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Summary: There are millions of people today who live together, enjoy each other's company but do not share a relationship of mutual trust and commitment. On the outside they look happy, but on the inside they are unwilling or unable to make a full commitment.

SHACKING WITH THE CHURCH-

There are millions of people today who live together, enjoy each

other's company but do not share a relationship of mutual trust and

commitment. On the outside they look happy, but on the inside they

are unwilling or unable to make a full commitment.

One of the unique contributions African-Americans ha've-'made to

the English language is a wealth of colloquialisms. One of these

colloquialisms is the term "shacking." It is a phrase that describes

a man and woman that live together as husband and wife, without the

benefit of marriage. The legal systems refers to such arrangements

as common-law or unofficial marriages, we call it "shacking."

In its broadest meaning "shacking" is an expression of fear, or

distrust. It occurs when one or both partners refuse to commit themselves,

even in private, to a life of mutual sharing. Consider what

could easily be described as the "Shacker's Wedding Vow:11 which would

go something like this:

Dearly beloved we are gathered here today because this man and

this woman refuse to join themselves in holy wedlock. Since marriage

is holy and acceptable to God, we are here today to acknowledge that

this man and this woman have decided to live together without a

commitment to each other even if it is unacceptable and unholy to

God.

There are no rings or symbols of a marriage because others who

might see either of them will know they are no longer available.

They pledge to be together as long times escape them and their relationship does not become inconvenient. They don't promise each other anything and they only pledge pledge to be together as long as things work out or until a better looking or more sucessful person come along. With that the shacker may now salute the shackee." The shacking relationship that exist between some couples is one based upon receiving without giving and sharing without trusting.

Just as there are some persons who shack

with their partners there are others whose relationship to Christ and

the church bears a striking relationship to "shacking. " They seek to

get all from him that they can without making a full commitment to

him, and without trusting him totally. While there is a large number

of people who are shacking with each other, there is an even larger

number of people who are "Shacking With The Church."

As Christians, we know that our Lord loves us totally and

completely. Christ love for us is not the question, but our love for Christ is questionable.The Christian relationship with Christ is one of full committment and trust. It is the mnarriage bond between the bride and the bridegroom that we seek to acheive. Any thing less would make us guilty of shacking with the church." So just in case you are not a Tither, but a Dues Payer You're "Shacking With The Church." If you don't, attend Bible Study then you're "Shacking With The Church."

If you don't attend Prayer Meeting, Church School, or'Midweek

Services you are "Shacking With The Church."

This text focuses on Paul as he writes to the church at Corinth

about his desire for them to remain fully committed to the cause of

Christ. Paul expressed his desire that the Corinthian church would

remain faithful to Christ such that it could be presented as a

spotless "Virgin" to the bridegroom, which is Christ, when he

returns . The imagery of the bride and bridegroom is often used in

Scripture to represent the sum total of believers and their

relationship to Christ. Generally the bride is always symbolic of the people of God. In the Old Testament the prophets often u^ed the

imagery of the bride to suggest the repeated adulteries of the people against God who acted as a loving husband. Hosea's marriage to a harlot was a striking example of how an adulterous relationship exist between between a backsliding people and a loving God.

In the New Testament and image of the bride often refers to the

church and its relationship to Christ. The bride, in Revelation also

represented the sum total of all believers: those before Christ, the

church, and the 144,000 Jews and large mass of people that John saw

which were uncountable coming out of the tribulation having washed

their robes in the blood of the lamb. All believers, whether Old

Testament or New Testament are represented by the image of the bride.

In the Old Testament,God was representing by the loving father. In the New Testament Christ is represented by the image of the bridegroom. Both the bride and bridegroom are spoken of as preparing

to meet each other. The bridegroom has gone to prepare a place for

the bride and the bride is waiting patiently for his return.

Paul told the Church at Corinth that he wanted it to remain

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