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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Appealing To Christian Blog Writers and Born Again Believers Everywhere To Demonstrate Love


It is time for us to change our behaviour and make a difference!   If we are truly born again by God's Holy Spirit, then it should be evident by the way we conduct ourselves with each other.  We need to show this world that true Christians are different. If we do so, maybe, just maybe they will listen to our message.

There are far too many blogs/websites and contributors who do not express the love of God to each other, but get embroiled in needless angry, hateful retaliatory disputes on vital and not so vital doctrine. It is okay to earnestly defend truth, ESPECIALLY if it is over vital foundational truth, but even then it should be done with a humble, loving gracious, merciful attitude AT ALL TIMES!!!.

Watchman, apologetics and discernment sites (if they are good, sound and reputable ones) rightfully focus on defending the faith and exposing error, heresy, apostasy etc and warning against false teachers according to the instructions in the New Testament to protect the church against wolves. This blog is no different and its main purpose is to do this - especially exposing ecumenical (Catholic), New Age, etc infiltration.  However, THERE IS a right and wrong way to do this. We must always remember to speak the truth IN LOVE. I do hope that this blog DOES illustrate this. 

This article is an exhortation for us all to start expressing that love. I hope this can be done by reminding us what the New Covenant (NT) teaches. Here are a few to get us going:

1 John 2: 9-11 "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."

1 John 3:17-18  "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."

1 John 4:20-21 " If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also"

The apostle John spent much of his letters discussing the importance of love. The words I underlined are stressing that it is no good to just say the right things if we do not express love in action. Yes, we must SPEAK truth (because we
have a heart of compassion and love for those we address) but must be sure that we are indeed motivated by love and not by anger or hate or retaliation.

What did Paul say in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3? 
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing"

Note: charity is an old fashioned word meaning love. As I understand it, the original manuscripts in Greek uses the word AGAPE which means Divine love, i.e the love that only believers can exercise because it comes through the Holy Spirit within us.  The parts I have underlined are appropriate to this article.

In context, the last verse in the previous chapter 1 Corinthians 12:31 says "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way"

The part that I have underlined shows why the next chapter was written. Divine love is the right way to operate the gifts or deeds. John exhorted us to love in action, but 1 Corinthians 13 shows us what our attitude should be when we perform the actions. I will use the NKJV because it uses the word love instead of charity, but everything else is the same. Here it is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Love suffers long and is kind;
love does not envy;
love does not parade itself,
is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely,
does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away"

The parts underlined are particularly appropriate to us. The word puffed up means proud, full of self importance or self righteousness and arrogance.

I see much evidence of those first 4 underlined phrases in blog circles. There is too much arrogance, self righteousness, not much humility. Too much rudeness and nastiness. Too easily people get provoked into anger and retaliation and so quick to believe evil in others without showing mercy or seeking to understand the person properly.

On this subject, let us remind ourselves of Colossians 3:12-14

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection"

and most important for us blog writers: Colossians 4:6

"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one"

How often should we practice grace seasoned with salt?   ALWAYS!!! and WHY? so that you may know how you ought to answer each one.


You may say, are you saying that we are not saved if we do not practice this?  No, I am not saying that.  The apostle Paul had to exhort the believers to "PUT ON" love. It is a deliberate determination to love. When we set out to put on this love, you can be certain that the Holy Spirit will empower you to do it.

Even a recent convert will be changed/transformed by the indwelling Holy Spirit in some way. The scriptures say that we are being changed into the image of His Son in ever increasing glory. This starts at conversion and is a lifetime work by the Holy Spirit. Of course, we can hinder our growth whenever we decide to follow fleshly/sinful desires, but the Holy Spirit IS changing us gradually by convicting/convincing us within of the need for change. By His power we will change in smaller or greater ways. But let us be determined to love each other according to the scriptures definition of love.

For other articles related to this subject (within this blog) please click on:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/02/can-we-really-love-each-other-in-way.html

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/02/importance-of-combining-discernment.html

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-written-from-heart-of-love-and.html

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/warning-against-superficial-holy.html

12 comments:

TruthfulConversation said...

John,

Thank you for posting this article, I completely agree. If we have all the knowledge in the world, but we have a proud spirit and an unloving attitude, then all we do for God will be meaningless.

Unfortunately, Discernment blogs can be some of the worst places for examples of Christian love, or lack thereof! There is too much arguing, arrogance and pride. Everyone wants to be proven 'right', and as you say, there are non essentials to salvation, which often end up in bitter arguments.

I have often withdrawn from 'conversations' because my heart became heavy and sad, at how people spoke to each other.

I am certainly not innocent of getting angry and upset with brothers and sisters in Christ, and I have learned some hard lessons. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us in our speech, and also for the words we write. We need to humble ourselves and ask God to fill us with love, and discipline our tongues.

Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Proverbs 15:1 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

James 3:6 - And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Proverbs 25:15 - By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Proverbs 12:18 - There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise [is] health.

James 3:8 - But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Proverbs 17:27 - He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Leviticus 19:16 - Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD.

1 Peter 3:10 - For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Proverbs 10:19 - In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise.

Matthew 12:36-37 - But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Proverbs 15:4 - A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.

Psalms 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

James 3:1-18 - My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James 1:26 - If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain.

Philippians 2:14 - Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

I know that most of these verses refer to the tongue, but they apply to how we talk to people online too.

Anonymous said...

My attitude is this. If a comment is made and there is a reaction against it in a retaliatory way, then it is not a reflection on the person making the comment as much as it is on the person reacting. There's definitely some room for maturing in how we conduct ourselves on these sites. So in a word, if they react, we respond.

Who do we work for? If Christ, then we reflect his character. If we work for ourselves, then we reflect our own character which could range anywhere from mean spirited remarks to hateful arguments.

When Christ comes back, I would like to hear him say, "well done, good and faithful servant"...

John, I've always found you to be kind and respectful when responding and that IS a reflection on your character. You are a good role model.

Kathy said...

John, this is so beautiful.
Continue encouraging your brothers and sisters through this blog and as Christ leads you.
After so much I have seen lately, there are only a very few of you left.
You will never know how you have already helped me and so many others through all your hard work and dedication. Oh my goodness, talk about following the "narrow road." Matthew 7:13

We should all be seeking the truth...in love. That is why this is such a beautiful article.
I must say how much you are truly appreciated. :)
Thank you again.

John Chingford said...

Thanks everyone for all your encouraging words. Please forward this article and the website address to all your contacts or to any blogs, websites, chat sites you frequent on.

Thanks again.

Grace and Peace to All said...

Good observation. The Bible makes it clear when we are defending the Word of God we are to do it so in an appropriate way.

1PE 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.


Unfortunately this is forgotten by those who provoked to anger do not control themselves and in their anger end up Sinning in the way they treat others. Even if the person is an UnBeliever doesn't mean you can treat them in a bad manner.

RO 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

RO 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I'm not with clean hands myself I have mistreated others in the PAST allowing my temper and anger to Rule me instead of the Spirit of the Lord. So I understand about how hard it is to not get caught out in bad behaviour. Some people can get under our skin and provoke us but I have found if we pray and ask God to HELP us to control ourselves eventually over time we can change and get more self control and not just knee jerk respond with anger and mistreat others with our tongues.

It saddens me to see poor behaviour by those who own blogs, forums or websites that are representing the Lord.

We are His ambassadors to the Lost and others and as such our behaviour is very important and it is a witness for God.

I continue to pray for this problem. I have just seen such terrible behaviour by some Christian forum Administrators and Moderators by a very good End Times teaching Website. I have when doing some searches for a particular ministry and ended up finding some vile and derogatory remarks on another Christian website about them.

We do have differences and we need to remember we are expected to still treat others with Love. Wether they are a Brother/Sister in Christ or NOT!

You can defend God's word without allowing anger lead you into behaviour that hurts others and discredits God.

Placing it all before the Lord in prayer.

Thanks for the reminder.

JAS 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.


John Chingford said...

Thanks G & P to All

That was a most appropriate contribution. Thanks

Colin said...

John,
I agree. There are some blog sites that have become almost dictatorial.

If you say something that leans toward a questionable view point, you get labelled "Blasphemer" or "Heretic". I mean how can one hope to enter into any form of meaningful dialogue if these are the charges made?

Clearly the early reformers were NOT perfect men. Could any of us have done better if we were in their shoes at that point in time?

There is not only much hate on various blog sites, but ignorance too.

And of course we should all unite against the wickedness of ecumenism.
God bless.

Anonymous said...

"A hallmark of spiritual abuse is treating the person who dares to point out a problem as the problem."_Roger Olson, "Pentecostalism's Dark Side"

Anonymous said...

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning.

He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him.

He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.

He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such.

When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation.

“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.

The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him.

He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame.

He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”

He then dismissed service until next week.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ should be more than just talk. It ought to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in.


Lillianna White said...

Hi and blessings to you!

I came across your website recently and although nothing new has been posted for some time, it has been a great blessing to me to look over all the info. I can here! Thank you for your ministry. I agree with all these above remarks. Definitely, all those verses referring to the tongue apply to all forms of speech, including internet communication.

I too have been surfing the discernment websites and have come across this problem too. Many of the very websites I have found very useful have all been 'attacking' each other with regards to suspicions and accusations, etc. Now I know the nature of this ministry is very scrutinous, but I can't help but think of that 'house divided cannot stand' thing here...
the stabbing remarks and accusations that I have come across are grievious.

And as has been said, we have no excuse to react with anything other than love. If we are called to love our enemies, from whom are we allowed to withhold love from? This does not mean 'uniting' with them, but reacting in a loving way, as Jesus would have us do. Whatever else is said will be lost if not said in love. Remember, without love, it is meaningless and will be taken as nothing.
1 Corinthians 13. The power of the gospel is through love. Remember Christ's words to 'abide in His love' and other words about the centrality of love (including love of the truth) in the Bible. All of these should go back and read the Sermon on the Mount.

God bless you all and keep up the good work!

In His Love,
Lillianna

Anonymous said...

Truly we are in "perilous times" in these "last days" in which we live.
Your old friends at DTW seem to believe that they have the perfect theology-and woe to them that disagree! The things they say about their old friends?
Those men of God of times gone by, such as Spurgeon, Ryle, Bonar and many others always taught that "Salvation belongs to the Lord" Psalm 3.8. They knew, believed and taught that (though believing Calvinism is a doctrine that agrees with Scripture) they had the grace to say that "A correct knowledge of pre-destination/election is not necessary unto salvation-but to be one of God's elect undoubtedly is." Ryle said "If God didn't choose me, I would NEVER have chosen Him." Because they knew Wesley taught against Popery, and also preached salvation ALONE by the blood of Christ our Lord, they counted him as a brother, despite his Arminianism-such is grace.
Your old friends at DTW seem to be behaving like a pack of wolves; it seems that unless you are submissive to the wisdom of Thomas in ALL areas you are in total error. They claim to be "Biblicists", but clearly to any with an ounce of discernment, they are devoid of charity toward those on both sides.

Mari Natha said...

DTW should be commended for their strong stand against Calvinism which is an evil and destructive doctrine with a false gospel.

However, their curt and discourteous manner of dealing with those who disagree is quite disagreeable and not helpful. One can be right but if not speaking the truth in love, one becomes what the Bible calls sounding brass.

They may be spot on about Calvinism and other false teaching, but have turned a blind eye to the log in their own eye by bringing in false doctrine of their own.

It is certainly not a blog to be recommended. This is truly sad because we so desperately need voices speaking truth in love, warning the sheep in these perilous times.