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DEALING WITH DIVISIVE PEOPLE
Ray Stedman said, "Some people for the sake of their point of view would destroy the unity of your church. How do you deal with them? Avoid them. We must keep our eye on them and turn away from them. In other words, we donít listen to them. Weíre never obligated to hear a person out when what theyíre saying is not consistent with Christian speech. If they are tearing down the church, tearing down the pastor, tearing down the leaders or Sunday School teachers or any believer, we should not listen. Because even out of a misguided sense of courtesy, our listening to them would make it seem that we agree, while what weíre doing is giving them another chance to vent their verbal poison."
(From a sermon by Bob Joyce, Paulís Missionary Heart, 8/3/2011)
Josh McDowell writes, in his book, Answers To Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About The Christian Faith;
Lest anyone think this isnít something marvelous, weíd like to give you this challenge. Find ten people from your local area having similar backgrounds, who speak the same language, and are all from basically the same culture. Then separate them an ask them to write their opinion on only one controversial subject, such as they meaning of life.
When, they have finished, compare the conclusions of these ten writers. Do they agree with each other? Of course not. But the Bible did not consist of merely ten authors, but 40. It was not written in one generation, but over a period of 1,500 years; not by authors with the same education, culture or language, but with vastly different educations, many different cultures, from 3 continents and 3 different languages, and finally not just one subject but hundreds.
And yet the bible there is unity. There is complete harmony, which can not be explained by coincidence or collusion. The unity of the bible is a strong argument in favor of itís divine inspiration.
Many people believe that traditional church music is vastly superior to the contemporary church music being written today. But the date on which a song was written does not insure it’s worth either theologically or musically. Milburn Price, a Church Music professor, gave the following example in an article he wrote called, "Tensions in Church Music":
"The bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you, but not for me.
The blessed angels sing-a-ling-a-ling
Through all eternity.
"O death, where is they sting-a-ling-a-ling?
O grave, thy victory?
No ting-a-ling-a-ling, no sting-a-ling-a-ling,
But sing-a-ling-a-ling for me!"
This was a hymn sung by the church in early America. But clearly it doesn’t measure up to the great hymns of the faith written at that time. My point, just because something is old doesn’t make it good!
JESUS- NOT HATE BUT HOPE
Itís a little name.
A small word.
Say this little name in public, however, in a way other than an obscenity, and stand back and watch the fireworks.
This little name is like a tiny detonator that triggers a nuclear warhead.
You can say "God," and you wonít get a squeak.
You can say "Our Father/Mother in Heaven," and few will flinch.
You can say "Great Spirit," and people will nod in approval.
You can say "Allah" and you will be deemed tolerant.
But say "Jesus" and just wait for the sonic boom.
Articles will appear in the paper. Reprimands will be posted from the home office. Suits will be threatened by the civil liberties block.
So donít say Jesus.
Jesus is divisive, and now is a time for unity.
Jesus is an extremist, and that must mean right wing.
Jesus is exclusive, so His name amounts to hate speech.
Keep His name to yourself. Cloister it in your church. Lock it in your prayer closet. Close it between the covers of your Bible. But for Godís sake, donít voice it in the public square!
Itís immodest. Itís immoral. Itís unloving.
Only one problem.
Jesus is God.
Only one problem.
Jesus alone brings salvation.
Only one problem.
All other gods are nothing.
So speak Hi...
There is something wrong when people are leaving the church to find God
The foundation of all theology is the unity of God.
To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.
Bono, Lead Singer of U2
CONFLICT IN COMMUNITY
ďThe difference between spiritual and unspiritual community is not whether conflict exists, but is rather in our attitude toward it and our approach to handling it. When conflict is seen as an opportunity to draw more fully on spiritual resources, we have the ma...
"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, íYes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you donít believe?í" ~ Quentin Crisp
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Calvin, who saw that the Devilís chief device was disunity and division and who preached that there should be friendly fellowship for all ministers of Christ, made a similar point in a letter to a trusted colleague:
"Among Christians there ought to be so great a dislike of schism, as that they may always avoid it so fast as lies in their power. That there ought to prevail among them such a reverence for the ministry of the word and the sacraments that wherever they perceive these things to be, there they must consider the church to exist...nor need it be of any hindrance that some points of doctrine are not quite so pure, seeing that there is scarcely any church which has not retained some remnants of former ignorance."
SOURCE: Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing, p. 107-108.