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I fear that we are seeing the emergence of Christian attacking other Christians viciously.  Since I preach to the godless, I know what it is like to be attacked.  Now, more and more, I am seeing Christians participating in the same type of attacks against other believers.   They commonly mention that they are treating others as Jesus did, especially in regard to the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders.   

I, personally, came under attacks like this recently.   I wrote the following in response.  Was it a good response?  Why are people doing this and what should we say/do?

 

This is what I said:

I would like to bring to your attention that perhaps using Jesus and the Pharisees as examples of how to deal with ‘religious Christian leaders’ may not be appropriate. 

You may be equating things this way, ‘the Jews were the religious leaders and Jesus attacked them, we are simply attacking religious leaders as Jesus did.’   Let’s consider this… Perhaps you think that Jesus came to establish a new ‘religion’ ~ Christianity.    I would challenge that thinking…  He did not.   Jesus came to establish relationships.   He first purchased reconciliation for us with his own blood.   Then, Jesus reconciled us to God.   He gives us many things to do; one of our primary roles is the ministry of reconciliation: establishing godly relationships ~ bringing people to God, and then something new happens, we become the family of God. 

Perhaps the confusion is this:  Those Jews Jesus called out were related to him.   They were all Jews.   Perhaps some of you are confusing the relationship Jesus had to the Jews – thinking that Jesus was somehow establishing how to treat people who, in God, we are related to.  Jesus was related to the Jews by blood he was related to those who were children of Abraham, by the flesh.  However, we learn from Galatians 4 that those who are related by flesh are not necessarily the promised children of God.   And, Jesus was clear, many of the Jews, to whom he was related to by the flesh, were sons of the enemy.   

The relationship of those who are ‘of the spirit’ is this:  we are children of God.  We are members of Christ, his body.   We are part of the same family.  A Father, including our heavenly Father, expects his children to treat one another in certain ways.   Do you expect your children to treat each other in certain ways? 

I have appealed to you earlier in this regard.   God establishes expectations on how he expects us to treat each other.   He is always at work reconciling people to him and each other.   We ought to be careful to not fall into the role of the accuser.   We don’t want to experience this, the fate of the other accuser:  Rev. 12:10b “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down”.   Neither do we want to fall into the role of those who set up divisions:  Rom. 16:17 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Jude 19 “19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”

It appears that one of your focuses is when brothers and sisters sin.  Scripture abounds with instructions for when a brother is caught in a trespass…

2 Peter 2: 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

We always need to check our approach and our fruit.   Is our approach gentle?  Does our approach lead to foolish and stupid arguments?

Galations 6 “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ..”

Again, is our approach gentle?

You are free to choose to exercise your ministry however you wish.  I appeal to you to consider the wisdom shared with us by our brother, Paul regarding your freedom in Christ.  Galatians 5…  “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

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     People can be a mixed bag of motives, for the things that they do, and the Holy Spirit is always at work purifying our hearts.  I'm going to draw the line at good clean Christian porn, as a popular art form that Christians use to the glory of God, no such genre exists.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Juanita used the Harlem Shake video, out of a feminine need of novelty.  I think that this is the reason that God prohibits women from being teachers in the church(1 Tim 2 vs 12).

Juanita didn't use the Harlem Shake.

I'm a guy and I like novelty too.

And I'm not going to take the bait either.

later

 


23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

We always need to check our approach and our fruit.   Is our approach gentle?  Does our approach lead to foolish and stupid arguments?

   I try to avoid foolish and stupid arguments, I thought this had to do with a video Juanita showed, that someone didn't like etc...  Whatever it is, it has a potential for foolish and stupid arguments all over it.  I'm not to hip on imitating the world to preach the Gospel, I think the empty heart that can only be satisfied with Jesus Christ, wants us to be more plain and forthcoming in presenting the Truth as a minister of reconcilation. Gal 3 vs 28 says that there is neither male or female for we are one in Christ, there is true equality in Christ and at the rapture of the church/marriage supper of the Lamb, we will truly be one on Christ with our sinless resurrected bodies, but for now,  we live in a very feminized culture that is preoccupied with novelty and pleasure seeking.  We need a lot less shaking, shucking and jiving and a lot more men who have the power of God working in their lives, instead of a form of godliness that denies its power.   


Joe Wagner said:

Juanita didn't use the Harlem Shake.

I'm a guy and I like novelty too.

And I'm not going to take the bait either.

later

 

All good and powerful points. And valid. As I was thinking on this through the evening and morning I began to realize that the "Harlem Shake" as originally intended is godless. I needed to make it clear that I understood this. I am not giving blanket immunity to anyone who uses or endorses the Harlem Shake as sexual innuendo or glorification of gang violence or this world. That just isn't cool.

I was defending Juanita. Her argument wasn't that she was a proponent of the Harlem Shake, it was that she was villified and attacked and was told that "hell was too good for her." That's not cool either.

I think that we may disagree on our veiwpoints of "cultural relevancy" when sharing the Gospel.

But I think we would both agree that you can't share the Gospel if you aren't really sharing the Gospel. You can't make Jesus anything other than who He is. If you do that, you aren't really sharing the Gospel.

It is impossible to make Jesus more appealing than He already is. It's a sin to even try. And while Jesus is savior to many, He is a stumbling block to many others. "The Gospel is foolishness to the perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

You can't trick or fool people into faith. That seed of faith rooted in "hipness" or casual interest may grow a little bit but it certainly won't bear any fruit. Unregenerate by the Holy Spirit, that faith will soon wither away when times get tough and that faith is tried.

I agree with you that we need a lot less shucking and jiving and more people who love Jesus. I hope that the churches who were using the "Harlem shake" meme were using it in an appropriate way to attract people's attention. Kind of like:  "Hey look over here! Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about Jesus... He doesn't have anything to do with the Harlem Shake but He has everything to do with your eternal life"

joe

Thanks, Joe.

Actually, other than telling the only thing i knew of the Harlem handshake, my conversation was not on it.   There can be a whole discussion that... I am setting one up now.

Here: http://kingdominsight.ning.com/forum/topics/is-it-wrong-to-speak-to...


Joe Wagner said:

All good and powerful points. And valid. As I was thinking on this through the evening and morning I began to realize that the "Harlem Shake" as originally intended is godless. I needed to make it clear that I understood this. I am not giving blanket immunity to anyone who uses or endorses the Harlem Shake as sexual innuendo or glorification of gang violence or this world. That just isn't cool....

Regarding Britt, the guy who started the conversation – for the most part, only the people who have standing with Britt will be able to really talk to him.  He will likely, as he did with me, treat an outsider who disagrees with him as an enemy. 

Since Britt is a pastor, he is setting a standard for others regarding how to treat people who disagree.  I was disappointed to not get an answer to the following question that that I had asked him: 

Juanita Berguson I understand what you feel about me, since you have expressed this several times. I am trying to understand how you will treat Velvet if she agrees that I have not been treated right. Is she free to have this opinion, or will she be condemned for disagreeing with you? I am trying to see the standard that you live by.”

I am concerned, I think I see a leader, pastor, setting a standard of using personal to ‘control’ other believers.   And, in looking over some of the other’s timelines, I’d say that Britt isn’t the only leader involved like this.   I think that this standard, I’d called it ‘enforced uniformity’ (vs. unity in diversity) is ungodly and can lead to lots of other problems. 

So, I have read all of this and I would just like to say. The devil uses all forces to influence the people of the world. It is important that God's people can fight as hard against the wicked of the world. The Harlem Shake is like, Elvis Shaking his hips in the 50 and 60 rock music in the 70, hair metal in the 80's etc. It is a part of the culture. THE CHURCH needs to tread careful but how do you expect to reach the lost by doing things that have not worked for 50 years? We have put on the armor of God and fight the battle if that means embracing a cultural trend so be it. We are to live in the world NOT of the world. I mean there is over 10 Million harlem shake videos and YE S some are over the top and downright crude however there are families doing, and kids, and teachers and yes CHURCHES!!

I just think Christians need to remember when casting stones at other Christians(or anyone in general)  that they better be a pure as Jesus. JUST SAYING  

Mike..

Thanks for your comment.   I agree.  

I think we need to speak to culture with the voice they hear.  Yes, of course we shouldn't do things that are downright crude.   But, John Westley wrote many songs that were put to the contemporary tunes sung in the bars.   He spoke in the cultural language people understood.  

MikeMcMillan said:

So, I have read all of this and I would just like to say. The devil uses all forces to influence the people of the world. It is important that God's people can fight as hard against the wicked of the world. The Harlem Shake is like, Elvis Shaking his hips in the 50 and 60 rock music in the 70, hair metal in the 80's etc. It is a part of the culture. THE CHURCH needs to tread careful but how do you expect to reach the lost by doing things that have not worked for 50 years? We have put on the armor of God and fight the battle if that means embracing a cultural trend so be it. We are to live in the world NOT of the world. I mean there is over 10 Million harlem shake videos and YE S some are over the top and downright crude however there are families doing, and kids, and teachers and yes CHURCHES!!

I just think Christians need to remember when casting stones at other Christians(or anyone in general)  that they better be a pure as Jesus. JUST SAYING  

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