Friday, September 13, 2013

Beloved, Let us Love

"Beloved", says the Apostle John, "let us love one another, for love is of God." The Christian is called to love even, one might say especially, his or her enemies (Matthew 5:44). Now that means we pray for them, however unpleasant or persecuting they may be. And note that Jesus says, "Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." He does not encourage our sinful hearts by saying "Pray against those who spitefully use you..." We need no encouragement to add the imprecatory Psalms to our daily devotions or to pray that our foes may come to a bad end, but we emphatically need encouragement to pray that our foes may cease to be our foes and become our friends.

Now, if we wish to understand what love is, where better to turn than 1 Corinthians 13:

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Note that love involves the opposite of suspicion. Rather than putting the worst possible construction on a person's words where there is an ambiguity, love puts the best possible construction. Love does not lightly make accusations, but shies away from such accusations unless it is forced to think otherwise. Love does not take any but the best arguments as evidence of a person's guilt. Malice should be one of those attitudes that the Christian "puts off", as Paul argues in Colossians 3.

Now, love does not mean being willfully blind to a real fault, for the sinner is to be reclaimed, and to overlook actual sin is not loving, for as long as sin is not confessed there can be no repentance, and to encourage a sinner to remain impenitent is to encourage sin. But no doubtful accusation, no mere argument of words, should be accepted by a Christian against a brother in Christ - or against a complete pagan and a persecutor, for that matter.

Let us be slow to speak in condemnation of another, and swift to examine the accusation carefully. Much harm has been done by those who, however well-meaning, have been too swift to share accusations that are either untrue or undetermined. Brethren, these things ought not to be so.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Series: 'The Craft of Dishonest Quotation'

Having tried to look up the series I did some years ago on Gail Riplinger's dishonest quotations in 'New Age Bible Versions', it occurred to me to link the whole thing in one post, hence this one.

The series, 'The Craft of Dishonest Quotation'. deals primarily with Mrs. Riplinger's lies about B.F. Westcott, and the word is not too strong, as documented below.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Was Westcott an Occultist? Appendix 1
Was Westcott a Communist? Appendix 2
Westcott and 1 John 2:2. Appendix 3
On the Use of Words. Appendix 4
Another Word on 'The Christ'. Appendix 5
'The Godhead's Gone' - Is that Bad? Appendix 6

Watch out for the comments on some of the posts, there is some serious mud-slinging going on.