Summary: Sometimes love is pointed and hurts.
A SOFT AND EFFEMINATE CHRISTIANITY
HORATIUS BONAR ON BIBLICAL REPROOF AND CORRECTION - Circa 1890
"There is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance; not an exotic, but a hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly. It walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stem word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evil, under the pretext it is not of this world, it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, in whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not to discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm. The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity... It is a betrayal of truth and righteousness. I know that charity covers a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment. - By Horatius Bonar. 1818-1899"
After my latest accusation of being unloving, judgmental and a heretic hunter because I said a couple of lads were heretics, the Lord allowed me to come across this on a Canadian web page. He has always been gracious to me that whenever I get zapped it is only a day or so later before He sends me something that affirms my position. As a pastor, I am called to protect the sheep and to point out error and heresy when I see it. Interestingly enough the lad that got upset wrote me and asked about the one lad and he did not like the answer. Another one came up in the debate and he really got upset.
Brother Bonar may have been a man ahead of his times but I am glad that I agree with him even if that makes me a man behind his times in some folks’ eyes. Praise His name and His mercy that allows this pile of dust to serve Him. No one ever said that ministry was to be a popularity contest though many seem to make it that. I have no desire to offend anyone for the sake of offense, but I will not keep the truth in just because someone might be offended.
I am sure that if I would just change a few of my convictions and always speak smooth things I might be a full time pastor with a nice size congregation. However, to do that would make me a hireling and not a pastor. I would be no good to God, my flock or myself. I have no reason to doubt that at some point I will ruffle someone else’s feathers and they will cast the same old unloving rhetoric at me, but that will not stop me from saying what has to be said. Dislike me, fine. Yell at me, fine. I have been fussed at by the best so I can easily stand the rest. I wish we were all on the same page of Scripture, but we aren’t and we won’t be until Christ returns but if I see someone in error and say nothing on the premise of love then I know nothing of truth or love.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: