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I have a love for sound doctrine, I also have a burden for souls. There should be no conflict here, but in this imperfect world that groans for His coming to make all things right, I perceive a danger to the vast crowd of unreached, hell-bound, misguided, people we are called to love. It is easy for them to get caught in the cross-fire. As we shoot at each other, to no real result, there are casualties occurring on the sidelines about which we need to be sensitive.
Allow me to make some opening statements to set up my argument.
- The majority of Americans are biblical ignorant
- Critical, logical thinking is not taught nor esteemed
- To unbelievers we are all one big group, Christians. They do not understand or recognize our sub-groups that we so highly value. They do not give a fig for Calvinist, Charismatic, fundamental, Liturgical, or any other label with which we are so familiar
- Joel Olsteen, The Pope, John MacArthur are all in the same group to them, “church guys”
- The general populations ignorance of theology is matched by an ignorance of History. I was actually heartened to read C.S. Lewis describing the average RAF member’s idea of history as, a time long ago, when there were knights, and cowboys and Indians, and most likely dragons, but not in any real order
- 17% of American casualties in Desert Storm were from “Friendly fire”
- There are some denominations that really creep me out, I have no doubt they are in error
- One tool Islam has used since the Qu’ran is to point to the disunity in Christendom
- We have a whole lot of disunity
Let it be understood that there are some “preachers” out there that I would really like to meet in the deep woods. I am an egotistical sinner, enough to think that a lesson in self defence, [that is what I would call it, I am a great rationalizer], would do some of the “Jesus Tokers”, “Spirit Drunks”, false Healers, and out right charlatans a world of good. Let me knot up a scourge and go to town before I get too old to do it. When I see some of the crazy things called Christian on youtube I get enough indignation , I think it is righteous, to smack the babble out of some of these fellows mouths. There I confessed. But I want to do it in the deep woods, not to avoid witnesses, but so that I am not a bad witness myself.
I have been married thirty years, [ by the way, I am praying this does Not work like a mortgage, 30 and out], and believe it or not, my lovely wife and I have fought. I do not mind fighting, but we never wanted to do it in front of the children. You see that is what we are in large part doing as Christians. We meat eaters are fighting in front of children who have yet to taste milk!
I am trying to treat some of the Christians whose behavior I just can not stand as the crazy uncle at the family reunion, he is going to be there, just ignore him. I need to do this because there is a world of unsaved people who need me to be loving and explain the Word to them. This burden must out desire to criticize the other team no matter who that might be. It is perfectly allowable to suggest that the way I believe and worship makes more sense to me, but it does no good to brand another as apostate to make myself look better. Have you seen any of these evangelistic methods work?
- Why most people who say they are “Christian” are lost
- There is only one way to Heaven and we meet at 9 am
- Don’t be fooled by all the crosses on the steeples, it is a decoration
- Here is a list of famous preachers going to Hell
How hard is it to come up with a blog roll that says just that? The blogosphere is chock full of Critics for Christ. Jesus told us to go forth and make disciples, not go forth and criticize. Let us attempt to correct each other in love and understanding, not in arrogance and hostility. How many friendy fire casualties are acceptable in this war? It is entirely acceptable to speak what you perceive to be the truth but do it in love, and with understanding not judgement. I am strongly of the opinion that many are wrong, but I can not call them unsaved, that is well above my authority. I guess Peter said it best in his first letter, 3: 8,9
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Who does this encompass? The people in your pew, your church, your denomination? I do not have the wherewithal to judge that. If God is the Father, Christ is His virgin born son, Savior of mankind, and the Holy Spirit is the promised guide and comforter,then we have much in common.
Triage is the skill of putting resources to their best possible use by keeping first things first. Think of the lost first, then deal with the misguided, and don’t let the kids see you fight.
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