dogs-fighting

Respond or not? HuffPo slanders God’s people

HuffPo published what one brother called a hit piece on the church of our Lord, an article critical of American congregations as a whole, based upon, as I understand it, a single event. (I’m not going to waste my time reading it.) Another friend said brotherhood reactions have been contained and charitable (my paraphrase).

Those who believe in the HuffPo site will believe the article; those who know it to be the liberal shill it is, will discount it. With its political, social slant, lines have long been drawn and hostility to truth frequently trumpeted.

I’m happy to see responses to it, but I’m also happy for us to carry on as usual in the sweet spirit of Christ, doing what we were called to do in this world, among friends and enemies, to glorify the Name. Nehemiah’s reaction to his enemies as he rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall seems to be a proper response.

So I sent messengers to them saying, “I am engaged in an important work, and I am unable to come down. Why should the work come to a halt when I leave it to come down to you?” They contacted me four times in this way, and I responded the same way each time (Nehemiah 6:3-4).

Enemies are nothing if not persistent; the people of God, more so.

Some good brothers, of course, may consider answers to the HuffPo article as a part of the work of defending the gospel. That is an appropriate perspective, no doubt.

As my time on this earth grows shorter by the day, however, I look more and more for hearts open to the gospel. I seek minds open to truth. I’m trying to learn better the lesson of Jesus’ words about not throwing pearls before pigs and not giving what is dedicated to God for dogs to tear apart. (See Matthew 7.)

Maybe if I lived in the US, I’d feel differently. Both approaches are valid, of course. Proverbs 26:4-5 attests to the validity of quite different approaches. So I mean no criticism of good answers to weak and cowardly charges against God’s people.

¶ When we set foot in Memphis last week, our daughter, my mom, and our business partner, Barbara Ann, met us. We hustled off quickly to the Arkansas side of the metropolis for breakfast, where I put my hands on our brand-new book, The Right Kind of Christianity. With great pleasure, I enjoyed the wonderful cover done by our own Matt Clifton, as well as the clean inside layout with space in the margin for notes, if the reader so desires to interact with the content.

The cover is two-tone, on purpose. The black and white are symbolic colors, against the postmodernist grays and myriad shades of personal opinions. We argue for the faith which contrasts sharply with human religions and dubious philosophies. The cover and title font projects a cleanness and vigor of God’s ancient truth ascertainable and applicable in our day.

¶ Barbara and I are already talking about what our next project should be. The list of possibilities is long. Any ideas you have as to what the next bestseller might be?

¶ International travel has gotten old after 30-plus years of packing, hauling, boarding, flying, and shaking in the turbulence. I know a man in the flesh (allusion to 2 Cor 12, for the entendidos) who said that, because of having to squeeze into sardine chairs, jostle plane-loads of carry-on luggage into multiple cattle chutes, and get undressed so strangers could zap a body with arms above one’s head, he’s tempted to quit the travel. Grumbler, isn’t he?

During one trip years ago, with kids and luggage in tow, so many flights were delayed and problems occurred that we arrived a day late at our destination. A consoling thought was that, if we had been traveling a century earlier, we’d be on a passenger ship and likely still in sight of the Brazilian shore, with weeks of wavy, watery travel ahead of us. That thought has always given me a sense of peace and patience when in aviation transit.

What gives me even more peace and patience is the knowledge that God still works in my life, that Jesus will return at the right time to claim his own, that the Spirit of truth dwells in the hearts of those whose ears are attuned to hear him.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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