SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : A Word To End all Strife and Divisiveness on SI Forums

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )

Joined: 2006/1/8
Posts: 58

 A Word To End all Strife and Divisiveness on SI Forums

I believe it was providence tonight that led me to a set of books I have in my library,(published in the late 1800's) authored by "C.H.M." I got them at a book auction and frankly liked them becasue of their antique look, and bought them because I am somewhat of a bibliophile. I picked up one of the 6 books tonight and looked for the author's name, but couldn't find anything more than "C.H.M." so I researched it on the net and found that this humble servant of the Lord used only these initals on most of the books he authored. He was C. H. Mackintosh, born in 1820 in Ireland, and was the most prolific of the Brethren writers. He was also involved in the revival that came to that country in 1859.

All of that as background to say, as I was reading some of his writings, I felt strongly that I should share the following excerpt with the readership of SI and particularly with those who engage in these forum discussions. These poignant words challeged me and I pray that they are a blessing and inspiration to you. I tried editing some of this but as I read it, it was all so very good, I just couldn't bring myself to cut anything out. It's a lengthy read but I think most SI forum participants are used to such and even longer. :-)

Blessings, dear brothers and sisters who love the Lord in Truth.


I have been very much interested of late in looking at the excellent way in which John the Baptist met the various questions which came before him, for there were many questions in his day, as there are in ours.

What I specially refer to now is presented to us in the Gospel of John (John 1 and John 3). The first question which this dear and honored servant of Christ was called to answer had respect to himself, and of this he makes very short work indeed. “This is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?”

It is unwelcome to any right-minded person to be asked to speak about himself. So, I doubt not, John found it. He readily told them that he was not the Messiah, that he was not Elijah, that he was not even the prophet. But they wanted a positive answer. “They said unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?” Little indeed had he to say of himself. “I” had a very small place in John's thoughts. “A voice.” Was this all? Yes; this was all. The Spirit in the prophet had spoken; John quotes the words and there he leaves it. Blessed servant! Honored witness! Would we had more of his excellent spirit, more of his method of answering questions!

But these Pharisees were not satisfied. John's self-hiding spirit was entirely beyond them. “They asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias, neither the prophet?”

Here again the Baptist makes short work. “John answering them, saying, I baptize with water; but there standeth One among you whom ye know not. He it is who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”

Thus, as to himself, he was merely a voice. And, as to his work, he baptized with water, and he was only too glad to retire behind that blessed One whose shoe's latchet he felt himself utterly unworthy to unloose.

This is uncommonly fine. I feel assured, my beloved friend, that the lovely spirit displayed by this most illustrious servant of Christ is what you earnestly covet for yourself. And I think I am one with you. I do long to know more and more of this self-hiding — this losing sight of self and its doings, this retiring spirit. Truly it is much needed in this day of egotistical boast and pretension.

Turn with me for a moment to John 3. Here we have another kind of question. It is not now about himself or his work, but about purifying. “There arose a question among some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came to John and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth and all come to Him.”

Now this was a mistake, for “Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples.” But this is not the point here. What strikes me is John's mode of settling all questions, right or wrong. He finds a perfect solution for all in the presence of his Lord. “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven.”

How true! How simple! How perfectly obvious! What a complete settlement of every question! If a man has anything at all, from where did it, where could it, come? Surely only from heaven. What a perfect cure for strife, envy, jealousy and emulation! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” What a tale this tells of earth. What a record it bears to heaven and to God! Not one atom of good on earth but what comes from heaven. Not an atom of good in man but what comes from God. Why then should anyone boast or be jealous or envious? If all goodness is from above, let there be an end of all strife and let all hearts go up in praise to “the Father of lights.”

Thus it was the Baptist met the questions of his day. He let all the questioners know that their questions had little interest for him. And more than that, he let them know where all his interests lay. This blessed servant found all his springs in the Lamb of God, in His precious work, in His glorious Person. The voice of the Bridegroom was enough for him, and having heard that, his joy was full. The question of purifying might be interesting enough in its place, and like all other questions, it had its right and its wrong side, but for John, the Bridegroom's voice was enough. In His presence he found a divine answer to every question, a divine solution for every difficulty. He looked up to heaven and saw every good thing coming from there. He looked into the Bridegroom's face and saw every moral glory centered there. This was enough for him. Why trouble him with questions of any kind — questions about himself or his work, or about purifying? He lived far beyond the region of questions, in the blessed presence of his Lord, and there he found all his heart could ever need.

Now, my much loved friend, it seems to me that you and I would do well to take a leaf out of John's book as regards all this. I need not remind you that in this our day there are questions agitating men's minds. Yes, and some of us are called to account for not expressing ourselves more decidedly on some of these questions. But I believe the devil is doing his utmost to alienate our hearts from Christ and from one another by questions. We ought not to be ignorant of his devices. He does not come openly and say, “I am the devil and I want to divide and scatter you by questions.” Yet this is precisely what he is seeking to do.

Now, it matters not whether the question be right or wrong in itself; the devil can make use of a right question just as effectively as of a wrong one, provided he can succeed in raising that question to undue prominence, causing it to come between our souls and Christ, and between us and our brethren. I can understand a difference in judgment on various minor questions. Christians have differed about such for long centuries and they will continue to differ until the end of time. It is human weakness. But when any question is allowed to assume undue prominence, it ceases to be mere human weakness and becomes a wile of Satan. I may have a very decided judgment on any given point, and so may you. But what I long for now is a thorough sinking of all questions and a rejoicing together in hearing the Bridegroom's voice and going on together in the light of His blessed countenance. This will confound the enemy. It will effectively deliver us from prejudice and partiality and from cliques. We shall then measure one another, not by our views of any particular question, but by our appreciation of the Person of Christ and our devotion to His cause.

In a word, my beloved and valued friend, what I long for is that you and I, and all our dear brethren throughout the whole world, may be characterized by a deep-toned, thorough devotion to the name and truth and cause of Christ. I long to cultivate broad sympathies that can take in every true lover of Christ, even though we don't see eye to eye on all minor questions. At best “we know but in part,” and we can never expect people to agree with us about questions. But if Christ be our one absorbing object, all other things will assume their right place, their relative value, their proper proportions. “Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect (as many as have Christ for their one object) be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule (Christ), and mind the same thing” (Christ). The moment anything else but Christ is introduced as a rule to walk by, it is simply the work of the devil. Of this I am as sure as I hold this pen in my hand.

May the Lord keep us all close to Himself, walking together, not in sectarianism, but in true brotherly love, seeking the blessing and prosperity of all who belong to Christ and promoting in every possible way His blessed cause until He come!

 2006/9/12 20:56Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: A Word To End all Strife and Divisiveness on SI Forums

Dear brother,

Thank you for posting this. It put my face in the dirt where it belongs. Why am I such a worm that desires to be elevated by wings of pride? I have so much to learn, so many deaths to die. Reading the answers of the Baptist is like a beam of light blasting through the cobwebs. Give me more of this man's theology!

Brother Paul

Paul Frederick West

 2006/9/12 21:40Profile

Joined: 2006/1/8
Posts: 58


Brother Paul...thanks for your response to this post.I admire your humility and brokeness. In my opinion, you're one of the few posters who always write with a spirit of humility and in deference to others. Thank you for your example of godly repentance. When we see ourselves in the light of His Word, we all must bow in the dust...what arrogance and audacity possesses us that we speak as if we have the "answers" and that others should buy our opinions?? God save us from ourselves.

We should ask ourselves before we write: Is what I'm expressing here a stench in the nostrils of God or a sweet fragrance? May the Lord conform all of us to His image.

 2006/9/12 22:11Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37095
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



Thank you for sharing this article by C.H.M. I have a few of his expositional old volumes which are gems. I think it is a timely word and we need to heed to it, may God purify these conversations and discussions. May we submit to his process in our hearts to refine us.

If anyone else hasn't read this please do:

[b]SI ANNOUNCEMENT: gracious speech[/b]

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/9/12 23:16Profile

Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


i just listen to gracious speech. very sobering. cut me thru the heart. thankyou for the encouragement.

Lord, forgive me for my unclean lips. forgive me for all the times i use my speech to hurt others and poison their hearts. forgive me for grieving your heart in the way i have used my tongue. Lord, have mercy and make these lips clean. i pray that my lips will only utter words of life and hope in You. that these lips will be used to heal and bring hope to others.

God, help me extend mercy and love to others as you have extended mercy and love to me. oh, that You may be so glorified!


 2006/9/13 0:13Profile

Joined: 2006/1/14
Posts: 50

 Re: A Word To End all Strife and Divisiveness on SI Forums

Thanks for this brother Chadster...
It is highly important for us, as Christians to be always focused in what God realy wants us to be.

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philip 1:27)

It's so easy in these days of "answers for everything" to have everybody self opinions of all...even christians having sel opinion on what God says...Just as was back in the time of C.H.M as he said when to much questions where expected to be answered...
May God let us see when we are moving our eyes from the focus where they shouldn`t be moved ever, and never let us speak of our "precious", well studied, higly "razonable" answers, and as Jesus said: "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear UNTO MYSELF, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24)
This reminds me of a powerful portion of Corinthians that says:

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?.....
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (1 Cor 3:5-8, 11:3)


 2006/9/13 11:19Profile

Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524


C.H.Mackintosh, wrote :

-The Mackintosh Treasury - Miscellaneous Writings.

-The notes on Pentateuch".

His writings are extremely worth reading, concise and easy to read. Especially the "Miscellaneous Writings", which touch on many relevant issues pertaining a Christian's daily walk.

I highly recommend them. Thanks Chadster for reminding me of them.

 2006/9/14 18:49Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada


Thankyou chadster and mamaluk for posting these writings and books of this blessed man of God...oh how simple and focused John the Baptist truly brings me to shame. I have been captured by this thread upon awakening this very day...Praise God for His great Love that truly surpasses the wisdom of this world. Please pray for me saints, that by the grace of God, i will become everything that Christ Jesus desires for me to become - as full of His Holy Spirit as it is possible for any child of His to be full of. Thankyou again, and very much appreciative of your services in Him!!!!!!!!!



 2006/10/7 22:33Profile

Joined: 2006/10/4
Posts: 31
London, Ingerrrland

 Re: CHM

Chadster, thank you so much for posting that. So humbling. Lord, I'm so sorry for anything I said that hurt you; I'm sorry for any pain or confusion I've caused in other believers.

I know nothing and I am nothing without you.


 2006/11/21 19:50Profile

Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178

 Re: A Word To End all Strife and Divisiveness on SI Forums

Thank you for posting this. I just read this for the first time and feel it is what we need to help is in our post on every subject. Most excellent.


 2007/1/14 0:33Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy