“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” Colossians 3:12-14
Have you ever been beat up by another Christian? Not necessarily physically but emotionally or spiritually.
Dr R. L. Hymers tells of a story that he observed as a young man. It would almost be humorous if it wasn’t so sad.
“Once I saw the pastor of a large church in the Southern Baptist Convention sitting with tears running down his face, his head in his hands, rocking back and forth and sobbing, while seated in the pastor’s chair behind the pulpit. Before him, hundreds of people cursed one another with foul language, and some even threw hymnbooks across the aisles at each other. People cursed one another. Three men grabbed a church leader and threw him on the sidewalk in front of the church, taking him by the throat, and beating his head against the pavement. When he was unconscious, they rifled his pockets and took away his key to the church building. This was done at 11:00 AM on a Sunday morning, during the morning worship service. I saw it with my own eyes as a seventeen-year-old boy. All of these people had made “decisions.” All of them had said a sinner’s prayer, gone forward, or lifted their hand. But how many of them could have been converted? Even then it seemed impossible to me that real Christians could behave in such an utterly indecent fashion in the house of God, if they had anything in the way of the new birth.”
John Newton, Anglican Pastor and author of the hymn Amazing Grace gave the following counsel concerning controversies’.
“In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever…But if you look upon him as an unconverted person, in a state of enmity against God and his grace (a supposition which, without good evidence, you should be very unwilling to admit), he is a more proper object of your compassion than of your anger.”
“But you know who has made you to differ. If God, in his sovereign pleasure, had so appointed, you might have been as he is now; and he, instead of you, might have been set for the defense of the gospel. You were both equally blind by nature. If you attend to this, you will not reproach or hate him, because the Lord has been pleased to open your eyes, and not his.”
“Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit. Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines as well as upon works…”