Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Hate the Attack Mode - Be the Blessing not the Curse

I am Not a world class biblical scholar or a classical linguist. Just me, with the aid of the Holy Spirit and a near infinite supply of Bible Translations on my computer and/or on my phone, combined with a all too overwhelming supply of historical work and real time translation of Greek and Hebrew. But mostly, just reading the bible everyday, for 20 years.

One of the sorrows in my life is hearing the word twisted and pointed at a Christian Denomination or a Pastor, as if we, or more personally, I, am not twisted too. As if I am somehow the second human in the history of the world to have avoided the contamination of sin, and am so clean, I can be my brothers or sisters Judge.

Most assuredly, the scripture asks, no, tells us how to correct a brother we think is in error, and demands that we do so; but notice, when I quote it below, that there is no ancient equivalent to "post it on face book," or "Twitter Bomb," them if they are evil. There are many directives on not hurling curses at them however. Think about it for a second. If your final conclusion is that they are not of Christ, why waste your energy on condemning them; it's not your job. They are of the world, and we are NOT to hold them to our standard. A really good example of what Jesus would do in the face of "capital" sin, by one who did not claim knowledge of God, is John 8:7 (ESV) When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

 Just Love them, just as Jesus did. If they are a fellow follower of Jesus, to whose advantage is their public slaughter, other than Satan of course.
Matthew 18:15-17 (ESV) Tells us how to deal with issues with brothers. "“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."  (Just a question though.  How did Jesus talk to and treat tax collectors?  You know, like Matthew, they guy who the Holy Spirit used to write this Gospel. Matthew 9:9  (ESV). )

Why talk to him the first time alone,  rather than just go tell him how evil and un-Godly his behavior is? 

I will give you an example.  A close friend recently gave me some news about a pastor, whom I follow and read and trust, dealing with Eastern Thought, specifically Meditation.  I know quite a bit about that, because in the '70s I was into TM hook line and sinker.  I was way past exploring it, I have since discovered it's non-biblical roots and its traps.  For me, it was the serpent that encouraged me to be god, rather than follow God. I flipped out at hearing this news.  How Could he, I thought.  That particular form of eastern thought is a pillar in a non-Christ religious system.  When the founder was asked in the late 70's why they had dropped the official sanction of religion in TM, he said that it did not matter if the practitioners knew they were talking to the cosmic consciousness or not.  They were talking to he/it, and he/it talked back.  In other words, if you practice mediation like TM, you are hooked on not-God even if you think you are not.  So I whipped out a killer crush email to this pastor.  Good thing for me that it was stopped by his official office staff wall of protection, as I got standard boiler plate email in response.  Like you get from your Representative to congress when you email them.  Thank you for caring.  Pastor XXXX is happy to help. Blah Blah Blah.Etc.  

Now I was really angry.  I tried step one, talking to him directly, and failed.  Well, kinda step one.  Writing and email is not like talking to someone face to face or on the phone.  It is the cowards way out.  Face to face or voice to voice requires a higher degree of social grace.  Any fool can email.  I was any fool.

So I skipped step two, and went to my pastor to tell him how wrong he was, and did not know he was wrong, because his friend was sponsoring this evil pastor who was dealing with Eastern Thought.  Shame on him.  My super power personal experience would be enough to convince anyone with a lesser experience.

My pastor listened to my rant.  When I came up for air, he told me that this pastor was NOT suggesting the use of meditation as I knew it.  Rather, he was allowing these non-christian elements into his sphere, because it was most likely the only way he could get them into a church, to hear the gospel.  He was operating under the totally Christ-like behavior of talking to everyone, especially the tax collections and thieves, buy showing them the churches love, and then telling them the truth.

Oh, I said.  He is preaching to them when they are in his church?

Yes, that is the only reason he is doing it.

I do that in Sunday School.  I don't care which friends the students bring.  Saved, or unsaved, Jesus loves them.  Unsaved, however, need the word even more.  Yea to the unsaved coming to Sunday School because it is Fun, rather than for God.  Who cares why they first came, as long as all the time they hear the word and feel the love of Christ.

So, now all such attacks seem the same to me.  Catholics are twisted.  Really?  Without them, there would be no church.  They stood up for Christ when no one else would for 1500 years.  Did the Catholics make mistakes?  Sure.  Has your denomination?  Sure.

I teach martial arts.  In my town some not so nice person is putting up posters everywhere that tell you to google Martial Arts and Sex Crimes.  Why?  Because he wants people to think there is a connection.  What do you think you will find if you google that?  Martial Arts and Sex crimes is my guess.  Duh.  If you would google Martial Arts and Changing Lives you would find a lot too.  You get what you look for.  This guy is angry.

So, let me google some things for you.

Is 1.2 Million a Lot?

1.4 Million for Those Who Preach Christ

I'm a Baptist ....  Am I therefor Evil?

If you are looking for dirt to throw at your fellow Christians, it's not hard to find. But that is not what we are supposed to do.

I know we are supposed to be each other's humble servants: John 13:14 (NIV) "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet."

I know we are supposed to honor one another: Romans 12:10 (NIV) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I know we are supposed to be convinced that we are all full of goodness: Romans 15:14 (NIV) I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

I know we are supposed to be patient with each other: Ephesians 4:2 (NIV) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I know we are supposed to encourage each other so sin will not get us down: Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

So, I want to apologize for all the harsh not so blessing filled things I have ever said about or to any fellow brothers and sister's in Christ.  We are not supposed to be about that.  We are supposed to be about love.

Spread the Word.  God is Love.  None of us is worthy at all, much less more worthy than another fellow Christian. Spread the Word.  We are the hands and feet of Christ, and each other's servants.  Let us begin to change the world with the Word and Power and Christ. Today.  Right Now.

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