by Mike Ratliff
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
On Monday this week I posted a devotional by Oswald Chambers about how our obedience to God is costly to other people. I wrote my intro to it and posted it along with the devotional with the intent of showing what happens in the hearts of people when God’s truth is preached from His Word. That was my intent, but the emergent conversation decided that I had written something offensive. I write very little about it or any of the people in it. I concentrate on writing things that God directs me to that are primarily focused on discipleship issues and Christian Authenticity. However, the outrage from the emergent camp about this caused me to ponder what God was doing in this. I never once feared their wrath or their slick (but obviously shallow) arguments. Their approach to confronting me was to pick out a phrase here and there in my posts and comments then twist the meaning of it ever so slightly in an attempt to trip me up or make me say something back to them that they could pounce upon and exploit.
Friends sent me warnings about what was going in the emergent camp about this. At first I was a bit confused, because I could not recall saying anything that would be offensive to anyone who sought to obey God in all things. Then as the day went on I began to see that the focus of their outrage was the fact that Christians are called, by Jesus, by God, by the Holy Spirit, to be obedient in all things. Why would that invoke such rage. Their attacks were all glossed in a very slick and deceptive tone. However, God gave me wisdom and discernment as I humbly sought it. I stopped accepting their “comments” on Possessing the Treasure. Why? All of their slick little arguments would only lead to unfruitful arguing. That is nothing more than a distraction. Who is the prince of lies and confusion? Why should we allow him any access to our ministries? How then should we react?
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
All of the rage and anger and attacks from the emergents yesterday amounted only to a few snide comments that were structured in such a way that I should be concerned that they were offended by what I had posted and written. My tendency as a Christian is to seek peace with all, but I will always seek to confront error in a way that will restore. However, these fellows were sending me comments that were suitcase bombs. They looked like questions or benign comments, but in them were the makings of destruction and deception. If I got bogged down in “conversing” with them I would never get out any time soon. It resembled being pecked to death by a duck.
Therefore, I am very grateful to God for the wisdom. Roaring lions are not to be feared by those who are obeying God. Their rage and wrath are to be expected when their sacred cows are attacked. The emergent camp believes they can do their own thing and have Christianity their own way. However, those who know their Bibles will also know that that is not real Christianity at all. Only those whose Lord is Jesus Christ are genuine Christians. That means that they are constantly seeking to obey God in all things. They may not be perfectly obedient all the time, but they are walking in repentance, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. When they fail, they repent and seek for God to help them obey Him at ever higher planes of obedience.
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