This morning Teddy Dee, beloved young man in his 20s who influences so many, posted on Facebook:
It takes a lot of ignorance, pride, and idolatry of self to charge fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with sin, for disobeying your personal convictions. You are not God.
"3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him." (Romans 14)
I have been accosted by an atheist neighbor with, "Carol, you are such a hypocrite" because of a stand I took here in the neighborhood. Time for reflection with this book. Our church meets in the afternoons on Sundays and I hope to post seven Sunday mornings about this book and maybe some other references to this topic.
Osborne talks about JERKS FOR JESUS who don't know that God never asked him to be a pit bull for right doctrine. Yes, you can be true to Scripture, but not true to ALL of Scripture and while contending for the faith (Jude 3) you are quarrelsome contrary to 2 Timothy 2:24-25. The author nails it when he writes in chapter one, being right will become more important than being kind, gracious, or loving (p. 21).
Here are the first set of questions from pp. 39-40 in red. My answers are in black.
1. When it comes to the dark and dangerous side of overzealous faith, "The problem is not spiritual zeal. . . . The problems is unaligned spiritual passion, a zeal for the Lord that fails to line up with the totality of Scripture."
a. Can you think of a time in your life when you were especially zealous for something only to discover later that your zeal didn't line up with the facts? Yes, when I needed to get my ego need met through my church activities.
b. Can you think of a time in your life when you were especially zealous for something in the spiritual realm only to discover that your zeal didn't line up with Scripture? Many years ago I was influenced by dispensationalism. If so, what happened? My uncle sent me a book when I lived in Dallas, Texas, that made me want to search more. What changed your mind? Reading that book and entering a Reformed church in 2000. Suddenly a whole lot of growth was foisted upon me with questions to wrestle and theology to deal with. What changes did you make as a result? This blog has been an attempt to look at Amil and Postmil eschatology. Yet, I am not done repenting and discovering.
2. The Pharisees of Jesus' day were champions of self-discipline, personal sacrifice, and rigid morality. Imagine you were alive back then. How do you think you would have responded to their spiritual passion? Would you have been inclined to look up to them, be intimidated by them, be repelled by them, or perhaps have some other response? Be repelled by them because if I had an encounter with Jesus Christ and realized His grace I would have been attracted to Him hopefully and recognized His sufficiency. Why or why not?
3. What, if anything, did you find to be most surprising in Joseph of Arimathea's story (the "secret disciple" nobody wants to be? Joseph was there for Jesus when his disciples were gone.
a. If you were one of the apostles, how did you think you would have viewed Joseph before he boldly stepped forward to claim Jesus' body? Maybe I would had judged him as useless.
b. Does his story change anything about the way you look at other Christians? I need to widen my fellowship. How might it change the way you look at yourself? I have always thought of myself as a learner here on this blog--never a thus says the LORD or a let me check the confessions or creeds disciple. I need to be that growing and glowing disciple, encouraging to others. What does it say to you about the kind of people God uses in his kingdom? He decides whom He uses.
4. If you had to pick just on insight or principle from part 1 to put into practice, what would it be and why? Jesus does not thin out the herd into just His brand of Christians. He is patient with all. Osborne writes at the end of this part: The bruised reed he will not break. The smoldering wick he will not snuff out. To the weary and heavily burdened he offers rest, a light load, and an easy yoke. (p. 27)
Lord, make me Your kind of disciple,
and not an accidental Pharisee.