09 January 2010

Why I Do What I Do

Discernment ministries, and less formal blogs of the same nature (like this one) oftentimes receive a lot of criticism for speaking the truth in love. Be it negative, even hateful comments on an article, or mean-spirited emails, discernment ministry is not for those who fear confrontation! Since these responses are rarely constructive, but are rather composed of name-calling and weak arguments, I suppose I am blessed to be part of a generation that simply "unfriends" me on Facebook when they are offended by one of my articles! But so many people ask "why." Why do I and others choose to be so "mean" or "divisive" toward our Christian brothers and sisters? To be clear, discernment and the consequential boldness to speak the truth is not done in malice, but in love. The answer to why I maintain this blog (and to why I'll "call a spade a spade" in any conversation) lies in Ezekiel 33:6:  

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.

If I saw that your house was burning down, but you were in a far room and were as of yet unaware, would you like me to alert you of the impending danger? Or would you prefer that I stand back and watch the house burn with you inside of it? The same idea applies to what I am doing with this blog: I see a destructive, un-Biblical teaching in the church and instead of sitting back and watching you drown in a sea of apostasy, I am led to boldly speak up for the Truth and stand against the false teaching. Though my prophecy postings are few, the idea is the same. Jesus is coming back...SOON and as a Christian who is eagerly awaiting His return, it is my duty (and yours) to "blow the trumpet" and warn others who are not yet ready!

And yet, just as I am not surprised by the grievous errors of so many false teachers, I am also not surprised that this blog (and this author) and others like it are greatly disliked by believers and non-believers alike. Believers get offended because we've burst their bubble about their favorite preacher or author. They accuse us of judging or being jealous when, in reality, we are merely exposing un-Biblical teaching. Non-believers become offended when we boldly proclaim the name of Christ or point to God's Word as the Truth instead of following our feelings or the latest and greatest self-help book as truth. In the end, the impetus of the disdain is the same: Jesus. Whether you are a professed Christian who is offended by my articles about Rick Warren or the Alpha Course or Joel Osteen, or whether you are a non-believer who is irked every time I say the Lord Jesus' name, the bottom line is that it is Jesus who offends. Why? Because the Truth of Jesus, the light of Jesus exposes the darkness of sin and error.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [...] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Ephesians 5:11,13-14a

And for those who are quick to accuse that discernment ministries are hateful, mean, and unloving, please re-examine our work. To call someone to repentance for their sinful, erroneous teachings is not unloving. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. It is out of love that we would expose the error! For if we see error and do not warn others of the dangers, then are we not just as guilty before God as the false teachers themselves? I urge you to consider that the next time that you hesitate to speak truth to someone out of fear that they may dislike you for doing so. Is it more important to stand up for God so that you may one day stand before Him and be able to say that you were unashamed of His Gospel? Or is it more important that you be liked here on Earth by sinful men?

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 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. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:12-17 

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 1 John 3:13

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19

4 comments:

  1. Very good post! Excellent explanation of the work of apologists being out of love and not jealousy or hate. I couldn't have said it any better!

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  2. Thank you, Glenn! I was "inspired" to provide this explanation by an incident yesterday when I pointed someone away from Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" and toward God's Word and was chastised for doing so. Very interesting that a supposed Christian author is not offensive but the Bible and God's Truth will always offend those who are lost!

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  3. A resounding Amen! Those who attack you are of the same ilk as the Israelites of old, who did not wish to hear the bad news of their coming demise, but wanted their ears 'tickled,' as well.

    "fear not the reproach of man,
    nor be dismayed at their revilings.

    For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
    and the worm will eat them like wool;

    but my righteousness will be forever,
    and my salvation to all generations.”
    Isaiah 51:7-8 (ESV)

    Thank you for all your hard work!

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  4. Just a shout out to you Erin, to let you know there are others who appreciate and stand with you in the truth of God's word and against the emerging apostasy :)

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