Which of the 7 churches in Revelations best describes AME Church

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Revelations depicts seven churches begining at the 2nd chapter. All have issues, all are given a word of instruction, encouragement, condemnation or promise. It might be interesting for us to discuss which church best describes the AME church; which description is least applicable. Anyone have any thoughts on this?? Would you say we AME's are more like the church at Laodicea? or perhaps Ephesus? maybe even Philadelphia? What do you think?

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000


Ah, Counselor, you raise the bar to such a high standard! The "correct" answer is - "All of them!"

Throughout the connection there are churches that reflect the diversity of spiritual maturity that Christ was addressing in the two chapters. We are blessed to have a handful of ephesian churches, minsitries full of programs and activities. But the question at such places becomes "How do the people feel about God?" We also may find, in looking around, churches and pulpits rich in tradition. I talked to a Presiding Elder in Texas once about such a church, and he referred to it as a "silk stocking" church, for its members were typically the educated of that generation, as opposed to the "low" AME church just a few blocks down the corner, where the working folk went. Perhaps Laodicea is alive in such places, who are more concerned about their historic landmark organs and donated pews than about saving the souls of others (or even improving their own souls). If we search around the connection I am sure we will also find churches where modern Jezebels rule from behind closed doors, leading congregations away from the true gospel into manifestations rife with demonic influence. Or we may find pastors who have become enamored of so many of the non-AME television ministries, and spout the Gospel according to Evangelist X rather than the true and COMPLETE word of Jesus Christ.

But the AME church is not without hope. I know there are places, both large and small, new and old, where the fervor and fire of the Lord still burn. And in spite of our view of the recent tumultuous GenCon, despite being planted in a society sweltering with the burning desire of its own lusts or in a nation torn by strife and internal rebellion, despite being relegated to the end of the list of "plum" assignments and cherished appointments, these charges cling steadfastly to the God of our weary years, the God of our silent tears. For such charges as these, the rewards may not be new carpeting, patched roofs, central air conditioning, freshly painted clapboards, lovingly repaired stained glass or donated leftover computers; the reward will be a crown in heaven bestowed by the Father Himself.

Yes, Counselor, I believe that all 7 of the Revelation Churches may be found in the AME church. And now, let us pray.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000

Oh my brother Payne, thou who runneth over with sanctified erudition and divine sagacity, may I simply say "Go head on wit' ya bad self!!" I can't pray right now cause I feel a shout coming on! But you know as I think about this question as it relates to the church as a connectional body for some reason I keep coming back to the church at Laodicea. I keep trying to shake that one from my mind and try to convince myself that we are more like Ephesus that had a lot of good things going on but they had forsaken their first love. Its a scary thing if we are most like The First Church of Laodicea. To them the words of "the Amen, the faithful and true witness" are chilling--"you are neither hot nor cold--you think you are rich but you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." But then the most frightening thing of all is if you look at the 3rd chapter, verse 20 there is the "Amen" standing outside the church knocking."Behold I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I'll come in." Laodicea had Christ on the outside of the church knocking trying to get in. Lord I pray we are a little better than Laodicea. But even if that best describes us if we ever let him in, then as a connectional body, eye hath not seen nor ear heard what we can become if we ever let him in not just in our local churches but in our collective body Whew! Its unspeakable, unthinkable what we would become. Peace.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000

Jerryl & Vernon, This is a fascinating question and response. Initially I was uncomfortable with Jerryl's response which suggested our Zion was a composite of all seven churches. The very thought of being in company with Jezebel I thought slightly short of character assassination. Considering our historic start commenced in Philadelphia I thought its namesake in Revelations 3 would be the easy answer or perhaps the indeciveness of the Laodiceans. Upon closer reading of the text and Jerryl's response I indeed see similarities. Perhaps what some of our churches could use more of is the tenacity in Bible study exemplified by the early church in Berea described in the Book of Acts.

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2000

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