December 11, 2008

Noisy Gongs and Clanging Cymbals

There is a group of young, confused, professing Christians on a local college campus who are warring against each other in the public square and it disgusts me. I hope God will forgive me for “modernizing” the following text. I woke up with this on my heart:

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not publicly protest against other people’s sins in your name, and shove gospel tracts down people’s throats in your name, and publicly rebuke other professing Christians who would not join us in doing many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."

Students have you read:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

”If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."

Your "works" are filthy rags! More harm is being done to the name of Christ and to His glory by those who wear His name on their sleeves but their hearts are far from Him, than by the lost sinners who know not the Lord.

Lord forgive me if my anger is misplaced.


Mel said...

Good morning my friend!

I can totally understand why this situation makes you angry. Have you read Donna's post called "Stillborn Again?" If not, I hope you will... I think it echos some of the same sentiments.

You've made it abundantly clear in your blog that you welcome freedom of thought and expression... I hope you won't be hurt or offended in any way by what I'm about to say, but if you are, please, please forgive me...

I think it's possible that the way you're feeling towards these people is the same way they're feeling towards the people whose sins they're crying out against. I agree with you that the way they're going about dealing with it is all wrong and is doing more harm than good. Maybe they should all start blogs and express their feelings peacefully and calmly... :)

But is their judgement against sinners any different than your judgement against them?

Just my $.02. Please don't hate me. I will not be in any way offended if you choose not to post this comment.

TruthMatters said...

Sweet Mel - Thank you for your courageous comment. It is my prayer that my anger is more in keeping with the following:

What people do to God's name ought to infuriate you. I admit to getting angry sometimes. I hope to God that I never get angry about what happens to me, but only about any abuse of God's holy name.

Anger that is selfish, passionate, undisciplined, and uncontrolled is sinful, useless, and hurtful. It must be banished from the Christian life. But the disciplined anger that seeks the righteousness of God is pure, selfless, and dynamic. We ought to be angry about the sin in the world and in the church. But we can't let that anger degenerate into sin. That's why Paul said, "Be ye angry, and sin not" (Eph. 4:26).

The mark of righteous anger is that it is triggered by the belittling of God, not the belittling of ourselves. There will come a point when the self-justification of man and the accusation of God become unbearable, and they will get angry.

Grace to You my sister.

Donna said...

I believe there is difference between judgement and righteous anger.

If in this scene, only a blog was written to "blow steam" and to sound an opinion, then yes a "gong" was sounded and nothing else useful has come out of it.

But if in this judgement and anger, there is spiritual warfare done against the "root" of this stupid show of bigotry and ignorance, then the anger is good.

Eating the apples from the apple tree will not destroy the tree if that is our intention. To kill the tree, we must kill the root and rip it from the ground or else it will just grow back. Here's where the strength of passionate righteous wrath comes in very handy.

We were created in the image of Christ. Our emotions are not wrong. But we have to be careful where we strike our arrows of wrath. It should be aimed at the gates of the enemy not at the people being used as his puppets in their ignorance. We want those souls freed...not wounded.

TruthMatters said...

Thank you both for your insightful and spirited comments. I am pleased to have found women who delight in the things of God and are not timid about expressing themselves.

This is true fellowship and it feels wonderful to my heart and soul!

For me the most important thing whenever my emotions are sparked is to always, always ask myself--not "What Would Jesus Do--but, "What would Jesus Have Me to Do". We are not perfect. He was, therefore He is the only one who can express righteous anger without the risk of sinning.

So, whenever these types of things come up in my life it is always a call for deep self-examination in the light of Holy Scripture and the knowledge of deceptiveness of my own heart.

Thank you for caring enough to help me along the way.