Discernment and slander
By Mike Ratliff - Posted at Possessing the Treasure:
8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:8-12 (NASB)This discernment ministry stuff is not for everyone. I often wonder if I am cut out for it at all. I do not like conflict. On the other hand, God gifted me with the makeup that loves the truth and seeks justice because it is His truth and I am compelled, quite often, to speak out when false prophets besmirch His truth and the Gospel is treated as optional by certain “evangelicals.” However, there is a fine line between exposing that which is false and slander. That fine line has to do with intent and evidence.
If we are obeying our Lord in this then we will not “go after” someone and expose him or her as false with any intent other than bringing glory to God. We will expose them by showing how their own words and actions, which is their ministry, are not biblical. We use God’s Word as the benchmark or plumb line. We do not use the teachings of men. We do not use innuendo. We do not make fantastic leaps of logic by showing how certain words used in the ministry in focus are “proof” that they are most assuredly “Purpose Driven” or “Emergent,” et cetera. No, we look at the evidence, their doctrine, what they teach, and most importantly, how they handle doctrine. Are they teaching sound doctrine or are they compromising? This is vital we do this for it is very easy to accuse some of being “Purpose Driven” for instance if they happen to use some of the same words that have become markers of compromise. That is not enough evidence my brethren. How do they handle the Gospel? How do they handle sound doctrine? How do they teach God’s Word? Do they embrace the world or are they obeying their Lord in drawing people out of it? In other words, to be discerning correctly requires much more than just looking for “buzz words.”
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