Sometimes there is no way around it... sometimes, the law just has to be laid down. Sometimes, no matter how nicely I try and tell people something, there is a chance of a bad perception. Sometimes it’s my fault for the delivery, and sometimes the it was just received wrong, by that I mean the person receiving it didn’t get it right. I once heard the line that its better to be understanding than understood. And I try and live by that. But sometimes, no matter how it’s brought up, there is an offense brought up.
My pastoral side sometimes just wants to throw my arm around folks and encourage. And then at times the prophetic side rises up in me and then I know I have to be careful with what I say. I will say this: we as Christians are to be physicians more than cooks. With that said, its also important to say things in the right spirit/attitude and correct manner. You want to deal with each situation as you feel the Holy Spirit directs you.
I have come across a few arguments, they’re called ‘self-defeating’ arguments because followed out logically, the cancel themselves out. One’s like:
1. There are no absolute truths. Response: You sure about that?
2. Well, that’s right for you but not for me. Response: You try telling that to the cop when they pull you over for speeding, doing a 70 in a 55 (a hypothetical situation). When the officer comes up and says “I caught you doing 70 in a 55. And you say “Well, that may be true for you but not for me.” And you speed off… that just won’t work.
3. Well, I grew up in church and I’m a good person… Response: This one is my favorite one. Because it’s probably the most destructive one. In Revelation, the Laodicean church got all out rebuked for having this type of mentality. They thought they had it going for them, but they were spiritually bankrupt. Leonard Ravenhill said once “How is it that the world couldn’t get on with Jesus who was the holiest man ever to live and yet they can get on with you?”
4. You’re being judgmental! Response: thanks for judging me and thus cancelling yourself out. This is an argument that’s seemingly based out of Matt. 7. What that chapter ISN’T saying is that we’re not to use common sense and wisdom from God and make a judgment call when someone does something stupid… like stealing (just an example). What this chapter is meaning is that we’re not to judge the motives of someone’s heart. Check out this article about it http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=119940306848&h=rf8ZX&u=IP-HP&ref=mf.
Here’s the deal: Jesus had more grace and compassion on the sinners of the day than the religious folks. The woman caught in adultery, go and sin no more. He didn’t excuse or condone her sin. He judged her with love and compassion.
We also need to get a concept of what love REALLY means. True love is rough at times when it’s needed. Sometimes, loving parents have to kick their kids out of the house for being stupid. And honestly, I have more patience with a outright pagan than I do with someone who CLAIMS to be a Christian, but produces no fruit for it. They don’t know the Bible at all, there is no prayer life… stuff like that.
Sometimes, love means discipline… and yes, I believe in spanking. Spanking done in the right spirit produces fruit. I know, I was spanked as a child (and I continually thank my parents for it to this day.)
Lately, its seems like the church (talking about the body as a whole) is in this huge identity crisis. It seems more like a big social club gathering, and instead of actually addressing issues, we’ve turned a blind eye to it.
A solution to all of this: For one thing, quit giving the Lord lip service. In Jeremiah it says that we honor the Lord with our lips but our hearts are far from Him. We put on a mask and sadly, we can fool a good number of folks. Two: be honest with the Lord and with yourself. Three: it’s time to get the presence of God back into the body. We’ve traded the presence of God for our churchy programs. I’m not against programs necessarily. I teach at our Royal Rangers program once a week at my church. But more than anything, my desire is for the body of Christ to experience the manifest presence of God. Trust me when I say that 30 seconds in the presence of God can and will do the work of hours and hours of sermons/messages. And those messages aren’t a bad thing necessarily. We need good solid Biblical teaching. But just seconds in Daddy’s presence will do the work of tons of sermons.
All of this isn’t really anything new. Most of it was due to recent conversations I’ve had with folks who were very well meaning, and I just wanted to set the record straight on a couple things.
I’m not afraid to necessarily pull ideas from various sources, but just to let everyone know in reading this that the Bible is my foremost authority. I get a lot of concepts and ideas from various sources and everything is taken by to scripture and scrutinized according to Biblical principles. So I welcome your comments but be mindful that I do use discretion and if I feel the comment needs to be pulled, this is my site and I hold that right. But everything will be done in a Biblical order.
I forgot to mention some websites to check out: