Yet another "spill-over" from the online forum of which I am such an active part. This time, my dear brother (name withheld) posed a question entitled "Is It Really Okay?" This was his response to the very liberal amount of name-calling, goading, biting comments directed from one supposed "apostolic" minister to another.
I was once again appalled at the response from at least one of the men who are part of this forum. (Ironically, that same man is the one who suggested I take my writings and put them on a blog somewhere for others to benefit from. Go figure.)
More often than not, the words that I post (either in my blogs or on these forums) are the result of just starting to type, and my feelings start leaking out. I say things that I never intended to say, yet am not sorry that I say them. I admit to being somewhat brutal in my affront, but my thoughts or words are never intended to be malicious or harmful; only to speak what I feel is the truth that others may be skirting, and to cause us all to pause and consider what we are doing or saying.
Here, then, is my response to my good friend's question, "Is it really okay...to call one another names?...to have no consideration for the feelings of others?...to pick someone else's thoughts or opinions apart by belittling, ridiculing, or accusing them of false motivation?" et al.
Is it easy being a Christian? Hardly...which is why we've ignored it and focused on being Pentecostal. Or "apostolic" (today's hot label).
I am afraid that we have proudly labeled ourselves "apostolic" but forgotten the part about being "Christians".
After reading your post, I confess that I went to my closet to pray, and I had to repent because I am guilty of this very thing. I have sought to be "apostolic"; I have sought to have the power of God, the anointing of God, oh yes, even the favor of God in my life...but what I need is the Spirit of Christ more than anything.
Tell me, how am I supposed to affect those around me when I walk in carnality? How can my preaching or music be life-changing when my spirit exudes arrogance and disdain for any and all who disagree with me? All the books I can read, all the sermons I can build, all the conferences I could preach (if I were a conference-caliber speaker) could never change a life...but if someone can see Jesus in me, if someone sees His reflection instead of my own, then perhaps I will have succeeded in what I am called to do: touch lives with the Gospel of Christ.
Are we so consumed with "apostolic power" and demonstration of the power of God that we have ignored the very nature of Christ? Are we so concerned with being "preachers" that we are guilty of living a double standard? We teach and preach these very lessons from our pulpits to those under our leadership, and then we log on to this forum and call each other names, and disguise it under "friendly chatter". Should we hear our saints referring to one another in such terms, I can imagine we would work up a good bible study (probably based on the book of James) about how "the tongue is a fire...set of fire of hell".
We complain about the lack of reverence for the ministry today from those around us, yet we treat each other like common vagabonds, showing that same lack of respect. These guys being referred to as "Jerk" or "Idiot" or "Loser" are men of God, called and ordained of God; I wonder what God thinks about me referring to His servant in such a manner?
Jesus told His disciples, "Henceforth I call ye no more servants, but friends..." Somehow I can't see Him slapping "the boys" on the back and saying "You big jerk! You're an idiot!" I certainly can't see them addressing Him that way, either.
The brutal truth of the matter is that we pick and choose how and where we walk in the Spirit. "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ..." refers to a lifestyle, not an old coat that gets tossed in the closet when warm weather arrives.
We can justify everything we do with excuses, but the truth is, we slip into and out of the nature of Christ according to what mood we're in.
Is it any wonder we're not changing our world? They know we're Pentecostal, but still can't tell if we're Christians or not...
Phil 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:...