Stepping on my soap box

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spinach, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach
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    I'm a little bothered after reading the Anna Nicole Smith, Focus on the Family, and Church Discipline threads and now I'm projecting.

    Fruit examiners, my foot! Who are you to judge the salvation of another???

    I'll give you a very personal example:

    I adore my little Sister. She and I have come through a terrible time in our lives and are very good friends.

    She was saved as a child of 10 or so. As a teen, she went through the terrible separation of our parents and in her teenage rebellion, hated the very religion that our Dad stood for (long-time Pastor). She left home at 17.

    The next time I saw her, she looked quite different! She had on a very revealing top, revealing a new, large tattoo. She had an eyebrow and nose piercing. She was a shock to our VERY Baptist family.

    In time, she met an upstanding fellow. They married and started their family. It wasn't long before Sis realized the void in her life for Christ. She missed the Lord and His people. I encouraged her to seek out a church.

    She visited her in-laws' church and was shunned.

    A few months later we visited them after the birth of their second child. As was dh's routine, he found a church in the area and asked if he could walk around their yard and pray. The Pastor invited us to speak at the church that night. While dh was talking with him, he mentioned my sister to him. Dh told him that it would take a special church and a special Pastor to reach out to my sister and her husband. They neeeded so much love. They didn't need judgement. He said that he was indeed up for it and the church was the perfect one. Dh gave him Sis' address, with her permission, of course.

    A couple weeks after we left, the Pastor and one of the men from the church visited. They sat at her kitchen table. She served them some coffee. They invited her to come to the church and told her that she really needed to be saved. Actually, if my sis wasn't exaggerating (which she is not prone to do), he told her that she was going to Hell and she better get saved soon. He told her that she was going to take her children to Hell with her. She called me, crying.

    She went another 2 years without a church, all the time singing, praying, and reading with her kids. Then one day her neighbors invited them to a revival meeting at their church (a SBC). She only went because she adores her neighbors.

    When she walked in the door, the greeter welcomed her right in, pointed out the way to the nursery, but let her know that the Pastor didn't mind little ones in the sanctuary. He spoke to her like every one else, even though she looked different. She said that the greeter sold her on the church. The people ended up being the same. The Pastor was the same. She said she'd never been in such a place.

    She has grown by leaps and bounds, spiritually. She also made many friends. She finally feels peace.

    I'm so glad she found a place where she can hear preaching and not be judged for her appearance. If she is to change, it will be God that does the changing. No one was ever mean to her. She found a church that would let God judge her salvation.

    That's the way to be, Brothers and Sisters. Preach the Gospel. Witness. Tell of the hope that is in you. Then let God do the rest. Let Him be the judge!

    Stepping down...
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron
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    ...and none too soon.
     
  3. thomas15

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    Thank you for "...stepping up" Spinach. Indeed, man looks at the outside, God see the inside.

    Tom
     
  4. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Dern tootin'! We wouldn't want that floozy and her ilk clutterin' up the aesthetically pleasing look of our sanctuary no how!

    Welcome to your local Baptist church where we shoot our own wounded!
     
  5. donnA

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    God tells us what we are supose to see on the outside when one is a christian. a changed heart, a renewed mind will be reflected on the outside. A christian, or at least one whose been a christian a couple of years, does not look like the world, does not hold the same values and morals as the world. The indwelling Holy Spirit either makes a difference or He doesn't. If He does it will be visiable on the outside.
    The bible says you will know them by their fruits, we are to look for fruit in a perosns life, because they have the indwelling Holy Spirit there will be some fruit.
     
  6. annsni

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    Some of the strongest believers I know are those who did not come to the Lord looking "normal". They have tattoos, have had piercings, mowhawks, long hair, etc. But that doesn't reflect their hearts. It is so important that we start out loving them and from the example of our lives and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, they will change (or maybe not) their appearance. But that is not at all what we are to judge someone's salvation by.
     
  7. Magnetic Poles

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    And here on this thread, we see a couple of the types you speak of Spinach. Tattoos are not my thing, but just because they are not doesn't mean anything about the person walking in the door. We all come to God with scars and marks. I thank God that mine aren't visible. What would we all look like if sin left a visible mark on us. I have no use for the self-righteous and judgmental, other than to try to help the see the error of their ways, and that we are all the same.
     
  8. Spinach

    Spinach
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    I can only speak for myself, Donna, but my flesh never quit stinking and I love the Lord dearly. You can clean up the ouside all you want (a general, "you", not you specifically) but that doesn't make you saved. I've met some very clean, very moral people who were not saved. I've also met some saved people who struggled with their rotten flesh until the day they died. It's not about the flesh. It's about the soul.

    The apostle Paul himself battled (Romans 7). Our thoughts are wicked. Our hearts are desparately wicked. Our tongues are wicked. Even our good works stink like filthy rags. Clearly it's not the cleanliness of the flesh that pleases the Lord or it wouldn't be salvation by grace through faith.

    I've never gone fishing naked, but I feel that Peter was a better Christian than I.

    I've never been a harlot, but one made it in the lineage of Christ.

    I've never wished for fire and brimstone to rain down on a whole city of people, but I didn't get a whole book of the Bible devoted to me.

    I'm glad Christ ate with Publicans and sinners. I'm glad he pardoned the woman caught in the very act of adultery. I'm glad he saved the thief on the cross. I'm glad he forgave me and that he uses me, as small and as weak as I am.
     
  9. donnA

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    I really don't think tattoos have anything to do with a persons salvation. your comparing their outward physical appearance, I am not. I am talking about their lifestyles, continueing to live in sinful lifestyles, with no remosre, no repentance, but with all approval towards the sinful lifestyle. Big big difference.
     
  10. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Bold mine.

    Thank you for those words. I have tears. You are so right!
     
  11. donnA

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    You beleive a person can continue in their sinful lifestyles when they are christians, they can continue drinking alochol, using drugs, having sex with anyone they want, and we should still consider them a christian? Not according to scripture. The Holy Spirit makes a difference in a persons life, and if you don't see the difference then there is none.
     
  12. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Judging someone's remorse isn't all that hot, either. How do you know they are not sorry? When they lay their heads on their pillows at night and cray out to God, no one is there.

    Honestly, if you saw a young woman with her breasts hanging out there and a tattoo on one---and with piercings to boot, would you assume that person was saved or lost?
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    Nice strawman there donna.

    But to the point, yes, Christians do fall to the flesh. They can commit adultery. They can steal. They can do any sin known to man. John didn't write that "whosoever believeth in him, and achieveth sinless perfection, shall be saved." Thank God, or none of us would be.

    Also, drinking alcohol isn't a sin. I don't do it, but not for religious reasons. I just don't like how the stuff tastes.
     
  14. superwoman8977

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    But alot of people do. It amazes me how many people look at a person's outward appearance and everything and dont give a snot about the person and how they have been hurt, etc. Just walk around downtown Indianapolis and look at the people. It is amazing! I had one gentleman I started talking with the other day while I was waiting for the elevator and you would have never known from the outside that He loved the Lord (earrings, tattoos, spiky sophisticated hair and very dressed in the up to date styles) but the more he talked the more I saw him for who he was--a child of God. Its just like with homosexuals --- they can be homosexual and Christian, I have a friend who loves the Lord and has a girlfriend. I pray for her daily and this holiday season she started coming back to church. Its all about baby steps--I am not going to push her to change, thats all God's doing. I am just going to keep on praying for her.

    As I read your thread I saw myself empathizing with your sister. I have been in your shoes, not necessarily with the tattoos and stuff but now being a divorced woman and getting ready to have a 2nd child out of wedlock (my first son is 10 yrs old) and just getting ready to go through some pretty rough stuff I cried when I read that she was blessed to find a church that accepted her and loved her and her family. I have been blessed to find a church to love and accept me as well despite all of mine and my kids flaws. In fact my pastors wife is throwing me a baby shower this next weekend and invited all the women in the church (I go to a 650 member church!) as I have boys and I am having a girl and have nothing for the little girl so they are coming together to help. I am so grateful! My prayers to your sis as she grows closer to the Lord.

     
  15. Spinach

    Spinach
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    I could/would. But then again, I recognize the powerful pull of the world and the lusts of the flesh.
     
  16. Magnetic Poles

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    I am reminded of a song Don Francisco sang back in the 1970s...

    "I don't care where you've been sleeping,
    I don't care who's made your bed,
    I already gave my life to set you free.
    There's no sin you can imagine
    That is stronger than my love,
    And it's all yours if you'll come home again to me."

    We all have weakness in different areas. For some it is sex. For others, gluttony. And yes, judgmental attitudes against your brother or sister is a sin as well. We are to help raise up the fallen, not kick them while they are down.
     
  17. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Hear hear, MP (or is it "here here"?)!
     
  18. canadyjd

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    How tragic. I am glad for her that she has found a church family with which to fellowship.

    If your dad was pastoring a church while his family was torn apart and then separated from his wife, he was not standing for the Christian religion. He should have left the pastorate and focused on being a husband and a father.

    Perhaps if the church your father pastored practiced church discipline...and, in Christian love, attempted to restore your family's relationship with each other, and your sister's relationship with Christ and His church...she could have avoided this path.

    No one did the family, and especially her, any favors, nor did they demonstrate Christian love by letting this family fall apart and letting your sister do whatever she wanted to do, including moving out at 17.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  19. annsni

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    Absolutely - that is key. Their hearts. We cannot judge someone by the tattoos or the 3 piece suit. But we can certainly (and are commanded to) judge the actions. We can also assume that someone who is living as you describe is either a believer in major rebellion or not saved. They need Christ. And we are commanded to either bring them to Him or to attempt to restore him.

    But I have seen those who will judge someone just on their appearance alone. That is sad.
     
  20. Spinach

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    The church was oblivious. A bit later, the church imploded and dissolved. After that, the separation, reconciliation, much fighting, and permanent separation. He is not in our lives now, by his choice. It's all quite sad, really.
     

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