Living For God

Peace and Truth

The Bible tells us to be peaceful, but isn’t it just like people to catch only part of the message?

 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Romans 12:18

While the Bible clearly calls Christians to be men and women of peace, it also insists that we be people of truth.  Parts of the church today are embracing heretical teachings in the name of inclusiveness, and peace.  To do so is definitely to miss the mark!
Many times it is easier to not address blatantly errant teachings, because we think by doing so we are being peaceful.  I believe many people in church leadership with good intentions have chosen to not deal head on with wrongdoing in the church, for this very reason.
Allow me to pose a question.  Does avoiding the truth really bring peace?
It is my observation that when people in authority refuse to tackle tough issues and disallow false teaching, tragic things begin to happen.  Rather than addressing it in a more administrative and hopefully private setting, before long, it becomes visible to the body of believers.  Many Christians are students of the Bible, and know falsehood when they see it.  They discern error, and themselves attempt to address it.  It can snowball and become a situation that is far more public, and thus less peaceful, than if the spiritual leaders faced it at the start.
Add to this the fact that by not addressing heresy head on, weaker, less Biblically sound believers can be led astray.  This is a terrible thing!  The ensuing chaos in the lives of people who are living in ways the Bible says not to, based on teaching they have received in the church is anything but peaceful.

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.  Mark 9:50

But most of us are not in positions of influence in the church.  We are lay people.  We serve when we see a need, we love the Lord.  We desire Godliness.  When sin, falsehood, and things that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt are wicked are allowed to flourish in the church, what are we personally to do?
1 Peter 3:11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
As Christians we are to look and act differently. We are to live holy lives. Not perfect, but intentional living, striving to mimic our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I propose that we are to be people of the Word.  We are to study the Bible with intention and joy, and attempt to line ourselves up with it.  We are to prayerfully discern whether God is calling us to step up to the plate and speak truth into a sinful situation.  We are to confront, when necessary, using the scriptural directives of how this should be done.
Be salt and light to those around us, even other believers.
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.  Mark 9:50
Notice here that we are to be salty, while remaining peaceful. It’s not either, or, it’s both!  Remember my observations that leadership sweeping sin and heresy under the rug, or at least allowing it to continue, actually causes chaos, rather than the initially perceived “peace”?  This is true for all Christians, not just church leadership and we all need to be aware of the dangers of denial.  These dangers should make us willing to stand against false teaching when God calls us to do so!
Grasp this: Truth, in love, brings peace.  False teaching brings destruction, both in this life, and possibly the next.  Falsehood  does not promote peace.
We need to guard our own saltiness.  Do we stand for truth?  Do we declare it even when those who don’t want to hear God’s word declared, say we are unaccepting, argumentative, too fundamental, or divisive?

Romans 12:9  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
Be respectful and gentle when God does lead you to confront.  Never do so without prayer!  Lots of it!  Never go into battle without checking with God first on the battle plan.
We can and must be loving and peaceful in confrontation, but we can not be these things at the expense of truth.  If we know of false teaching in the church and choose not to speak truth, God will hold us accountable.  “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
Is this easy?  No.  But then, most of what God calls us to is not easy.  It is, however, good.
Let me say that there are many issues in the church that I would classify as non-essentials.  I am not talking about those points.  There is room for disagreement by people of the Word on numerous issues.  But there is no room for discussion on points of salvation.  There is no room for discussion on whether the Bible is true.  The Bible is absolutely 100% God’s word and is to be upheld.  End of story.  Believers need to be willing to fight for it.  It is fundamental to our faith.  We are saved by faith.
Praying He will guide you in all truth!
Annette Welburn
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2 thoughts on “Peace and Truth”

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