"Advice to Those Who Defend the Faith"

"Advice to Those Who Defend the Faith"

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

January 3rd, 2009, 8:25 pm #1

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ADVICE TO THOSE WHO DEFEND THE FAITH

[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]A tragic war is raging within the kingdom of Christ. An alien spirit has taken hold on the hearts of many brethren. They have left their first love and gone after a new, changed way of serving God.

For some older brethren this is but the latest of many battles to be fought. Like seasoned soldiers, by experience they have learned valuable lessons about the best strategies of battle and mistakes to avoid. As we engage those whose mission is to change our faith, worship and the very nature of the church, there are some important things to remember:[/color]
  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]We do not want to defend a faulty doctrine or practice. No matter how widely held; no matter how hoary with age, error is error. A misinterpreted verse is wrongly understood and can be wrongly applied. If we have been mistaken on any matter, honor and truth demand that we concede the faulty point and embrace the truth.[/color]

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  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]We must never fight over that which is merely a harmless matter of preference. Some things we have long practiced are not matters of faith revealed in Scripture. They are traditional ways of doing things, optional ways we have chosen to fulfill a divine requirement. For example, we have long assembled on Lord's Day morning. Since the hour of worship is not specified, if a group should chooses to worship in the afternoon, we should not question them for so doing.[/color]

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  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]We should never penalize a brother who is exercising his liberty in Christ. Jesus came to proclaim liberty (Luke 4:18). Paul reminded the Galatians that "for freedom Christ has set the free" (Gal. 5:1). He manfully resisted the Jewish brethren who sought to spy out the liberty of the Gentile brethren (Gal. 2:4). In all areas where God has not specified the methods or manner of doing his will each disciple and each congregation has the Christ-given liberty to make their own choice about how to implement it.[/color]

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  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]We must never be found promoting any practice or doctrine that is in any way contrary to God's revealed will. Errorists are quick to spot our mistakes and flaws. Don't give them the opportunity to neutralize your efforts in defense of the kingdom.[/color]

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  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]May it always be our resolve and commitment to do no harm to the church of Christ. In carnal war it is often the case that those who are on the right side of the conflict do great damage to the very city or people they would deliver. Our goal must be to strengthen and build up the church. The mission of the false teachers is to wreck and destroy, ours is to fortify against their assaults and to rebuild what they have damaged.[/color]

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  • [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]May we never intentionally wound or discourage any brother or sister who is faithfully striving to please the Master. They too are servants of Christ and answer only to him (Rom. 14:4). When we wound those innocent souls, we sin against Christ (I Cor. 8:12).[/color]

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[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]To avoid these mistakes we must search the Scripture daily (Acts 17:11). We must study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2;15). We must weigh every thought, word and deed to be sure they reflect the spirit of Christ (Phil 2:5), love for our brethren ( I Pet. 2:17) and love for the Master and his church. We must do these things lest we find ourselves weighed in the balances and found wanting when we stand before the Judge of all (Dan. 5:27).[/color]

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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