Contending is not synonymous with being contentious (Jude 1:3).
Being “for the faith” is not necessarily the same as always expressing our disdain “against” something/one.
For me, it’s kinda fun. Go to the archives of this blog, and I’m ashamed to say, you may find one or twenty examples.
Shooting the wolf and being the hero to the sheep is gratifying business. It’s like Call of Duty, but instead of Nazi Zombies we’re taking out heterodox super pastors. God and world needs us, right? Cause there’s a heretic or demon lurking behind every dark corner or pair of hipster glasses.
In some cases there may be.
But I don’t know if we are doing any service to the King who is sovereign by acting like the world is always spinning out of control. God’s truth will march on even if we don’t enlist as His elite team of orthodox freedom fighters. Narrow is the way and there are few who find it, but the grace of God is strong enough to push all manner of theological diversity through that impossible door.
Not heresy mind you. Diversity.
We shouldn’t make “the way” narrower by our pet traditions. Funneling everyone/thing out until we’re only surrounded by a couple of proud folks clinging only to their TULIPs. Or translation of the Bible. Or conspiracy theories. Or denomination (or non) of choice.
And some may say, “Well, Paul called people out…” He did. But what’s our fascination with calling people out? To show that we have some kind of inerrant apostolic insight others don’t? Paul was given a specific divine call to nurture and defend a sensitive movement that was in its utter infancy.
“But God gave me the gift of discernment.” He probably did. Instead of wielding that gift like a drunk Corinthian, why don’t we use that discernment to bathe the person in tearful intercession?
Instead of a drive by internet comment how about emailing the offending party? Take them to coffee? Get to know their story? Ask questions?
The whole doctrine of church discipline (that we ignore today) begins with a brother lovingly and personally confronting a fellow brother. Not a hasty blog rant submitted to the masses about another’s error.
I know some mega Christian leaders are out of our personal scope of contact. Sure, ice cream with the Pope is out of the question. And I’m definitely not saying we should never point or even publish some thoughtful contrarian words to certain movements/ministries. But the reactionary knee jerk potshots from self constructed towers of ivory should not be our staple message.
I’ve made about a thousand more snarky comments over Joel Osteen’s theology than one prayerful utterance over his ministry. Hypocritical I know. And because of my fallen flesh, I’ll probably be clowning his love for Oprah tomorrow.
Speak the truth. But lets not speak it until we know it’s seasoned with salt, grace, love, and a broken heart. Truth is powerful. It shouldn’t be thrown around in a fit of rage like a Ryu fireball.
Make Christ, who is “full of grace AND truth”, the center of it all (John 1:14)
Peace and grace and truth to you peeps,