On the Increasing Imitation of Godly Behavior in Relation to Orthodox Renewal
As one travels through this preordained caravan from dust to glory there comes, at times, moments of heightened discernment. There comes a time when we gain insight both biblically and historically creating a new awareness of doctrinal clarity. This spark generates an acute radar system. Suddenly, things that were simply dubbed as “Christianese” are now seen as falling short of the pale. Orthodoxy becomes a friend and heretics seem to be hiding behind every Arminian and Charismatic rock.
While many of these convictions may be well-founded in truth, we must resist the urge to dogmatically club our less-than-enlighten brothers and sisters to death with an unrelenting zeal. Skirmish if you must but refrain from releasing friendly fire. God expects it.
If we are to be truly imitators of our Lord and Savior we must box and wrestle with loverific grace. When correcting someone’s doctrine or practice and tempted to ‘pound-a-fist’ and ‘shake-a-finger’ we would do well to remember how long the Lord has had to put up with us and our antics and thickheadedness and firm resolve to stay exactly where we thought we should be. Let that reminder act as a smooth HD-40W in your heart valves. Drop your residue pan first, then speak.
Season all that you say with the gentleness of Christ’s saving work and rely upon the Resurrection power of the Spirit to nurture your tongue. Have a heart of great compassion for those who are stuck in the rut of false teachings. Don’t let your fists find their gut.
Anyone can be kind and patient to the nice and submissive, but God asks us to go further by living by faith; filled with the Spirit. As our discernment and understanding matures our doctrinal action, let the ones who know the most about free grace act the most graciously. Let us who know Him more be more imitative of Him. Let those who claim to be, be.
“… refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26