There is so much at stake I just believe we have to take a stand on this issue.

What really is at stake? Have you ever feared that sometimes we cloak our saving-face motive in a theological argument? We wouldn’t be the first ones who justified a deeply entrenched and publicly announced position by finding Scriptures that favour our point of view.

Have you ever wondered if the dire predictions of spiritual demise are sometimes exaggerated to bolster-up a rigid position to win an argument over supposedly Divine things?

Human beings are extremely proud creatures – and that’s coming from a fellow human – not an extraterrestrial enemy. If we took our ‘big’ position on a controversial issue a decade ago, even a tsunami or an earthquake couldn’t budge us from that position now. The more we read our Bible, the more verses we find to support our original rigid and inflexible position.

We say:

“Oh yes, I am open to new light on the matter but I have not heard one solitary thing yet that would cause me to even marginally change my position.”

And, the reality is: you probably won’t hear one solitary thing until you ask the Lord to unblock your ears.

Wrapped in the shroud of deep spirituality or cloaked with the clothes of questionable righteousness, we stick to our guns – even if we wreck the lives of others or even wreck an assembly.

When the highly explosive issue of diets and days came up in the local church in Rome, the assembly could have been wrecked. The work God was doing in the lives of individuals, could have been destroyed had the rigid and inflexible positions been maintained.  The testimony for God could have been destroyed if those of Jewish descent had insisted on their way or the highway.

Similarly, if the once-heathen believers had belittled, mocked and ridiculed the Jewish believers for their sensitivities, the damage inflicted would have been of eternal proportions. Eternal? Yes. Anything that disrupts or destroys individual fellowship or corporate fellowship has eternal ramifications because our lives are being lived with eternity in view.

Paul wrote:

So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Romans 14:19-20

The context here is the dispute over food and special days such as the Old Testament sabbath. Over such matters, one should never destroy the work of God. The work God is doing in the life of a strong or a weak believer should never be disrupted or destroyed by such issues.

If food and days are too insignificant a cause to destroy the work of God, is there ever an issue big enough to justify destroying the work of God? What do you think?

Godly and mature Christians will handle such issues with the ‘heavenly’ wisdom.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18

Are you in need of heavenly wisdom on a particular issue? What does James 1:5 say?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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