The Unfortunate Victims of Cross-Fire
August 28, 2009, 22:52
Filed under: Uncategorized
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! James 3:5 NASB

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.

Fight nice Christian Children, Your Father is watching!

Fight nice Christian Children, Your Father is watching!

5 Comments so far
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Brother Willis, I have no doubt we have our differences theologically, but I love your gentle demeanor and sweet spirit. This is one of the best arguments I have heard, yet, for looking past our differences and embracing our similarities – not for our own sake, but for the sake of God’s children.
If I served a church near yours, I have little doubt that yours would be a frequent stop on my search for spiritual food.
May blessings continue to accrue for your ministry.

Comment by Rev Andy Little

You are always welcome! I would imagine that our differences of opinion would center on the details, not in the practice or central issues of the faith.
I have sat on ordination boards, and considered it a great honor, but I have never been ordained, as i know there are a few points that would cause embarrasement in for all in the room.
My dream is that we will magnify our God so that our differences seems minuscule compared to His greatness.
I would like to pursue the possible differences we have, but i see in your writings a love for the lowest, and that, my brother, we share in Christ, who stooped so low as to touch the likes of you and I.

Comment by willohroots

“•Joel Olsteen, The Pope, John MacArthur are all in the same group to them”
I know that to be true, but when you put it out there so plainly…
Holy Spirit, please be with us.

I’ve found Google to be a useful tool in fighting my own religious bigotry. It’s humbling to realize most basic doctrine is very close in nature.

What’s that old saying, about the devil being in the details? 😉

Comment by Shawn W

I just wanted to give a hearty amen as well. This is a lesson I am still learning to be sure. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself and find myself taking someone to task. Lord willing, I will keep growing in grace to match my growth in truth so that they will be better balanced.
I have to say that I love the picture though. Is it wrong to like that picture so much? 🙂

Comment by jeofurry

I hope not, brother! The story behind it is that those two nuns came from a equatorial area and had never seen snow before.

Comment by willohroots

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