In I John 3: 15-16 we read ” 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Some years back, a popular coin was termed “WWDJ” or what would Jesus do? And the answers to those questions were so subjective it was hard to determine which Jesus they were referring to. The answer to that question was a simple one: “WDBS” What does the Bible say? That subjective reasoning is still prevalent today. This new emerging church wants to define their own standards and what the Bible says really isn’t important. When confronted with sin instead of dealing with the specific clear Biblical instructions, the person confronting them is attacked on all levels.
This has been the case in the recent response of victims to the events surrounding the scandals in the churches of late. Either the Bible is true or it isn’t. You either believe it or you don’t. If a man/woman of God points out the fallacy of your reaction to crisis, you are not excused of your responsibility to respond in a Christ honoring manner by using Adam’s logic (“The woman thou gavest me”); or Eve blaming the serpent. Do you think God is interested in your excuses as to why you WONT forgive? Why you CHOOSE to remain bitter, angry, gossip? The response from the crowd is just as wicked in God’s eyes as the actions of the persons they are angry at. “Oh that’s just Baptist doctrine, there you go defending their actions”. This has become the cliché COP- OUT to avoid dealing with what the Bible clearly teaches about revenge (Rom 12:17-19) bitterness (Heb 12:15, 2 Cor 2:11), loving your enemies (Matt 5:43) forgiveness (2 Cor 2:7) and anger (I John 3:15-16). “Oh you want to focus on us and let the abusers get off scott-free, where is the rebuking of them”. Again, another cop out to avoid their obligation to respond in the Spirit of God. There is no book in the Bible called ‘Gossip chapter 1’ where unbelievers, atheists, muslims etc..meet to “vent” about how a fallen Christian should be treated. You are just as backslidden as they are regardless of what you consider to be a more serious offense than yours (James 2:10). You can judge the motives of this writer all you want, but WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? These facts above are not Baptist, not James, not Hyles, not Schapp, it’s THUS SAITH THE LORD. These fallen men have been judged by their church, judged by the courts, and judged by God (“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” I Timothy 5:24) .and all you can say is in agreement with the Jews in front of Pilate, “CRUCIFY HIM”. How about if God crucifies you for your sins? Regardless of what these men and women did, they are still members of the body of Christ and it is not for you to say they are not. Yes, we can identify the bad fruits of their ministry and agree there was sin involved, their false doctrine was partly the result of manipulating the Bible to ease the conscious of the sins (as John R. Rice once said, false doctrine leads to false living, and false living leads to false doctrine) but to conclude beyond a doubt that these men were not saved is inexcusable and unfounded. And furthermore, you can’t lay the blame of all of the people who were taught any false doctrine squarely on the shoulders of the two Jacks. Not all of what they taught was false, and should not Christians be “more noble than those in Thessalonica,in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”Acts 17:11. How can the preacher be blamed for deceiving so many people if every one of them were studying their Bibles to see “whether those things were so”?
God have mercy on the church for the days that his people rejoice over the men and women of God that have fallen in sin. Perhaps you should rewrite your own Bibles and leave all the verses out that deal with forgiveness, restoration, bitterness, hatred, and anger.
Why is there so much corruption? Why can’t these leaders just “do right”? Because the church is full of sinners, that’s why. Even with the presence of godly men, they can’t hold everyones hand, watch over the church 24 hours a day, and prevent everyone from doing what they please when their heart is set to do so. Sometimes bad things can be prevented, sometimes they can not. Sometimes it’s bad policy and procedure or ignorance, but if a person is determined to do wrong he or she is going to find a way to do so regardless of how vigilant anyone is in stopping it. Man does what he does because it is his selfish nature to so and no government, court, deacon board, preacher, group is ever going to be able to prevent that. All the while you accuse leaders of acting like they are better than everyone, yourselves act like you are better just because you are a victim or have been offended in some manner. “There he goes, typical Baptist attitude, attack the victim” and once again, the cop-out to excuse an ungodly response to a crisis. Being a victim does not give you the right to be a murderer: I John 3: 15-16 we read ” 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Every one of you are responsible for putting Christ on the cross, and yet He forgave you. You are like the servant whose debt was forgiven and then he went out and beat a servant that owed him money:
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Taking the beam out of your own includes removing the bitterness and anger so that you can then help other victims. Paul certainly makes room for comforting others in the same way we have been comforted. “4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” 2 Cor 2:4. How can you comfort someone when you yourself are not comforted? Most abusers were themselves victim of abuse, and you know why? Because they stayed mad at God and mad at everyone else and taught themselves that responding in anger and control over others was their right. Victims that cast their cares upon God, forgive their enemies, and walk in the Spirit do not become victimizers. If they do, it is not because God’s Word was ineffective, it is because they took their eyes off of Him and began walking in the flesh again. Maintaining your “right” to stay angry and bitter and then calling it “freedom and grace” is not only unbiblical, but is the flesh dominating your recovery from abuse. You can not allow yourself to become a slave to anger and bitterness and hatred. “. 16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” “Rom 6:16. When you yield to unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, hatred, you becomes it’s slave and your actions become a response to your slave master instead of the Holy Spirit. Being a victim does not somehow put you in a special category that exempts you from the rest of Christianity. It is as if somehow the term “victim” has reached a status and definition with its own constitution and bill of rights that supersedes the Bible.
If you want true freedom it will not be found in joining a group of unbelievers who have no intention of encouraging you to seek the will of God but only man’s version of justice. Since I have harped so much on the subject of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, one of the admins of the Do Right Hyles Anderson page has now even admitted that “we are not all Christians in here” (even though the page itself implies that they are telling a Christian college to ‘do right’). Nonetheless, if you want to choose to listen to a crowd that is hostile toward God, sure, venting with them may make you feel good for the moment, but the sad truth is when the hype wears off , you are going to remain lonely, afraid, bitter, confused and unfruitful. Nobody knows you like Christ does. Nobody loves you like Christ does. “15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16.
Will you come boldly before the throne of grace to receive Christ’s help in time of need? Or will you remain in the fellowship of those God says are murderers? “But what about everybody that ‘fellowships’ with all those who still follow false teachers? Why don’t you pick on them?” Again, don’t deflect from YOUR responsibility to walk according the Spirit. God knows what’s going on in these churches, it’s not as if He’s surprised and I believe he has already judged. First Baptist Church has a team of very godly men who are rewriting the constitutions, policies and procedures of the church. God IS dealing with them. It may not be according to your standards, but you have to trust that God knows what He’s doing (and before you accuse me of using Jacks “trust me”, I didn’t say trust the MAN, I said trust GOD).
I expect to be ridiculed from unbelievers and backslidden Christians. Those who oppose what is said have their minds made up. No amount of biblical exposition or common sense is going to deter them and I am quite sure that my adversaries will take this message completely out of context and spread that I am calling all victims murderers. But you do not have to follow their lead. Which is greater, the degree of someone’s sin, or the blood of Christ? Surely as a victim you are tired and weary, why not find God’s rest for your soul? Is the title of this message shocking to you? I hope so, but it’s not my words, it’s God’s, and the cold hard facts are you can either come to Christ with your burden and rest in His love and respond HIS way, or choose to respond as a murderer.