03 December 2009

When is it Time for True Christians to go to the Mat?

From Proclaim the Truth

When I was in my early twenties, I found myself in a place of turmoil. My religious beliefs were no longer valid. They could not sustain me. Since I was merely religious and had not yet experienced true salvation, I was trusting in a false belief system that could not help me. Because of this reality, I was being tempted by Satan to abandoned Christianity altogether. One of the lies I began to buy into was the lie that said to me, “Christianity is not true. Look at all the strife and all of the denominations. Such a confused system of beliefs cannot be true.” For a season, I struggled with this question. This was resolved the moment I became truly saved and saw the light. However, the question lingers for those on the outside and so I want to approach this question, but from a different angle. I want to ask the question, when do Christians “go to the mat” for truth?

Here is my purpose: If we can say that there are truths in the Bible that are universally true and that cannot be compromised, then we must resolve that those truths require us to fight the good fight. We must fight that fight in love, but we must fight nonetheless to reserve, to conserve, and to proclaim that very truth. The natural result is that feelings will get hurt and that unsaved people will look on with the support of Satan to question this strife within visible Christianity. And yet, what else should we expect? True Christianity is always in a struggle with the false version being peddled by false converts. It is always the lie that is closest to the truth that is most difficult to contend with. And so, true Christians are always left with the task of proclaiming a truth that the world hates and that false Christians will chastise and diagnose as being hateful. The enormous irony is that true Christians are often ostracized as some strange religious sect despite preaching truth, while false Christians are living a lie and celebrated.

Because Christianity has been, and will continue to be invaded by tares (false Christians), we must understand that this is a battle we will always have to fight. And yet, it is not easy. It is not easy calling out friends and family, and other supposed Christians when they are preaching a false gospel. So, the question remains: when do we go to the mat and when do we remain silent? That is not an easy question to answer because the danger is always present that we become divisive in the name of truth. We have to be delicate and balanced. We have to go to the mat in love. We have to proclaim the truth, but try to do so in as winsome a way as possible. We will offend people because of the gospel, but we have to try to not be offensive in the way we do it. To my regret, I have not always done this correctly. All Christians will fail at this from time to time. But, it must be always on our mind as we seek to be salt and light.

I submit to you that any time truth is at stake in general, and the gospel in particular, we must go to the mat as if our very life depended on it. We must resolve in our minds that no matter whom we offend and no matter what the consequences, we will proclaim the truth. And we must do this while in the Word, while in prayer, and with love for the unregenerate in our hearts. And when we fail to do this in the right way – in a winsome way, in a loving way – we must repent and start anew. We must love the unregenerate even when the unregenerate hates us. It is a tall order to take up our cross and follow Jesus, but it is what we are called to do. So, we must go to the mat for truth. That is a given. And we must do it whenever truth is at stake. The question now before us is what truths in the Bible are so clearly evident, so obvious, and so crucial that we do not compromise them? That is a more difficult question and one I would like to spend some time discussing. I am going to spend a few weeks considering that question and will write again on it in the future.

Brian Dufala

Hat Tip - The Word Street Journal

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