Friday, July 20, 2007

Misery Loves Company

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful in developing everything necessary in a disciple, so that the disciple be completely enabled to do every good work. Jesus made it possible for his disciples to do the good works he did, and even greater works than those, by returning to the Father and sending us the Holy Spirit. Peter, in interpreting the prophecy of Joel and the occurrence of Pentecost, said that very promise of Jesus was being fulfilled before the eyes of the onlookers that day, and was not only theirs (with repentance and faith), but also the next generation's, and all generations' far off, in fact, everyone's who was called by the Lord.

The scriptures also say that tongues should not be forbidden to be spoken in church. Yet, there is a unbelieving group out there, called cessationists who, in undermining the miraculous works of the Spirit delineated in scripture, effectively ban the use of tongues in their assemblies. They congratulate themselves for this, thinking themselves intelligent, rational students of God's word, tradition, and history. Often, they smugly dismiss as heretical those whose only desire is to practice what the Word preaches. They remind me of those Pharisees, hardened in unbelief, who callously withstood others from endeavoring to experience a joy the Pharisees refused to pursue themselves. They cast aspersions at the faithful, while they wobble on a tightrope precariously poised over the pit which is called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Why would anyone, who actually loved Jesus, fastidiously turn over every pebble and grain looking for excuses not to walk in all that scripture equips us for? Why would someone of such wizened religion incessantly argue with and insult the humble and faithful, just to prevent them from going where trust in God's word could take them? I guess misery must truly love company.

7 comments:

  1. Why...for the same reasons that we do a lot of other silly things. Pray for the sweet children of God that they will continue to show God's love to others even though they have do not agree with the others view.

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  2. I very much appreciate your frankness. I'm not sure Jesus or even Paul could relate to the way false teachers and pharisees these days usually get a barage of syrupy sweet 'entreaties'. I'm not sure we should be trying to make peace with them at all!

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  3. love is not syrupy, it is hard as a rock. and it is what the enemy hates.

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  4. @Nancy
    We always need to hold our ground and speak the truth, or truth will get bowled over and lost. That has happened in matters of the Spirit before. We are called to do that gently (Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2:25), but it is hard to maintain that when it isn't reciprocated from what we assume are brothers and sisters. However, we need to trust God and try, and speak the truth in love. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  5. @jul,
    I understand your feelings. No discussion about these matters appears to proceed civilly. Always smugness and sarcasm, probably from both sides, although it doesn't seem that way to me. Could it be that one has to be Spirit-filled in order to deal with a brother in love?

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  6. My wife once asked a cessationist woman she knew, "But if tongues were a gift from God and still for today, wouldn't you want it?" To which she said, "no!"

    You simply can't argue with people who only want a measure of God's grace.

    Great post.

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  7. Carl,
    Fear, comfort, and manageability--
    the unholy trinity of the cessationist mindset.

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