Today I am particularly distressed by a phone conversation I came away from upset and confused and just plain depressed by what I heard.
It wasn’t anything new, I have heard this from ministers and lay members alike for quite some time now. But it is beginning to wear on me. This constant vitriol about all the “evil” in the “ministry”.
I mean sure there is wrong thinking in the ministry, they are after all human beings. But should that be our focus? Is it our responsibility to run out and tell every member that we can find of a ministers group that we believe is teaching harmful doctrine about how evil he is?
Isn’t that kind of thinking causing division? Is that kind of negative teaching to brethren showing love for them or is it just spreading more confusion and division.
I know people who do not even know if they are converted sometimes, they never seem to know what to do about their own lives but they seem to see what to do for their brethren very clearly.
They read James 5:20 and they figure that if they go out and “save” a brother from sin they will cover their own sins, instead of working on their own sins.
I mean Christ tells us not to worry about a brothers sin until we take sin out of our own life so we can see more clearly.
These people are always on the attack, criticizing ministers and attacking the beliefs of others. they act like Christian Attack Dog’s, and the problem is they really seem to think that this is what God wants them to do. Is it? As I said I am confused.
How do we lay down our lives for our brethren? Do we do that by attacking what they believe that we deem is wrong or do we do that by the way we ourselves live?
Our God is a God of balance and I cannot and frankly refuse to believe that we should take up such a negative role as to always be on the attack against our brethren.
As I say I am confused. Paul said:
(Php 4:8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So how do we think on these things if we are forever on the attack. How do we balance the various things that the word tells us;
think on these things….
judge not lest you be judged………..
Why do you judge another man’s servant….
If you see a brother sin….
covers a multitude of sins……..
bear ye one another’s burdens
bear your own burden
take the beam out of your own eye first….
Where is the balance, brethren?
I know that the body of Christ has suffered a terrible apostasy. So that many have been lost and the body of Christ has been scattered. This has caused us to be very conscious of things that are being preached that are wrong. So what does Christ want us to do about that?
Too many of us are spending way to much of our time talking and thinking about all these “evils” that are being perpetuated within the body of Christ. We are quick to assign motives to these men who are perpetuating these “so called” evils. And we spend way too much of our time spreading our thoughts about these things to members of the body of Christ but who are not in our “congregation of the body of Christ”.
I know that there are many of our groups that teach that if a person is not part of that group that they should not speak with that person. I am sure you are aware that I do not hold with that teaching. Yet Mr. Armstrong taught that and it is a legitimate way to protect the flock in your charge from being taught what you believe to be false doctrine.
When we call on a ministers flock and try to teach them that they should leave his flock because we don’t agree with his teaching are we not spreading division from that ministers viewpoint? Is this act in agreement with the Government of God?
Should we consider that these brethren are in fact another man’s servants? He is responsible for them not us and that God will judge His servant that it is not our place to do so? Frankly I do not know. And it upsets me that I do not know.
It’s just that lately it is almost all I hear about. A constant stream of negative thought regarding the ministry in general and a few leaders in particular. It is not that these comments are necessarily wrong in my thinking. But the focus is so negative that it does not ring of God to me. Is this really what God wants us to do? If so why?
Should we not be focused on the congregation that we choose to fellowship with and the ministers whom we have accepted to lead us? In this age of the church where God has allowed his people to be scattered into many different fellowships and under many different leaders. Should we not consider those with whom we do not fellowship to be under God and the responsibility to place His people where He wants them and to train and correct the leaders in each of these scattered congregations and/or groups as He will?
Are we showing love by scattering His people further? I mean IS HE RESPONSIBLE FOR PLACING HIS PEOPLE WHERE HE WANTS THEM? IF NOT HOW DO WE KNOW THAT?
Mat_12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.Mat_26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
We are not one fellowship anymore, we may be one church, but within that church there now resides many governmental organizations. Is it right in God’s eyes that we take it upon ourselves to attack fellowships that obviously have the spirit of God by the doctrine taught. Yet have errors as well. Are there any groups out there where NO ERRORS have crept in. I can’t say that there are in reality.
Brethren this post is me thinking out loud. I have not decided what is the correct position and I am open to your thoughts and posts regarding what is said here today.
What I am saying is that the feeling of negativism I get in many in the church today does not ring true to me. It is distressing, confusing, it divides and causes disagreement and strife all through the body of christ. I do not believe this to be of God. Yet I do not know what god would really want us to do regarding the subject.
1Co_3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
There is a lot of discussion about how we must fellowship with the brethren and that is true. Yet how many brethren could you fellowship with. If you are in a large group that forbids you to fellowship outside there group do you not have plenty of people to fellowship with inside the group? Just how many more could you fellowship with anyway.
And is it called fellowship when there is argument and strife in the conversation. this should not be and I still do not have a handle on what should be taught on the matter.
Think about it for a minute. Look into what Christ is telling us to do in the ERA of His church:
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
I don’t hear him saying anything about going out and trying to take members away from other ministers. He wants us to concentrate on Him and getting closer to Him if we do He will show us what He wants us to do.
He is the one that is working with His ministry. As in Ezk34 and Jer 23. They are His servants and He will judge them. I don’t see it as our prerogative to do so.
I’m just saying……………………
I am adding this to the bottom of the original post to clear up a possible misinterpretation. If you have read this site at all you will know that I do not pull punches when it comes to describing what I think some in the ministry are doing wrong, things that I find harmful to the brethren in their care. It is our responsibility to point out error wherever we find it. But some use a ministers error to attack a brother. As if that brother were committing a sin for being a member of that congregation. that is just wrong people. Pointing out errors is one thing judging and condemning others because of the false teaching of their ministers is crossing a line.
Never ever use a Frontal Attack when trying to help a brother. All that does is close down their minds to any chance to learn the truth. Asking questions is ok showing doubt about something might be in line. BUT the word tells use to treat with a brother as if he is greater than we are.
Php_2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Always we are to treat them with love and patience being soft and gentle with them.
Just thought that I should elaborate a bit before the comments get started. heh heh