How many times do we fail someone else, as Christians because of our own personal needs, or even their personal needs?
What do I mean by that? I have talked before about the need for rebuke (Link) – my spiritual needs were not met in that very English church – no, my, and their personal needs were being met. The personal need was to have everybody appear in agreement, to have everyone not offended, and have no-one upset! That doesn’t fulfil anyones spiritual needs. Love confronts – godly love must always confront that which is wrong!
Yeshua came and upset a LOT of people. He said what needed to be said for their spiritual needs.
So I ask you now, and I hope you’ll comment – if you were in a church and met someone who you knew was in sin, perhaps they’re happily telling you how great it is that all religions worship the same god, or perhaps they are dowsing with a pendulum (I know someone who has a friend who dowses with a pendulum and talks to ‘Jesus’ – I did point out that wasn’t the real Jesus…) – what would you do? How would you handle it? Or would you avoid handling it at all?
I know the local Vineyard church here instructs those praying for people to avoid offending people who come up for prayer! Yes really! You are not allowed to tell that person that they have a demonic influence, a stronghold? Really? This is placing personal needs above spiritual ones! It won’t wash.
The body of Christ is really not about unity and homogeneity – it’s really NOT about all agreeing and being nice. It’s about learning, correcting, rebuking and building one another up! It strengthens us.
As an example let’s just take a quick look at Psalm 23 – so well known. It goes like this [emphasis added]:
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. This is often overlooked, but as far as I understand it, the staff had a hook on the end, and was used to rescue sheep who got in trouble, and the rod was to tap or strike them to stop them wandering away and keep them in the flock.
We NEED God’s rod and His staff – we need to have both His discipline and His rescue – they comfort us.
If we won’t be honest with our fellow man, what hope does the church have but to accept more and more false doctrine to keep people ‘happy’ and in ‘agreement’?
I’ll leave you with this brilliant video from Mark Gungor – very funny, but his point is VITAL – we can’t just pray for people – we need to rebuke that which is wrong! His sermon starts around 15 minutes into the video. I hope you enjoy it!
God Bless you