What Would You Say If . . . ?

Does this look like what you picture as a Christian Warrior? Is this the uniform that the Apostle Paul tells us to adorn ourselves with, in Ephesians 6:10-18 ? And please note that I am not against serving in the military, I personally spent 35 years of my life serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. This above pictured individual is a member of the 3%er patriot militia movement. Never heard of them? Check this link for the United States version and this link for the Canadian version. This particular member is also a professed Christian that a good number of my followers, including myself at one time, used to read posts from. I was really surprised when I started looking through some of his followers because a good number of Christians that I converse with on a semi regular basis, followed and commented on his blog too. As long as you agreed with him you did fine but voice some criticism or opposition, not so much.

Initially, after I had read a couple of his posts, I started to observe dialogue and a mindset that I had to take exception with. Big mistake. Criticism wasn’t tolerated and I was asked to disengage from his site, which I have complied with, with the one exception of a recently submitted question, which unsurprisingly, didn’t go over well. 

I’m not going to go into any further particulars pertaining to this individual but throughout the course of my blogging time, I have found it necessary to separate myself from a few individuals. Not that many really, perhaps five or six over the last four or so years, which works out to be about 5% that I semi regularly converse with. For about two thirds of that 5%, the break came relatively quick, after a couple of exchanges. But there have been a couple that I sincerely tried to accommodate and work through, but even after an extended period of time, it just didn’t work out and I had to make a decision, which I obviously did.

I don’t profess to know the hearts of all the people that I converse with on my blog and obviously they don’t know mine, but normally, if they are professing Christians, I take their profession of faith seriously. No, we don’t always agree on all of the varying perspectives we hold but in the vast majority of cases we are able to accommodate the different perspectives we each hold and still learn from and appreciate one another. In short, even though we may hold different perspectives on some non-essential or controversial issues, I consider them my brothers or sisters in Christ and they do likewise with me.

I personally find that encouraging because I’ve learned a lot over the years, from some who do hold different perspectives than mine and the long and the short of it is that even though we are all different, we are also all the same, in our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Making a decision to dis-associate from someone who call themselves a Christian is not always easy, especially if a considerable amount of time and communication between us has taken place but I have learned that there is a reality that I need to pay attention to. As I read God’s Word I am mindful that none of us know everything and when you run into someone who indicates that they also do not know everything, but what they continually say in what they write, is that they do, and that everything that they author is 100 % via the leading of God’s Holy Spirit, well for me, that presents a bit of a problem. That 100% aspect doesn’t leave much room for alternate considerations. What we are talking about here is infallibility and I can’t buy that. I know that quite often I have experienced the guidance and help of God’s Holy Spirit in some of the posts that I author but I can’t give you a percentage of His input and my input, not when it comes to writing something. So for me personally, that is a bit of a red flag. And just to clarify, I’m not talking about the New Testament Gospels or Epistles, I’m talking about blog posts, big difference.

What I also look for and expect to find, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. That would include Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. Where what is being said is said with compassion and with the intent of building one another up.  I know this is not always easy, in fact, depending on the subject matter, it can be very difficult, but there should be a pattern of these characteristics that are generally prevalent. If they aren’t there, that is another red flag for me. Where there is constant criticism of the “vast majority” of the Christian Church and a prevalent theme of “musts”, for me, that is another red flag. I am acutely aware of the current state of the Christian Church and I agree with all that God’s Word says about us all needing to continually walk in the Spirit and die to self daily. The thing is, I don’t know of anyone who does that 100 % every day of their life. The Bible also says there are weak and strong believers, and that the strong believers are to strengthen and encourage the weak believers and bear the weak whenever it is feasible to do so, in love. If we are ministering to others, our objective should be to build up, not continually tear down. 

So perhaps, you may or will come to a place, like I have on a few occasions, where I have had to decide, after prayer for guidance, to walk away from that which tears me down and seek those fellow brothers and sisters, who are as imperfect as I am, but who strive to follow our Lord daily, and that build us up. The long and the short of it is that it happens, it happened in the early Christian Church and it happens now, it’s part of the journey and even this, though admittedly sad, all works towards strengthening and expanding our reliance and trust in Jesus, our Saviour.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

21 comments

  1. I think we’ve all been there, Bruce. It’s painful. I have had to “Unfollow” a number of Facebook friends for similar reasons. No longer is it beneficial to me or to them, for us to argue over faith, politics, or anything else. One thought: My own family (those of us who currently live in the same household) is made up of four generations, ranging in age from 76 to 2. The level of knowledge, maturity, and self-control is quite varied! We are currently faced with “The terrible twos!” The body of Christ is very much like that. Pray, forgive, grit your teeth, and distance yourself from that conflict if necessary. Thanks for this post, it’s important. And timely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bette, you’re right, it’s never easy and personal soul searching is definitely part of the process. Those “terrible two’s” begin to look a lot easier than what sometimes waits for us down the road. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning Bruce. I don’t know which gospel these people preach, but it’s certainly not the gospel Jesus taught us. He told us to resist evil and violence. The Word also tells us that we can serve only one master – not the world and Jesus at the same time. We belong to the Kingdom of God and Jesus is our King – it’s His teaching we should be following.
    I’ve come to find out that we cannot reason with Trump devotees/worshippers. They hang on his every word, yet if there’s something in the media that berates him, they claim ‘fake news’. Walk away, Bruce and wipe the dust from your feet. The time will come when God will sort out the weeds to be burned on the fire.
    “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.” Matthew 13:40 NIV
    Love and blessings to you, my brother.

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  3. Shucks. I was hoping for an article to help me. LoL. As a warrior I could have used the encouragement. LoL. Oh well. I have a different perspective about this. (and you say) well of course you do. LoL.

    Seriously, some people have a naive activist personality that can be played by some churches who use the Armour of God as some sort of mantra suggesting the devil is actually sneaking around the house. And they spin a web of guilt for not working in their church. So, since they lack normal solutions to a fake devil flying in the sky over them the resort to this mouthy stance of praying to the devil of all losers to pray too. They cast one thing out and call another thing to be as if they are witches doing spells with prayer.

    Unfortunately we do need activists who are not happy with the status quo. And these people with mature guidance can start churches build cities, lead nations some times. But generally they have a weak mind. Its why they get attracted to these big mouth preachers misusing the bible.

    But we should not shun Christians, treat them as less, judge them because we also grab on to things. If we interfere in their situation we need to be ready and prepared not just mouthy ourselves. I believe we should be activist in front of our faces first. If there is a widow in need, don’t wait for some international organization to fix the problem. Do what is in front of you to do. It keeps me pretty busy.

    We can also become Authoritarian which usually turns off these activists who are trying to as part of their personality to break the mould and push off oppression. They don’t get it if you strait on tell them to stop. Its better to go over the basics of Ephesians and break it down. And to some degree they are right. the authorities are acting against us. Those we elect. But what is the solution. we can remove the armour allegory and dig into what God wants us to do. Rather than rejecting the call to arms we accept it. You can literally drive someone like that right into the word of God. the sword. If you are going to fight, the hidden meaning is that we need to be professionals, memorizing and grasping scriptures. And the manifesto of Jesus is Matthew 5,6,7. It is his sermon on the mount. Its a call to the troops for action.

    Asking what other peoples fruit is, in a way is condescending and judgmental and risks the question being asked, what sort of tree stump is in your own eye. It also makes the assumption in front of everyone that you know and they don’t. The 100% leading by the spirit is the exact same argument just said differently. I have the spirit and you don’t. I think its better to as a guide to the blind to go to what makes us see. The bible, and dig down into it and find out what gods marching orders are specifically in balance. Then its not about you. Its not about you or him having fruit. The Lord is a lamp unto my feet.

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  4. Thanks, Bruce. I enjoy your posts regarding the heavy political activism/nationalism of some Christians because I share your views. I’ve commented at length previously about the regrettable conflation of faith and politics/nationalism that began when the Puritans arrived in the American colonies 400 years ago. That view is still VERY popular with many Christians living in America. Whoops! I’m repeating myself. Yes, I also “unfollowed” this particular person a long time ago after I read several of his posts pushing very hardcore “Christian nationalism.” Two of my pet peeves are the “America the Christian nation” trope and ecumenism with pseudo-Christian churches. A lot of both going on these days within “evangelicalism.” What’s difficult for me is that many of the churches that are still vigorously opposed to ecumenism with Rome are also highly nationalistic. Tough to find a church these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to comment. You’re right, it can definitely get your attention because the nationalism aspect comes bursting through like a bulldozer. The military obviously fosters that mentality and I can appreciate it because I lived in that environment for 35 years but it’s the distain and hatred that accompanies it that I have a hard time with. The so called “bold” preaching leaves me at a loss for words. I just don’t see that in the NT when Jesus ministered to the Samaritans as an example. Definitely gives one reason for caution when going through new Church doors. Blessings to you and yours!

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      • I don’t think that individual was in the military before. Its crazy to think you were in the military for 35 years. I was in for 6. I love America a lot and I think there’s a lot of problem in the US today coming from the Left. But I think the whole picture with guns and stuff is a bit too much for me. That doesn’t mean I’m not armed for self defense. But I think there’s a fine line between self-defense and parading it with getting ready for war.

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      • One of my side qualifications in the Canadian military was as a Weapons Range Instructor so I am very familiar with the various weapons the Canadian Armed Forces uses, but I don’t own a gun or rifle and never have. You folks have the highest percentage of civilian gun ownership in the world per capita and also the highest per capita homicide death rate. No correlation there. Different mindset, different results. Blessings.

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