Thursday, 22 March 2007

"Play nicely, dear."

"We want to teach positively: we want to teach in love. You don't fling people's faults in their face: teach truth, but you don't need to refute error - leave that to the Holy Spirit. You don't want to drive people away but to be welcoming to those weak in the faith."

It sounds nice, doesn't it? Love, truth, and the Holy Spirit. The problem with that is that love which cares for a brother's life will minister rebuke. Truth cannot be ministered without correction of error. And the Holy Spirit ministers through his people. Our hearts are idol-factories and to minister God's word faithfully will always involve the tearing down of such false altars to set up the proper one (Jesus) in their place. Our minds set their thoughts on false hopes, with false ideas, and need renewed so that we would be transformed from glory into glory. That is the application of truth. We must not only hold to positive truths (like those expressed in the DB) but push each other as brothers & sisters in Christ that we each apply it in every area of life - knocking down the idols we meet on the way. To do otherwise makes mockery of saying we believe those truths.

If we're scared of refuting error, of correcting, rebuking, training each other in righteousness by his word... then settle into a nice fluffy ministry. People will like you more. In fact, they might just flock to hear you. Your group will be popular. It might even look like unity - all these people all in your group. Just (while you're at it) don't try to copy Jesus (rather too harsh on the pharisees - and as for his remark to Peter, it just didn't welcome that weak disciple), Paul (argh, don't mention Galatians), Peter (you'd think he'd have learnt from being so harshly rebuked by Jesus - but no, he goes and writes 2 Peter 2), John (oh dear, so binary, so black and white in those letters! So cutting about opposing views!), James (applying the gospel with such blunt pronouncements? Hardly charitable) or the writer to the Hebrews... Hm, or the rest of Scripture.

Let's teach the truth in love - the whole truth - to teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness, that the man of God be thoroughly equipped for every good work. That's how the Holy Spirit designed it.


PG said...

and guess what verse we were learning tonight at YPA! It's amazing how often a message is repeated to someone in a short space of time! (ok maybe it's partly in some situations because the whole Bible is not preached from, but still think it's prob more than that most times!)
Find it a big thing in today's society of "everyone is equally right" to contradict society and advise each other etc.

The Clokester said...

Great thoughts...anything on how to do it practically in the nitty gritty situations where we all end up failing on one side or the other?