God’s Grace

Some have said that Covid19 has given us all an opportunity to realign the direction of the course we have set and reprioritize our connection to our source of strength and I can seriously appreciate that because I also have been rethinking a lot of things. I know one thing for sure, I’m tired on being on the merry-go-rounds that lead nowhere, or at a minimum, seem to never end.

Who of us really wants to hear of yet another opinion? I know I surely don’t. I know a lot of us Christians disagree on a wide spectrum of topics. I’ve heard it said that if you put 100 Jewish people in a room you will end up with 101 opinions. It would appear to me that the Jewish people are not alone because I’m thinking that we all are subject to this tendency, pretty well without exception.

The various problems we are encountering are analyzed and varying sources are quoted with our reasoned findings stated. Problem being, the reality of unadulterated truth is a rare commodity these days, as are unbiased sources, so a lot of us end up not knowing who to believe. And I also know that many of the problems or topics we look at, are not all black or white, even when it comes to interpreting Scripture.

I have a gut feeling that these things are not going to change. They certainly haven’t in the past and I don’t see any evidence of that trend changing now. In fact, from what I can see, our differences of opinion are actually intensifying and causing much discord and disorder. And no, I am not going to offer up my opinion of why this is, or who is responsible or how to change it, but I do think that the vast majority of us can acknowledge that the disorder is indeed happening and it does not appear to be diminishing.

God’s Word tells us that God is NOT the author of disorder but rather of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33) And God’s Word also tells us, that as much as we are able, to live peaceably with all people. (Romans 12:18) So, I’m thinking that I actually have a choice, I can work towards that peace or I can work towards the continued disorder. That of course, is where it can become a tad sticky.

Does that mean that we as Christians stop defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ? No, I don’t think it does. As Christians this is one of our responsibilities (Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 4:2) and is in fact, a topic of much discussion within the New Testament. If you disagree with me, that is your call, but I would disagree with you if you don’t acknowledge this directive that we are given.

Sometimes we do need to disagree with one another. If Peter and Paul could have a disagreement (Galatians 2:11-14), I’m pretty sure that can happen to you and I. Sometimes one argument will change the mind of another and sometimes it won’t. We can’t control that, all we can do is speak the truth in love, which I would think includes honest motives and a sense of responsibility to defend God’s truth.

So one of the things that has been whirling around in the back of my mind is how to balance my requirement to as much as I am able, work towards peace, while at the same time, lovingly defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The first thing that comes to my mind, is does what I am about to put forward to others, focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ or does it touch on areas outside of this specific area? It also brings to my mind, the reality of, is this a critical article of faith or is it a grey area where there are different schools of thought on this subject? I admit that this defining process is not always easy. Validating the “Passion Bible” as an authentic translation or even an accurate paraphrase of God’s Holy Word would be a relatively easy one to decide on (my recommendation would be to not validate it). Whether we do or do not celebrate Christmas or Easter would in my mind, not be a critical article of faith.

I’m thinking, that in the big scheme of things, we all are utterly dependent on God’s grace and our walk with Him needs to be in accordance with His guidance. Clarifying the parameters of that walk can be instrumental in achieving that goal.

Anyway, just my thoughts, something to perhaps think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!







9 comments

  1. Bruce I am with you on this. Disagreements are definitely intensifying on all levels and matters. I have been asking myself as well what does it mean to live peaceably with others? In my theological view things are going to get much, much worse. I do not take any joy or pleasure in saying that. I pray I will be both a light and gracious to those I agree and disagree with. Like you I need God’s wisdom and discernment to know when to speak, what to post and how to post. I am really trying to be mindful of my “why” questions as they can be more defensive than saying “how?” It grieves me how civility and diplomacy are lost arts. I appreciate your desire to get people to think about what they are thinking/believing and to think through the manner in which they express these thoughts and beliefs. Love and blessings to you and Peggy!

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    • Hi Mandy, well you are not alone! It is scary how quickly our humanistic tendencies can rise to the surface, even among friends and that definitely includes myself. And I am also sure that God also grieves. God says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I’m thinking this is a step in that direction. Blessings to you and Nathan as well!

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  2. Bruce, one thought that came to mind as I read your post, is that God is perfectly able to defend Himself. In one of favorite passages from Isaiah, the Lord is “dressing down” Israel and says this: “How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” — Isaiah 48:11b (NIV)

    True, we should preserve the authenticity and accuracy of the gospel, but what about the negotiable items? For instance, I have fine Christian friends who believe baptism is essential for salvation. I do not. Yet this isn’t something I find worth arguing about.

    As for translations, I don’t know much about The Passion Translation. Apparently it is the work of one man? However, I enjoy The Message translation, which is also the work of one man–Eugene Peterson, a Hebrew and Greek scholar. I had professors in seminary who read straight from their Greek New Testament, translating to English on the fly. It still sounded like God’s word to me.

    This is certainly a thought inducing post, Bruce. Blessings!

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    • Hi David, obvious God doesn’t need us to defend Him but (don’t you just love that word!) when it comes to defending the truths of the Gospel or guarding against false doctrines, I’m thinking Paul’s directions are pretty clear. The history behind the “Passion Bible” and the author, not to mention any resemblance of endeavouring to be at least close to the original Hebrew or Greek, even from a paraphrase perspective, is really off the pain charts. Think New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). I am with you on secondary essentials and there may be some disagreement there but I usually try to accommodate those if at all possible. I happen to agree with you about baptism, if the opportunity to do so is not present, like the thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. What I am suggesting is that we take a good hard look at what we are putting out there for others to consider and whether or not, we should even be giving our opinion on it, in the first place. And I acknowledge, that is not always easy. Blessings to you and yours David!

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  3. Some false teaching is dangerous, such as “Word of Faith” and NAR. False teaching must be exposed for what it is: in conflict with what the Bible teaches. However, it has been my experience that there isn’t much use in correcting someone who doesn’t want to be corrected. Once you get shut down, you might as well save your breath. That’s my 2 cents! Keep standing for Truth! Blessings, Bruce!

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    • Hi Cindy, it would appear that both of our experiences are relatively the same in the vast majority of cases. All you can do then is keep it civil and gracefully bow out. Thanks for commenting Cindy, always appreciated. Blessings!

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