James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Christian Accountability, Love - And The High Cost of Daring to Mention Them

I will use myself as the example here. It's sometimes easier for the reader. And to place myself in the role of the one in the wrong is certainly one that fits like an old pair of shoes. I have often shared some of my own failings on this blog over the years.

So, I will put to you the following case.

If I, as a Christian, put myself on the internet in the public eye as a Christian teacher who stands for certain scriptural beliefs- and you discover that I am presenting myself 'behind the scenes' as believing in something entirely different, I should not be surprised to be called out and exposed - publicly.

I would be doing harm to the body of Christ, and your act of exposing me would be an act of Christian love - to me, personally, and to those who were being deceived through my double mindedness. I might not like it, and it might be painful, but you would be acting in love toward me and my followers - and to the cause of Christ - by calling me to account and to repentance. Since Christians are accountable to each other, you would be doing a great disservice to me and to my followers if you were to allow me to continue deceiving others for whom I had assumed responsibility by taking it upon myself to publicly teach them biblical truths.

In such a case I should be forced to admit that the Lord was using you to call me to account, and to purity of biblical doctrinal truth.

The definition of Christian love has been contaminated by our American love of political correctness, which calls for us to ignore the fact that a teacher is leading Christians astray through error, and it defines 'love' as being 'nice' - and allowing a person to get away with misleading the body of Christ. That is not love. Christian love always places biblical truth and doctrine front and center, because our first commitment and obligation is to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A certain element of the Christian community which does not like to be held accountable to the body of Christ notoriously uses this 'love' argument as a shield against the truth, maintaining that anything that makes one uncomfortable, embarrassed, or exposed is unloving. Not so. Their act of deception is the height of a lack of love and respect for the body of Christ - and, in fact, to Jesus Christ Himself.

The top of my blog indicates that my goal is "earnestly contending for the faith." Fighting in a war to defend the faith means one is constantly involved in a spiritual battle. It grieves me to see the falling away and the shenanigans that I have witnessed in the church for the past fifty years. I am compelled to mention it when I see it. This is what the Lord has called me and entrusted me to do. And do it I will.

There is no glory in what I do, I'm outnumbered on every front, and I am not universally loved for it. What I see across the littered remains of what was once the true church is increasingly discouraging. Frankly, I'm sick of it. I sometimes agonize over these issues. If I were not convinced the Lord called me to do it, I'd stop it immediately. However, I cannot. I am compelled to fight for the purity of gospel truth regardless of how little seems to be accomplished. 

I have a profound love for people, and especially for the body of Christ.  But my greatest passion and highest commitment is to Christ Himself. It's His approval - and His alone - that I seek.