“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
I have been having a conversation with a number of brothers on the Believers Security and the No-Sin-Nature teaching. I had one of tell me tonight that they didn’t consider me brother in Christ due to what I believe.
I thought it would make a good article on how to deal with Christians who take this kind of action.
Here is what the dear brother told to me on Facebook chat.
I don’t take this lightly. I see that you highly value your righteousness and I see that a condition of your salvation is acts of righteousness.
You are not finding your salvation is Jesus. You are finding it in working for Him and there is no salvation there. I have no bitter feelings towards you. I just think you are deceived.
Here is the best way according to scriptures to deal with someone who has taken that position.
1. Be prayed up each day and be ready for an attack from Satan. You should always be ready for a surprise attack from the devil. This morning I praying that I would ready for all attacks of the devil. I prayed that if I had stroke, if my wife left me and cleaned out the bank accounts, if someone punch me out, or if my business failed I would have grace to have victory over these very things and that I would not lose my joy.
2. Don’t render “evil for evil, or railing for railing” (1Pet 3:9). Remember “a soft answer turneth away wrath” (Pr 15:1). Don’t strike back and tell them they are deceived, not saved, or have bad spirit. It’s okay to let them that God will judge them in the same way they judge others (Mat 7:2), and what the Bible has to say about condemning the just (Pro 17:15), but other than make sure you don’t accuse them back.
3. If you feel any wrong feelings toward them, or if you feel hurt with the charge they have made, end the conversation and go to prayer and ask God for grace to help in the time of need (Heb 4:16).
4. It is best to not have a protracted conversation with them but suggest they pray for you and let them know you love them and will praying for them.
5. If they don’t tell you way they think you are not converted and they don’t appear to be upset you could ask them for the reasons why and ask them what they think you should do to be saved.
6. Then examine yourself in prayer before the Lord to see if the charges are true. Examine yourselves if you are in the faith (2Cor 13:5). Take a good honest look according to the scriptures and pray and ask God to reveal to you if there be any wrong way in you.
7. Don’t allow this to discourage you. But realize you are taking part in the suffering of Christ.
8. Use this example to help you see the how harmful it is to tell precious children of God they are not saved. Example yourself and see if you have this kind of attitude working in you. Repent if you see any hint of this in your own experience and pray and ask God to help to learn for this example.
9. Don’t go around gossiping about this person. Spend your time talking about them before the Lord.
10. Make sure you have no get back, no bitterness, or nothing in your that wishes for their failure. Many time God can let false charges come your way to see whether you are building on wood, hay, and stubble, or gold, silver, and precious stones (1Cor 3:12).
11. Write a short letter listing the charges they have made and what they think you need to do. Note in the letter why think they they are wrong and go in meekness (2Tim 2:25) and read the letter to them. Don’t enter into a protracted discussion with them. If they will not hear you find an elder or minister whom they are under and without giving the elder/minister the details ask to set up a meeting where you can bring out the contents of the letter to the person and ask them retract their charges (Mat 18:15-17).
12. If they retract their charges forgive them and don’t gossip about what they have done. If they don’t retract the charges commit them into the hands of the ministry which they are under and allow them do deal with them as they see fit. You would need to limit your contact with them until they make their wrong charges right.
February 16th, 2010 at 11:22 pm
I find it amazing that that comment would produce such a big reaction. The response tends to prove his point even if he is wrong. It is true though, that salvation is only in Jesus and not in doing religious works, otherwise we are heading back toward Catholicism. If through your own writings someone concludes that you are trusting in “acts of righteousness” instead of Jesus only, that does not constitute an “offense.” You might also be offended by the book of Galatians.
1) Hardly an “attack from Satan.”
2) Couldn’t qualify as “railing” or “evil” and I didn’t see any “wrath” in it. I can’t imagine having a desire to “strike back” or thinking someone is “not saved,” “deceived” or has a “bad spirit” just because they said that.
7) That shouldn’t “discourage you” unless you “highly regard your own righteousness.”
8) Have you ever told any of “God’s precious little children” they are not saved because they didn’t agree with your particular interpretation of sin?
The whole list thing tends to look like more “acts of righteousness.” Only the Holy Spirit can produce true fruit anyway. We know we are children of God because we have His Spirit, it doesn’t matter what someone might think about it.
February 17th, 2010 at 9:20 am
>>>I find it amazing that that comment would produce such a big reaction.
I wouldn’t consider my response to him telling me I was not saved a big reaction nor would I consider my suggest on how to deal with it a big reaction.
>>>The response tends to prove his point even if he is wrong.
I am not quite sure where you are coming from here Ed. I don’t feel like it is acceptable to go around telling other committed Christians that are not living in willful or known sin that they are not saved and they are deceived.
My reaction was to pray for him and to seek a way to be reconciled. What was it that you feel like in my response was unbiblical or would indicate that what he said was correct.
>>>If through your own writings someone concludes that you are trusting in “acts of righteousness” instead of Jesus only, that does not constitute an “offense.”
I would agree that was not an offense. The offense was telling me that I was not saved.
Let me ask you a question. Do you feel like it is acceptable for one committed Christian to go to another committed Christian and tell them they are not saved for any other reason than they are willfully and knowingly disobeying the scriptures?
Some legalistic people would be willing to tell you you’re not saved because you have a radio in your car or your car is painted red. In the other ditch some antinomians would be willing to tell you that you are deceived and not a Christian if you state that a Christian must forsake all willful and known sinning.
Now it would seem that you are saying this is not an offense. But the Bible says it is more than an offense, it is an abomination (Pr 17:15).
>>>You might also be offended by the book of Galatians.
First I was not offended. I have gotten use to other Christian attacking me and telling me I am not saved. I am blacklist by the Church of God Restoration (COGR) for not bowing to and honoring the “one true visible church” (their no-sect sect) and by many other Christians I am blacklisted because I have was at the COGR for so many years.
And no I am not offended by the book of Galatians at all. I love this book.
>>>1) Hardly an “attack from Satan.”
In my first point I was in general stating that Christians should be ready for attacks from Satan. Whether they come from temptations in the mind or from a Christian or non-Christian doing something that would cause them a trial or temptation.
But as far as one committed Christian going to another committed Christ and telling them they are not saved — I would certainly see that as an attack from Satan.
>>>2) Couldn’t qualify as “railing” or “evil” and I didn’t see any “wrath” in it. I can’t imagine having a desire to “strike back” or thinking someone is “not saved,” “deceived” or has a “bad spirit” just because they said that.
This list of scriptural principles was given to be applied where a similar situation happens. I didn’t mean to imply that this Christian railed on me or had wrath. Right before the list of principles it is noted that these thing are how “to deal with someone who has taken that position”. So the idea was to provide instructions that would meet as many cases as possible.
The principle stands and people need to be instructed on what to do and what not to do. So they shouldn’t strike back and tell them they are deceived, not saved, or have a bad spirit.
If you can’t imagine being tempted to do that then I would warn you “wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1Cor 10:13).
>>>7) That shouldn’t “discourage you” unless you “highly regard your own righteousness.”
I would disagree with this. I could see some one getting discouraged or being tempted to be discouraged by being rejected by another Christian and told they are not saved. Also I think I person could be discourage by this which out being in the wrong. No one likes to be rejected and typically it hurts the most when you are rejected by those you love.
>>>8) Have you ever told any of “God’s precious little children” they are not saved because they didn’t agree with your particular interpretation of sin?
No I have not told people they are not saved if they don’t agree with my particular interpretation of sin.
However in the past I have told Christians that if they commit one willful or known sin that accord to the Bible they are not saved. But for some time now I have leaning more toward telling people if they continuously commit willful or known sin they are not saved.
When this brother told me I as deceived and he couldn’t consider me a brother it really helped me as the very same scriptures I applied to him I must apply to myself.
And even the above comments you have left, while I would see them as negative and some what accusative, I think they will be a benefit to me to help me consider my actions and to make sure I am not doing the very things I am warning others against doing. So in that I think you have blessed me.
>>>The whole list thing tends to look like more “acts of righteousness.”
There is nothing wrong with doing acts of righteousness (1John 3:7). It is the trusting in acts of righteousness to save you or keep you saved and the doing of acts of self righteousness that are wrong.
Thanks for your comments!
February 17th, 2010 at 12:07 pm
Sorry, I just don’t see it as an abomination, or an attack by Satan for someone to think I am deceived or not saved when they are only commenting on things I have written. I am assuming this person is only corresponding not confronting you in person.
No, it is not acceptable to go around telling other Christians that they are not saved unless they “continue in sin.” But according to the scriptures it is just as acceptable to assume people are not saved if they are trusting in religious forms and doctrines, (even anti-sin ones) instead of in Jesus for their salvation. If someone thinks you are in the latter category because of what he reads into your writing, just testify to your faith in Christ. It was always the ones (like the Jews or Catholics) who were trusting in their religious forms and works who would get upset when someone questioned their salvation.
I don’t mean to say your reply was wrong or unscriptural, just that by posting it at all it gives the appearance you may be going a little overboard on the “to-do lists” and such which probably gave him the wrong idea in the first place.
February 17th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
>>>Sorry, I just don’t see it as an abomination, or an attack by Satan for someone to think I am deceived or not saved when they are only commenting on things I have written.
I think the scriptures are pretty clear on this.
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Pr 17:15
>>>No, it is not acceptable to go around telling other Christians that they are not saved unless they “continue in sin.”
I think the scriptures are pretty clear on this.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1John 2:3-4
>>>But according to the scriptures it is just as acceptable to assume people are not saved if they are trusting in religious forms and doctrines, (even anti-sin ones) instead of in Jesus for their salvation.
I would completely agree. How ever I would disagree that we have the ability or the right to judge the condition of a persons heart as to whether there are doing this.
We might suggest a person seek the Lord as to whether they are doing this or tell them it appears they are doing this but we don’t have the ability to be able to look into a persons heart like God can and them them they are not trusting in Christ.
>>>If someone thinks you are in the latter category because of what he reads into your writing, just testify to your faith in Christ.
I agree that is the right thing to do.
>>>It was always the ones (like the Jews or Catholics) who were trusting in their religious forms and works who would get upset when someone questioned their salvation.
Amen we should never let these things upset up. But we also shouldn’t think we have become so spiritual that we are above being tempted to get upset, be bitter, to strike back, or to rail back. We must daily look to Christ for grace to help in the time of need (Heb 4:16) and to take heed that we don’t get self confident and think we are above sinning (1Cor 10:12).
>>>I don’t mean to say your reply was wrong or unscriptural, just that by posting it at all it gives the appearance you may be going a little overboard on the “to-do lists” and such which probably gave him the wrong idea in the first place.
Thank you for clarifying that.
I have seem so many professing Christian react wrongly when they are wrongly accused of something that I think these kinds of instructions are not only in order but necessary.