No video today.
I am a member of a number of Christian, Messianic or Hebraic Roots discussion groups. They all have value for learning and sharing ideas, yet it is a shame so many people within these groups undervalue themselves and others with their obnoxious and prideful statements. You can recognize them because when they are faced with opposite opinions they spit out a bunch of bible passages (taken out of context) and eventually end up calling the one(s) disputing with them pagans, Satanists or worse.
When people are discussing a topic and one of them ends up resorting to personal attacks and accusations, that indicates they are not able to adequately defend their position; it also demonstrates both emotional and spiritual immaturity. Ask them to leave it at “You have your belief and I have mine, so let’s agree to disagree?” and they ignore you, continuing to force their ideas down your throat.
The real issue is pridefulness- those people are too prideful to accept that they may not be the only correct answer. As such they do not have the humility or respect for others to simple allow someone else to have their own belief. Worse than that, they use biblical passages to justify their accusatory and judgmental attitude. It’s always the same thing: God wants us to tell the truth, or God told me this is so, or God says we are to judge others.
They forget God said that we will be judged as we judge others. Oops- that could be a problem!
Whenever I see someone writing these sorts of things, even when they aren’t nasty but just stubbornly refusing to accept that anyone else may have another belief or idea that could also be correct, I think of Job and his friends. I assume we all know the book of Job well enough to recall that after his friends misjudged him because they thought they knew what God was all about, God was not too happy with them. This is what he told them (Job 42:7-9):
After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
Job’s friends had been telling Job all about how God works, what he wants, what he believes, what he knows…basically they were talking for God as if they knew him and what he thought. That is what got God so mad.
People who tell others absolutely that we need to use God’s holy name, how it is pronounced, what God wants us to do, what God told us isn’t important, why God made the rules he made, etc. all are doing exactly what Jobs friends did. I suspect, although I can’t say for certain, that God still isn’t too happy with people who do that. Since God tells us he doesn’t change it only seems logical that if Jobs’ friends ticked of the Lord with their assumptions about what he feels and thinks, people who tell others today what God feels and thinks would be in the same spot Job’s friends put themselves.
For the record, let me say there are many, many places in the bible where God tells us, absolutely, what he likes and dislikes, what he says is wrong and what he says is right, and these things we can state clearly are how God feels. He told us so.
My complaint (and concern) is for those people who assume they know what God wants and tell others what they should believe or do. I believe when they do that they are risking his wrath.
I would like to ask people to be polite and respectful of others. We can speak the truth with love and if we believe something absolutely but someone else doesn’t, then let’s justify our opinion without attacking their opinion. And never attack a person for what they believe. When I think someone is relating a misinterpretation of a biblical passage, I will say I believe what they have been taught is wrong and then I will interpret the passage the way I believe it should be done. I will also ask them to re-read it praying for holy spirit guidance. I won’t say they are wrong, but that they were taught incorrectly. This way they (hopefully) won’t take it as a personal attack. You can’t change someone’s mind, but you can punch holes in their argument with facts. Again, you can attack their position but do not attack them. And if they are adamant not to change their mind and start to get upset or hostile, then end it. Wipe the dust from your sandals and move on.
There is an old joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.
We can’t change someone’s beliefs or mind unless they are open to listening. If it becomes obvious that they aren’t going to change their mind, you’ve done all you can. Move on to the next subject. I have often just told people I won’t change my mind and I see they won’t change theirs, so let’s move on to something else. It’s sad that most of the time my respectful attempt to end the discussion reaches deaf ears.
Let’s end today’s message with a quote from Proverbs 12:15:
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.