Whoever Is Not Against You Is For You


Luke 9:49-50 NIV “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

These two verses seem to just pop into the narrative in Luke amidst all the other different things that are occuring as recorded in Chapter 9. Almost like a small side note if you will. Yet is strikes me as noteworthy that Jesus corrected the disciples and you will note what they based their objection on, “because he is not one of us“.

The last couple of weeks has been unsettling for me. Nothing totally off the wall but I have encountered three instances where I have interacted with others and either directly or indirectly caused some friction because of my opposition to that which I determined was “he is not one of us”, or to be more accurate, “he or she is not like me”.

One instance had to do with quoting and disseminating Biblical scriptures or overviews from what I would consider a untrustworthy source, another instance had to do with a very common practise within Christianity not being followed by a fellow Christian and finally, the last instance had to do with interaction with an immediate family member who in my mind, consistently displays a lack of empathy for the considerations of others. Short story is that is hasn’t been a great couple of weeks.

We hear a lot of discussion about the need for Christian unity and at the same time there seems to be an abundance of division and as it would seem, sometimes I inadvertently seem to get caught up in the middle of the division aspect, which I am not particularly fond of. My preference is to be at one with my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord and in essence, with all people that I encounter, especially family matters. I don’t really like confrontation, so if at all possible, I try to avoid it whenever I can.

The first instance mentioned involved The Passion Translation Bible (TPT), which I still believe is a nefarious tool closely associated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement that I and many others consider it to be based on doctrines which are anything but Biblical. The criticism I voiced was not welcomed and the individual with whom I spoke to, well we mutually agreed to disagree and we left it at that. Civil but curt might be an accurate overview of what transpired between the two of us. I still believe that unsound doctrine does have to be addressed and sound doctrine does have to be defended. Disagreements between what is sound doctrine and what is not sound doctrine does cause division. Church history and the various denominations refers.

The second instance involved what I thought was an innocent “suggestion” to consider what my Christian brother had already chosen to reject for himself and in truth, I did cross the line, because the mere suggestion was an infringement on and criticism of, his chosen stance. Short story is I got my hand slapped and I deserved it. Open mouth, insert foot. Not only what we say, but how we say it and if we say it is important, because in many cases, the presentation predetermines the response. That was probably a good example of unnecessary division caused by my lack of not fully considering how my “suggestion” would be received. Apparently I still need work on that, which should not come as a surprise to those who really know me. I prefer to call it “additional fine tuning”. I did apologize and my Christian brother graciously did forgive me. It happens.

The last instance involved interaction with an immediate family member where a history of not having empathy for the feelings and considerations of others has been prevalent for a long time. Most times my wife and I can handle the lack of empathy for our age, physical and financial limitations, but periodically a particular instance occurs and we react and threats of division then occurs from the offending source. This one is probably the most difficult of all because it involves our emotions with respect to love and caring. Stress at our age (74) is not our friend. Sometimes division is necessary to re-establish acceptable boundaries.

I dislike division, it causes discord which separates us rather than bringing us together. Yet, there are some justified instances where division is necessary, as Jesus indicated in Matthew 10:34-39 NIV. And, as indicated, in Luke 9:49-50 NIV above, there are times when it is not necessary. The hard part is discerning the times when each applies. 

I don’t think we can ignore defending sound doctrine or not agreeing with what God calls sin. Divisions will result because opinions do differ, it is inevitable. But I also don’t think that we need to be critical on every variance. The strong in faith are supposed to accommodate the weak when feasible (Romans 14:1 NIV). And not all disagreements are necessarily weakness.

Romans 14:10-12 NIV states “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”

Considering that each of us will give an account of ourselves to God, it would behoove us to give serious consideration to all that we do. My mind would love to be sitting on the beach, enjoying the surroundings, not involved in turmoil and disagreements but that option is not always presented to us.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!






  1. Reminds me of the controversy of Kanye West’s concert at Joel Osteen’s church. To be honest, as long as the gospel was proclaimed, I think we shouldn’t judge.


  2. I’m with you on the TPT but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a paraphrase and commentary and not a translation. My father in law keeps trying to give us one and we keep telling him we’re not interested. Every Sunday from the pulpit he sits under, his spiritual leader tells all of them just how much he loves the TPT and reads from it, every Sunday. My father in law then parrots what he heard on Sunday as he’s trying to sell us on it.
    Now that being said, there’s no shortage of professing christians who search different translations to support their ideas, in Truth, it’s why different translations exist.
    As for division, there will always be dome division and that’s ok, Jesus understands.
    But what should never be tolerated is manipulation and abuse.
    I’m also with you on the cancer which is the NAR, but the real problem lies with the exploitation, manipulation and abuse of people and their presentation of who God IS. This also applies to the WOF teachings, evangelicas and pentecostals.( And of course orthodox churches have their issues as well.)
    Teaching people that Gods’ grace is dependent on one giving, or that faith is some kind of force is pretty wicked.
    I have heard a pastor who told his congregation that it would be foolish for a farmer to expect a crop if he didn’t sow any seeds before passing the plate for the first of 3 offerings. Five minutes prior to that, he was consoling all the unemployed people in his congregation.
    Now that is evil.

    Happy Anniversary to you and your wife Bruce, I look forward to hearing about your 50th


    • Hi Stephen, I agree with you on the TPT and it is a paraphrase with a lot of NAR related jargon thrown in. Also agreement pertaining to the NAR movement plus manipulation and abuse, which there appears to be no shortage of. Thank you for the kind words Stephen. God’s blessings on you and yours also.


  3. It seems simple at first to just say that the important things are worth fighting for, and we should be tolerant about minor disagreements. … until you realize that people don’t agree about what the important things are. -_-


    • You’re right Ann. I’ve learned that very little is truly simple and what may appear to be minor to us isn’t necessarily minor to someone else. We are in much more need of our Shepherd than we know. Love what you share BTW, your sensitivity to God’s leading is a beautiful thing. God’s continued grace and blessings to you and yours!


  4. I”m trying to navigate something along these lines with some brothers right now in our church. Not so much doctrinal but more of how growth should be in other believers to serve God in a practical ministry (non-teaching).


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