I realize in this dog eat dog world it is an easy thing to gloss over certain passages in God’s Word that don’t quite fit into our ‘crucify everyone who isn’t part of my denomination’ narrative, but Peter more than hints at the fact that one of the clear and true signs of having been born again of incorruptible seed is sincere, fervent love of the brethren with a pure heart.
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
This passage in first Peter, as well as some other within the Word is largely the reason I have a visceral aversion toward anyone who makes it their ministry to tear down, destroy, and brand as heretical anyone not agreement with their dogma to the fullest.
If you are teaching something not in harmony with the Word of God, I will be the first to call you on it, but I will call you on the content of your teaching, and not make it about you personally. There is something inherently wrong with someone who gleefully sets about dismantling another’s life and attacking them, their families, and anything else they could think of with fervor and not an ounce of remorse.
One of the ways by which I know I am obeying the truth through the Spirit, is that I have sincere love of the brethren, and do so fervently and with a pure heart. How can I possibly stand before the Word, and see myself as having been in the right as I set about besmirching the reputation of someone who is long dead and has no way of defending themselves?
If anyone, perchance happens to turn the magnifying glass upon the individual who is maniacally tearing down everyone they possibly can, well then they are all of a sudden being persecuted, and judged, and it’s just not fair.
If you go down the road of playing judge, jury, and executioner of your fellow brethren, don’t whine when your turn comes, and when it is realized by one and all that the skeletons in your closet are real, and not imagined as those you manufactured for others were.
The love we must possess for our brethren isn’t just any kind of love, it must be both fervent and sincere, as we realize we are journeying toward the same destination, and have the same goal in mind.
If you pursue truth and righteousness, live repentance, and submit yourself to the authority of Christ in every area of your life, then you are my brother, you are my sister, regardless of what denomination you happen to belong to.
Has your soul been purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit? Were you born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible? Then I can’t help but love you, sincerely and fervently, and in that love desire the very best for you and your walk.
Because in our day and age men prefer their sin over pretty much anything else, we’ve reinterpreted the word love to mean complete and total acceptance, approval, tolerance and agreement with whatever else the other person chooses to do. Rather than acknowledge the reality that out of love we tell another when they are headed in the wrong direction, far from truth, far from light, and far from God, we are called judgmental, and summarily instructed to search for the beam in our own eye.
Now it may seem to some that I’m beating up on the church, but let’s face it, we deserve to be beaten on. Once again, the problem stems from the teachings we’ve allowed to flow from our pulpits like so much toxic sludge, wherein the selfsame leaders who were themselves living in sin began to teach that we ought not to judge, because they knew they would have been the first for whom the bells would have tolled.
In order to protect their position and still cling to their sin, men in positions of leadership compromised the Word of God itself, and began to teach a fraudulent gospel to the masses. From there, it was only a matter of time before they deepened in their perversion and predilections, until you see some standing behind pulpits declaring that there’s no such thing as sin, and whatever it is you want to do, as long as you’re comfortable doing it, do it with gusto and abandon because God’s distracted by some other thing.
It’s like the old adage about everyone not paying their taxes, since the government can’t arrest everyone. If we all don’t obey God and submit to His authority can He keep all of us out of heaven? In this case, unlike the governments of the world, yes, God can!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.