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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

Dear Saints,

I do not intend to write many notes like this but because of the current trend in posting for months now there have been many argumentative and divisive posts. Being involved in discussions on this site for almost 10 years, which is hard to imagine it has been this long. There have been seasons of problems in the discussion forums with certain individuals at times instigating arguments and contentions and at times the whole tenor of the posting when to more of an un-constructive tearing down in many threads.

I first want to publicly affirm and give full acknowledgement to the Lord that He has kept these forums and preserved them from the attacks of the enemy. The Lord Himself has allowed these discussions to be godly and the Lord Himself has kept this site from wicked men who could come on here and malign the glorious gospel and the person of Christ. We believe also in some measure the Lord has brought about an "unusual" unity in the body of Christ on this website and we fully credit the Lord Jesus Christ for this and bring glory to Him. I have heard this comment many times throughout the years that saints do not know other forums that carry the same "spirit" and unity as SermonIndex. We thank God for this testimony and we pray that this will continue until the Lord comes.

As towards the title of this post I had a thought as I was musing on the forums and past conversations. Think of this saints! Every discussion you have posted, every comment you have made, every statement, good or bad is being read by thousands and tens of thousands of christians and unbelievers every month. Even old posts that you have forgotten about and have not considered, are still being read by many. Imagine some of the public slanderous statements you have made or contentions you have argued in, they are all public, they are all being read by others.

Now I believe that once we have made amends with a brother or sister and have dealt with this situation with the Lord than we are covered by the blood of Christ so I am not trying to bring condemnation to any brother or sister who has dealt with any past grievances. But rather I want to arouse us to a sober spirit to realize that our conversations and discussions here are a public testimony of the Gospel to the world and the rest of Christendom. Also most evangelicals do not believe this but every word spoken, written and typed on forums will be brought before the Lord in the judgment. There will be a clear record of everything, whether we edit or even delete them.

I believe this is also biblical where in the book of Philippians as Paul is writing to encourage the entire body of Christ in that city, he then spends one verse to reprimand 2 sisters in the Lord who were arguing and divided. He emplores them publically before the entire body of Christ in that general letter to be united. Imagine also the weight of this that this is written of them for eternity in God's word! May we not have our names written in God's testimony in this way by our testimony of how we live. What could God write about you? Faithful, steadfast, encourager? or divider, accuser, not being united?

I pray these thoughts are for all of us to search our hearts and allow our communication on this site to be thinking of others and not ourselves. I am taking this time for me to personally ask the Lord to help me to interact with brothers and sisters in absolute love for them and the body of Christ here.

Sermonindex has no cliches or groups of people who support each other on the forums, we are the body of Christ and we are one together. May we be encouraging each other on this narrow way and supporting each other.

"Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord." (Philippians 4:1-2)


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/9/4 3:40Profile









 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

My dear brother Greg,

how i love you and how i love Jesus, and God the Holy Ghost, fore only by the Leading of the Holy Spirit, could you have written as such, in maturity, love and passion for the Body of Christ.

i myself, in these past ten years have been guilty of such sins, i confess this now, as i have done in the past, and not only do i beg forgiveness from the LORD, but also from any brother or sister i have offended or stumbled with a hasty or sharp word, or posting, forgive me please, i ask, because i am broken bread only made perfect by the Blood that is wholly sufficient to cleanse from all sin.

Your letter is not unique; here's how i mean that, and its a Good Thing, blessed in God's Eye. It reminds me of the time at Hernhutt, the Moravians at the estate of Count Zinzendorff, and they had a period, just like this, some backbiting, contention, 'clay jar' behaviors, so they met ALL together, and got of one accord, in love and unity In Christ.....1727. Jesus was asked to pastor their meetings, and a prayer meeting started that lasted for a 100 years, two male saints decided in the LORD it was time to fish for souls, sold themselves as 'slaves', and sailed for the caribean, which is regarded by many as the 'start' of modern missionary ministry.

i thank God for you, love you, appreciate you, as well as every saint who posts, and the moderators who give of their time, May Jesus continue to put His Hand over this website, and may God the Holy Spirit guide all of our postings, is my prayer. amen, neil

 2012/9/4 5:25
Yeshuasboy
Member



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

 Re:

I love you Mr Gordon, and my heart breaks for your ministry. God be with you. We've been close to meeting several times (although you may not know it), & if we ever do, by the grace of God, I will weep exceedingly as I do now, for the grace of God that He has bestowed upon your life.
Oh, what a war we are in! Only Christ can carry us through this dark hour.


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Richie

 2012/9/4 7:35Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note



I do appreciate the reminder, I see that there is such a great need to guard my tongue or what I type. I find it is best to pray long and hard before posting although I will admit that there are times when I have to repent for things posted in my human weakness that have been sin on my part. I am so thankful for HIS love and mercy towards me. I would be forever undone with out HIS kindness and care.

God bless
maryjane

 2012/9/4 8:35Profile
iceman9
Member



Joined: 2008/2/15
Posts: 205
New York

 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

Thanks Greg!

 2012/9/4 10:15Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37222
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
Your letter is not unique; here's how i mean that, and its a Good Thing, blessed in God's Eye. It reminds me of the time at Hernhutt, the Moravians at the estate of Count Zinzendorff, and they had a period, just like this, some backbiting, contention, 'clay jar' behaviors, so they met ALL together, and got of one accord, in love and unity In Christ.....1727. Jesus was asked to pastor their meetings, and a prayer meeting started that lasted for a 100 years, two male saints decided in the LORD it was time to fish for souls, sold themselves as 'slaves', and sailed for the caribean, which is regarded by many as the 'start' of modern missionary ministry.



Hallelujah! May it happen again my dear friend. Thank you for your openness and transparency which God surely esteems.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/9/4 11:35Profile
MrBillPro
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3238
Texas

 Re:

Thank you Greg for taking your valuable time to concern yourself with this issue, some will heed, some will dismiss, but you did your best to write in Love.
God Bless you Brother and all the members on SI, times in the world are tough/different now, but by the Grace of God we can see it through. Grace has got us this for in our lives, only Grace can see us through to the end of the race.


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Mr. Bill

 2012/9/4 12:05Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

Hi Greg,

I appreciate this sort of encouragement.

I have been a part of quite a few, but I don't think that I have ever felt good about that fact. Yet, I do understand the propensity toward divisive debates on these forums.

By our spiritual nature, we embrace (or believe ourselves to embrace) "truth" from the Word of God. There is an evangelical nature within us to proclaim that truth from the highways and byways.

Unfortunately, we often confuse the purity of a "truth" that God has "revealed" with a persuasion or "own understanding" -- often in addition -- to a truth that we read, see, hear or receive. And, unfortunately, we go about proclaiming things that we have tactics or means that are reflective of our former sinful nature. It is part of that Romans 7:13-21 internal "tug-of-war" of which we wrestle continuously.

There have been many wonderful threads about historic persecution and tribulation that have been discussed here on SermonIndex. I am often amazed by the faith of individuals who endured almost unspeakable things for the sake of their faith in Christ.

I have pondered what the "debating" church would be like if we faced similar persecution and tribulation. Would we get together to argue about seemingly inconsequential matters? Or would we make the most of our time and encourage one another with a love that is pure and motivated with a desire to see others attain the same things that we long for with our relationship with God.

Yet, I came to realize that there ARE individuals who visit these forums who are going through trials, tribulations and, possibly, persecution for the faith! We don't know those individuals with whom we correspond. More importantly, we don't know who is peering into our correspondence with one another. Many people enter this website who may never log in. What do they thing...what do they receive...when they read our words, debates and discussions?

Undoubtedly, there are hurting people who enter into these forums and are desperately searching for encouragement or affirmation from the Body of Christ.

There are individuals who may be struggling with their faith. There are individuals who may have lost their jobs, struggle to find the next meal, have lost a loved one, may be hurting when it comes to relationships with a spouse, parents, children, family members, neighbors, co-workers and friends. There are people who are sick and dying. There are individuals struggling with sin. And, yes, there are individuals who probably have never known Jesus Christ.

What do those individuals think when they see our debates? I tremble when I realize that individuals may have come to this website to search for God but instead find me arguing with someone else over bible versions, politics, music, eschatology or whether or not someone is legitimately being used via a prophetic gift. I am struck by the notion that our words and behavior can draw others to Christ or "turn them off" to Christ. What an awesome responsibility!

Brother Greg, I accept your encouragement and I believe that I hear your heart. Too often, I think, we feel that we are "contending for the faith" but are, in reality, doing something else. Sometimes, I think that we mistake those assumptions for the purity of truth from God's Word. Sometimes, we mistake a word that we believe to have received from God (that should be tested) as though any inspection or rejection is a sign that something is wrong. And, sometimes, I think that we just argue.

This week, I was looking back at some threads from the first couple of years of SermonIndex when the ministry was so new. While there were still some debates, it seems like there was much more of a prevalent attitude -- and encouragement -- to see (rather than to try and "see through") others. Of course, this could just be the recollection from when I was in college and so thrilled to have discovered and become a part of this online Christian community.

I appreciate the encouragement that you have offered here, Greg. I am so very blessed by this website. I enjoy the messages contained here most of all; however, I greatly value and praise God for the fellowship with the saints. I have learned quite a bit from interaction with others. While, sadly, I have participated in unhelpful debates, I typically read threads than participate in them.

Yet, I still find myself prone to "entering the fray" when a topic is being discussed with points that I feel to be incorrect. I think that I am better at avoiding those things than I was a couple of years ago. However, I still find myself feeling a "need" to counter statements that I feel to be false or to simply present a different perspective. Now, I have been finding myself praying more and more about whether or not I should even do that.

This admonition will cause me to pray more about what I say (or type) or even whether to enter a discussion in the first place. Thank you for this timely reminder Greg!


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Christopher

 2012/9/4 13:46Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3502
Louisiana

 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

"that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:21)

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:1-6).

I would like to apologize for anything that I have said that has brought division or has not been in the spirit of love and gentleness. I would like to ask Mr. Bill and Skeptic to forgive me for the criticism that I made on a recent post.

I appreciate every one of the moderators. I believe that you all are doing a great job, and have been very patient, kind, and longsuffering, as well as allowing the Lord to give you wisdom in handling these forums.

Mike


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Mike

 2012/9/4 15:19Profile









 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

Hi bro Greg, good thoughts. I think a good rule of thumb for any forum users to consider would be.....

1. Do you post yourself? (some never post but just respond to posts)
2. If you do post, are they for edification?
3. If you do only respond, do you only respond to controversy and what is the motivation ( to edify or to display one's own knowledge)

I am always dismayed at the lack of responses the devotional section receives. It kinda feels like the dissapointment you have when no one shows up for prayer meetings :) I would like to ask all forum users, when was the last time you posted in the devotional section, if ever? Its kinda hard to fall into controversy when your praising God or encouraging the saints. If you predominantly are only involved in controversy, why is that. I dont actually want anyone to reply, just to ponder..........bro Frank

 2012/9/4 16:45





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