Thursday, March 19, 2009

So Who Is Listening?

The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda writes in his 1952 collection, The Captain's Verses, "...leaves falling from a tree like knives drain me of blood and each wound has the shape of your mouth." And in Spanish; "Y cada herida tienen la forma de tu boca."
Everyone knows someone who’s blood-of-spirit has been drained, or is draining from lip-shaped cuts. Under the cover of poetry we are talking about hurtful words. Writing to the Romans, Paul, taking no prisoners says, “…And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;…” [Emphasis added.] [Romans 1:28-31].
Sadly, lip-shaped cuts come from the mouths of whisperers and backbiters, which are found over the entire world and in every church. Is there anything more delicious to the mind than a morsel of fresh gossip? It is the, ‘Have you heard?’ that is destructive to both the speaker and the listener. Christian’s should be neither speakers nor listeners of gossip. [Excuse me, but you/I/we seem to have something between our front teeth and it looks like a shred of skin from someone’s back].
These last hours of the end-times of Earth’s history are the hours that remain for God’s people to purify their hearts, minds, and mouths by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. I have written before the words of Christ as he sends the signal of brotherhood between believers: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples; if you have love one for another”. [John 13:35]. {The word translated ‘disciples’ is from the Greek, mathetes [matheses] which means, ‘learner’, or ‘pupil’. {Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, reference number 3101}.
If we are Christ’s pupils, sitting at His feet, listening to, and internalizing His Word, what have we to criticize? Where is our complaint? Do we absent ourselves to ‘get even’ with those who do not agree with our view of the Christ? No, of course not. But people being what we are…different sorts…have different opinions, if those opinions have nothing to do with our salvation or that of others they are probably inflated and do not warrant argument nor defense.
As a church, as a body of believers, we need to “press together, press together”. In every church and every denomination all are sinners; and that is a good thing because to be saved, sinners must run to Christ. So to criticize the church or any member of the church is to leave bleeding, lip-shaped cuts on the hearts and minds of our sisters and brothers in God’s family.
Would someone deliberately do this? Yes they would but only if they don’t understand the price Jesus paid for each of His children, including the critics; the price was the same for every person that names the Name of Christ. No one is better, no one is worse. All are sinners in desperate need of salvation.
“Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully, you love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness” [Psalms 52:2, 3].
Think on these things.
God Bless. e.c.

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