Jesus, Light, Revelation

Back on My Soapbox, Banging My Well-Worn Drum….

I hear you typing with your arrogant bravado. Slapping one another on the back with a hearty amen as you mock and ridicule and judge and slay your brothers and sisters in Christ. YOU have theology and doctrine all figured out and tied up in a tight, neat bow, and since their package does not look exactly like yours, they must be wrong, wrong, WRONG!

And I can’t help wondering whether you EVER stop to consider that maybe THEY are right and You are wrong. Or even that you might BOTH be right and you might both be wrong.

You say the Bible clearly says this and clearly says that and I think to myself, Where?

I’m guessing that it is your pastor and your Sunday School teachers and your well worn denominational traditions that clearly say it, not the Bible.

Just this week I’ve come across Christians who feel justified in judging and condemning Rob Bell (with whom I disagree, but whom I do not judge) and mocking and ridiculing Rod Parsley.

Some are so busy calling a spade a spade, that they have not taken the time to really get to know God at all. If they did, they would discover that the One they follow does not scoff or mock or ridicule.

A careful reading of the letters that Jesus dictated to the seven churches, as recorded in Revelation 2 and 3, would show you that He actually considers a lack of love (and by that I mean arrogant judgmentalism) WORSE THAN tolerating false teaching.

Check it out:

Jesus told the church at Ephesus that their hyper vigilance when it came to snuffing out false teaching had stripped them of their love.  And without love, their deeds, hard work and perseverance meant nothing. How do I know they meant nothing? Because He told them that if they did not stop and regain their perspective and ask Him to refill their hearts with love, He would take them out of the equation. Remove their lampstand. Make them no longer a church. Because there is no point in a lampstand that doesn’t shine love, since God is love.

So, no love equals no more church.

But, tolerating false teaching does not equal no more church.

Look here:

There were some in the church in Pergamum who held to false teachings which allowed them to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. Jesus told them to change. “Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

I will come to you (the church as a whole) and fight against them (those who are following false teaching).

He was going to fight them with Truth.

He wasn’t going to mock them, ridicule them, or destroy them, He was going to set them straight.

He was going to set them straight.

Likewise, some in the church in Thyatira were following the sexually immoral teachings of Jezebel.  Jesus warned that since Jezebel was unwilling to repent, He would cast her on a bed of suffering and her children (her followers?) would be killed.

Here’s the thing I want you to hear, dear brothers and sisters:

This is Jesus talking to you:

“Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

Did you hear that? Jesus did not put the burden of judging, destroying, shaming, mocking or even setting those false teachers straight on YOU!

It’s not your job.

Your job is to hold on to the truth you have until He comes to set things straight. Your job is to love.

Until Jesus gets here, it’s His Holy Spirit’s job to guide us to the Truth. The Holy Spirit convicts, not us.

So, hold on to what you have, and before you started typing arrogant words, take a new look at God, and at Scripture, and take a look in the mirror, too. Work on getting that log out of your eye, because you really don’t see nearly as clearly as you think you do.

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15 thoughts on “Back on My Soapbox, Banging My Well-Worn Drum….

  1. andih94 says:

    Why don’t we hear this more often? Is it because we think being right is the ultimate prize that trumps everything else? Is it because we can’t deal with the tension of being in church alongside people with different views and perspectives? I do wonder…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amein, amein, v’amein! I love you, sister! No one has to agree on everything. My husband and I don’t even agree on all things, but we love each other without condition, and this is the kind of Love that Jesus has been waiting for us to show to one another. I so deeply desire that all people see with their spiritual eyes that our homes and families are meant to be a microcosm of what our world is supposed to look like. We are all one big, dysfunctional family right now. If we start “small” and work on the relationships that are in front of us (starting with our parents, siblings, husbands/wives, kids), then we may just find that the world transforms as a result! It will happen, of this I am assured. It’s just a matter of HIS time. 🙂

    Blessings and Shalom, sis,
    S~

    Liked by 4 people

    • You said that so beautifully. Yes, let’s start with the people in front of us.

      “…this is the kind of Love that Jesus has been waiting for us to show to one another.”

      Amen! I love your heart.

      Like

  3. When one has grown up in an atmosphere of having to be right, it is no easy thing to break that habit. One of the things I try to do on my Bible study blog is to teach only what the Scriptures say, not what I think it means. That in itself is an illuminating experience. I think one of the most damaging things we do is to ask one another, “What does this verse mean to you?” The correct question is, “What does this verse mean? What does it mean in the context of the chapter, the book, the whole Word of God? What do specific words mean?”

    To be a student of the scripture is to spend time digging. assuming that we (I) do NOT have the right answer every single time. I sure am willing to look for it, though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “When one has grown up in an atmosphere of having to be right, it is no easy thing to break that habit.”

      In her lecture Monday night, my BSF teaching leader said, “Unity requires a common mission and a common maturity.”

      Pride is such an insidious stronghold (the original sin), that only God can cure it. The process of maturing is His long slow cure.

      “I think one of the most damaging things we do is to ask one another, ‘What does this verse mean to you?'”

      If by that you mean we shouldn’t play fast and loose with Scripture or speak off the cuff, then I agree. Sometimes when we ask that question, though, what we mean is “How does this verse apply to your current circumstances or stage of life?; What did God say to you as you studied this verse?” No point in studying Scripture if you don’t also learn to apply it to yourself.

      “One of the things I try to do on my Bible study blog is to teach only what the Scriptures say, not what I think it means.”

      Again, though I think I understand what you are getting at, I don’t entirely agree with your statement. God wants us to use the brains He gave us. Daniel was esteemed by heaven for setting his mind to understanding. Understanding takes critical thinking, it takes, as you said, comparing Scripture here to Scripture there; tying the new in with the old, taking into account God’s character and stated goals and then drawing conclusions, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we do. After all, Paul’s letters to the churches were him telling the churches what he thought it meant.

      “The correct question is, “What does this verse mean?”

      Since even Bible scholars do not always agree on what the verse means, perhaps the best question is, “As you studied these verses, what did the Holy Spirit reveal to you?” Since it is the Holy Spirit’s job to tutor us, asking that question trains the Bible student to include Him in his/her study.

      “(I) do NOT have the right answer every single time. I sure am willing to look for it, though.”

      Amen sister.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My problem with the “what does this verse mean to you” approach is that it typically does NOT look at all the things you mentioned that help us interpret scripture. Rather, it becomes a very subjective and often emotion-lead reaction, and that’s going to change with each reader and each reader’s emotional need at the moment.

        You are right that not everyone interprets the Word exactly the same. All we can do is move forward in prayer and humility, and be willing to learn and grow. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that the Holy Spirit would teach the same thing to all different people? I had a man recently tell me that God had given him permission to divorce his godly wife, and carry on an affair. I asked him how God gave him that permission. “Oh, He spoke to me through the verse that says every man did that which was right in his own eyes. See? He knew that’s what I needed to see that day, and now I have perfect peace about divorcing my wife.” Somehow, I don’t think he “got” the context. When I pointed out to him that God does not move in any way against His own character, he didn’t have an answer. Just, “well, I know how I feel.”

        I think I went a little off-topic there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sure you see a lot of that type of justification in your counseling practice. When my first husband left me he said something similar, “God wants me to be happy.” “No,” I said, “God wants you to be holy and then happy.”

          We agree: We won’t know what a verse really means without looking at context, character and the big picture.

          Liked by 1 person

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