One thing that seems to stick out a lot, at least to me, in all of the controversy, is that it seems that some assume that being meek, mild and nonconfrontational is being Christian. Granted, we are to, if possible, be at peace with everyone (Ro 12:18).
This is a conditional phrase, though, and the truth is that it is not always possible. It isn’t even always desired.
Did Jesus contradict Himself?
When someone was casting out demons, the disciples wanted to stop him:
38And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9:38-40, King James Version)
When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the prince of demons, He said:
28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Matthew 12:28-30, King James Version)
Or, how about this back to back contradiction:
4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. (Proverbs 26:4-5, King James Version)
What does that mean?
Well, there are a couple of explanations. The most obvious one is that in dealing with a fool, you can never win. However, you often have to do something, even if it is showing the fool the door.
No, what you ultimately have to do depends upon the occasion. Your reactions usually have to depend upon the circumstances. Even though principles, laws and love have to be a permanent bedrock of what you do, think and feel, how that translates into a specific action can be very different in various environments.
Take stealing, for example. If someone picks something up and absent-mindedly walks off with it, they have still taken what is not theirs. If it can be truly determined that it was an accident, then I would hope you would act a lot more favorably towards the person than if it was deliberate.
Yes, there is a time to be meek and mild. Peter tried to lop off a person’s head in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was being arrested, but that was not the time and place. There is a time to render unto Caesar, and there is a time to pay tribute.
Yet, there comes a time to resist. There comes a time to obey God rather than men. There comes a time for Phineas to drive a javelin through a couple fornicating in a tent. There comes a time to make a whip and run the money changers out of the Temple.
There comes a time for passion. David jumped and danced before God. Miriam took up a timbrel and did the same.
There comes a time for prophets to warn of danger and tell people to repent. There comes a time to confront nations, people and kings.
There comes a time when you can no longer be neutral. Granted, it is good to be neutral when you are evaluating what is going on. It is best to be neutral when you are gathering facts. However, there comes a time when you have gathered all the information you will be able to. Not making a choice is making a choice by default.
14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:14-15, King James Version)
21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21, King James Version)
So, ax the 450?
@Anonymous: You and I both know that either that will happen or they will be pressured to "resign". That's been the heavy-handed "love" that the COE has shown all along.
Hi – I was wondering about the congregations themselves. We seem to be hearing about ministers departing on a regular basis, but is the membership responding? I'd heard that maybe in Sacramento CA and South Texas groups are meeting, but only vaguely. What is the news concerning actual congregations – or is this simply shepherds heading off without the sheep?
@Anonymous #2: In some cases, the members have gone with them. A few are being funded through the IAO now (note: I don't know that much about this organization, so this is neither an endorsement for nor a denouncement of IAO).
Obviously, I cannot speak to all the cases, as there are so many of them.