“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Made the mistake this last week of jumping into the middle of a blog thread regarding a particularly juicy and dicey topic. I usually know better than that but I was wanting clarification on someone’s comment and got sucked in. Then it began: lunge, parry, etc.
I was chastised by an unknown pastor first of all for citing a passage from the Message Bible. Then he berated me for going to great lengths to make Christ and the Word more attractive. His message to me was almost laughable because…
- I’m more than confident that God can fight His own battles without my help.
- I’m not so sure people really have a problem with God and the Bible as much as the messengers.
- People take issue with us as the Church due to our apparent behavior and duplicity. We’re the ones who need to be more “attractive.”
But in order to “make peace,” I asked him to please pray for me. I do not want to compromise and if I am, I want God to convict me of it. I want to be found faithful, to His Word, to His people, and to Him. I want to do what’s right both doctrinally, in practice, and in reaching people. No response. Seems as if all he wanted to do was debate and point fingers, not be part of the solution?
We hear it all the time. People Tweet and post Facebook statuses, saying things they’d never say to a person’s face. Not only are we emboldened because of a lack of accountability and consequences, our inhibitions are lowered and we throw civility and common sense out the window. And to complicate things, everyone in the world can see it as a permanent record of our tirades. Maybe the title should be “x1000?”
I’m just glad that God’s grace and patience is greater than that of His messengers.
I am a person of prayer and a student of the Word. While I do have mentors who speak into my life, I also do my best to be attentive to the Holy Spirit. I try to keep a teachable spirit, not always but I try. But the tone in many of thread posts was more reminiscent of a gang of Pharisees trying to trap Jesus and be enthralled in the sound of their own voices (writing) and bask in their educational prowess. Instead of trying to understand and connect, it was reduced to trying to win an argument. Even those that I tried to calm down turned it back on me as dismissing the truth because of the way it was delivered.
So he still pushed his point while missing mine.
While I do appreciate the desire to preserve God’s Word and guard against heresy and compromise, it is clouded by self-righteousness, arrogance, and an equal amount of obstinance as those we often seek to correct. While God may judge or correct some for flippancy with His Word, He will do the same for the haughty and superior attitude of others. If we’re so liberal with our snarky, sarcastic, and clever remarks towards fellow Christians, how much worse do we treat outsiders who are looking for a reason to believe…so that they could become like us?!!?
I can’t help deny the fact that I found my blood pressure rising a tad, wanting to exchange barbs with those who were “coming after me.” Folks, please let me state this clearly: it’s not worth it. It’s a waste of time. Don’t get sucked into a nonsense thread that won’t yield anything fruitful. Let’s focus our time on speaking life into each other’s souls.
There are 38 “one another” verses in the Bible including:
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
“Be compassionate, be devoted to, honor, accept, be completely humble and gentle with, patient with, submit to, bear with, spur, encourage, live in harmony with, be sympathetic with, be hospitable with…one another.”
And if anything, let’s not entertain an all out brawl where “outsiders” can see us treating each other in such an unChristlike manner.
I guarantee we won’t see them on Sunday morning…