Last week, I published a guest post by Greg Gamble called “Identifying with the Shunammite.” Now, I want to highlight something else that Greg wrote.
This time, Greg left a comment on my post “Scripture… As We Live It #202” which was a re-mix of Titus 3:10-11 – a passage about divisive people. But, I want his comment to get more notice, so I’m publishing it here as a “Comment Highlight.”
Here is Greg’s comment:
One would think that Paul might have explained in more detail exactly how to get past the trap of taking sides in a serious matter. But one would be mistaken to look for an answer to a question that is not in God’s heart, and therefore not explicitly spelled out in scripture.
All of history is a record of Adams children being tested to see if they will choose to be right, or to walk in truth, as it is in Jesus. Eph 4:21. The temptation to be right has lured many, many brethren who started off walking with Jesus to feel it necessary to forsake humility and long suffering, prayer and patience in order to defend truth.
It’s instructive that Jesus didn’t expose Judas for 3 yrs, though he, and likely the disciples knew he was a thief and liar. Our appetite for 12 step programs and prescriptions of how to live in the Spirit is not borne of God. We have perfected the art of routing the Judas’s from out midst, resulting in a church at war, and the greatest impediment to tired sinners bowing before the Prince of Peace.
Paul prefaced Eph 4 with precisely how to prevent division or respond to divisive ones: “all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
It is messy, uncertain, risky and dangerous to weak brothers to witness a church going thru this kind of conflict. But it is necessary.
It’s the one universal way that we learn that we all are capable of division, even heresy, if we don’t choose to be Christlike rather than to be right, or as we have disingenuously called ‘love the truth.’
The tension between family members that quarrel is where they stand or fall. Its always right to stand for the truth, but its not always right to stand with a brother that stands for the truth. Sometimes, people who are right in truth are wrong in attitude, forgetting that truth is not always being right.
There is way to heal divisions that have already occurred, like the schism we find ourselves in after two millenniums of drinking the Kool Aid of being right.
We must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
If we are indeed going to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, we all going to have to relearn how to walk in ALL lowliness and meekness (no fleshly anger) with long suffering, forbearing one another in love. If there is a prescription, that’s it.
If a church, a family or even a political party would make that their SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) even for selfish reasons, they would soon be widely known as leaders, mentors and an example to follow.
Error, untruthfulness, lies, carnality et al become increasingly difficult to practice in an atmosphere of humility, meekness,long suffering and gentle but firm patience with each others weaknesses.
Division, arguing over doctrines, who is right, church models etc is a devilish, foreign vaccination that Satan has injected Gods people with. Satan tricked Eve into wanting to know Good and Evil like God, and all of her children have faced the same test ever since.
Like our first parents, we will choose knowledge when we don’t hunger for the tree of Life. Tolerating division among God’s family is like getting vaccinated.
Doctors have convinced us that the way to not get sick with a disease from your neighbor is to put a little bit of that disease into your blood, in order to kickstart and speed up your own immune system to fight it when you contact it.
And we thought blood letting in the middle ages was voodoo science!
This assumes your immune system is not good enough, and it may not be, and therein is the hook. Rather than strengthen your immune system, rely on poison to make you stronger.
We fall prey to this trick because we don’t believe that the Lord Jesus, who indwells us, is the anti-body to not only our neighbors infection, but also our own, that we inflict on them.
Fear of our neighbors sin has blinded us to our own.
This would be a good place to remind us that Jesus told us to remove the log from our own eye so that we can see clearly to take the splinter from our neighbors.
Apparently, we all have something in our eyes.
We don’t need to defend the truth at the cost of losing a family member who is mistaken, deceived or even proud.
They will not be able to stand up to the flood of love and conviction of the Holy Spirit that He releases on them, when we quit trying to do His work and just let Him do it.
And if they do manage to stand up to Him, like Judas, they will go out from among us, proving that they were never part of us.
If we will continue in meekness, walking in truth ourselves, loving even our enemies, calling out to Father to change the hearts of those who oppose themselves and us, then we will witness the miracle of unity that turned the Roman Empire upside down in a generation.