Building up the body

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Helen, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. Helen

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    this will get buried pretty fast, I am sure, but for what it's worth --

    Take a look at the threads on this section. Just about every one is meant to tear down a people, a group, a belief. That's sick, folks. That is totally worldly.

    What happened to building up the body of Christ? I'm not talking about dividing the Word correctly here -- I'm talking about preferring to concentrate on derogatory remarks, scathing criticisms, and the like. Who gave anyone here the right to try to amputate part of the body of Christ rather than build it up?

    We have baby Christians on this board. What are the learning? To be nasty -- that's what they're learning -- at least from a lot of the others here.

    Please, take a look at Paul's letters. Yes, he criticized, but he also spent so much time building up and encouraging. Don't you think we could imitate that?
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    Helen, while I agree with a lot of your sentiments, the flip side is that this is a debate forum and debate forums where everyone gets along are, well ... boring. ;).

    At the same time, we all have a choice to debate with grace as adult siblings, trying to encourage, correct and build up. Or we can debate like four year old siblings, tear each other down and generally being mean to folks who may or may not be around to defend themselves.
     
  3. Helen

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    Debating is one thing, and also it can be done with far more kindness than we see here.

    Ripping others up is another.

    And even though this is a debate forum, take a look through the other parts of BB -- not a lot of positive. In 1 Corinthians we are told that we should use our gifts, our talents, to build up the body of Christ, not tear it down.

    Personally, I would like to encourage the people here to let the Holy Spirit do His own job of convicting of sin and for us to be far more obedient to God's Word in encouraging one another, even when we do debate. Am I innocent? Not at all. Has the Holy Spirit convicted me of some of my attitudes? Yes.
     
  4. Diggin in da Word

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    Revealing that which is sin in the camp and producing Scripture to that effect is not tearing down the body; Nor is it amputating the body of Christ.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    It is the Christian's responsibility to expose false doctrine and to correct the one teaching the false doctrine. It is the Christian's responsibility to instruct the one who is erring in doctrine the correct teaching from the Word of God.

    Paul warned the church at Ephesus that ravenous wolves would come among them and instructed to feed the flock.

    To tolerate sin and say it is ok for you to believe the way you do, as long as you believe in the Lord you have liberty to fulfill your fleshly desires, is a false teaching. It is a wolf that has indeed infiltrated new testament churches throughout the world.

    Sadly, it is being accepted and that which is evil is no longer deemed evil by many professing Christians.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Helen,

    Despite our doctrinal differences, you are one of those I highly respect around here, and this is not meant to be impertinent, or whatever else comes near to impertinence.

    But, which "body" is the body of Christ, really ?

    A body is one well-coordinated whole with parts agreeing, united, working with, and comlementing, one another, goes one direction, works toward one goal, and has one Head.

    My arms and hands go where my head and body goes, so does my eyes, ears, and feet.

    With the often referred to "body of Christ", one finds pentecostals, full gospels, and Baptists of varying colors, who go each and every direction.

    Gosh, Baptists could not even agree with one another, and even in churches, members tend to go this way and that.

    So, where is the "body" ?

    I think that term is very abstract.
     
  6. StefanM

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    My goodness!

    Is it really too much to ask of people not to call names and not to imply that the other person isn't saved?

    We aren't saved by agreeing on every jot and tittle of fine points of doctrine. We are sinners saved by grace, and I'm sure that all of us are deficient in at least one point of doctrine. Why can't our attitudes reflect that realization?
     
  7. Helen

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    Thank you, Stefan.

    Pinoy, that 'abstract term' is used by Paul, evidently in the pressuposition we would know what he was talking about. It is quite clear to me, at least, that Paul was referring to those who believe in and follow Christ Jesus, our Savior, God, and Lord. We belong to one body. My hand has a different function from my foot, but when my foot is broken or bruised, my hand holds the crutch.

    Those who belong to Christ are each and every one indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He knows what He is doing and our job is to trust and obey, not second-guess Him.

    Diggin', Pointing out sin is one thing. Harping on it is another. Redefining it is something else entirely. We are not told to do either of the latter, but to build one another up, to show God's character in the fruits of the Spirit -- to care deeply for one another. It is very tempting to rant and rave about something because you feel you are so right (not just speaking about alcohol here, but about so many of the subjects which crop up over and over again, from dress to music to whatever...), while what you are actually doing is causing divisiveness and defensiveness. Neither brings a fellow believer closer to Christ.

    We can differ. We can explain our differences. We can debate them.

    We MUST still show Christ's character. We MUST still love one another. That's how the world will know we are Christians, right?
     
  8. Diggin in da Word

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    Helen,

    When one continues to ignore the sound principles of the Word of God, can it truly be said that that one is a part of the Body of Christ? When one teaches a doctrine that is clearly against God's Holy Word, can it be said that that one is truly of the Body of Christ? When one attributes sin to a loving Savior, can it be said that that one is a part of the Body of Christ? I can answer those three questions with the clear, unmistakeable Word of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

    Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

    Those who clearly are teaching doctrines that are contrary to the Word of God who are rebuked and instructed in the right interpretation of the Scripture but continue to teach the false doctrine are the ones who are doing the dividing. They lay wait as one that sets a snare and they catch men. They lead people away from the truth of God's Word.

    As to harping on sin, if that is what it takes to cause people to Study the Word of God more diligently so they may be approved by God, then maybe harping needs to be done by all.

    Then again, if they won't receive the message, if they refuse to quit preaching false doctrines, maybe I should do as the Bible says:

    Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

    Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
     
    #8 Diggin in da Word, Sep 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2006
  9. Purple Lady

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    Thank you, Helen.

    Matthew 5:43-45 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    Debate does not mean to tear each other apart. It is supposed to be a sharing of thoughts and truth with love.
     
  10. StefanM

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    Diggin,

    If you feel so strongly about this, maybe you should separate from us.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Helen has a definite point here, and I hope many will heed it. Debate can be polite, respectful and properly dignified, yet still powerful and dynamic without calling names, doubting salvation, attacking character, looking down one's nose at the other, etc.

    What gives one power in a debate on the BB or anywhere else? Wisdom and knowledge of the subject. In my view, the person who resorts to the above tactics has already lost the debate. Knowledge is power, the Bible teaches, not name-calling. Prov. 24:5--"A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength."

    Recently a couple of posters tried to turn a thread in the Missions/witnessing/evangelism fellowship forum into a C. vs. A. debate, as if there weren't enough of that on the debate threads. Such things were said as: "ignorant tirade," "a juvenile, sarcastic manner of discussing things," "blind hatred," "This is probably the first truthful thing you have said in this thread. I, in no way, believe that there is a sincere bone in your body," "lack of honesty," "decent conversation with you is going to be impossible," etc. I was sick at heart. Fortunately a moderator was right on it and closed the thread.

    James 3:10--"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."
     
  12. whatever

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    Me too. Thank you for the words of grace and truth.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Personally I have learned a lot when I have been challenged. Earlier there were times when I was attacked and I realized it made me angry. Then I caught my self getting angry and thought about what Jesus would have done. I am challenged to be more careful about getting angry and attacking someone.

    Debate can be very healthy in causing someone to think about what they believe. If I do not have a scriptural response then my response is simply my opinion without any suuport. Seems to me that causing others to think is an agent of change that otherwise may go unchallenged.

    In the gospels I do see times when Jesus exposed others for who they were personally and at other times he showed great compassion. A lot of it seems to depend on their attitude. When I read James I think there is a time when people need to be exposed because of their hypocrisy. Seems to me that when a person is humbly trying to learn that they need to be treated gently but then those who are arrogant and trying convince others of their false doctrine as a false teacher then they must be exposed.

    There was a time when Jesus told the people that who is without sin to cast the first stone and another when he turned over the tax gatherers table.
     
  14. Helen

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    To those of you who have argued for making a stand for the truth, or challenging others: I agree with you. I, too, have learned enormous amounts from being challenged and needing to look up material, whether biblical, scientific, historic, or whatever.

    But there are ways of making a stand for the truth, and ways of challenging which are far more loving than others. By loving, I don't mean an emotion -- I mean caring about your reader/listener. Jesus died for us. The least we can do, as His followers, is lay down a little of our pride for others.

    Please understand I am not talking about compromising truth. But very often simply saying why you think something is true and what it is -- once in a conversation is enough, until you are asked questions. Then, the Bible tells us, we need to be ready to give an answer.

    Haranguing doesn't inspire people to ask questions about your point of view. Caring very well might.

    We need to remember, too, that if we think someone is heading in the wrong direction, it may not be that at all. A person to the 'far right' will be led left to Christ. A person to the far left will be led right to Christ. That sounds political and I don't mean it that way. Try this: a person who is emotionally charismatic who belongs to Christ will be led to a more conservative point by the Holy Spirit. A person who is bound by liturgical tradition may well be led to a little more relaxed position by the Holy Spirit. These two people are being led in 'opposite' directions, but both toward the image of Christ in their lives. It all depends on where you started out. We need to be careful with people, I think.
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    Good post, Helen.

    And there is a flip side to the same issue. If a BB member has "started it" by initiating the name-calling or the verbal abuse or the unChristlike behavior, then the bible has some advice for us.

    Proverbs 19:11
    "A man's wisdom gives him patience.....it is to a man's glory that he overlook an offense."

    And one of my favorite people, Harry Wong, says it like this:
    "It takes one fool to make a smart-mouth comment. It takes TWO fools to make a conversation out of it!!"

    Now, if I will just heed the advice of my own post here, I would be a better BB member, myself! :thumbs:
     
  16. blackbird

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    I appreciate your post, Sister Helen! Obnoxious posts will be edited----lots of times, though---the posts are overlooked by moderators upon casual readings----if you feel the post to be obnoxious---left click the yellow triangle button at the top of the post to report it to the moderator for investigation and or editing.

    I won't bury the OP---Sister Helen has made a plea and good points to be observed.

    Bro. David
     
  17. Diggin in da Word

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    Might I add, if the truth is obnoxious to a person, they may want to check their walk with the Lord. My above post was truth totally based on God's Holy Word.

    We cannot be complacent and pat people on the back when they clearly are walking against Scripture and tell them that God allows one of His own to continue walking against that which His Word expressly forbids.

    Jesus many times cried out against the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and other religious leaders because they were not walking according to the Father's will.

    As I said, we are to point out sin, we are to correct, we are to instruct in the right way to walk.

    I have done all this, and contrary what some may think, I did do it in love. If I did not love people with the Love of the Lord, I would not preach against that which is clearly sin and being advocated. I simply would not care whether one was on that road to destruction or not. I would not care whether one was erring from the truth.

    And before anyone brings up the 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone', not one of us is without sin. But we are commanded by the Word of God to, as Paul wrote, rebuke, teach, correct and instruct in the way of righteousness.

    I am not without sin, as I have said, but when the Lord reveals to me that which is sin in my life, in obedience I ask Him to forgive me and to cleanse that area of my walk.

    I just wanted to say one more thing about the 'harping about sin'. I reckon Jesus must have been considered 'harping about sin' when in Matthew 23 He stated seven times 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites...'

    I will not post in this thread again since it is obvious I like Jesus am considered to be 'harping against sin.'
     
    #17 Diggin in da Word, Sep 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2006
  18. gb93433

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    I agree 100%. I have always believed that God does not so much care about where we have started but more impoortantly where we end up. Starting a race does not guarantee a finish. Some move miles from where they started and often we are not aware of it because we compare them to what we think a Christian ought to look like. I think so often that we do not think to ask ourselves if the image we think is actually correct. It is quite likely our image is wrong. Some who look nice have not moved far at all and will not move much because they do not care enough to grow.
     
  19. blackbird

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    Jesus did "harp" on sin---nobody is denying that!! And when we can reach a point where WE can harp as loud as He did----yet do it without one single solitary act of sin against the person He's "harping" to----our posts will continue to be monitored. I will continue to monitor your(a blanked name for everyone) posts unless your name is Jesus!!

    Bro. David
    Moderator
     
  20. gb93433

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    In telling the truth we must use wisdom. Sometimes we need to wait and other times we need to take care of business quickly. For example, one week I had a young man show up to a Bible study I was leading. He did not even attend the church. I knew him from the restaurant I ate at regularly. During one of the discussions someone mentioned about using a "proper" Bible. As if to say his Bible was not good enough. His Bible was not what we would call a good translation. When someone pointed that out he was curious about what was wrong with it. They told him a few things and he never returned. I was more interested in his salvation and allowing him to use his own Bible to learn more about Christ. I knew if he read even his own Bible he would know more about Christ and what his response should be. The devil used that time to keep God's word from that young man. The devil snatched the word in an instant while it took me a long time to develop a relationship with that young man and try to win him.

    There were times when Jesus was asked and his answer was most likely not what many of us would have given.

    Mk. 10:17-22, "As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. "You know the commandments, `Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.' " And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. "
     

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