I had the joy of visiting four men at Daybreak ranging in age from 64 to 82. There was a fifth that I haven’t seen in a while and I found out today he died last week. He was about 74. It was a reminder that death comes to us all.
As I describe in video form, I walked five miles today making my 20 mile total for the week. The youngest man I visited lives in a wheelchair and can’t walk 20 feet. But he is a human being created in the image of God, as are the rest. For me, this is what “going to church” is right now in the model of Paul in Acts 20:20, going from house to house. But the level of conversation was paper thing, which I suggest is typical for the institutional church. But unlike the institutional church we had dialog and not monologue.
Later I had an hour plus conversation with serious depth on Scripture. We started where we have been for some months in Luke 17 with the unworthy slave and focused on where do we see this concept elsewhere? We found a vast amount and it was inspiring and a joy.
The point is we need both. We need to be able to show love to those who have little to no grasp of the depth of Scripture or the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, but then dig deep with those who can to mutually encourage each other as we individually wrestle with the Lord as we see with Jacob in Genesis 32. It is somewhat like Matthew 23:23, in that I am trying to do both.
One of our focus verses was Titus 2:2 “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.” The “Older men” is the same root, “presbutēs”, as we seen in the previous chapter describing “elders” which is NOT an ordained office in the institutional church.
We also read Job 38:3, and 40:7 where the Lord states “Dress for action like a man”. When considering “sound in faith” in Titus there is a consistency in that the man the Lord speaks to we see in the Brown-Driver-Briggs definition as “man, strong man, warrior (emphasizing strength or ability to fight)”. I suggest when considering things like 1Peter3:15 and 2Tim4:2-3, the call to be a man sound in faith and one who loves and preservers, is one who is willing to dialog and not run from a challenge.
The model set before my family by those in North Carolina, including Jim Cross and Chris Bitterman, is running, or dare I state again cowardice. The model of love is one who patiently preservers and seeks reconciliation.