Gary Swisher

Being Right Misses the Mark

In Chrisitan Right, Christianity on January 25, 2011 at 3:29 am

Last week Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama put his foot in his mouth by publically proclaiming that non-Christians were not his brothers and sisters. I understand that he later apologized. However, to me, this is an all too familiar habit many Christians have of getting the facts right and totally missing the spirit of the matter.

I would assume there are many Christians in America who would give a hearty “Amen!” to the governor’s statement, regardless of its appropriateness for a public address. Technically, he is correct that those who belong to Christ have become related as kin, and those outside of Christ do not share that same relation. That, in and of itself, is not likely to offend anyone who is not a Christian. I would assume Governor Bentley’s critics are not upset to find they have no spiritual relation to him. In fact, they are probably relieved.

Evangelicals often seem to take the stance of trying to get the world to fall in line. While much of this is done from a posture of love in reaching out to a lost world, I think the subconscious source of statements like these is a spirit of legalistic judgmentalism. As if to say, wouldn’t the world be a better place if they would just listen to truths we can share with them. But, so long as they don’t, well… too bad. They aren’t with us and we need to let ’em know! Tell it like it is. That way we’ve done our part.

Is it any wonder Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery? He seemed to have a real complex. Yes, it was true that God had chosen him for a special purpose. His brothers were indeed to bow to his rulership in the future. So why did he have to let everyone know about his special revelation? Joseph may even have avoided a lot of hardship on his way to the Egyptian throne if he would have just treasured these things in his heart and kept them to himself. Then, of course, we would not have been given a key foreshadowing of the betrayal of Christ and his accession to the Father. So God works all things according to his purpose.

When we speak and act according to our own designs we are simply manifesting our carnal nature, no matter how good our intentions or how true our doctrine. That is not the spirit of Christ which binds us to one another as his body. The wrong spirit negates the truth. Being right misses the mark.

© 2011 Gary Swisher. All Rights Reserved

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