'So Have I Become Your Enemy By Telling You The Truth?' (Galatians 4:16)

I wrote this two years ago.

It's still relevant even though the circumstances and times have changed.


 
Why has speaking "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) become such a "bad" thing for Christians to do nowadays? I've heard it said that it's almost like there's a new 11th Commandment out there that says "Thou Shall Not Offend!" which I personally believe is a product of raising a generation on Self-Esteem and Political-Correctness. 
What does God's Word say though? "Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you" (1 John 3:13). Some will receive God's corrections and some will not, with the reactions telling you much about the person with whom you are dealing. "Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you" (Proverbs 9:8). 
No matter the response, our reaction should always be to continuously share the Gospel message (Matthew 28:18), bless those who persecute (Romans 12:14), bear up well under any abuse (1 Peter 4:16), and respectfully ask those who oppose God’s teachings, "So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16). 
Remember, John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." 
Keep the faith! Contend, defend, love, and witness for His glory, honor, and praise!


The truth hurts (it convicts us with God's Law), but the truth can also heal (it covers us with God's Gospel of Grace).

In a Lutheran layman's terms, we must continue to constantly speak "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) about "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) by making sure we "do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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2 comments:

  1. I love your blog, as I former Lutheran as a child, as I've started my family I would like to get back to it. Your down to earth take on it draws me in. I have been reading John Warwick Montgomery's book Where Christ is Present and it's been a huge motivating factor in me getting back to the roots of my faith. wherechristispresent.com is his site, it's such a good read on getting back to faith.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Neil George,

    Great to have you here -- thanks for reading and for commenting! I'll have to check out that site too. I also appreciate your willingness to share a little about your own personal journey. Do feel free to continue to do that and if there's ever a topic you would like me to look into and write about for this blog, then just let me know. Grace and peace to you and yours as the Lord carries you all through this journey back!

    Grace And Peace,
    JKR

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!