Thursday, October 16, 2008

For the Truth, not against it.

2 Cor. 13:5-10 (ESV)
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test! [6] I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. [7] But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. [8] For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. [9] For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. [10] For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. This is the temptation of the Church, her pastors, her leaders, her laity, to compromise on truth, to do something against the truth. This happens sometimes by going to far with the law, and sometimes by shying away from it. Sometimes it is done out of ignorance, sometimes it is done out of perceived need. I once had a conversation with a woman married to a Mormon. She took issue with my church for not allowing women to be elders, or pastors. She wanted her husband to realize that the Mormon view of women was wrong. So she went to a church that totally ignored what the Bible actually does say. Somehow she thought she could show her husband the truth by compromising on it. When we compromise on the truth we no longer proclaim the truth, we proclaim a lie. We erode the truth. We lose our integrity. If in the name of truth we have to come down hard on a particular sin, then we have to do it. But that isn’t what Paul wanted to do, nor is it normally what pastors want to do. What Paul wanted was repentance and a return to the truth. That is what pastors want also. We don’t want to use the authority of the Lord to tear down, but to build up. It is the unfortunate aspect of our job, that sometimes we have to tear down the rotted walls, before we build up.


Es ist das Heil said...

May God give us the strength that we may never give up the truth and go somewhere else to have our "ears tickled" !!

becky said...

Thank you for sharing your breakfast, Pastor. I found your blog via comments you made at Extreme Theology. God bless you.