Friday, June 10, 2005

It is Discouraging

This post is an attempt to encourage those of us that profess to be Christians to think about how we speak in our conversations and how we comment on the blogs we visit. I understand that we are still ‘in the flesh’, but that ‘flesh’ is supposed to be crucified with Christ. However, sometimes we find ourselves getting so angry over the unkind or hurtful things someone may say or write that we set aside our profession of Christ momentarily and respond in kind. I understand why some unsaved people write or speak in the crude vernacular of the world. It comes from within one’s heart first, for Jesus says that though evil communication comes verbally out of one’s mouth is first conceived in the heart and that this is what defiles us. Mark 7:18-23. Hopefully we Christians will be sure of the attitudes of our hearts before we make our comments.

I sometimes scan the political blogs and have found it quite discouraging to read the very non-Christian comments about persons and ideologies as well as comments to other commentators which are being made by professing Christians. I have found it shocking to read the crude language and hypocritical attitudes that some Christians respond with. Now I realize that some, not all, of these non-Christian people do say and write their comments with crude statements to make their opponents angry, the purpose is designed to cause opponents to fail in their argument by succumbing to their anger. We ought never to allow this to happen, however, when it does, it brings great harm to the gospel of Christ and our personal testimony. It also violates the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them unto you. It emboldens our adversary to blaspheme God and gives place or advantage to Satan to accuse us before God. Eph. 4:27 Read all of Ephesians, especially chapter 4.

I wonder if we Christians are beginning to lose sight of the fact that we are to bring light into our conversations and to be a preserving influence, like salt, in all that our Lord would have us engage in. If we feel the call to enter into the political debates or seek political office should not the goal be to exemplify all the Christian ideals of God’s Word? The Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5-7, teaches us not to use such ‘worldly’ attitudes and unredeemed language to respond to critics or opponents of our Christian beliefs. Without allowing God’s Holy Spirit to guide us we cannot control our speech, Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Read all of the Epistle of James, it is so practical in its guidance of Christian living.

Judgment must start at the house of God, for God has said, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (Leviticus 20:7; I Peter 1:15&16) What is being holy all about? Does it not apply to speech and to the writing of our thoughts as well as in all of our living before God and man? Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in this passage of God’s Word:
Ro 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

These passages are a call for us to live holy before God and man. Our calling is to witness for Christ while having a life adorned with the Grace of God and to extend His Love and Mercy to all men, to those that disagree with us, but especially to our enemies. May God grant to us forgiveness and pardon for our weaknesses shown by our anger as we repent of it and yield to God’s commands as taught in His Word.