Searching for the Path of Peace

Do all Christian bloggers come under fire often? I don’t see that much, and I don’t know if I do because I have a knack for drawing out those who want to argue against the faith, or if most bloggers just ignore such comments.

For me, most direct attacks come from ex-believers, those of other faiths, or those who oppose any idea of religion. It’s known that my blog commonly speaks against Christian corruption. Even so, Christians are not the ones who come to my site badgering me. Some just ignore, and others are more sneaky and would rather slander me behind my back. In any case, sometimes it feels as though in some form, opposition comes at me from all sides.

Dealing with all in the righteous way has been an on-going learning process, and there have been times when I had to apologize and re-phrase my comments. Finding the most empathetic and compassionate response is not in my nature. It is in my nature to be harsh and shut people up in ways that are not fitting for a believer in Jesus. Lately, I thank the Lord that he is helping me with this. I want his wisdom to shut their mouths, not my hatefulness.

Even so, I feel very grieved today. I see a common theme here. Many used to believe in Jesus, but they no longer because of all the division, hate, hypocrisy, and other tendencies among Christians. They see how corrupt it all is, and they throw Jesus out along with the Christian systems they once worshiped. If we had the mind of Christ, it would not be so. We would not continue fighting over the outer appearances of righteousness, and instead, we would understand the spirit of the matter. If we were Spirit-filled and led, things would be so much different.

What about his prayer that we would be one as he and the Father are one? If we understood the spirit of what pleases God instead of fighting over legalism, we would be one. If we really believe in Jesus, would we not also believe in what he stands for and what he teaches? Would we not understand the futility of fighting over petty matters and effectively “straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel?”

I get the impulse. I hate false doctrine, for example, because it affects the way many view God. However, there are underlying principles that are more important than knowledge–those of mercy, patience, love, temperance, and the other fruits of the Spirit. However, if we know what these things really mean, we will also understand that there is a time and place for rebuke and standing against falsities. It’s all in how we do it.

I take comfort in knowing that God is in control of all things, and one day Jesus will return to overthrow all the foolish things in this world — foolishness that leads to much hate and bloodshed. We need to stop killing each other, both in the spirit and in the flesh. Most of us do not murder, however, we hate. If we hate, we are killing.

Should we accept other religions for the sake of “peace” as many I encounter suggest? No. Jesus is the only way, and he alone will avenge the blood shed, both in the spirit and in the flesh. We can live at peace with others and remain separate from them, or at least, we should try and have faith that Jesus will come, overthrow the False Prophet and all who oppress, and the whole world will understand the foolishness of their ways, bow before him, and “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

I look forward to that day, though I also fear it. I deserve to be among those the Lord overthrows. However, he is merciful towards those who seek to keep his words and live by them. I want to be as one who lives and walks in the path of peace. I want to be one who honors the name of Jesus by striving to live like him with faith in the power of the Spirit to light the way. I want to take comfort in his mercy, both in his mercy to spare those who trust in him and his mercy to avenge the oppressed. Until that day, I want the strength to uphold the teachings of Christ and remain at peace and trusting the Lord rather than being overcome by this world and consumed by the hate that surrounds me.

Why do I write this? Partially, my motives are selfish. It’s helpful for me to put things on paper. Also, I committed to being more transparent about my Christian walk as living proof of the gospel, so these sorts of blog entries will continue. If you’re like me and you struggle with all the divisions  and other things in Christianity that should not be, please don’t start throwing Jesus out also. He will avenge all oppression, whether the title of Christian is attached to it or not. Secondly, have faith in the judgments of the Lord and his mercy, and do not participate with those who destroy others, no matter how harsh they become towards us — even to the ending of our lives, if need be. If we continue, our reward will be great!

 

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Posted in Christian Faith, My Journey / Christian Life
4 comments on “Searching for the Path of Peace
  1. There are three problems. The easiest to identify is false teachers acting in bad faith. These are those who lie for gain in the here and now. (Money, followers, sex, all of the above, whatever I’ve forgotten to mention…) These will say something that appeals to someone just to what they’re looking for. Often, they will quote the Bible, but they use clipped quotes.

    The next problems are the “blind faith” Christans. These are the ones that teach we need to believe workout evidence. Dr Tim Mackie has an awesome sermon on what faith really is I’ll try to dig up for you, but to sum up my own thoughts briefly, if you believe against it in spite of evidence, then what you believed in is most likely not the real God.

    The last Christans speaking out of turn. No one is an expert in everything. We should restrain our declarations to those things in which we have knowledge, and when an expert in another field speaks, we should be content to listen. The most obvious place we’ve gone astray in this is the conversation about evolution: our comments on biology give Richard Dawkins every right to comment on spiritually. If we’d keep our noses where they belong, he could be seen for the hypocrite that he is. There are other, more subtle ways that this comes out in every day speach, though, and the church as a whole could use a healthy dose of humility.

    When we can build a wall of separation between us and these, we will be able to reach people that have been hurt by these. As long as they’re mixed among us and allowed to thrive, we simply perpetuate the hurt they’ve already experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Shaun. I agree that these are three problems. I tend to view most problems as symptoms of greater underlying issues. I am reminded of when Jesus said “you neglect the weightier matters of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith.” I think lack of righteous and sound judgment, lack of mercy or prejudicial mercy, and as you mentioned, issues of faith are the foundation on which many corruptions of Christianity are built. If we could judge what is a good teacher and false, there would not be so many doing so well today. If we really had faith in Jesus and the promises of salvation, we would seek to know him better and live by his teachings, and we would learn righteous judgment and mercy. If we had faith in the judgements of God and His sovereignty, we would not take vengeance into our own hands. If we believed in mercy, we would not be so high and mighty, self-righteous, and so on. I could write more, but you get my meaning.

      I try to separate myself from such as these, however, that proves to be very difficult, and I believe there are many ensnared within the systemic corruption that just need to hear that there is a better way. So, I try to reach those who have been hurt, but I do not want to lose hope for those who “are not dead, but sleeping.”

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love the truth of the gospel. We are so unworthy of God’s mercy and goodness. It does grieve my heart when people are not sincere. I agree false teachers out for gain for themselves are about the worst sort, but then I have to remember Saul, murdering Christians, but God struck him down and put salvation in his path. God’s power to change anyone. I am hopeful for others.
    True, bad fruit should be considered, too many teachers are trusted too readily. Not just what comes out of their mouths, but their very lives. Being examples, the Lord sees all…
    Amanda, you are in a challenging situation if others attack you for your beliefs. I pray The Good Lord Jesus help you to speak what He would have you speak to everyone. It’s so amazing that His Holy Spirit WILL help us!!!!! To always trust this…

    Liked by 1 person

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These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things I hate, saith the Lord.  — Zechariah 8:16-17