Monday, October 12, 2015

Biting and Devouring

I've seen this biting and devouring, especially in the public realm of late, and it breaks my heart. Devouring each other with words weakens the Body of Christ and our testimony as a whole to the world. We all fall short in so many ways. If your sin was exposed, would you want people to support you as a person, not your sin, but you as a brother or sister in Christ who had stumbled and fell flat on your face? Would you want a loving hand up, or would you want them to keep beating you down? God loves and protects His children, and I believe the He is very displeased when we turn on and attack one another. Knowing how fierce Mama Bear rises up in me for my children gives me a holy fear for the Father I share with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Galations 5:14-15 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." It's not right to blame culture for the weakening church if we are doing more harm to ourselves internally. Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, patience, gentleness, peace, where are these Christian characteristics when our brothers and sisters fall? Let's resolve to look more like the redeemed than the self righteous.
"The second—and more destructive—wave in the war on Christianity is coming from within our own ranks. The actual physical persecution of Christians will not amount to much, for the persecutors just single out one here and there to make an example designed to intimidate the rest of us. But many Christians have been induced to side with the accusers of the brethren.
I have observed in the media as they single out a Christian minister or a family, resorting to lies and distortions to manufacture a disreputable caricature of Christianity. When believers should be coming to stand beside the errant Christian or the besieged family, the blogs and Facebook posts are filled with Christian cannibalism. The media make us bleed, and Christians pile on like hungry wolves to add their bite to the wound. The church at Galatia had this same problem. Paul warned them, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15).
Believers are so fearful of being associated with sinners that as soon as there is the slightest allegation against a minister or prominent personality, Christians, out of a desire to show how virtuous they are and to distance themselves from the “sinner,” jump up on the podium beside the enemies of God and show their solidarity by loudly condemning the allegedly errant one. That is the disease that is killing the church, not Supreme Court decisions or inconvenient laws. The real threat to the church and modern Christian family is not coming from outside the walls of faith; it is coming from the pew in front of you and the sister church across town.
When a minister is guilty of sin, he should be disciplined by the church and, if it is called for, removed from the ministry. If he has committed a crime, he should face the normal penalty of law by means of the court. And if he repents, fellow believers should forgive him. Repentance may not lead to restoration of his ministry, but he should be embraced by the church. “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). “Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22)." read the entire article here.