No Gonggoosmosing

Written by Mike Underwood on .

 

Bible 19 EditedDo you know what gonggoosmos is? It's what people do when the preacher starts talking about Greek words. In Philippians 2:14 Paul says, do all things without gonggoosmos (murmuring).

If you think about it, our word "murmuring" sounds a lot like what it is and I think the same is true of the Greek word gongoosmos. The English language describes it a an onomatopoeia. Any way, Paul says don't do it. So, the next time I start talking about what a Greek word from the New Testament means, don't gonggoosmos. You may remember in Acts 6 where the Grecian widows were not being properly taken care of. It says that the Grecian Jews complained or murmured about it. It is the same word. It is also the same word used in John 7:12 when the Jews gathering in Jerusalem for the feast were anticipating Jesus' coming. While they were looking for Him there was some discussion as to whether or not He was a good person or a deceiver. It says they were murmuring about it. Murmuring is seldom considered an admirable trait. Paul says don't do it.

In the same verse Paul says. "Do all things without disputing." So what is disputing? It's not hard to figure that one out. Turn on the TV, pick any channel and you will find the Democrats and the Republicans doing it. They are just fighting, and they will do it about any thing. You and I and 95 percent of the rest of America are sick to death of it, but they think their disputing will make us vote for them. Who knows why politicians think like they do? This is one of the reasons we do not engage in political rhetoric in our assemblies. We don't tell you how to vote. We don't promote a particular candidate. We don't even say that you should or should not vote. In fact, the elders strongly insist that if you want to have those kinds of conversations, do it at home. But even then, mean-spirited wrangling is not encouraged. Paul has already said in Philippians 1:27 that we are called upon to conduct ourselves as citizens of God's kingdom.

According to Paul's thought, murmuring and disputing makes us look and sound more like the world than like children of God. Here, read it for yourself: Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life..." While everyone, or most everyone, has a political opinion, and while we have freedom as Americans to voice them, when we come together as children of God it is the unity of the Spirit of God that we want to promote. Such unity requires "lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:1-4), and American politics promotes none of that.

As elders we ask, when you go to the polls in the coming weeks (or even if you choose not to), that you remember the training (schooling) you have received in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-24). If you choose to vote, vote for the one that you believe will uphold Christian values and God's purposes. In most cases, those who are running for political office are concerned about neither of these things (unless they are speaking to an audience they believe to be religious). They are not children of light and they do not think like new creatures whose hearts are being circumcised and renewed. It is for that reason that the elders here do not want the church to be involved in murmurings and disputing about politics in our assemblies - the politicians do not truly represent us or the Lord. Our citizenship is in heaven and we are left here in the world for a time to represent God's purposes. That is who and what we are as a church.

Sometimes political ideologies cross theological lines. When world or national leaders make rulings that require Christians to act contrary to God's will, then our responsibility is to God and not the world/national leaders. It is not our place to start a rebellion or be involved in a mob scene. We are simply to go about our business doing God's will. In times past this has brought persecution upon the church. But God has never forsaken His people or His purpose. Neither the lions of Rome, the terror of Islam, the sword of Catholicism, or any other man-made force can prevail against the church of Lord. So, in the words of Paul, rather than promoting the political disharmony that currently exists in our nation, let's spend our time and energies promoting Christ. Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.