Brethren, Take Heed

Brothers and Sisters of the Christian Blogosphere, take heed
of your written words
. You and I have both seen professing believers, viciously
snapping at each other in defense of a doctrine or perspective. There are some
brothers and sisters out there with tremendous care and wisdom who have offered
open letters
to which I have linked to in various places yet it is a message
that bears repeating: Don't attack your brother for whom Christ died!

Mind you, I am not encouraging the ignorance of false
doctrine or error but when and if you choose to correct someone, pull that
individual to the side and point out the error. Sometimes it's good to be more willing to simply "drop it".

For some reason, when people go online and put on the veil
of anonymity they tend to ignore any of the rules that govern common society.
Civility gives way to sarcasm. Patience gives way to brevity. The tongue is
fully unleashed through the fingertips and the typist revels in his own wisdom.

Brothers and Sisters, this should not be the case with we
who believe! We are in the world, yes, but we are not of the world. We are
to remain different from the world, keeping the flavor of our profession before
men?otherwise what use are we? We must not appear like other men, who
professing to be wise do horrendous things in the name of their wisdom,
following their own so-called knowledge and desires. Let us stand apart from
the crowd evidencing the light of the life of Christ within us. This light is
not to be hid, but to shine?not so much the light of "my-knowledge" or
self-proclaimed wisdom but the love of Christ that abides in those who are
saved.

Fellow brothers and sisters, I beg you, control your tongues
in this public forum. Those words you type are your only testimony here in the
virtual world. It is your only tangible evidence of Christ in you?why trample
it underfoot and unleash all those prohibitions that are so evident in
scripture?

I don't speak of "testimony" only towards those who are in the
world. I imagine if they stumbled on one of these sites and saw the way that
Christians call each other everything from "unwise" to "blaspheming heretic
worthy of hellfire" they would sit in their scorn saying "ah, they're no better
than me." This is sad in itself. Rather I speak of the fellow believers who may
not be as strong as the rest of you. Christ spoke of washing each others' feet
not simply in keeping each other's doctrine or walk pure, but in loving each
other as Christ Himself has loved us, set aside the joy that was before Him and
humbly gave Himself for us.

Let us love each other to the point of laying down our
lives?sometimes this may mean death, but oft-times it means your opinion or
your pride. It is the testimony to fellow believers of Christ's love in us and
we ought to do this for Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.

Surely, there are many sites out there that do not have this
type of atmosphere?forgive me if my words sound like rash generalizations.
Rather teach others to take to heart the words of James who admonishes fellow
believers to control that most virulent member of our body. Take the words of
Paul to support those brothers and sisters who are weaker than ourselves and
always let our speech be seasoned with wisdom and the love of God. The Holy
Spirit (that was sent by Christ Jesus who died for us) dwells within me as He
dwells within you. By all means, take care when you refer to another believer,
a holy priest, living stone and a walking temple of the Living God, as anything
less than what God made him.

If you offer correction, do it in wisdom and honesty of your
own predispositions. Christ heaps a heavy warning at the person who decides to
judge another: the same scale will be used against you, He says. If you're to
look at another believer's actions and you tear into him with violence, Christ
might call that a beam in your own blurred vision. If you offer a perspective,
do it with honesty knowing that the Holy Word of God is inspired?but your
interpretation and mine may not be.

Run the good race and fight the good fight, says Paul, and
adhere to the work we were given by the trust which is the gospel of God in
Christ Jesus our Lord. In this regard, watch what you say and do on this very
public web while your actual person is covered up…as in life. Let your words be
a reflection of not you, but Christ living within you.

-r-

References: Romans 14, 15; 1 Tim 6:3-6, 11-15, 17-20; Matt
5, 7; Mark 9; James 1:26; 3; 1 Pet 3:8-11; 1 Cor 12:1-11; John 13, 15; 1 John 3,
4; 2 John 1:5-7; Gal 2:20; 5:19-26 and countless others.

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply