Is The Church a Secret Society
Is the Church a Secret Society?
Just the other day I heard a phrase that got me to thinking, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Los Vegas is like many other big cities in the world, in that often people have a sense of anonymity in them. Yet it would seem from the slogan, Vegas wants to applaud that anonymity in such a way that we wouldn’t want anyone to know we were there, little lone what we may, or may not have done there.
One might understandably ask what in the world someone would wonder about in relation to the church in this phrase. It got me to thinking about “Secrets”. Benjamin Franklin said, “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” Poor Richard’s Almanac. Someone else said, “I never liked secrets, never knew one to be kept.”
Secrets seem to be a common part of life in every society of mankind. Literature is full of all kinds of tales concerning secrets. One seems to see them everywhere, from the most benign ones of a first grader to secrets in high places of government. In fact, one presidential candidate has been much maligned because secrets may or may not have been shared.
So as I thought about secrets and the church I wondered what place they may have in the body of Christ. Surely, no one would say the “Good News” of Jesus is or should be a secret. Of course, the beatitudes Christians are exhorted to possess are secret to none. Likewise, excellencies of 2 Peter 1, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control… are not to be secret but on the contrary to be added to ur belief in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In fact, over the many years, I have been a Christians the only secrets I have been asked to keep concern attitudes and or actions not consistent with the precepts of Christianity or some nefarious action someone wants to take which is anti-Christian and they know it.
Indeed, even these things are to be shared with the body of Christ so we may help and pray for each other. With-out a doubt there is not place in the Church for secrets.
James 5:12 ¶ But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes,” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment. 13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.