Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Related Thought to the Last Series

1 John 4: 1-6

Beloved
, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Here is the conundrum of our day: How does one respond when people profess Jesus Christ and manifest behavior which appears in conflict with the spirit of the teachings of Christ?

Your thoughts?

10 comments:

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to folllow my blog

postmodern redneck said...

I see two standards, from the mouth of Jesus Himself:
1. You will know them by their fruit...a good tree does not produce bad fruit, nor does a bad tree produce good fruit. (Quoted from memory, so may not be exactly found in any particular translation, but that is the gist of what He said.)
2. He also said "By this all men will know you are my disciples, because you love one another." And, "Love one another, as I have loved you." In the time between the Last Supper and his arrest, John records Him repeating these several times. He did not say they will know we are his disciples because we do miracles, speak in tongues, don't speak in tongues, have the right church structure, meet in homes (or in buildings), have the End Times right, have the Atonement down pat, or any other external standard. "The Mark of the Christian" (title of a small book on the subject by Francis Schaeffer) is loving one another. If we fail that test, I am afraid none of the other stuff can make up for it.

Buddy said...

The proper response is that we all sin, even after accepting Christ. Perfection comes in the next life. Forgive and move on knowing that you are no better than the offender because in some way we all fall short of His glory.

Just my thoughts.

Buddy said...

I would also add that depending on the offense, that a gentle rebuke might be necessary.

ded said...

Thanks, Phil and Buddy for your comments. I agree with you both. I would add that response to anyone depends to some degree on the nature of the relationship. My original thought was simply trust the Holy Spirit in the moment. However, I still try to sort through some of the more challenging situations in life before the moment. In either regard, (being in the spirit in the moment or having a knowledge gained from scripture on how to respond), I posed the question to garner other insights and appreciate your collective thoughts. I think I would add ask probing questions that cause the individual to reflect on the discrepancies between personal standards and God's. When another person can see themselves in a new light for themselves, it tends to be more powerful for them. Ultimately, without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, any one of us believers will not recognize our own idolatry no matter what a fellow believer says.

Joshua the Centrist said...

Simply put: Dismiss them or educate them in the most intellectually-driven and reasonable matter.

ded said...

Joshua,

How does "dismissal" logically work with Jesus telling us to forgive seventy times seven?

Likewise, how does an
"intellectually-driven" exchange address the Truth that the heart is the well-spring of life?

Joshua the Centrist said...

Ded,

Let me rephrase what I've stated because it seems you're misunderstood. What I'm saying is to stay quiet and let the blind lead the lead the blind for they will fall into a ditch. When they fall in to a ditch they will know.

Joshua the Centrist said...

Take a look at my blog, pal, sometime.

ded said...

I did visit your blog, Joshua, before I decided to engage your comments.

I responded to your comment here originally because your words seemed to be the hard side of the dilemma my post was addressing. The body of Christ sometimes "shoots the wounded" and your comment seemed in line with that side of the dilemma. I apologize if I misinterpreted your meaning.

The notion I wanted to stir up discussion over is how do we address sin among us and still remain true to all that Jesus said? Many churches end up cold and lonely places because judgment and condemnation among the brethren takes away the life that springs from love and forgiveness.