Someone emailed me this verse today:
Jude 20-23 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
If this isn’t last days encouragement, tell me what is? Don’t we all need that, at least if we are looking and watching and waiting and daily vexed by the world and what passes for the Church. Of course if you are not looking upward, then most of what I will say here and will make no sense, so you can skip this and continue on with your head in the sand. How’s that workin’ for you?
I am not a boat rocker by nature. I am a peacemaker; I hate controversy and like everyone else, want to have friends and put the best spin on most everything. At least that’s been my path. But the time has come to just not worry about all that. I believe that God of course puts such personality traits in us, and once filled with the Holy Spirit at conversion, we begin to grow in grace and become meeker with time, not more abrasive. (Note I didn’t say, ‘bold’, I said, ‘abrasive’ as in off-putting or annoying.) But the challenge here in these verses is not to some, but to all, regardless of our nature. There is a job to do, Christian. There is a time to be bold and live with our convictions and a time to be meek and gracious and kind. These verses suggest that to me and making a distinction is very important.
Today there is an overused phrase, “the road less traveled”. I’m not sure exactly what that means in light of contending for the faith in the midst of rampant apostasy and falsehood and reinventing postmodern Christianity (which technically does not exist, it is a made up buzz word for those with an agenda). But I am going to suggest that narcissistic believers today are all about their own personal journey and self-discovery and neglect the idea of real community as described in the Bible. Not the wimpy left-handed social networking coffeehouse “relationship” and “conversant” sandbox Christianity so popular today, but real Spirit-led regenerate community where the gifts of the Spirit are in play, including the ones that serve to keep an eye on where the church is going and are willing to stick their necks out and protect the flock. I think the road less traveled recently and without warning, became “the boat less rocked”. Those who do rock the emergent and all things reinvented pleasure yacht today are called unkind things, lumped into a category and accused of throwing sand and spoiling all the relevant fun. When will the church realize there are other gifts in the body, placed there for a reason, and despite the “lack of love” accusation that is designed to provoke a deep-wound response, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Political correctness has infiltrated the church just like the world. It is nothing more than censorship and of the worst kind. To speak out about false teaching and error today engenders responses that I couldn’t imagine only a few years ago. Everyone has sacred cows it seems, and the farther we sink into apostasy, the less teachable the body seems to become. What is to become of the church where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, gouging out the eyes and stopping up the ears of the church? Censorship has no place in the body but rather those who have been trained by the Word who see the writing on the wall need to be heeded, because there ARE absolutes, doctrine is not a dirty word, and above all, Jesus is coming soon, and so much is at stake. There are beloved older saints who are doing all they can – I think of Dave Hunt, Pastor Chuck, Jacob Prasch, David Hocking, and others with great apologetic gifts; wonderful pastors who do not walk before men, who are doing all they can and paying an incredible personal price. The way will get narrower, darker, and perhaps God is giving us some hard choices today. But in light of ecumenism, emergent heresies, far-left political agendas (in the church!), the meditative/mystical movement, the Islam/Christianity common ground movement, Dominionism and other such mischief, the boat less rocked, while on calm seas, is not taking anyone anywhere.
Don’t be afraid to rock that boat, you might snatch someone from the fire.