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!