How do we treat those who are just “wrong”

Devotional Thought of the Day:

Acts 18:24-28 (TEV) 24 At that time a Jew named Apollos, who had been born in Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker and had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he proclaimed and taught correctly the facts about Jesus. However, he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home with them and explained to him more correctly the Way of God. 27 Apollos then decided to go to Achaia, so the believers in Ephesus helped him by writing to the believers in Achaia, urging them to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who through God’s grace had become believers. 28 For with his strong arguments he defeated the Jews in public debates by proving from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.  

A Confession  Prior to the Devotion.:
I will be the first to admit that I am the chief of sinners in regard to this, but then again, if I wasn’t, this post wouldn’t be written. It is my prayer, and solid hope, that God will work wonders to correct the errors of my past in this, and help me to overcome this tendency in the future.

The Blog:
Last night, probably while I was driving home from a friend’s Superbowl Party, one of the victorius Ravens was approached and said some thanks to God and quoted from Romans 8.  I know of this because my twitter feed and fb was filled with people’s attacking him and questioning his faith and practice.  The accusations ran from calls to discredit him because of his past, to charges of twisting the word of God. 

It would be twisting scripture to say his sin was any worse than ours, so that sets aside that charge for a moment, to deal with the charge of twisting scripture, or taking it out of context.  He might have – I haven’t watched the video, he might have not.  But if we thought we did, the response of simply blasting away with charges, is not correct.

The model that Priscilla and her husband give us, is a great one. Look at some of these steps:

1.  Take the person aside, and work through the issue.
2.  Focus on the Way of God – not our cultural applications of it, not our personal opinions, but focus on God’s revelation to man (i.e. the scriptures)
3.  As the respond , encourage their ministry!  Their zeal is something that should never be stifled, but directed and encouraged.  Too often, I believe, we decide to stifle them, afraid they will go back to their erring ways. We should be praying for them, teaching them, discipling them and sending them.   

We confess in my congregation each week that we belong to one, holy, catholic/christian and apostolic church.  Such a response as Priscilla and Aquilla had towards Apollos had, yeah that is consistent with that belief.  If we can’t work with them directly, our words should have the same flavor, as we instruct those who heard those words about how they apply.  But doing it with graciousness and love is still important.  Doing it with the best construction is still important.  

May we all have the mercy shown to us, as we work together in His Kingdom. 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 4, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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