A Voice in the
" Stand Your Ground "
"...speaking the truth in love..." (Eph4:15)
About 12 years ago somebody e-mailed with the following comment:
"When you do something, don't forget to do it in Love."
Shortly after this ministry went online, another did so with a similar
name, with words "voice" and "wilderness", and they e-mailed me
wondering if I would like to "join" them in their ministry. When I went
to have a look (to be aware of whatever else might be out there), their
opening byline was something like...
"Learning to minister THE WAY JESUS DID"
These kinds of reactions are likely in retaliation to this ministry's
bylines, and subsequently the materials posted here...
"An Oasis of Biblical Truth - For the Last Days - the Bible our Sole
This sort of statement presumes three things:
And when people softly 'hiss' to do it "the way Jezzzussss did", -which-
Jesus are they speaking of? Theirs is typically the Jesus who was "full
of graaaaeeeessss" (Jn1:14) The one who... "will not strive nor cry out,
nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will
not break, and smoking flax He will not quench..." (Mt12:19-20)
- With the word "oasis" we are presuming to proclaim Truth, and not
much of anybody else is doing so. We are claiming to stand out in a
desert of Godlessness, a barren land where there is a derth for hearing
the Words of God. (Am8:11) Isn't that terribly prideful and
self-inflated? Like the arguments I used to receive in the 70s: you mean
to say that -lone- 'you' has a corner on Truth, and ALL OF US are wrong?
- Last Days suggests Judgment is coming. That is sooo judgmental and
full of hate speech.
- The Bible is our "sole" (only) authority. How narrow-minded can you
get? You mean to say you don't even consult the "church fathers"? The
Bible is not always 'reliable', you know, and should not be taken
'literally'. Besides, you need (human) 'mentors' to help keep you on the
straight and narrow.
This mentality is fanned along by other events like we are seeing in the
news: A watchman gets into a scuffle with a neighborhood punk and when
violently attacked shoots the punk, and does so -legally- with the
backing of the state's "Stand Your Ground" law; but because the 'victim'
was "black", some are seeking to repeal the statute and make it illegal
for a person to stand up to a threat and defend themself. Putting the
whole mess together, the theory goes: If we just get rid of guns, don't
stand up to bullies, and everybody just learn to "get along" and "love"
one another, this will be so much a better world.
All of these: unregenerate, non-Christians, anti-God, anti-Holiness.
When they sit down for their round-table discussions, their dialectic
picks and chooses 'what' they will discuss. If it is a discussion about
Biblical doctrine, instead of studying what God has -said- in the
Scriptures, they sing "walls come down", throw doctrine aside, and have
"dialogue" and "conversation": 1) Evangelicals and Catholics get
together as evangelicals move -toward- "mother church" and partake in
'mass', not the other direction. 2) Evangelicals get together with
Mormons; I've not heard 'what' they have done to forge 'agreement'. 3)
Christians have gotten together with Islam, sharing both Bibles and
Koran, learning to accept one another, calling the union Chrislam.
If the true Christian stands up for Truth and obeys...
"Now I exhort you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and snares,
contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them. For
those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own
belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of
the simple." (Ro16:17-18)
...the reaction is two-fold. On one extreme will be out-n-out attack and
condemnation. But these days the preferred method is to -hiss- softly
about "speak the truth in love" Definition: Love is the act of not
stirring up waves, so therefore speak only SO MUCH truth. Speak only the
truth where everybody can -feel- warm-n-fuzzy together.
Speak like Jesus did: His gracious words, His healing of everybody who
was brought to Him, His feeding of the 5000 & 7000. The 'nice' Jesus who
invited the little children onto His lap to bless them.
Oh, but, wait...!
"And He said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above. You are
from this world; I am not from this world. Therefore I said to you that
you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will
die in your sins... I have many things to say and to judge concerning
Oh, and, let's go to those "gracious words", and see what happened...
"And when He had made a whip out of rope, He drove them all out of the
temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money
and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, Take
these things away from here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of
merchandise! ... My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a
den of thieves." (Jn2:15-16, Lk19:46)
"And all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words going
forth out of His mouth. And they said, Is this not Joseph’s son? And He
said to them, You will surely say this proverb to Me, Physician, heal
yourself. Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your
country. And He said, Truly, I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his
own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the
days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months,
and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of
them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a
widow woman. And many lepers were in Israel during the time of Elisha
the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. And
all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled
with rage, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him
to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, in order to throw
Him down." (Lk4:22-29)
And so... what did Israel do with Jesus' "gracious" words? They sought
to throw Him over the cliff at the edge of town. And ultimately three
years later they clamored out, "Crucify Him!" But these were the opening
episodes of His ministry. This was how He started. Not much of a way to
"win friends and influence people"!
- Jesus made claim to 'exclusivity'. Jesus came with not only grace,
but "grace and truth" (Jn1:14,17) His words might have been gracIOUS,
but they were more importantly, words of -GRACE- mixed with -TRUTH-. And
His message included the component that...
- If His audience didn't believe into Him, the TRUTH was that they
would DIE IN THEIR SINS.
- Oh yes, this gracious Jesus also claimed to have many things to JUDGE
- What's with this 'whip'? And calling them "thieves". What? 'chu
callin' me a liar? You calling me a thief? ...a robber? If his
graciousness would not 'break' a bruised reed, what's with all the
whipping (the way cattle are driven)?
And then, the ultimate insult...
- You-all hearing my voice right now...you're not -real- Israel.
(You're not really Christians) Like Paul says, "for not all those of
Israel are Israel" (Ro9:6b) All those famous stories in the OT? Those
things happened with foreigners... 'dogs' of the gentiles. As Paul also
says of Israel in the wilderness, "But with most of them God was not
well pleased, for they were scattered in the wilderness." (1Co10:5)
So, yes. DO IT LIKE JESUS DID. As He says...
"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before you. If
you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are
not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world
hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you, A servant is not
greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute
you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all these
things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not
know Him who sent Me... He who hates Me hates My Father also."
You see... this is the thing most people don't quite catch. The battle
is not amongst various Christian 'labels'. The battle is Christian vs
the world. Just because they have labels they call themselves, they are
NOT -of- Jesus Christ. And if they are not of Jesus, the alternative is
the world. Only two choices. They do not know Jesus or the Father. As
Jesus goes on next chapter...
"They will put you out of the synagogues (churches); yes, the time is
coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And
these things they will do to you because they do not know the Father nor
Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may
remember that I told you of them." (Jn16:2-4)
Just because something is called "church", it is not necessarily the
Church of Jesus Christ. And just because they call themselves
"christians", does not mean they are Jesus "disciples". (Ac11:26)
And so, if the world clamors for Christians to 'soften' the rhetoric and
be more conciliatory, and not cling to doctrine so much...know and
understand clearly that they are NOT God's people. No matter how much
they "make claims" for Jesus, they are liars and the truth is not in
When the early 'church' leaders demanded of the early disciples to tone
"For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard"
And if the conflict becomes 'desperate'?
"...resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Eph6:13b)
But we cannot... we dare not...
Shrink back "from declaring...the whole counsel of God" (Ac20:27)