Thank you and AMEN. We need to remember to keep speaking, teaching and LIVING the TRUTH, while loving people as God loves them. The two—love and truth—cannot be separated. We are not people of the kingdom if we emphasize one over the other.
Your words are appreciated! Kelly Cohoe
This is one of your best works that I have seen so far! You have not taken the easy road nor the eisegesic (in the"feel good" sense), one rather speaking out the prophesied Word on man's increasing depravity in these days. This is the Word and I believe you've chosen ( been chosen) to speak out courageously. Bravo! Viva Doraisingham
[From Ed: ‘eisegesic’ was a new one on me. eis·e·ge·sis: an interpretation, especially of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.
So where does that leave me? Waiting, but still not willing to compromise. But in all honesty I can manage the secular world by simply saying no. It is the Christian world, full of judgement and compromise that is the hardest, as I feel I am always needing to justify why I am single and to also say no I am not a lesbian, and nor do I want to be one. KW
Once again, thank you for the blessing of the YWAM eTouch just received. Like Donna, tears rolled down my cheeks too as Christopher sang ‘Open My Eyes, Lord,’ so beautifully. We have a 6-year old autistic grand-nephew, Jasper, so it really touched my heart. Also, Peter, no need to apologize for your article on morality in the Sheep2Sheep section. The evidence is patently obvious, and reformation and conversion need to begin where we are: in the church! David Cohen
Just want to say thank you for your courage to speak out about the moral decay in the church and how it is being accepted by us who are in the church. Seems we have no fear of God and His Word. It is our responsibility to speak out or the Word says we will be held responsible for souls. You are no longer responsible. God's Blessings on you and your ministry. Do we the church have eyes to see or ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Joanie Melrose [YWAM DTS in 1986-87, YWAM Healthcare School 1987-88. Been in Kenya since and have founded an Accredited Traveling Bible School which is still operating and teaching in five prisons and other places. I am thankful for my start with YWAM. HOLINESS has been almost the only thing God would let me preach on when I would go to the churches. Hebrews says that without it no one will see the Lord.]
I think you are right on track; as a 50 year-old I can now reflect on my younger years and see to what extent I failed to make a distinction between the Christ-influenced vs. the culturally-influenced sexual mores which I had internalized. When I speak to mature Christians and I hear things like, “. . . but when I see [insert sexually alluring description here]”, and then they go on to describe why it is so difficult to manage their lust, within myself, I’m thinking, “Why are you looking?” Your topic isn’t something we should shy away from, quite the opposite. Go further! Peter J. Braun
Good word. Don't feel bad for speaking Truth into sin. The lack of purity in the Church, plus Truth not being preached from the pulpit, has been a prayer concern of mine for some time. The standard of Christianity must be held high or it will lose it's saltiness, as it seems to already have. However, I sense that the Holy Spirit is cleaning up The Church in these days, preparing her for the Lord's return. God has used you to bring this to the forefront and to prayerfully turn over the fallow ground. Constance Michael
Ironically I feel Buddhist Thailand is much more ‘moral' than NZ, with a strong focus on the traditional nuclear family—even abortion is illegal. Now that's not to say there is no sin, of course there is, but like you mentioned in your article, it is more hidden, less in your face. I agree the ‘slippery slope’ to the cesspool gets steeper when sin is flaunted, then tolerated, then celebrated. The church in the west is near that point. Keep on being provocative! Blessings! Peter Martyn
I do not think for a minute that I am guiltless—but I always appreciate
being challenged to look at where I stand in relation to walking in the Fear
of the Lord. It is too easy for standards to slip. Janice Hodgson
I think you are on to it and definitely not 'out of touch'! We need to be reminded often that we are 'in the world but not of the world'—that the morals God has laid for us to follow, generally won't be viewed with open arms by the public who don't know Him; but this doesn't change the way we are to live at all. Thanks for the encouragement that we too can be the critical mass who can bring change and influence to our friends, workmates, community, government and even 'Christian friends.’ May we stay firm in the faith and be encouraged that God remains in control Keep writing the 'hard hitting stuff'—love it! :) Michelle Wescombe Morris
The church? It’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation—and when told, just ignore you heard the truth. I pray for those who seek God to also seek His truth and the courage to turn their backs on the tolerance of our culture. If the scales are removed from their eyes, they will see truth clearly . . . but someone has to point out that it’s those scales that are the problem, the scales they didn’t even know that they had. Dannie Hawley
I am not saying your thoughts are wrong, only that I think if we focus on addressing other deeply spiritual issues that target the helpless and the weak, the church and the spiritual impact of that obedience (as stated throughout the minor and major prophets), can then create a spiritual basis and momentum to impact the moral character of society—something that cannot be done by laws or disapprobation, but only by the grace that fulfills the law. Nancy Stairs
I like very much your message and agree that the situation is very bad. Just one thing. In Africa the Africans tell you that polygamy is better than what is done in the West: they keep their first wives and take care of them But in the west, we divorce and do not care for them. There is a truth in that. Divorce is also bad and brings sometimes more damage than polygamy. (I knew a leader who leader had divorced 3 times.) Annette Courvoisier
As to rushing in where angels fear to tread, possibly part of the problem is that the church has not been clear enough in teaching Biblical standards. Perhaps—I don't know this for a fact—but perhaps, our services have become so ‘user friendly’ that ‘hard' words aren't spoken? Dawn Swenson
Thank you for daring to "rush in . . .” This is something that I too have been feeling for some time. I have often wondered lately, if our modern society has just replaced the old god of the Canaanites—Molech—with the new god, ‘convenience,’ (or ‘choice’); and are still allowing children (unborn) to be sacrificed on that altar? David & Janet Parker
I can't imagine why you would be in the least apologetic about this message. It is not condemning, it is a simple warning and the simple truth. What you address here is a spiritual tragedy that is certainly affecting our nations. This principle is nothing new; I read this quote from St Boniface (c. 680-754), just today, “If indeed the race of the English—as is noised abroad through these provinces, and is cast up to us in France and in Italy, and made a reproach even by the heathen—spurn lawful wedlock and live a foul life in adultery and licence like the people of Sodom . . . the whole nation, turning to lower and baser ways, will cease to be strong in war or steadfast in faith, or honourable before men or beloved of God . . .” You have given chapter and verse in a most loving manner . . . and I see this stuff in Christian young people, in the language and the lifestyle of casual sex, and I wonder where their guides are. What are they learning from parents and from the pulpit? Even after warnings such as yours, they have to make their own decisions, and somewhere there seems to be a blindness to the seriousness of what's going on in our society and certainly an ignorance of the consequences of ignoring God's words. There's no passing of judgment here—of pronouncing sentence or condemnation—only a call to intercession and intervention where an opportunity to speak the truth in love arises.
And to really love, regardless of error. After all, as long as we draw breath, God keeps working. I think one of our intercessory requests should be for powerful revelation by the Holy Spirit. I mean serious, maybe sudden, revelation from heaven to the soul of a generation, one at a time until it snowballs again as in the Jesus Movement. That Holy Spirit ministry is where, ultimately, conviction of sin, judgment and righteousness come from. We need to pray it down. So, say on, my friend! Love you guys! Carol Owens
Good on you for having the courage to say what definitely needs to be said. We shouldn't have to feel awful or apologize for a stand against immorality, as, all we are doing, is reiterating the standards of God's word. A couple of scriptures that might be of interest . . . Your article reminded me of Ex 23:2a. A command. Then to do with 'the bomb', Jer 15:19b, RSV version says it best, I think. This is very precious and what I want to be when I meet people, and I'm sure you do too, but we must fulfill the condition. Another comment regarding 'the bomb'. This is very disturbing and, I believe, comes from a deceived woman. She and I were talking about evangelism while having a drink after the church service, and she said that when she witnesses to her neighbour she swears, to show her that she is not too much different! I was so shocked and flabbergasted that all I could think of to say was, "We are called to be different.” The following week she bowled up to me accusing me of judging, etc. I let her talk. What thinkest thou? May our Father bless you indeed in your encouraging ministry. Chris Stenquist (nee Holley)
[I don't think I was really apologizing for the article, just giving people the option of passing it by (in case conviction was too heavy!). And explaining that it was not my usual 'mode' of communicating! Perhaps I'm changing.]
A response to "Here Come Da Judge" - "Donna's Corner" from September 2012. Click here to read that edition.
‘Judging and discerning often get mixed up.’ Yes they do. It’s always bothered me that many want to eliminate judgment, and how much it hurts, and therefore jump into the opposite ditch and throw out discernment as well . . .
”Also I see two types of discernment operating in our Christian circles. The first is a low level of discernment that sees the person/organization has a problem, misdirected action, incorrect worldview, damaging way of responding to others, etc, etc, and thinks that simply pointing that out is helpful. Most people already know that they are screw-ups, they don’t need us to tell them that rage, lying, self pity, etc, are destructive responses.
“When we use this level of ‘discernment’ we can find ourselves siding with the accuser of the brethren. We use Christian vernacular with that wrong spirit and wonder why the outcome is not helpful. It’s a mixed message. Spiritual discernment goes much further. It asks the question ‘Lord what is pushing this person to act like this? What hurtful event and interpretation, what unholy inner vow, what judgment of others is in the heart and is fleshing out in this manifestation. And Lord what are you doing in this person’s life right now to help them, what role are you asking me to play in that? How can I side with what you are doing?’
“Then you can know and act out of a deeper love with your discernment. If it’s prayer, then great. If its to speak, then great. If its to act on their behalf, then great. Maybe then we could begin dealing with the root issues, instead of fighting about the fleshy surface results. Either way the spirit behind it will be right and therefore the fruit will be better, and either way you leave the results with God.
‘When you judge someone, you’re basically condemning them.’ Punishment. I’m not so sure our role is punishment in the body of Christ. Choices with consequences, maybe. . . . . if its in our area of authority/responsibility.
‘When you discern something in someone, or in an event, you observe that this or that is right or wrong. What you do with that bit of information determines whether you are judging or discerning.’ Exactly. ‘If you discern something is wrong, bottom line is . . . stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (Rom 14:13) So, it’s back on us. We are responsible to not put stumbling blocks in other people’s way!
When you discern something wrong, if you can't do something positive and helpful about it, just give it to the Lord. And as with all gifts, don't take it back!’
“Even if you can do something positive and helpful, have you earned the right? You might need to invest in some relationship first, before assuming that you are God’s gift to this person. You know the old ‘no one cares what you know unless they know that you care.’ Personally I don’t care how many degrees behind your name, or your position, I need to see your heart. Then I may give you the right to speak, and I will still check out what you say with the ‘truth benchmark.’ (If you’re feeding me poison does it matter if you’re well-intentioned or not?)
“If truth is like a road then the two ditches are ‘we need to live by principle vs. we need to live by the spirit.’ The word-people vs. the spirit-people. The realists vs. the mystics. The Baptists vs. the charismatics. Whatever the label you want to put on it when He said ‘worship me in Spirit and in Truth,’ he was saying we need both. Till the body quits living in the pride of our chosen ditch we’ll never see the highway down the middle we could be driving on. Way more effective to travel on a highway then try to get somewhere by traveling in a ditch. Recently I thought I heard the Lord say ‘If you’ll stand for truth, I’ll stand with you.’ So His word (past ‘Logos’ and present ‘Rehma’) can be summed up in the person who called Himself ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life.’ I think your pastor friend is on the right track.
“Thanks for making me think this month!”