“These are the things that you shall do; speak every one of you the truth to your neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates…” (Zechariah 8:16)
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ, Julene,
As I left your place after delivering the groceries and having a failed attempt at talking with you about the things of the Lord, I had several thoughts come to me.
I have heard several people, like you, when confronted on ideas, doctrines, and religious issues not in agreement with theirs, say, “I don’t want to argue, or get into anything controversial.”
Should it not be a characteristic of one in Christ to be open to discussion?
Doubtless, you have never honestly considered the implications of such a stance, or meaning of such a statement. Let me ask you some questions to prompt you to think about it.
One – Are you saying that there is no way of having a discussion on points of disagreement, or lack of familiarity on a matter by one or both the parties, without arguing? Surely, that would be a silly supposition, would it not? It would end all discussion and debate in the world, unless people were willing to argue.
Two – Can people have discussions only on those things upon which they agree?
Three – If so, why were the saints, apostles and prophets rejected, hated, persecuted, and killed? Why was Jesus crucified? Was it not because they spoke things with which their intended audiences were in disagreement? Jesus warned His disciples ahead of time that in speaking the truth, they would be hated by all men, just as He was.
You profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why I wished to speak with you. Should it not be a characteristic of one in Christ to be open to discussion, and to learning more? Or do you feel that you know it all? When I asked you about the following verse, you were rather testy, with pride and stubbornness:
Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he who keeps the law, he is blessed. (Proverbs 29:18)
Why would you assume that we would be arguing, or that I wished to argue? Indeed, I would prefer that people listened and not argued. Should I speak only to those who believe as I do? Where then would be the preaching of the truth to those who need it? Am I to take your word for it that you know all you need to know? Your fruits tell otherwise. Am I to disregard your ignorance when I see it, and say nothing?
On the other hand, if you have sound doctrine, I would like to hear your “arguments.” An argument is neither good nor evil in and of itself. The cause and motive determine its validity or lack thereof. My desire is that people would be delivered from vain professions of faith in Christ and be made free by the truth. You obviously are not free, Julene, or you would not feel threatened. I want you to be truly free in Christ, and not just another phony religious, self-righteous prig, of which there are millions.
What you are saying is, “I don’t want to hear it!”
Here is my assessment of what was going on, and you may freely correct me if I am wrong:
When you say, “I don’t want to argue,” you are saying, “I have my beliefs, doctrines, and religion, and I am not interested in having anyone differ with me. Neither am I interested in sharing my beliefs when they are called into question.” The reason you take that position is because deep inside, you are not as secure as you instinctively know you should be, or can be, if you really knew the Truth. By “Truth,” I speak of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and not only godly doctrine. You are clinging to fanciful or appealing beliefs that please the flesh but deny the cross of Christ. Julene, without the cross, your faith and religion are vain. You have never been to the cross.
You say you don’t want to argue, so you argue with me when I have something to tell you. What you are saying is not, “I don’t want to argue,” but, “I don’t want to hear it!” You are stopping your ears at the entrance of Truth.
“The wicked flee when none pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion,” the Bible says. You “don’t want to argue” because you are not confident in what you believe, but you wish to retain your beliefs nonetheless. If you are not confident in what you believe, and are not prepared to have it tried, that is a sure sign that your house is built on sand and not on the Rock, which is Christ.
Your reaction tells the truth. What are you afraid of? Being right? Or being wrong? If you DO have the truth, why would you not want to share it with me? Why would you not desire to “show me the way of God more perfectly” as did Aquila and Priscilla with Apollos? Though he was a fervent preacher, convinced of what he knew of the Scriptures and convincing others, they perceived that he did not understand as he needed, and they, in their knowledge and confidence in the Lord, were willing to love him and to share their lives in Christ with him. They knew their God, loved, and genuinely served Him, Julene (Acts 18:24 and following).
Why do you not love me, Julene, if you love the Lord as you present? How can you say that you “love God, Whom you have not seen, if you do not love His brother, whom you have seen”?
I am not offended that you were closed. However, I find it frustrating that people lay out open Bibles, profess faith, try to testify, have religious paraphernalia about the house, go to church and praise their pastors, yet will not entertain meaningful discussions concerning the things of God, matters of life and death. I see many “comfortable in the pew” Christians who are afraid or quite reticent in discussing anything other than their own conventional beliefs, which beliefs hold them in fear and bondage, all the while they proclaim to believe and to be free.
I believe frankness to be the calling and responsibility of every believer in Christ.
Your example is accepted in the Victory Church and “Miracle Channel.” They have not confronted you on your lack of relationship with Christ, and that suits both of you just fine. (Let either of you tell me otherwise.) Is it any wonder that I find them preaching a false gospel that deceives and lulls to sleep with misplaced confidence? You better believe I find fault with it, as does God, and you can tell Dick and Joan that I said so. You are an excellent example of their kind of fruit.
I would that you were not offended with my being frank with you, though you most certainly will be. I believe frankness to be the calling and responsibility, yea, the very nature, of every true believer in Christ. “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” I perceive in the Scriptures that all those truly faithful in the Lord were quite prepared to discuss these matters.
You say you have red my testimony. It is on our site at this link: Our Testimonies. Julene, I know in Whom I have believed, and I also know that your conduct is not right before God. You take pride in saying, “I will not argue,” as if you are virtuous in doing so, but the truth is that you don’t have anything. Isn’t that so? Therefore how can you dialogue righteously, or be receptive to the Truth when you prefer darkness?
I also hope you don’t decide to detach yourself from us, though I hold out little hope for that. Fear and self-righteousness, particularly the religious variety, are powerful and merciless tyrants, cutting off, if possible, all avenues of escape. Who knows if God will not grant you repentance of your pride and stubbornness? We are all still more than happy to be of service to you. However, if you wish otherwise, so be it. That is the price we must pay to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, shouting from the housetops that which we hear in the ear, reproving the works of darkness, suffering with Him outside the camp and without the gate.
If nothing else, the Word of the Lord, the Great Judge, spoken to you by me in this letter will be more than all your groceries could ever be. It will not return void.
Very thankful to be identified with Him in this wicked world, though you and the religious spurn Him in even the “least of His brethren,”