I made a comment in Bible study, on September 1, 2010, and got a sharp response for my statement. I stand by my statement. It is time to stand for truth and set aside personalities, for the good of Jesus and the cause of Christ.
I, personally, have been urge (passively and directly) to allow those who do not wish to worship as I choose to covertly control the doctrinal agenda of the church. For me to submit to this subversion would be sin.
I, personally, know the destructive damage deep held resentments bring to the soul of a human being. I once allowed resentments to drive me head long in to on coming traffic in a collision course with hell fire for 32 years of worthless and wasted life. I will not, again, give away Jesus for the sake of holding resentment and causing harm to the only salvation I have known: For myself or for others yet to come to Jesus.
My question for these people is simple: If someone is filled with “resentment and ugly talk about others,” which is the sinner? The person or persons being talked ugly about or the people doing the ugly talking?
Obviously, it’s possible that all are sinners, but the one being resented or talked ugly about may or may not be a sinner. The one doing the resenting and ugly talk is always a sinner.
(Mar 7:21-23 ESV) “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
(2Co 12:20 ESV) “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish–that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.”
(Eph 4:31 ESV) “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
(Col 3:8 ESV) “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
(1Pe 2:1 ESV) “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”
These behaviors are simply not permitted to Christians. Period. And I can’t conceive of an ethic that says, “You can’t do that, because it’ll make me slander you!” That’d be unthinkably wrong. The sinners don’t set the agenda. The sinners don’t get to use their sinfulness to control others.
Rather, we need to call on the immature among us to be true to our calling.
(Gal 5:22-24 ESV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
(Tit 2:11-15 ESV) “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
(2Pe 1:5-8 ESV) “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The fact that we are slandered and resented is cause for celebration!
(Mat 5:11-12 ESV) “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
(Luk 6:22-23 ESV) “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”
(1Pe 4:14-16 ESV) “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”
Should we prefer to be among those suffering ugly talk and resentment, or those guilty of ugly talk and resentment?
Of course, we could capitulate to the persecutors and submit to their version of Christianity, but this would be as wrong as could be.
(1Co 7:22-23 ESV) “For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.”
(Gal 5:1 ESV) “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
(1Pe 2:15-16 ESV) “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
The last thing a Christian should do is give control over those who pervert the gospel into a legal system, seeking justification by works.
But if they would slander someone for disagreeing with them over human issues and opinion of interpretation, they are already guilty of sin, because their hearts haven’t yet submitted to the Spirit of Christ. People whose hearts are filled with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” may well disagree with me, but they will not be hateful towards me.
Yes, there are those who behave abominably in response to disagreement, and in doing so, they show themselves to be Spirit-less, weak, untransformed Christians. The cure is for them to honor God’s word, and the last thing we should do is kowtow to them and gives them de facto control of God’s church. These are not the people who should be in authority among us.
It is time to stand for Jesus and put an end to childishness and pettiness.
Hugs, Guy Lewis
September 6, 2010 Payson, Arizona
(This was written with the help and permission of Jay G. of Texas)
It has been brought to my attention that my post of “Sin Justified is Still Sin” appears directed to ONLY the leadership of the church.
This is not true and was not my intent.
My post is 100% directed to any person, family, or group of individuals that work for arrogant, selfish, and spoiled brat reasons to destroy the local church – COVERTLY or OVERTLY.
Anytime – anyone – puts their human understanding before the work of the Lord – It Is Sin. PERIOD.
Jesus said the world would know Christians by their love – Jesus did not say the world would know Christians by their In-House Wars and Petty Sibling Squabbles.
So please view this post as being directed to every individual that has taken part in harming the church by arrogantly viewing themselves above all others in views, understanding and opinion. Everything human that is justified to divide or damage the church is sin.
Binding human ideas, thoughts and opinion is never above the doctrine of Jesus Christ.