What Would Jesus Do?
One of my very favorite books is Christ’s Way of Reaching People. It is a fantastic book full of quotes from scripture and Ellen White to describe Jesus’ ministry in detail. He mingled among the people; He was sympathetic toward them; He met their needs. There are very calculated and specific things that Jesus made priority in His ministry, and He did so to meet the immediate needs of people so that they would be receptive to something more.
Jesus came to earth. He grew and learned and eventually was baptized. He walked and preached, even impressing the scholars at the age of twelve! He was not an “arm-chair” critic. He was a doer. If He couldn’t go and do, He sent someone who could in His place. It’s even unknown if He ever wrote letters to His disciples or followers, although we know He sent word through individuals.
What we know about Jesus is that He was in the field, getting His feet dirty, walking among the people. When He did have opportunity to preach He did so among the people (usually), and mingled with the people throughout. There was a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of people to meet.
This World is Not My Home
The things of this world are not ours and we shouldn’t want them. The freedoms we so long for on earth will not be present in Heaven, will they? In heaven there will be no police officers, because we will all be peacemakers. Right? In heaven we will need no weapons because our preservation is in Jesus Christ. In heaven will we have things to argue about? Picket? Will the lines of good and bad be as blurry as they are here on Earth?
We were not designed to live and die on Earth, and the things of this sinful Earth have little to do with our Heavenly Father and Heavenly things.
Adopting the Ways of the World
More and more often I see Christians standing up with picket signs, posting articles and memes on social media, and, in general, taking stands. There are social media groups devoted to exposing the devil and revealing God’s truth; many of them are similar to worldly articles and blogs, argumentative and distasteful in nature.
Is it still true and good if we preach the Truth with a condescending tone? Will the reader on facebook or twitter understand the love behind the message, when there is no love in the message?
How do we minister to someone–have a constructive conversation–online, when people can leave the conversation at any moment? How do we maintain a conversation when Facebook conversations turn so quickly into arguments, and individuals become hateful. Do we become hateful?
Where is the guidebook for ministry on social media? Does the Bible apply?
Quarreling Among You
I think the Bible applies to every facet of our life. This is because the Author of the Inspired Word exists in all time, is the Alpha and Omega, and knows the audience for His scripture. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 says:”And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” Paul explained to the Corinthians that he couldn’t give them the “meat”, the deep doctrinal truths, because they weren’t ready for it. They weren’t ready for it because they were jealous and quarreling with one another.
I see quite a bit of quarreling among us–both Christian and non-Christian, churched and unchurched. Especially online, it seems that people are comfortable arguing. Oftentimes, when someone “quarrels” with us online, and contradict a truth we’ve shared, do we give them milk or meat? What I have observed is that Christians usually “come back” with some deep theology–a house atop a tiny person–, instead of a building block of truth, to grow with.
As a Wise Masterbuilder
The rest of 1 Corinthians, chapter 3 explains the team, the “building” of Biblical Truth. Verse 6 explains it well: “I [Paul] have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” The labor is important–the planting and the watering are essential, but the increase comes from God. Verse 9 builds upon this idea: “For we are labourers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
These are very strong words. It seems like Paul is giving responsibility to Christians for this building, this harvest that God increases. The way this passage reads is that we all have a responsibility to Him. Verse 10 explains just how important the responsibility is: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”
The product of our work will be made manifest, and must be laid with the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Man’s Work Made Manifest
Here in central Wyoming the wind blows constantly, and for days. Young children can be blown over, shopping carts damage property, and buildings can even collapse. With winds often over 65 mph, buildings have to be reinforced for “hurricane force winds”. If the contractor doesn’t follow certain specifications, the building will fall, in days or years, but it will fall.
Likewise, those Christians who are building upon Christ’s foundation to teach and discover Truth, must follow certain specifications. 1 Corinthians 3:18 says: “ Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” If we plan to build with Goodness and Truth, then nothing of the world can help us. Everything we say, everything we believe, and everything we teach has to be founded in Jesus Christ. If it’s not, we may as well build our house upon the sand, as the old song goes.
Let No Man Glory in Men
Something that a lot of religious debates have in common, especially online, is hyperlinks go flying! There are videos, blogs, sermons, ministries, and more to cite when asserting one notion or another. The advice that Paul gave so long ago to the Corinthians still applies today, though. “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (v. 21-23).
Everything we say and do, the building blocks we use on behalf of God are our responsibility, and we have to own them; we will answer for them. When building a shelter for others to stand under, we want to be sure to build it solid Rock.
As the song goes: “The wise man built his house upon the Rock.”
I want to be wise.