What is the artist promoting?
Details aren't important here. What IS important are the incredible reactions of agreement and judgement within the body of Christ to one man's judgement of another person's faith, motives, and teachings.
What were the people promoting with their comments?
I first heard mention of this song on a well-known radio program hosted by someone I respect because of his radical call to a higher standard. Much to my surprise, he and his guest, also a well-known and respected leader, discussed and agreed with the judgement passed by the artist.
What were they promoting with that dialogue?
My first reaction to the show was anger. In fact, I wrote a rather harsh email to the host giving him my very explicit thoughts about his show. I personally know the ministries of and have studied under several of the people on "the list", and have grown tremendously in my faith as a result of their efforts.
Who were these men to judge the hearts of people they obviously don't know?
Wait...what was I promoting with my email and my anger?
It's so easy to get caught up in the frenzy! I did the same thing as the host and his guest. And the same thing as the several thousand (or more) people who praised the rap artist OR slammed him for what he did, and then slammed each other on blogs and comment forums.
What are we all promoting to non-believers with our in-fighting?
We are all promoting judgement and strife!
Oh Lord, forgive us all! Countless times in the Bible, we are instructed to "judge not" each other. And this includes our teachers. In 1 Corinthians 3 and 4, Paul writes that all teachers are human just like us, entrusted with a purpose and a message from God. They will "each be rewarded according to their own labor" (v3:8). And so Paul writes, "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God." (v4:5)
Instead of judgement, we are called to promote unity within the body of Christ:
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves," (Philippians 2:1-3)
Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in exposing incorrect doctrine where salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone is not being taught. Other than that,
- if I speak in tongues but you don't,
- or you believe in healing and I don't,
- or if you believe in pre-trib theology and I believe in post-trib theology,
- OR if I believe God wants us to prosper in every way - including financially - and you believe we should give away all we have,
...if at the end of the day we both believe that salvation by faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven, why are we arguing?
The world is full of anger, hatred, and strife. People are starving for truth, peace, and love. And as believers, we have the answer in Jesus.
When we promote unity and love, the message of the Gospel is demonstrated so that all can see Jesus in our lives...and believe He is worth knowing.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: What are you promoting?