Letters in the sand
This blogging thing is hard work. I am still very new at this and have found it interesting to read about the struggles of others doing the same thing. In the move from being a consumer of social media to creating content, I have also taken a greater interest in other Christian bloggers.
We live in interesting times and never before have we been privy to the thoughts and opinions of such a wide variety of people, so easily. The body of Christ is vibrant and active all over the world and from the comfort of my chair I can discover what God is doing in every corner. It is awesome!
However, part of what I have discovered is upsetting, to say the least. There seems to be an abundance of Christians spending lots of time attacking other Christians for some error in their preaching, teaching or methodology. Given the effort it takes to create such content, I am amazed at how hard some people are working merely to prove someone else wrong.
Sometimes I agree with the opinion expressed. Sometimes I disagree. Either way, this approach reminds me of the Pharisees trying their best to trip Jesus up. They were technical and petty and tried to embarrass him for healing someone or for having authority over demons.
Every time I read a blog where one Christian attack another (for whatever reason), I see this picture of Jesus writing in the sand. Do you know the story? (John 8:3-11)
A bunch of men had caught a woman in the act of adultery. Their intent was to get something with which to charge Jesus. The woman and her absent partner-in-crime were beside the point. It is here that Jesus spoke one of his most famous lines as they kept pressing him for an answer.
In general, Christians have taken this to heart. Sinners are welcome and anyone seeking Jesus will be embraced and helped. I have yet to find an exception to this. This, however, changes drastically the moment someone is a brother or sister in Christ with a different point of view. It is as if we assume that salvation bestows on each Christian the same point of view on everything. If this does not happen, such a person’s salvation should be questioned. A differing point of view should be corrected with fire, anger and disdain.
Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.
I do not wish to attack those who attack. It would destroy the point I am trying to make… 😊 I do wish to make two points in how we broadcast our message in this very public space.
- I did not receive salvation because I am right or have a perfect theology. God saved me from eternal death, adopting me into his family, because I placed my faith in Jesus (believing that he lived, died and rose again) and because I bowed my knees to his lordship. (Rom 10:9) I did not earn my salvation, did not deserve it and could contribute nothing to it. He saved me and he saved many people who are nothing like me.
- God is present wherever his children gather. Your opinion of their style or methodology matters not at all to him. Over the years I have visited many different churches, often even on holiday to my family’s frustration. I have yet to attend a church service where God was not honoured, and he did not respond with love.
Considering this, I do not wish to have us agree about everything either. I have strong and passionate opinions and would expect the same of you. My life is based on the things I believe, and those things are very dear to me as they are hard-won and tested in the study, sometimes in pain and always with endurance. I would expect the same to be true of you. (See my previous series ‘Open the eyes of my heart’ here.)
I think it is to be respected when you or I stand FOR something. Even when it is different things, or they contradict one another. We can learn from one another and influence one another. It makes us stronger. There is nothing to be gained from attacking one another or arguing.
Proclaim what you stand for and God will confirm that which is from him (Matt 16:20). The rest will whither away. No need to fight it and spend endless hours on what you are against.
I conclude with the words of Hebrews 12:2a in the Good News Translation.
My prayer is that in all your speaking, sharing and posting people will discover more of God and not how wrong some of his children are.
Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.
(Your comments will be welcomed and treasured, even if you disagree. Quite possibly you can add something of value. Please be bold and free to do so.
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God's Frequently Asked Questions
It is very helpful to access the FAQ folder whenever you are struggling with something. Very often you will find that you are not alone in struggling to understand something. And understanding the questions on somebody’s heart will give you great insight into who that person is, especially if you are intent on a relationship with that person. Knowing the questions God frequently asks will help you in many ways.
Previously published here