March 10, 2010
There are two possibilities: either we are being hateful, fearful, and arrogant or because we genuinely care about preserving the Gospel.
Thank the Lord for the 'St Pauls' among us who will be straight enough to call a spade a spade. Only this month we have had a local member of our ministers fraternal arguing for the inclusion of Latter Day Saints in our local Bible in schools team ! There is no need for 'hate speech' but sound doctrine is vital. With most of the 'christian' cults originating from the U.S.A.you should know this.
Jesus knew it would tough. His last prayer with the disciples was that "they may be one, Father, as You and I are one." It seems that he didn't prayer this to fill out the prayer - he knew us too well.
When those I disagree with do it, it's usually the former; when I do, it's almost always the latter. :)
Me, too.<br><br>And that brings up a question: what's the difference? Surely Paul was fine with excluding the heretic - was he just being hateful, fearful and arrogant? How do we know when we're being hateful and how do we know when we're preserving the Gospel?
Thanks for your perspective. Even though there are real and substantive disagreements between believers, I am a firm believer in humility! Interestingly, I now belong to a church that a former hero of my faith would label as "heretical."
Calling oneself a Christian to me simply means one has an affinity for Christ and respect for the Bible. It is a self-identification that I usually donâ€™t question. More helpful distinctions would be born-again, emergent, liberal, spirit-filled, saved, charismatic, evangelical etc. Those labels are much more descriptive, much easier to define and not necessarily pejorative.
As a more conservatively-minded Christian, I find that I am all too often chastised (and that is putting it nicely) for holding a more "black-and-white" view of Scripture. I've heard every label in the book!--and this from fellow Christians who are more liberally-minded that I. What a shame.
I do think that calling truth, truth (i trust that's the general basis for most that would fit under the category of the above poster's "spade a spade" comment) is essential. I just think there is a difference between feeling loving pain for those who have drifted and trying to reason with or pray for or having constructive conversation......and simply saying "i hate that effing heretic". that may sound extreme...but honestly, that's the base of the kind of things I've been hearing a lot lately or at least the tone comes across that way so they may as well say it.
I think you hit the nail on the head. The issue isn't whether or not we should defend truth, clearly the Bible dictates we should. However, too many people (myself included) have a tendency to forget the Bible truth about a haughty spirit. We can have conflicts, but let us handle them while demonstrating the humility of Christ.
I just finished a book about this very topic called "Your Church is Too Small." He spends quite a bit of time talking about truth and how to discuss differences among Christians. He was quite clear that if we are defining one another as "Christian" or "Not-Christian" and not dealing with the ideas behind the issue we are being sinful. I think I agree with him. Scripture gives us plenty of advice on how to deal with people we disagree with. The problem is that we often don't follow it. <br><br>At the risk of self promotion Here is a link to my blog post about the topic. <a href="http://www.mrshields.com/?p=679" rel="nofollow">http://www.mrshields.com/?p=67...</a>
In my case, I belong to a very politically conservative church, yet I am branded a liberal (when in fact I am more in the middle). After so many "discussions" where I try to remain as Christ-like as possible, sometimes I blow it and become disparaging. I always feel horrid afterward, and pray for God's continued help in guiding my tongue. But I have to admit that I wonder if the other person ever feels this way, because I am continually blasted for my more liberal beliefs.
I echo your thoughts ... but from the more conservative end of the continuum. Your honesty and transparency are refreshing (though your comments were a bit like looking in the mirror for me...ouch!). I am perfectly confident that we could sit down together and have a fine conversation. :-)
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