This is my first and will probably be my last post on a sermonindex forum.
I am young, and have been saved for only a little over a year, and only been on this website for half of that year, but I have been greatly blessed through this website and have devoured the sermons here with zeal and fervor. I thank God that he has founded a place where I can access such anointed preaching and that he lead me here.
Because I respect the preaching so much, I often find myself drawn to the forums to read what other people have to say or reccomend.
However, almost every time I read something here, I come away sickened and upset. In the midst of such anointed preaching and an entire culture centered on revival, the main attitude of conversation is self-righteous bickering almost entirely void of love or understanding. Every poster seems to immediatley assume that every other poster is a backslidden, lukewarm affront to Jesus Christ! The prejudices and harsh assumptions that abound are appalling to me. We are brothers and sisters in Christ! Not opponents! When I first discovered the nature of these forums I felt sure that I would never post anything, but I felt compelled to try to encourage everyone to assume the best about each other and treat each other with gentleness, meekness and patience (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Thats how Paul says we should treat brothers in Christ AND the backslidden shouldnt we err on the side of love instead of judgement? It seems like the majority of people on this website are involved in ministry of some kind, shouldnt we assume that they are being led by God unless they say something that contradicts that? (applying to Bible School and like matters should not matter, God lead Hosea break the law and marry a "wife of whoredoms" how dare we assume that going to a Bible school is against God's will.)
After I wrote all this, I still feel that I have somehow contributed to the bad atmosphere,perhaps I have misunderstood the majority of posts here or simply am misinterpreting what is said. I only wish we could be more thankful and encouraging and less judgemental. I think I am most hurt by this because I can see it in my own life and have been asking God to make me less judgemental. I love the sermons on this site, and their worth to me is unmeasured, but I often find that the judgemental side of the messages rub off on me and I find myself judging things without the anointing or Holy Spirit.
| 2008/1/3 14:24||Profile|
| Re: Hurt|
in many ways you are correct, please forgive us for not loving others as we should.
| 2008/1/3 14:30||Profile|
| Re: Hurt|
Sat on this for awhile... just to ponder what was written. To some extent I would agree that many times we do not treat each other with the love that we are commanded to. I think thats why you see apologies pop up on here quite often.
I notice that you seem to not see anything positive about this forum, just the negative. What I would like to point out is that while yes, we are not always a shining example of Christian charity... there truly is a unity and a brotherhood on this forum. Some of the folks who disagree with me the most, and vice versa, are the most dearest to me. I have developed some friendships on here that transcend the debates.
It's kinda like the old saying "Iron sharpens iron"... and it does. But have you ever sharpened a blade before? If you touch the blade with your finger you'll notice it can be very hot... sometimes hot enough to burn your skin. There is friction there.
You've said you've read these forums for sometime, but this is your first post. So you've not interacted with anyone here... never had a conversation privately or publicly with anyone here. Well, then I have to say that you havent taken a chance to get to know any of us.
Believe me, I agree... we do have much to apologize and repent of. I dont disagree with you at all. But I also dont think that we grow better in an atmosphere of fluff and fake unity. When I'm coaching my football team how do you think my guys learn new plays, or drill the plays already in place? By lining up 11 of my guys on offense and 11 of my guys on defense... and knocking heads for 2 1/2 hours every night. Even tho they are hitting and knocking each other around... they are still teammates, brothers, friends... and it prepares them for game time when they have to face the enemy together out there on that field.
I look at this forum in much the same way.
I do apologize to you for the times I have not acted in love toward my brothers, and I repent of having done that... numerous times.
I make no apologies for my strong stand. I make no apologies for contending for the faith.
I do hope you decide to join us in this quest for growth, revival and brotherhood. It would certainly be a great loss to you should you simply write this forum off because of our weaknesses.
| 2008/1/3 15:46|
well said krispy, i agree 100% in what you just said..
| 2008/1/3 16:08||Profile|
I think lively debate can turn ugly, but surely with all the apologies of late there does seem to be at least a tinge of humility here.
Look at it as a challenge to offer a loving ingredient to si!
Anyway welcome to the fire! LOL
| 2008/1/3 16:17||Profile|
| Re: Hurt|
I know how you feel brother. I've just taken about a month off from here. It was way too intense!
Iron does sharpen iron but it quickly dulls when it's not in the spirit or in love. But please let me invite you to look beyond the veneer of people and see Jesus because the same peole you are accusing, Jesus loves them as well. I know it, it aggravates me too but He does!! LOLOLOOLOOO wink, wink wink!!! joke, joke, joke!!!! (I crack myself up at times).
I know you are young in the Lord and I thank you for the rebuke... many of these old timers need a younger one to see out of a set of new eyes.
I hate to use a slogan but I must!!! Don't be too hard on us... God isn't finished with us yet!!
God bless you, FlameofFire!!!
| 2008/1/3 19:41|
I want to thank you for your responses, they have helped me understand the nature of the discussions that go on here. I have been praying about this throughout the day, and I feel encouraged by God to become more active in the forums, if only to try to lighten the atmosphere with encouragement and raise some questions that I have not seen addressed. It was not my intention to give a rebuke or make an accusation, but instead to make a passionate observation. The apologies I have noticed in other threads are encouraging to me and I do find the forum informative.
If we are praying for revival we should ask God to start with ourselves, and we should live in constant renewal and revival with God. If we want the Spirit of Love to move people toward repentance, then that Spirit of Love should first be manifest in our own lives.
I think I understand how to best approach the forum now that I have prayed and read more, and though I am still of the same opinion, I am optimistic that especially lately God is moving in the forum to promote a loving atmosphere that focuses on the best way to edify. I understand that sometimes we can accidentally let our zeal for God turn into contempt for man, and I have also been guilty of this. May God bless us with love and encouragement that goes before and beyond judgement.
| 2008/1/3 23:42||Profile|
I have been praying about this throughout the day, and I feel encouraged by God to become more active in the forums, if only to try to lighten the atmosphere with encouragement and raise some questions that I have not seen addressed.
This made me smile. I would very much encourage you - and anyone else reading these forum posts - to unashamedly join in, introduce, and share. You will find these forums to be a terrific chamber of growth, a grand supplement God can use in your walk to foster character refinement and theological honing. The trick is to not come aboard with a personal agenda, disputatious suppositions, or a frivolous, secular mindset. If you enter these forums with a seriousness to grow in knowledge of God's will and grace, you will not be disappointed.
If God gives you a specific scripture revelation during quiet time, do consider sharing it here, among your brethren, and without fear of defense. If it has been birthed in God, and is of the honorable fragrance of purity and uprightness, it will hold its own and shut the mouth the staunchest critic here. However, if you present a thought or gripe clothed in a tapestry of flesh and thus unbacked by God, prepare to have it thoroughly scrutinized.
Like I said, this is a wonderful growth chamber and caulderon of refinement for those afforded by the grace of God. Welcome!
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/1/4 0:06||Profile|
You are young in the Lord, and I am old in the Lord, and I too have been grieved by a lot of the content on SI. And so are others, it seems. Is this not a clear witness, then, that the Lord Himself is grieved? "In the mouth of two or three witnesses...." We need to lay that to heart. HE is the Lord of the church.
I've been away from this site for a number of months; it's been a time of heart searching for me. Because, not only what others have posted, but some of my own contributions here have left me troubled.
Yet, of late, returning here of late, I have been noticing different ones apologizing... asking forgiveness... wanting to come to a higher place. This is very encouraging. There are a lot of true-hearted brothers and sisters who visit here.
I think of the Lord, as He appears to the seven churches in The Revelation. He would say, You have this, and that, which is good, and so on... But then He would say, Nevertheless I have this against thee...
So, can we hear that right here on this site? There is much good... "But I have this against thee..." What is our reaction when He speaks to us like that? Do we get defensive? Or do we recognize that His love for us is very deep, and He wants to bring us further, and into a very high quality of Testimony in this hour... in which HE HIMSELF is being seen in His people! I hope we-- this site, I mean-- which has a reputation for being concerned for His Name... will have the courage to submit to the hand of the Lord, and acknowledge His reproof, and ask for His searching Eyes to purify us according to His own standard of love and righteousness. Peter says the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. Then he says this: "But if it first begin AT US..." Never mind the apostate church out there. He will deal with it. But He begins AT US. And... I've experienced a measure of that in my life. Anyone who has walked with the Lord for a while knows all about this. It's painful. Hard. But thank you, Jesus, for it all. Please don't stop now.
And so, with this in mind, I often wonder about the different ones who might be "listening in" on this site. And what they find. I greatly feel we need to tremble about that. All who post here need to know a responsibility rests upon us to guard the Name of the Lord, that His Name shine here (in a day when His Name is so defiled in the earth). That might mean, for all of us, seeking a deeper circumcision, and a deeper "trembling at His Word." And therefore, saying less: being sure that when we speak, we are in the Lord, in the mind of the Lord. In the Spirit. I know this is a growing experience; we don't put anyone under condemnation for expressing what they truly feel the Lord has laid on their heart, even though they sometimes might not get it right. We all need great grace. And if we know our own personal need for His grace, how much more, then, do we need to extend it to one another.
But I think that all too often we are still just taking for granted our "democratic right" to freely express our opinions on these forums. And so, when others are doing the same, there is that raucous discord we're troubled about. We forget that as Christians, our "democratic right" to our own opinion has been crucified with Christ. "If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God."
We do want to hear from God, don't we?
...So, I do pray there will be an increase in a spirit of true repentance right here on this site. Grant it to us, Lord, all of us. Myself included. ...And that there will be more sensitivity, and care for one another. Yes, we do need to stand for the truth. But let us be positive it is Truth Himself who is speaking when we open our mouth. All too often that very thing is no more than a cloak for wanting to be right in the eyes of others. And there is no fragrance of Christ in that.
Sometimes the only way you can be right is to admit you are wrong.
| 2008/1/4 1:29||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Crushed|
... it's been a time of heart searching for me. ..., but some of my own contributions here have left me troubled.
I hope we-- this site, I mean-- which has a reputation for being concerned for His Name...
... will have the courage to submit to the hand of the Lord, and acknowledge His reproof
I often wonder about the different ones who might be "listening in" on this site. And what they find. I greatly feel we need to tremble about that.
Sometimes the only way you can be right is to admit you are wrong.
Straight to the heart of the matter. Just outstanding ...
| 2008/1/4 9:17||Profile|