A Great Challenge


#1

This is especially convicting for me:

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

2nd Timothy 2:24-25


#2

Stellar,
Thanks for posting that! It’s a reminder we all need at times of how Christians ought to conduct ourselves–which we can so easily forget when we get drawn into the ‘heat of battle’–when we pull out our worldly swords and start chopping off ears to defend our Lord. :wink:

I’ll add this:
Jhn 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Our ministry is indeed to ‘all people’ and we carry that out (in large part) by our behavior to each other–love is our testimony to the world that we belong to Christ–and the fruit reveals the nature of the vine it grows from.

Sonia :sunglasses:


#3

Sonia, 2 Timothy 2:25-26 in context with chapter 2…Paul is talking about Hymenaeous and Philetus who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already and overthrow the faith of some. In other words, they are ensnared by the devil, who are captive to do his will by teaching and preaching false doctrine. :wink:

This has nothing to do with our behavior toward each other and chopping ears off to defend the Lord. But preaching and teaching false doctrine.

Justin, maybe you are convicted because you are replicating Hymenaeuos and Philetus’ behavior of preaching and teaching false doctrine. :wink: Just a thought…

God bless,
Aaron


#4

Huh? :confused:

Paul is talking about the way that Timothy should discourse to those two in the passage I quoted. How did you miss that that’s what he was saying?


#5

Verse 24 teaches Timothy and other believers how do deal with people like Hymenaeous and Philetus.( false doctrine teachers)


#6

Okay, I see how this passage isn’t contextually pertaining to how to talk to fellow believers, but one can hardly say to treat a fellow believer worse. Scripture teaches us to treat them even better!

And yes, I do think the metaphor of chopping an ear off to save the Lord fits very well here.

What’s funny is that from my viewpoint I see you as one of the false teachers trying to cause division. But no worries, I care very little what you think of me because it’s what God thinks that matters. :smiley:

Love you too,
Justin


#7

This is one of the biggest hurdles for me when looking at Christian communities. People love to boast about their healing powers and their speaking in tongues - yet the Bible’s own yardsticks are a thirst for justice, care of the poor, loving one another and the list including patience etc… given by Paul.

To be honest when I look around (even here) I see very few disciples based on those criteria :frowning:


#8

Owch, that hurts! :astonished: Can you give examples? At least general ones?


#9

Let me answer in a totally tangential way…

I myself fail all of those same criteria - but I don’t claim to be a Christian - that still doesn’t stop me admiring those qualities and wish that I displayed more of them (I have raged unfairly with the best on these forums). I can’t help thinking that if all those claiming to be Christians were really being influenced by a ‘Holy Spirit’ that there should be more of the fruits displayed and hence more unity and hence more reason for me to think ‘hang on… there’s something going on here that chance alone can’t explain…’

It’s too easy for this kind of criticism to come over as self-righteous cat-calling. However, as an outsider I just see the division and confusion and rarely sense any behaviour over and above us Godless that would lead me to conclude that anyone is being led by a ‘higher power’.

:cry:


#10

Granted. I understand what you’re saying exactly and feel the same way about the general situation. But back when I was here before there seemed to be no division. I suppose the unity wasn’t extraordinary to the point of being miraculous, though.

Are you mainly referring to the dialogue with Aaron? Because I don’t personally feel that there’s a unity in the Spirit able to be had there. And not because of beliefs - for that matter we believe the same basic ‘creed’ and I wouldn’t judge by that anyway (I remember we were very tempted to consider you one of the fold before) - but fruits of love. I just don’t feel that kind of communion with him.

Of course, that’s no justification. It’s not ultimately us against the world or even religious types. You have a very good point - I don’t really know what to do when it comes to that and feel very little guidance there. I honestly wish I did. :cry: I do feel guidance in other areas, but I’m not sure where the disconnect is. Maybe bitterness to how I was raised? Jesus sure seemed to care for the Pharisees. I feel the distraught emotion in his words. It wasn’t, “You fools are going to hell!” but, “How will you ever escape going to hell!?” implying, I think, that he wanted them to…


#11

This is a site for debate, discussion, quarrels, arguments, call it what you like. Aaron’s OK - he’s learning how to debate and beginning to understand that just because he says it, that doesn’t make it so. Claims of inspiration will eventually give way to good ole thinking. Eventually. :wink:


#12

I suppose so. I haven’t been around him that much yet, but acknowledging an error is definitely a step in the right direction…


#13

No - not just the Aaron threads - there have been others too. I don’t want to make more of this than it’s worth. But it is a big factor to me when I look for ‘evidence’ of a ‘higher power’ at work in a group of people’s lives.


#14

Okay, well I appreciate the info. It’s often difficult to get honest and respectful feedback of that nature from an outsider looking in.