The Importance of Credibility in our Christian Witness

I am taking a break from blogging for a week or two but felt led today to stress the importance of maintaining a focused level of credibility. If we use the various multimedia platforms, be aware that what we advocate and what we publicize speaks about us. It paints a picture of who we are and how we use logic and make decisions. If we publish a video by a particular Christian teacher, that usually infers that we agree with what they say. Be aware of that. Don’t be so quick to throw something out there for others to view or learn from if you yourself have not taken the time to validate what they are saying. Exercise a little common sense and restraint when it is necessary. 

I have advocated that we all be careful which wagon train we hitch our personal wagon to. When studying the teachings of someone, it is important to check their doctrinal beliefs and be aware of any deviations that they advocate which differ from the commonly held Christian Evangelical doctrinal consensus. If some of the doctrines that the teacher you are putting yourself under, are at odds with the vast majority of historical and current teachers of doctrine, that difference usually indicates that there is good reasoning behind it. Investigate those differences and understand why this teachers doctrinal beliefs are not accepted. Take the time to investigate the background and history of the teacher, his or her failures and successes. Do your homework and research which wagon train you are attaching your wagon to. Be aware, don’t assume.

When you run into a teacher who advocates they have found a truth that most others have missed, be very cautious, because it is very likely that most others have not missed it, but in fact, they have come to a much different conclusion than this teacher. Understand why they have rejected this teacher’s doctrine. Verify every deviation, take nothing for granted. And most importantly, be aware of what dangers you are subjecting yourself and others to, if you advocate this teacher to others.

And if your audience on a particular multimedia platform is mixed, in other words, there are Christians and non-Christians, be aware of those non-Christians. There are different topics that one might feel more open to discuss with Christians than non-Christians, the two different audiences are not necessarily one and the same. Use a little discretion when it is necessary. If you are impulsive and publish things without thinking them through, it will show and your level of credibility becomes less than it should be.

And finally, if we advocate that we believe and trust in God and then turn around by our posts, and show our support and belief in conspiracies and all the alleged disinformation and misinformation, that they entail, how does that demonstrate to others that we are any different than they are? Because if we believe and trust in God and all that He has told us, we indeed really should be different.

And realize that once your level of credibility has been diminished or tainted, it takes a long time to change that level of credibility from less to more.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

22 comments

  1. I realized how much our perception does not count when I recently met a young face to face man who had happened upon my blog. He is agnostic. I see myself as one who gently nudges people toward God. The agnostic sees me as standing on a big rock in the middle of the street telling people they need Jesus (negative to him). When we think we are lighting a match to reveal truth some may see it as a flame thrower. This is why I am going back to more story form and hopefully reflects the ;last couple of posts yet possibly be more potent in evangelism and discipleship (my bent is discipleship). Good thoughts Bruce and ya, I don’t hitch my wagon to much but hopefully Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gary, I agree, the variance in the audience is indeed wide, even within the so called “friendly” circles, depending on the subject matter being discussed. There are many who think that we should not judge within the church at all, for one example, which would make necessary church discipline on very serious offences a tad on the difficult side. Everyone loves the “love” statements but there are many who are not keen on the “woe” statements that Jesus made. I’m thinking the Apostle Paul would have lost his account pretty quick on FaceBook, were he here and on it today. Learning how to say, what you say, is a real skill set these days. There is a lot to learn about teaching, as per when Jesus said “Learn of Me . . .” Speaking the truth in love is not easy and even when you do, it can and will, still cause offence to some. It did back in the days when Jesus was here and it still does now. Tone and delivery are always important. I think you have a better handle on that than I do. Always room for improvement. Blessing Gary, I love your heart.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sure Frank, just off the top of my head, how about the reality of Covid19 being classified as a pandemic virus and the steps that are advocated by the vast majority of qualified medical professionals (the common consensus), to diminish the harm it causes. There is always a minority that opposes the majority, that is where the alleged misinformation and disinformation most often comes into play. Will that do?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What you are saying is very important. I see so many Christians recommending Bible Studies that I would not attend because I consider the author to be in error on many issues. Most concerning to me are the numerous “prosperity” and “word of faith” teachers. Their error is as plain as day to me, but apparently, I’m in the minority. A lot of sincere Christians follow these teachers. Am I just too picky or are most Christians lacking discernment? When your own church is sponsoring one of these Bible studies, well … that’s where the rubber meets the road! Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting legalistic. In fact, someone recently told me that I am obsessed with false teachers. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated as I respect you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cindy, no, I think your scrutiny is prudent because there is an awful lot of garbage out there. It never hurts to check on the source and background first. Derek Prince for instance thinks that Christians who have the Holy Spirit indwelling within them can also have demons in them at the same time. You really have to check just about everything. After a while you get to pretty well know who you can trust but it does take some work. You are not being too picky. And to answer your question about Christians not having discernment, unfortunately the answer is that far too many have very little discernment because far too many simply don’t spend enough time in God’s Word. I read a post authored by Alisa Childers recently where she details some of the criticism she received after doing a post on a book entitled “Girl, Wash Your Face” that was written by Rachel Hollis. Here is the link on her book review: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/girl-wash-your-face-what-rachel-hollis-gets-rightand-wrong Her followup post on this book review went over her Biblical reasoning for indicating that it is indeed a requirement for Church members to judge other Church members for serious offences, but not to be a hypocrite when doing so. Here is the link on that post: https://wellwateredwomen.com/biblical-judgment-in-a-dont-judge-me-world/ So actually, “good for you”! Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, Bruce! I was so disgusted by the amount of love and admiration that Rachel Hollis received! I have also been accused of being too hard on people or that I think I am better than others because I went to Seminary. I take the responsibility of warning people about false teachers seriously and exposing false theology. While I do not state much about this on my blog (my focus is life applicable Biblical Theology) the amount of false teachings that are being promoted by churches is disgusting. Most the time, church leadership does not have a clue to what is being taught in women’s ministry which in my mind displays a hidden culture (what an institution actually practices vs what they say they believe and practice) that women do not matter. I never read any of the comments Alisa received but I am not surprised. The cult of Beth Moore and those like her know no grace and charity. A little leaven ruins the whole lump/loaf. God will deal with us for not sharing with people about these issues just as He will deal with those who disseminate these falsities. Love and blessings to you and Peggy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you Mandy. There is an abundance of what I call “white fluff” out there, that has very little to do with the Gospel of Jesus. And even as gently as Alisa Childers covered it, being gentle is not good enough, because for so many, it can not even be tolerated to be mentioned. I just had an exchange with a Christian woman who has over 7 thousand followers on FB that says you cannot love and judge at the same time, therefore just love. Good thing she told me that, because I could have sworn that when our sins were judged on the cross, that act of Jesus dying for our sins was an expression of God’s love towards us. The hard part is not getting emotional about this, but when you run into that kind of blatant disregard for God’s Word, I keep wondering what Bible she is reading. Then she advocated Todd White as an example of how to witness to others. He is the one who said that the movie “American Gospel, Christ Alone” was a demonic inspired movie. Mind boggling, but such is the state of far too many within the Christian Church. I have decided to back off because my comments were quickly becoming borderline, if not, accusatory. No, they were accusatory and I take no pleasure in doing that. But there are times when we just have to. Not enjoyable, that is for sure. Regrouping back to our Shepherd. Blessings!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Todd White is such a heretic! I’ve had plenty of people stop me or those I have been traveling with to do the back pain leg test. I just walk away. Maybe that’s wrong on my part maybe I should try and speak truth to them. I have nothing good to say about him or any other Prosperity/WoF charlatans. Your experience is why I have not nor will I ever be on FB. I agree with your question in that what Bible is she reading?

        Liked by 2 people

      • You’re steady Eddie (my late brother’s name) 🙂 I’m starting to feel like we need a support group to navigate this. For almost two decades I was one of few Christians in my work environment. My goal was to work and write with the heart of Jesus and always with sensitivity to those who believed differently. Just recently, maybe it was my injury, that gave me a new sense of urgency, and I started opening up more. I went from 40-80 on FB to 3-4 to crickets within days. It breaks my heart. I honestly love the people God has allowed me to connect with over so much time…Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, all races and genders. I don’t know. It’s moment by moment listening to the Spirit. That’s all I can hold on to, even if I feel I sometimes I fail. (Like my last several posts.) I’m doing my best, that’s all I know. I just keep praying for more love and patience. And courage.
        I was thinking about doing the same thing actually. Stepping away from everything for a couple of weeks. But we’re headed on a road trip to Virginia tomorrow to see my son…imagine the pictures! ❤️

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      • I hear you Deb, read the comments between Cindy and myself on this post and look at the links I gave Cindy. Then read the comments that Alisa Childers received, especially on the 1st link. It is like swimming upstream against the current and the further one goes out into the stream, the faster the current goes against you. But here is the thing, Alisa Childers isn’t heading in the wrong direction and neither is Cindy and neither are you.

        All of us who take God’s Word and our relationship with Jesus seriously experience this, going against the grain or against the current, is more difficult. It is more difficult on two levels, difficult to manoeuvre against those who oppose us and difficult while recognizing and dealing with our own limitations. And then one thing becomes abundantly clear. The resources we have within ourselves is insufficient to meet the task at hand that we see and feel that we are called to address. The long and the short of it is that we can’t in ourselves do it, so we have a choice. Stop and walk away, like some do or go to our source.

        Jesus told us that without Him, we could do nothing. He knows your heart, He is drawing you closer to Himself because He literally is our strength. What did Paul say, “For when I am weak, then am I strong . . .” The battle is not ours, it is His. Jesus doesn’t need you or me or any of us to accomplish the goals He will accomplish. But He will use us because He wants us to learn to literally depend on Him. We see the mountain, He sees the steps drawing us closer to Him. Telling Him in prayer how it is, needing His guidance, for each and every step. Spending prayerful time in His Word and watching and listening for the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit for the next step. How we interact with those who He puts in front of us, it all works together, towards that next step. He won’t push you but He will pull you to Himself. Don’t worry about the mountain, you can’t climb it alone. But, and this is the kicker, the mountain you see and the mountain Jesus wants you to climb with Him may not be the same mountain. It is His job to bring us to completion in Him and that is exactly what Jesus is doing. I don’t have a clue what mountain Jesus wants you to climb with Him but Jesus does and I have no idea how long it will take. But that is not your problem nor is it mine. It is the climbing with Jesus, step by step, that is important.

        About a week ago I hit a bit of an impasse, a point where I had to stop and catch my breath. I literally laid aside my agenda and followed what God put in front of me. I have been busy but not doing my agenda, my schedule, my objectives. I rested and just responded to things that came to me to do. Answering you now is one of them. And I am convinced that this matters more to God than my agenda, my idea of what I think He wants me to do. It’s not that my goals are different but the priority has changed, my awareness of my dependency in Him has deepened and the fact that I am not guiding this ship, I’m just addressing the room He wants me to clean or square off a little bit, what ever room that might be. Jesus plots the course, all I need to do is keep Him close.

        I’ve laughed more this last week with my wife than I have the whole last month. And things are not easy, but Jesus does hold it all together. Shine where you are planted and follow His direction, The rest of it will all come together as long as we don’t lose sight of our Shepherd. Commit your trip to the Lord and enjoy it. Watch for the small things that show the faithfulness of God, because He is always faithful.

        May God’s peace, grace and blessings be poured out upon you and yours.

        Love in Christ

        Bruce

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Bruce, I am going to save and keep your comment handy. Yours are deeply healing words. Thank you for being obedient. 🙂 I have had an intense time as of late even though I’m spending more and more time in the Word and God’s Presence which is from where my writing generally flows. I recognize the sense of oppression when it comes but it always catches me off guard. I happened upon an article about Abe Lincoln yesterday in the Atlantic—it was his memorial day—and it helped me be not so hard on myself. And now your words do the same. We need each other’s prayers and support and I have had such blessing there. Thank you from the bottom of my big ‘ol heart.
    It feels like I would recognize the sound of your voice and laugh if I heard them! 🙂 Blessings to you and yours. I hope all are well. Yes, indeed, in Christ’s love, deb

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a bible study of 8 women counting me and I exhort them to hold me accountable and bless God I know one does. I taught something recently , not wrong but not the full truth and she talked to me privately so I was able to correct that in next weeks study. I often ask them after talking about a scripture if they understand what I just said, does any red flags go up. I have also told them if they love and respect me they will hold me accountable and not let that red flag just wave itself out. This post a good one, want my husband to read it, in fact I think I will print it out and talk about some of it with the ladies. We are studying Hebrews and can easily relate it to this day in our journey with the Lord. We can only live out of what we believe so I feel the weight of teaching the bible and the truths inside it. Having worked overseas and learned the value of ones world view being tied up in our belief system or it may be the other way around I want to give out truth but cannot depend on just me, accountability must be there at all times. Great preacher and teachers fall into sin from a lack of accountability , the willingness to allow others to keep them in check, to be courageous enough to confront when needed. Thank you for all the studying you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong there. Being accountable is important and all of us can make a mistake or an oversight. And a lot of times it is the mistake or oversight that has the most lasting impression for everyone, because it is remembered more easily. And if we are open about our mistakes or oversights, it fosters and promotes good accountability in all who partake, which is equally important. If Peter, who obviously was filled with God’s Holy Spirit, could make a mistake about the acceptance of the Gentiles, when Paul had to correct him, then any of us can make a mistake. It’s humbling but it’s good. I call Hebrews a Christian prep rally because it just builds to a strengthened faith in God’s faithfulness. If I can be of any assistance, just let me know. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it’s sincerely appreciated. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

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