What a week. The shipwreck was bad enough, without getting another missive about those pesky Galatians. Honestly. Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile. Always the same. You set up a church, pour your heart and soul into giving them sound teaching and gospel basics. Grace my friends, it’s all about grace. ‘Yes’, they chorus, ‘Absolutely. Don’t worry about us Paul – we’ll be juust fine. Now, off you poddle – to another church that really needs you. The Corinthians for example – now there’s a tricky bunch’.
So off you go. Not without a few misgivings – but you’re probably overthinking it. What can go wrong? After all, they were lapping up the gospel. Chuffed to bits with Jesus. It still feels like being ripped away, but that’s ministry. They’ve promised to write.
Weeks pass. Then months – and still, no word. Finally, some disturbing reports start to filter through. Trouble at mill – and not just with the usual suspects. You’ve only just left – but already they’re deserting the gospel basics. Astonishing! If you didn’t love them so much, you’d strangle them. Over and over you told them – it’s all about Jesus. About what He’s done. Beginning to end. But having started so well, they’re adding on bits. Well, that’s not quite true. In actual fact they’re talking about chopping them off. Circumcision. And the latest super apostle diet. Bigger than Atkins, they say.
It gets worse. Even Pete and Barny have been swayed as well. Saying one thing, but then advocating another. Gospel plus. What is with us? If I’m learning anything, it’s that strength comes from weakness. The one who washed our feet and died for us – He’s the real Lord. Yet dependence is so difficult. It’s hard to be broken . Far easier to start with Jesus and then top up with a our own efforts.