When does love stand up for itself?

I hope you don’t mind me lifting this from groupsects, Specks&planks, but I think what you’ve written here poses some excellent and pertinent questions, which should be faced by all Christians.

Here’s what you wrote:

In the last few weeks I have discovered so-called ‘Christians’ who were actually practising witches (in CCC) who were actually ‘praying’ against certain people within it’s walls. At first I treated them nicely, but when I visited another local church and asked what to do, they shrugged it off.

Next time I saw them, they purposely avoided me and so I pursued them and ended up sitting behind them. They realised that if they moved away, they may draw the gaze of people. So they purposely made me feel uncomfortable by ‘praying’ loudly just enough so I could hear. I realised then, that they weren’t speaking in Christian ‘tongues’ but felt them speak something else… they were reciting something over and over again. I felt they were chanting incantations or curses… Boy was I pissed off. I didn’t say anything because I assumed I would look ‘foolish’.

I’m sure you see the dilemma I’m facing here. Now you might see I’m fighting with myself over this article.

At work, the Muslims, who in one hand treat me nicely, are fully dedicated to their faith and pray against me/ pray curses on my life and other Christians. What do I do? Publically nothing. I would be a fool to make a scene. Or would I be living out wisdom but be seen as being foolish in the public’s eye alone? Once again – same dilemma.

A family who’ve been expelled from a practicing heretical/occultic church has been going to a close church I know. They have bought in their heretical teachings to the church (Oneness Pentecostalism), telling Christians (and targeting young Christians), that they are not saved unless they are baptised in the name of ‘Jesus’ and not the F/S/HS. People don’t know why they are doing it, but I do. Should I expose them? I think Jesus or Paul would.

Does love stand up for itself or for others or does it always turn the cheek?

To see a friend of mine who is forceful with their evangelism technique and actually scares someone into the kingdom (with sound doctrine), is amazing. You see their eyes open and hear them say ‘If I only knew Jesus when I was younger, then I wouldn’t have had to gone through hell alone’. To see genuine conversions (not using condemnation), but fear/reverence is impressive, powerful and amazing. It is like a boasting of God’s might and power and not some ego trip. But now we can’t say things that help others for the ’sake’ of offending?

That’s the equivalent of a doctor diagnosing a patient with the patients response being “How dare you say I’m sick!”.

While the whole western world fears offending Muslims, they have no problem trampling over Christians who do try to remain the salt of the earth. So if Muslims offend, tremble. If Christians offend, the world has no problem expressing anger and outrage.

Marija and RP, it is also fear that can bring a sinner to their knees. I never believed, until now, fear could actually lead people to salvation. I’ve heard from a few Christian friends who have led witches or occultists to the Lord actually use God’s power against them so that they may be humbled or full of fear, therefore giving their giving lives to the Lord. These people were shaking and crying, petrified how (in one case), one’s own curse was turned against themselves. He was going to die of his curse which he tried to cast on a Christian unless he repented and turned to God. It was God’s wrath, power and glory that bought a man fear. As a result, that fear saved him.

Like I said before, this pastor, I think didn’t speak out of wisdom. But unfortunately, what he did say did seem to fall a bit in line with the gospel message. If he gave them a Christian bible, would they complain just as loudly because of what it says about the state of the Jew and what they will go through later?

I hope people see where I am coming from with this…
Love you all.

Love you too! And I see where you’re coming from. If people who blatantly oppose the faith come into our assemblies, or target other Christians in our assemblies, how should we respond? When is love a correcting force, or a blanket which covers a multitude of sins?


22 thoughts on “When does love stand up for itself?

  1. A person who offend muslims is more likely to be injured or killed than a person who offends Christians.

    Perhaps if Christians were more militant and ready to turn themselves into suicide bombers “for the cause”, they might be able to create a climate of fear which disuades criticism.

    There are some people who are prepared to critique Islam, its pedohphile prophet, and its backward attitudes.

  2. That attitude of ‘death to their enemies’ can only come from what they are taught. If it truly is the religion of peace, there should be more consistent fruit. Moderates appeal to their peaceful Mohammed, but there is something amiss when others appeal to their warrior Mohammed, yet all are out on the streets if the same Mohammed is the subject of mildly witty cartoons.

    Under false teaching springing from its Roman connections out of the 3rd century, even a weakened form of ‘Christianity’ was misled into the violence of such ill-advised endeavours as crusades, which have now, thankfully, been disengaged, but it shows how destructive and historically inept war between religions can be, so I don’t think the answer to militant fire is fire. Although the carnality of the ages of so-called ‘Christian’ wars shows what false teachers can do with an angry or ignorant audience. Keep them from the Word of God and we can tell them what God says about anything, including war. No, we don’t want to go back to that.

    Mind you, a post on whether there is a case for ‘just’ war which involved death and bloodshed would be interesting.

  3. “Mind you, a post on whether there is a case for ‘just’ war which involved death and bloodshed would be interesting.”

    An undecided issue across the Christian spectrum. Some Christians believe that no war is justified, that our call is in fact to be peace makers, and they even go into war torn or conflict ridden areas to try to arbitrate. They have a pretty good scriptural argument for their stance, whether or not you agree with it.

    Personally, I do find their stance a bit extreme, but prefer it to any so-called Christian group that would support going to war in the name of God to spread the faith. The reason I find it extreme includes the fact that like most parents, if someone tried to harm my kids, I would do anything I bodily could to prevent that happening, rather than standing to one side and trying to say something persuasive. I’d consider myself partially responsible for the result if I did nothing. I pray I’m never put into that situation.

    Also, I acknowledge that if we are not prepared to defend our nation, it will ultimately not remain our nation.

    Still, as we all know, many arguments for war are without merit. I do find the Christian peacemaker view of scripture challenging and interesting, and in many ways convincing.

    Re the crusades – I understood that the word ‘assassin’ came from the ‘hashishan’s’ (or something like that) who drugged themselves on hashish, then acted as the first suicide bombers – these apparently were muslims who were responding to the atrocities of the crusades, by sacrificing themselves to overcome their attacker. Now I may have the details of that wrong. Still, it seems ironic that a ‘Christian’ war may have led to the original suicide bombers and much of the conflict in an area where Christians, Jews and Muslims once lived together relatively harmoniously.

    Centuries ago, the ‘Christian’ church of the day was similar to the extreme Islamists now, ‘converting’ people using fear and violence, and imposing their law on other cultures to the fullest extent of their ability.

    If scriptural understanding and availability to everyone was lost, it could even happen again, a long time in the future. In which case we would not be seeing Christianity, just religion used for power and control, in its fullest form.

  4. There’s Someone who said “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”
    BUt that’s way too radical, let’s just burn them at the stake.

  5. That’s what I mean, Savana.

    The question for me is, to what extent do we take things. If someone is trying to harm me, and the only way I can defend myself is to use violence – I’m talking hitting or using a nearby object, not guns, like in the US – then its my decision if I abstain from any form of physical violence (given that restraining the person might not be an option). But if my kids – I have two young ones – are being attacked, and the only defence I have is physical violence – then do I still abstain? Is it abuse to allow violence to be perpetrated upon innocents when you might stop it by offering violence back? Most non-Christians would be utterly horrified by the thought of just standing by in that situation, and my gut agrees with them.

    The Anabaptists did not resist, and are amongst those at the forefront of peaceful resistance to all sorts of conflict and injustice today – they go about things intelligently, and believe in no violence ever. They’ve suffered martyrdom from their beginnings, when they refused to follow the rules of both Roman Catholic rulers and Lutheran princes over what they believed Jesus taught.

    Does loving my enemies, and doing good to those who hate me, mean offering no violence if I am personally attacked, or if my kids are being attacked?

  6. When I say, ‘the Anabaptists did not resist’, I meant, ‘did not use violent resistance’. They do resist things, in fact, they offer more non-violent resistance to injustices around the world than many other Christian groups. To them, standing against injustice is an integral part of following Jesus.

  7. RP, i don’t mean to be simplistic, and having lived in a nation where violence and terrorism was norm in my childhood it was extremely confronting. In my teens I became a follower of Christ – and with it I guess I became an uneasy pacifist – but to what extent? Would I stand by and allow someone to hurt my family? My Friends? The answer I think is no. However, I think violence of any form is to be resisted by Christ followers. What concerns me is the fear mongering, prejudice attitude and actual hatred I encounter in various churches when it comes to people from different religions, cultures, opinions etc. I think Christianity breeds its own jihad. And it’s ugly. So I resort back to the radical words of a Messiah whose weapon of war was love: A love that many times does not make sense. A love that sounds wonderful in a children’s story, but becomes totally confronting when lived out in real life. A love that consistently fights against my desire for revenge. AAAGGGHHH. I need a beer.

  8. Savana,
    ‘Christianity breeds its own jihad. And it’s ugly.’

    In fact contemporary Christianity has become an easy target for sceptics and critics. It tends not to remonstrate when pilloried. There are very few instances of recent Christian activism which match the violence of modern militant Islam.

    RP,
    ‘…like most parents, if someone tried to harm my kids, I would do anything I bodily could to prevent that happening, rather than standing to one side and trying to say something persuasive. I’d consider myself partially responsible for the result if I did nothing. I pray I’m never put into that situation.’

    A tremendous point which illustrates the complexity of the situation.

    Where does the line of resistance begin and end?

  9. Incidentally, FYI, and to end confusion before it begins, I’m both ‘FaceLift’ and ‘signpostsfree’, which is the ID I use when posting, since ‘FaceLift’ wasn’t available, and I already had ‘signpostsfree’ on WordPress.

    I’ve just updated ‘Siege of the denialists’, with an uncomfortable article which illustrates this discussion too well. Sometimes I forget to log off before commenting!

  10. yeah, i guess a nation whose president uses the bible to justifiy the invasion of another nations is not really that violent….
    i still need a beer

  11. Exactly what I was thinking Savana. Much has been written about the “Christianists” who have been influencing US government policy. These are the scary Dominionists which we have discussed before, or the even scarier neo-Pentecostal Joel’s Army.

    They would have had more influence if Sarah Palin had got into the Vice-Presidency.

    In general the Fundamentalists (whether Islamic or Christian) are not taking these actions because of religious reasons. They have political aims and are using religion as a motivator. The religious groups are lobbying the government but are also in danger of being reverse-lobbied, caught-up or incorporated into the purposes of those in power.

  12. Yeah. CCCOF. I don’t know why that place attracts them. It’s not uncommon either from what I’ve heard from other people as well (those on the fringe or who used to go). They left because they experienced someone they trusted lay hands on them, then later came down into depression, anxiety or fell into health, emotional and spiritual problems. They got healed from other church ministries.

    It happened this year to a friend of mine who I told RP about. I got spooked. This is why I have alluded to ‘soul power’ being in operation in places like CCC, disguised as various other doctrines.

    I’ll say that much. I’m doing more investigating into the matter. Quite disturbing really. It explains allot to me in my spiritual walk at the moment in what I ‘see’ there or not.

    Surely in these instances, love can’t be still. These are disgusting acts of wickedness which, if I held a position there, I would personally humiliate them in front of everyone. I would not tolerate anyone purposely laying curses, laying hands and praying against anyone in the body of Christ. They are Satanic acts and they know it.

    What I hoped to highlight in Lances blog, was not the physical infliction that is often talked about – but the spiritual prostitution others put themselves through without possibly realizing it. MercyMinistries got in trouble for ‘excorcising’. Maybe it’s worth criticizing them about it. Maybe not. Maybe it was spiritually the right thing to do and spiritual entities chose to manifest themselves to inflict those that were sold out to doing God’s work. Hypothesizing here.

    A witch coming into our church, being ‘Christian’ and then praying for people… A Muslim man that comes into your business everyday where you hear him pray in his office to His god to smite and lead Christians astray… To work with a woman who is apart of a Satanic band who wears tattoo’s all over body to curse those who are not alongside her beliefs…

    Is it worth saying anything or exposing their wickedness, or is it right to ‘fight back’ in other means. I encourage people hear to read “Territorial Spirits”. I forgot the author, but they take writings of famous people on their views on territorial spiritual warfare. (Second half of the book is better!)

    To me, the issue isn’t about exposing immorality, but unclean spirituality.

  13. For what it’s worth – i have encountered way too many angry Christians, and too few who radically love the “unlovely” – My personal conviction: Radical Christian love is still the greatest tool of transformation – yes, love confronts, but those confronting need to check their heart, motivation, attitude and words – like C.S. Lewis says, we so often slide to our diabolical nature and guise it in religion

  14. wazza – i should send you some emails from some of the groups you mentioned – makes a glass eye water. unbelievable stuff.

  15. Thanks S&P.

    The Legion of demons in Mark & Luke recognised Christ and were afraid of him. If the same power that raised Christ from the dead also lives in us as Christians then it stands to reason that by simply “being” a spirit filled, praying Christian (Jesus was these things at the time) we might not have to expose anything as these people will recognise Christ in us and either repent or flee. Sometimes you don’t have to ‘do’ anything…. God does it. I’ve had situations where I have been minding my own business and someone comes into my office asking me if I’m a Christian. Totally random. I answered yes and they said they thought so, they could see a bright glow coming from my room. Weird for sure, but if it’s their time to meet God, He will make a way for it’s His will that none should perish.

  16. Savana – I like that you are an ‘uneasy pacifist’. I think that alludes to the complexity of the issue.

    I strongly agree with you re fear mongering, predjudice etc towards people of other backgrounds. I think that people fear what they don’t know, and like to lump what they don’t know into one big fearful basket some of the time – like the church on Lance’s site who put out the message that “God hates Australians’ because we are a nation of sodomites. (That one was funny, because it was basically toothless.) I strongly align myself with there being ‘neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female’ etc.

    Still, I struggle with issues of war. Clearly what Bush did in Iraq was unjustified, and the fact that he used the Christian right to bolster his views was horrible. I was incredibly relieved when Sarah Palin did not become Vice President. I don’t see the message of Jesus in the lack of compassion that the Christian right displays.

    I also understand what you mean when you say ‘radical love’. Yes, Jesus love was undeniably radical, and to exercise love as he did would make many of us very uncomfortable. I can certainly give examples.

    Have you read ‘Dissident Discipleship’ by David Augsberger? It was too hardline for me in the end, but he made many challenging points re Jesus’ dissident world view.

    I found though, in that book, that there seemed to be judgement implied on those who did not take the exercise of their faith to the radical extremes that he felt were unavoidable if truly following Christ. He may not have meant the book to come across that way.

    So for me, to keep it simple and liveable, I think focussing on love, of realising we are loved, and trusting God accordingly, will eventually lead us to grow in our actions and change our thinking, over time. Plus of course the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

  17. RP,
    ‘I don’t see the message of Jesus in the lack of compassion that the Christian right displays.’

    Didn’t Bush pour billions into Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic? Do you equate any level of compassion with this act?

    Only history will tell if Bush, in the end, was justified in removing Saddam, a violent tyrant, who murdered his own people, and was crazy and powerful enough in his own region to use WMD on neighbouring nations. Whether the US found WMD after the invasion, in the end, is a mute argument, because he had a history of using them. You may be right in your assumption that war there was, in a Christian sense, unjust, but many Iraqis would disagree with you. They’re beginning to be glad to see the back of Saddam.

    The main problem with what did or didn’t happen there was the lack of will of the UN to back up its diplomatic aggression towards Saddam.

    The Christian Right, so-called, probably pours more resources and finances into Missions projects in third-world countries that any non-government groups.

    I don’t think backing Bush against Saddam was the sole responsibility of a religious right. Many Christians also opposed military action. There was a massive debate on it, but action, if it was to take place, had to be swift, and remember, Congress voted for it, had to vote for it, because without them nothing could have been done, physically, or financially, and they voted for action despite those who opposed it on the streets. The nation was later polarised, but Bush, at the beginning of his Presidency, was the most popular in history, especially in the difficult aftermath of 9/11.

    It wasn’t an easy time for any leaders, let alone the President of a nation which lost over 2,000 citizens, of all creeds, to the actions of militant Islamists.

    How would you have seen compassion being outworked in the aftermath of the carnage of 9/11?

  18. RP, thanks for your post – i found it encouraging.
    I find the militant position of many Christians alarming, and the tendency to present
    easy answers, cliches and excuses disconcerting.
    It’s easy to pick and choose what we want to adapt into our lives from the Bible – and loving our enemies certainly comes at a great, revolutionary price. The radical thought is whether we really believe that love is the greatest of all. It continually presents itself as a challenge – personally and as a Christ community.

  19. FaceLift said:
    “Only history will tell if Bush, in the end, was justified in removing Saddam, a violent tyrant, who murdered his own people, and was crazy and powerful enough in his own region to use WMD on neighbouring nations. Whether the US found WMD after the invasion, in the end, is a mute argument, because he had a history of using them. You may be right in your assumption that war there was, in a Christian sense, unjust, but many Iraqis would disagree with you. They’re beginning to be glad to see the back of Saddam.”

    FaceLift said:
    “It wasn’t an easy time for any leaders, let alone the President of a nation which lost over 2,000 citizens, of all creeds, to the actions of militant Islamists.”

    Oh not you too! Typical.

  20. How are you able to tell who is a practising witch? Is this just speculation on your part? Do you really have solid evidence someone is a practising witch? And if you did why not go to a CCC minister about it? If true that is extremely worrying, I go to CCCOF.

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