O.K., I shouldn't be irritated should I? I should be grateful, and I am grateful for all that I have and all that God have entrusted to me. I can count my blessings and be in tears because of what I have and how I have been so richly blessed. Then why I am irritated and what makes me irritated? What should I do about this problem?
I am irritated whenever I see or hear slander. This never really bothered me until I found myself in the middle of situations where people were being unfairly publicized. It's not only with people though. Did you know that the soy farm industry slandered the coconut industry in the 1970s and caused the coconut industry to loss money. It was all because of false reports and set up 'tests' to prove that coconuts were not as nourishing as people were discovering them to be. I have had relatives slandered as well as people I know in the church, as well as people who are well known in other churches. Even if the slandered person is at fault, there is no need to go public with the issues. If a person is considered 'dangerous' it still does not have to go public. If God is not big enough to allow the criminalized person to be caught and dealt with, and if we have to go outside of the Bible's parameters to make sure everyone knows how bad a person really is, then we need to do something else besides church.
I am not a Bible scholar, although I have spent a lot of time in the word. But I get irritated when people diminish the power of God to try to fit a belief system that will protect them from getting too emotional. I am not going to name anyone here, but I have heard Godly people put down anything that has to do with emotions or worshiping God using our emotions. A person once made fun of a couple of songs that were out. I can't for the life of me figure out what it wrong with these songs. One of them is sung by Big Daddy Weave and the words that this person found disturbing are 'every I breathe You seem a little bit closer, I never want to leave, I want to stay in Your warm embrace, Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face...". I can't imagine what is supposed to be wrong with this song. Here's another one sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean: "I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God He calls me friend." I think I would be honored to be called God's friend. I am puzzled and don't get it. I guess personally, if you don't like those songs, it is o.k., but to think they are heretical or wrong, I am really puzzled. By the way, I have heard that PCD made a statement saying that they do not believe in modalism. So, either they changed their belief system, or they realized that everyone and their brother believes that they are modalists and want to set the record straight.
The third thing that irritates me ties in with what I just wrote. I am tired of people throwing away the baby with the bath water. Practically speaking, I am tired of people developing teachings that limit God's power and give the few examples of people who operate in the spiritual gifts in a wrong way, making them the standard for spiritual gifts usage. We live in a fallen world and wherever there is truth, there will be counterfeits. There will be people from cults using the 'spiritual gifts' (although they really aren't using the spiritual gifts from God). There will be professing Christians using the spiritual gifts, but in a wrong way. Why would we be surprised? Then there will be Christians who are immature in their spiritual growth using the spiritual gifts much like the Corinthian church did. They do need correction and they do need someone to disciple them. I think that is where the church is lacking today. We are very unteachable, and when we come to Christ, we don't let go of that independence and wanting to do things our own way. It is hard for us to understand what discipleship looks like and how we are to respond to it (based on the Scriptures). I also know the 'discipleship' itself has been abused and many have been hurt by it because it was not done Biblically. But both discipleship and the power of God can be seen in the Scriptures and both can be embraced today, if used humbly, by those who are called by God to the church.
There is no need to have conferences which divide people in the body of Christ on this matter. We need to stop arguing with each other and do what God says. All of this is to be on the foundation of love, and the greatest love that has ever been manifest was on that day when God's holy, perfect Son died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. Can't we at least look at that and be grateful to God, and as a result of our receiving this love, can't we give this to others in the body of Christ? Are we so hung up on being politically spiritually correct that we miss the love and grace of God? When we hate others in the body of Christ, we are dividing and we are not loving. God tells us that others will know we our Christians (that we belong to God) by our love for one another. That includes being patient with others, not knocking other believers over because of their struggles with sin, or, their use of, or disuse of the spiritual gifts.
I wonder what God thinks of the church today? I would imagine that He would be sad, especially when we know better. But I have to look at my own heart and my struggles with people. Sure, I pray that God will have mercy on the slanderers. I pray for unity in the body of Christ. I pray for healing and the love of Christ in the church (His Body). But I also know that I am susceptible to sinning by being angry and irritated. I have lost my focus on the Cross because I am too busy watching people stab each other and call names and make fun of other believers because of what they believe in and are living out. So, my confession is just that. I would like to turn my gaze back toward God, and off all the trouble. I am the one who needs to be prayed for. I am the one who needs to bask in God's presence and draw close to God. Thanks for allowing me to vent. I will pray once again the prayer I saw in the back of a Power magazine years ago dealing with marriage problems. "Lord please change my marriage, and begin with me." But it will have a couple of different words. "Lord, please change my world, but begin with me first." If I continue to dwell on the bad things, I will be the one to become bitter and angry. That can snowball and I could end up in the 'gall of bitterness' as Peter described one person as being in. I will be the loser. So, I will choose to worship God again, and let go of the things that irritate me today.