I'm trying to understand you here, I promise. What should I have done? What should I have said? How should I have responded to someone who asks:
* How can we judge their fruits?
* Please Use Scripture?
I did that. I used Scripture to address the question. I thought I was being as understanding as possible by answering 100% the way he asked. Clearly that was not the case. Now, I need from you to help me know how better to do this, because I'm not seeing it. This is not a rhetorical question/post, Jim. I'm being 100% honest here. Please help me because I'm so lost it is not even funny.
And how do I do so, without honoring his question as valid? Because that's important too, as I think you yourself have admitted to. I have no clue what this "third option" is, and I really need your help right now since you seem to know what it is.
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
This is not an issue of "if we argue long enough, maybe they will change their minds". It's an issue of "If we do not present opposition, there are those who will buy their arguments wholesale." This cannot be won through silence.
I just want you to know that I love you, and still consider you a friend. But you have made a very public campaign against people, and you asked a public question (which as I read it) implied that people have not been hurt by your campaign, and that simply is not the case. I have refrained all this time from commenting about what you are doing because I have not wanted to debate the theology and scripture with you because I do not see that as the essential issue. The issue is how people are being treated by your blog and the other blogs associated with the concerned nazarenes. The truth is you have hurt people with your campaign and I was simply addressing that. I love you still and your wonderful family, we are still family in my opinion. But at times even those we love we must confront when they are in the wrong. Perhaps you are right that I should have written this to you privately, but the fact is that this has gone far beyond you and I and it is touching many lives around the church, and thus there does need to be a public counter balance to what you all have been presenting on your blogs. I am deeply grieved to have to have written what I did, but I feel as if your assertion needed to be addressed.
In relation to what you are going to do with these posts, you need to do what you feel in your heart is right. I love you and am praying for you.
I am praying as to what and how to write it. It will address various points you made here about me; I will not address anything else you said about anyone else.
Manny and John,
I appreciate how you both are protecting the "everybody else" in your personal and difficult exchange with one another. Manny, It sounds like John really cares about you and his friendship with you. I am glad you have friends like John, and it sounds like John is saying the despite the conflict he is glad to have a friend like you. I will be praying for you both, and I am sure most of us following on NazNet will be praying too.
I am praying for healing between you two- but also healing for all of us. Christ bore our sins that we have committed against him and one another for our healing and reconciliation. I am praying for Christ to do his work in all of us.
Ben; Ok, my turn to be put on the spot, thats fair. Here is what I think I would write. (I'll pretent to be you for the rest of the post.)
My take on the Matthew verse is that this "fruit" is in fact the fuit of the Spirit, do you agree?
My take on your question is that your opinion is that we should examine the effect that their teaching has on others. Is that correct?
Ben(ok not really.)
I have prayed about this, and I prefer that John and I deal with this privately, and so that's where I will take it. I still consider him a friend.
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
Okay Guys, I feel uncomfortable with a lot of what has been said on this thread; not with regard to the various arguements but with regard to the lack of charity that has at times been shown to one another and what appears to me to be personal attacks. I have also recieved a complaint about these concerns.
So, I will close the thread until I discuss this matter fruther with Ben and we decide where to go from here.
GRACE AND PEACE