Friday, November 14, 2014

Poor Naaman - Lived Too Far Away To Be Considered a True Convert

According to a few people, those who don't live near a local orthodox congregation they can in good conscience become members of have "[cut] themselves off from the visible church and [relinquished] all rights to be considered Christians."  I've commented previously on the unbiblical nature, the un-Reformed nature, and the absurd consequences of this position (no wonder I've only encountered four people in human history so far who have held it).

Last night, in family worship, we came to the story of Naaman, who lived in Syria, Israel's enemy, but became a convert to the true religion (2 Kings 5).

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. (2 Kings 5:15-17)

Unfortunately (from the perspective of the four), Naaman returned to Syria, where no doubt he was distant from any local congregation of the true religion.  Too bad.  I've always thought of Naaman as a true convert, but according to the four, he had no right to be considered one, for he lived too far away.  A pity.

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