View Single Post
Old 05-21-2020, 01:25 PM   #13
Jo S
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 488
Default Re: Responsibility of Christians Responding to Aberrant/Abusive Groups

Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Jo S, while I understand the spirit of what you are saying, which maybe could summarized as "speak the truth in love, don't speak the truth out of vengeance or anger or retribution", I'm afraid what you've said so far implies too strongly that we have to be pure ourselves before we can say anything. In which case we'll be silent for a long time.
Equating purity of heart to being “pure as the driven snow” is an exaggeration; I did after all use King David as the example to follow rather than walking on water as a prerequisite to exposing evil. Even so, if you think you are a Christian with the indwelling spirit of God, you’re already at an advantage to David. I would assume God expects even more from His children.

Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Okay, there are no explicit verses titled "steps to take before you speak up about destructive controlling groups", but there are verses relevant to the topic….
If you’ve taken notice to what the majority of my posts here concern, they consist mainly of three things; the preaching of a false gospel, the preaching of a false Jesus, and refuting any doctrine that help support the those two. Knowing this you can conclude my overall view of the Local Churches; that being, just like the Mormons or JW’s, they are not a Christian group at all but one that veils their own ideology within a Christian worldview.

I agree we don’t have any verses telling us what steps to take before speaking up about “destructive controlling groups”, we only have the apostles addressing the Body of Christ, groups of believers that already adhered to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

This then leads me to the question; why do you hold the Local Churches up to scripture if they don’t even preach the true gospel in the first place? Aren’t you just working to validate them as a legitimate Christian group by doing so? Either they are led by “liars and false apostles” or they are a legitimate move of God. You have to choose. Or are you doing like they do and invoking scripture to justify your opposition by thinking you gain the moral high ground in doing so?

Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I bring that verse up to make the point that we can still test and expose and call out liars and false apostles while not being perfect ourselves. Sure, we should not be hypocrites a la Matthew 7, but for the most part that's not hard because none of us are claiming to purveyors of the unique high truths or MOTAs or the head guy of the true church on earth or covering up abuses or spreading patently false doctrines that don't hold up against scripture.

The splinter/beam thing, at least according to the way I've always understood it, is not "clear up absolutely everything in your life first before you can say anything to others", but "clear up that same issue in your life first before you address it in others."

I just fear your stance makes it seem overly required for a fallen sinner to be perfectly pure before they feel they can say anything. The right way/wrong way seems a little too close to the favorite "proper/improper" categorization of the LC. Note that I don't disagree necessarily. I have seen people speak up about the LC that I wish with all my heart would zip their lips because their approach does more harm than good. But for those who are coming from the right place to start with, we don't have to be pure as driven snow to speak up. Although I think you did hit on that when you mentioned not criticizing them in the same way they have criticized. In other words, don't become what you are calling out. That is good advice.
Hypocrisy in the general sense of the term means claiming standards which do not meet up to your own behavior, but as far as the Christian faith is concerned avoiding hypocrisy entails much more than just that.

Jesus claimed that it wasn’t enough to not murder, he went deeper to the root or heart of the issue. In fact for a believer in Christ it means to even resist anger against your brother. If you thought that was hard enough, Jesus told us to go even further and to love those that persecute you.

By this the expectations for a Christian is higher than that of an unbeliever so when Christ speaks about hypocrisy it’s not enough that you don’t do what you are calling out. The question is; is your heart right and are you doing the right thing in its place by faith?

In a recent post you’ve claimed the Local Churches practice a damaging form of shunning. I don’t doubt that, but let me ask you this question; have you properly shunned them before speaking out against their practices (2 John 1:10)? Or do you still continue to meet with the group?

It's not enough that you choose not to shun anybody, it's whether you love God more than the group to the point you'd shun them biblically. If by staying you believe the Local Churches will change, then like you said, I’m afraid you’ll be waiting a long time…

Paul did in fact call out evil but this was only second to proclaiming the gospel. The local churches pointed out the faults of Christianity in self-righteousness while preaching a false gospel. The majority of posts here seem to be completely lacking the gospel. Which is better then, preaching a false gospel or no gospel at all?

In a greater sense does exposing evil matter if you do nothing to fill the void? Facts of abuse may lead someone out but it's God's truth that truly heals.

If you do leave by your own conviction then seek God and His forgiveness. Repent and believe in the Jesus you weren't taught in the LC's and then lead others out by example or you may find yourself years from now regurgitating the same things in vain all the while deceiving yourself into believing you are doing a service to others. The truth is without a heart transformed by the gospel your efforts will only work to poison others with your bitterness or at best validate each other’s own bitterness. Who benefits from that? It may help you but only for a little while until the pain resurfaces again...

If you do choose to go the social justice route, that’s perfectly fine, but then do like Steven Hassan does and examine the group purely from a psychological and sociological perspective. No need to appeal to scripture lest you risk misusing them. If you do, however, use scripture then make sure that you are living by its standards in preaching the gospel and loving your enemies in the process.

David prayed to have a new spirit and a new heart put in him so he could forgive his enemies but he never saw that day come to pass. The good news is that day is now here and it’s available to us yet so many reject that gift in favor of social reform because doing things the right way requires you to first take a good look in the mirror. More often than not the reflection staring back at you will be the very thing you're fighting against and that's too hard of a pill to swallow.
Jo S is offline   Reply With Quote