there are plenty of nobodies out there who are receiving great insite from the Lord. They just don’t have the platform that some do to let the world know through a book. To be honest with you bro I’m done with reading books that have a good idea or two and then following that teaching in the hopes that it’s the next best thing.

    The only thing that matters is Christ and people. My job has gotten less defined and more refined now that I left the local congregation. I know that sounds like I think I know something they don’t, but it’s just the opposite. The less I know the easier it is for me to get to really know the Master and to accept people for who they are.

    Thanks for listening.

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