July 1, 2013
A Christian should not try to offend others needlessly. However, if we follow Jesus, we will offend others-just as the loving and perfect and holy Jesus often offended others by His life. Following is an article written by Marvin Hershberger who would like to share his thoughts and beliefs. You may feel offended by Marvin's bluntness, but rather than be offended, we all should consider what he writes?
Time is going by so fast, that sometimes we just have to take a moment and enjoy living in the now. Do we ever take the time to think of things like why we do what we do, or take the time to research if what we have been taught is truth? We need to compare what we have been taught to what the Bible says, following the example of the Berean Jews told about in Acts 17. In the Old Testament, GOD sent a prophet to the people and said, "Repent from the iniquities of your forefathers." In other words, he is saying that if your parents and grandparents are not doing what is right in God's sight, turn from their sins and follow God.
We hear a lot about prayer. When we pray, we are speaking, but are we also taking the time to listen to GOD, asking GOD to open our ears, to hear Him speak, and to come to understand His love and ways. This is very important in a relationship, that when we talk to someone, we also take the time to listen to what he is saying. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am GOD." To repent is to change the way we think. You may ask, "How can that be?" Have you ever thought how much our thoughts control what we do? Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."
We have been taught that we need to do a certain thing or live a certain way, and we are told and believe that these things are true because others tell us that this is what the Bible says; but have we actually taken time to seek God for ourselves and learn His word? Many people have taken verses here and there, and their opinion of that verse has been passed down many generations. Have we considered and researched for ourselves if this is really truth? We ought to search the Scriptures for ourselves. Jesus even dealt with many religious leaders whom He rebuked for not knowing the Scriptures or for putting their traditions above what God had really said.
For example, have we compared Jacob Amman's life to the life of JESUS? From some of the history that I have researched, Jacob left the church he was in because he wanted to shun the ones that left. The elders of that church did not agree with him or believed it to be the right thing to do. That is why there was so much chaos when he started shunning. Jacob was sometimes harsh, stubborn, unreasonable, and self-righteous. For those that are in doubt of what I just shared, please research it yourself. Jesus, however, was kind, compassionate, and loving. Matthew was a hated tax collector, but JESUS accepted him! JESUS ate with the sinners. Yet Jacob Amman believed that it was wrong to eat with the ones that left his group.
So, who do we want to follow? Down through the generations, our parents and grandparents have said that" the world" refers to people who drive cars, use the latest technologies, etc.; yet the Bible says that "the world" is things like pride, hate, lust, and self-righteousness. So, which one do we believe? Who is "worldly"-the one who has a car and loves others, reads the Bible, and follows God, or one who does not have a computer but whose heart is full of lust and hatred and envy?
Does shunning come from love? How could it possibly be? Is this even what the Bible teaches? Have we researched it for ourselves? Is this something JESUS would do? Love is acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion. Shunning is revenge, separation, division, and hurt. Who is our neighbor? Once again, let us ponder our life and how we are treating others. Are we treating others like we would like to be treated, regardless of their past and/or beliefs? Do we love those who are different than we are? How can we fail by being compassionate and loving instead of judging and condemning? My desire is to become the person that treats others as I would like to be treated. Love never fails.
« Back to Articles