Category Archives: Congregations

CHURCHES CHOOSE BETWEEN FEAR AND HOPE.

The Tension between Fear of Death and Hope of Faith

In Hebrews 13:5, we read: “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’” That is perhaps even harder for an institution than it is for an individual. It was not money but the love of money that was considered the root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)

The problem for an institution is that it is a principality whose main focus is the avoidance of death. Those who serve on the governing bodies of institutions may be open to all sorts of proposals but the one accusation that they most want to avoid is being part of the decision which leads to the death of the institution.

Since in our world an institution can survive almost any challenge as long as it is financially solvent, the reoccurring temptation is to want to make fiscally conservative decisions. Death is the god which contends with God for obedience in the life of any principality. The church, only by the grace of God, is able to recognize that Christ, not death, is its head.

Paul declares that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) The vision of that faith is lifted up in the Body of Christ even when, like Peter walking on water towards Jesus, we are overwhelmed by the fear of the waves and begin to sink. (Matthew 14:28) And, like to Peter, Jesus repeatedly reaches out his hand and lifts up his Body