Let’s admit there is no roadmap for the road we now walk as a nation or the Church. We have all heard it referred to as “uncharted waters,” and so it is.
Therefore, we would do well to walk circumspectly, which simply means we are to be: “careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences: We are to be PRUDENT. Using diplomacy.”
This is how to respond, not react, to manipulation and threats.
Instead, however, what is becoming commonplace are bold demands for believers to retract statements or information others determine is erroneous or offensive. Bold, hostile demands often followed by threats.
When this comes from unbelievers it’s easier to shrug it off. But when it is from fellow believers, as we often see now, we are talking about a spiritual root that we must first recognize and learn how to address biblically.
Years ago, in a particularly dark season in my life I was attacked verbally, and psychologically by a Christian businessman. I couldn’t just end the relationship due to contracts. So I followed scriptural protocol to resolve the issue according to Matthew 18:18.
First, I went privately to the individual to discuss it. When that didn’t bring any change, I took another with me. When that didn’t work, I took it to the “Church” which in this case was three Christian clients that were being affected by the poison he was spewing into the relationship.
The Lord brought this incident back to my remembrance this week as He said, “Their responses then, are reflective of what you will see now.”
Once the verbal abuse was brought into the open with the three clients, the Christian businessman replied with a scathing rebuke of me. He response dripped with pride of his importance, and justification of his hateful assault against me.
He finished his public rebuke stating he would no longer acknowledge my existence because I didn’t deserve that kind of honor or respect. His response completely confirmed my claim of the abusive nature of the relationship, but sadly, he didn’t even recognize it.
The result from the three clients was significant and what the Lord said we now see present day.
The first said, “I don’t know what’s going on between you two, but leave me out of it.
The second said, “We realize he (the businessman) is in error, but you need to just forgive and don’t worry about it. We are just going to ignore him and not say anything more about this.”
The third, however, responded with righteous indignation. “This is so wrong! By his own words he is in pride and error. Jesus would never respond like this! I cannot do business with him any longer unless he stops this attack.” She then called the businessman to have a conversation.
Three strong believers. Three very different responses.
- I don’t want to get involved. This doesn’t seem to affect me and I don’t have time for this.
(Isn’t that what the Church did with the Oregon baker? How did that end?)
- I’m going to stick my head in the sand and pretend this isn’t happening. If we don’t say anything or acknowledge it, then it will hopefully go away.
(Isn’t that what the Church has done from the pulpit? We aren’t going to talk about these issues. It is politics and we aren’t going to get involved. Where has that gotten us?)
- This is wrong. I cannot turn my head and ignore what is happening.
(This is the most uncomfortable response and yet the only true biblical response and yet it rarely happens.)
We see these exact same responses regarding the abuse and corruption being perpetrated upon the American people. The key is how should we respond?
As a nation we have found ourselves in this uncomfortable situation when the Oregon baker was publicly attacked by government officials. Sadly, the Church did not rush to stand with him in his decision to refuse to compromise his Christian beliefs. What if we had stood up as the Church together?
SEE ALSO: We are Under Attack
That attack, however, was from outside the Church from unbelievers. It is slightly different. However, if the Church had run toward the baker in support to stand together, I dare say, the result and abuse he experienced would have been quite different. Instead, we turned our heads.
But now we see Christians, some high-profile, attack other Christians because they disagree with their political ideology, their stand on masks, on BLM, LGBTQ, abortion or some other area which has become volatile in our very offense-ridden world. The Bible is no longer the plumbline and kindness no longer a virtue.
So how should we respond and what should we do as we navigate the waters of what, no doubt, will be an emotionally charged week?
- We must recognize that accusations and attacks do not come from a spirit of love.
- Demands for someone to do something is called control, manipulation and witchcraft. We know from what spirit that stems. Refuse it.
- Arguing, bickering and confusion are all around us. The Bible tells us that where there is envy and strife, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. All we need do is follow the fruit (Jas 3:16-18). For the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
We are going to have many opportunities to be peace makers this week and in the week’s to come. However, that doesn’t mean we ignore injustice or turn our heads and pretend it will go away. We must not be afraid to look evil in the eye and say, “That is wrong.”
But we must also realize there are those who are going to wake up and finally come to their senses. When that happens, “I told you so,” is not the right response. Instead embrace them, love them and let’s see the Church actually become the Church rather than the weak splintered Body it has been.
Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world. Let’s see it.
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