I believe the original manuscripts of the 66 books of the Bible to be the fully inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative Word of God and is applicable for our everyday lives. I believe the word of God is one book, whereas man has divided it into the Old and New Testament. One cannot understand the New Testament correctly without understanding the Old Testament, as they complement each other, with the New Testament building upon the truths already established in the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
I believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy (1 John 5:7; John 1:14; Luke 1:26-38).
I believe sin has separated each of us from God and His purposes for our lives (Romans 5:12-21). Humankind was created in the image of God, perfect and in harmony with God. Sin entered through man and thus corrupted creation. As a result, all humankind are sinners and stands guilty before God, thus deserving God’s wrath in judgment.
I believe the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), as both God and man, is the only one who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life. God demanded a perfect sacrifice which only Jesus could provide. Only God Himself could forgive mankind of his sins as man could not forgive himself. Life is in the blood and as there was no sin in Christ, thus His blood had no genetic defect which causes disease and death. We can have eternal life by accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Jesus died on the cross in our place and rose again to prove His Victory and empower us for life (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:8-10; Psalm 103:1-3).
I believe Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross and victory over death in the resurrection as the sole and all-sufficient ground of redemption from sin. Humankind must accept God’s atonement through faith in Jesus Christ and repent of sin in order to be saved. Salvation is a gift which comes through Christ alone. While humankind is incapable of living a totally perfect life while on earth, Jesus Christ’s imputed righteousness is reckoned to them as they respond to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and accept Him by faith.
I believe God intends for us to live holy and fruitful lives; therefore we need to be baptized in water and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as the Bible instructs.
I believe in the Baptism in The Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Spiritual gifts such as tongues, miracles, gifts of healing, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy and more are also available to believers and are given as the Holy Spirit determines, as we covet the things of God and submit our will to His word (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
When Jesus ascended, He instructed His followers to go and make disciples in the nations. Before making disciples, they were to go and tarry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit so they could represent Him on earth with the same power, authority and spiritual gifts.
The Bible illustrates that a person should have their own personal testimonies and experiences to draw from when preaching in addition to referencing the stories from the Bible. Studying the Bible alone can produce a critical spirit. I believe the transformed/renewed mind operates in miracles.
The Apostle Paul shared testimonies of his great exploits. Some people called him a braggart because of their own lack of faith. These critics had too much unbelief for God to use them mightily. While growing up I heard personal testimonies from my father, my missionary grandmother Letta Hansen and different relatives in ministry, both behind the pulpit and in person, of miracles they had witnessed in their ministry. I never received those testimonies as boasting, but instead they verified that the word of God is true and Jesus is still working miracles today. Apostle Rick Seaward, Pam Seaward, Uncle Fred and Aunt Margie Seaward, Dr. Colton Wickramaratne, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, T L Osborn and many others moved in their ministry with signs and wonders. They gave testimonies that verified their ministry and built faith in people. The Billy Graham Association, TBN and others televised Billy Graham meeting with the Presidents of The United States. Billy Graham and many others have written books about what God accomplished through their ministries including healings, miracles and appearances of angels. This is not boasting or bragging, but rather giving God the glory for a living Jesus who still works in the lives of believers today through His Holy Spirit as the Bible tells us.
I believe some people and denominations have made up their own theories, as well as nullified parts of the word of God, because of their unbelief. Matthew 17:15-21 tells the story of the disciples’ unbelief which prevented them from casting out the demon and curing the epileptic boy. These people tell stories from the Bible, but they do not have personal testimonies of healings, casting out demons, angelic manifestations or operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They explain this away by saying “that dispensation has past”, when the reality is it is their unbelief. This is only overcome by spending time in the continual presence of God through study and meditation on the word, prayer and fasting.
I believe in the 5 different gifts of ministry given by Jesus for the perfecting of the saints; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-15).
NOTE: There are some differences between the operation of the gift of a prophet and a prophetic message. A true prophet focuses on sin and warns of its consequences. A person operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit under prophecy gives a word for encouragement, exhortation and comfort. They might even speak a word of prophecy over people. This is outlined in my three part newsletter series on Spiritual Gifts.
From 1985 to 1995, I had the opportunity to work for a modern day apostle, Rick Seaward. Rick planted and developed an apostolic church in Singapore that birthed over two thousand churches from this single mother church. When Rick resigned as Senior Pastor, he became the Apostolic Advisor to this great church. Throughout the world, apostolic leaders are recognized and accepted in charismatic, Pentecostal and evangelical churches including many Assembly of God churches. The title is also accepted in many countries around the world in mainline churches including Anglican, etc. In Kenya I have started a Kenya Apostolic Coalition with cross representation of the different churches and denominations. I am a board member with the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and there are members who are apostolic leaders of about every type of church including Presbyterian. Even if their denomination doesn’t use the title “apostle”, they operate as one and they recognize other apostolic leaders. An apostolic leader has a kingdom of God vision rather that just being concerned with developing their own church. Rick Seaward had a world vision to establish the kingdom of God throughout the world by starting churches internationally. When Rick died they conducted a huge memorial reviewing his life and accomplishments for the Kingdom of God. A 48 page booklet was printed titled, “Celebrating The Life & Legacy of Rev. Dr. Rick Seaward”. This wasn’t boasting but giving God glory for what God could do through a consecrated vessel. My vision is to train, equip and develop God’s church in every nation, regardless of affiliation or denomination, so the corporate church in every nation can attempt to lead their people under the leadership of Jesus Christ. For further information, please read my three part newsletter series on Spiritual Gifts.
I believe God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and prosperous lives, in order to help others more effectively (3 John 2; Romans 12:1-2).
I believe our eternal destination of either Heaven or Hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelations 19:20; 20:10-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).
I believe in the resurrection of all men: Believers will be resurrected to eternal life with God in a literal Heaven and unbelievers to eternal suffering apart from God in a literal Hell and literal Lake of Fire.
I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again, as He has promised (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
I believe all who are born again, through faith in Jesus Christ, compose the universal church and the new birth and personal confession of Jesus Christ as Lord are essential for church membership. I believe the local and corporate gathering of believers (congregations) is the model for discipleship, instruction, worship, service, fellowship and to carry out the Great Commission to the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:46-53).
Matthew 28:18-20 states, “...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...” The purpose of God, through His church, is to reveal His glory over all the earth (Psalm 72:19). In Genesis 1:26-28, Luke 19:13 and Matthew 5:13, Christians are supposed to take dominion/authority, subdue, be salt, and occupy thus obeying the Great Commission in making disciples in every nation. If Christians lead by making disciples, the people prosper. If unbelievers rule, then the church and people are persecuted and the nation deteriorates. I think it is very naïve and unwise to advise Christians and pastors to stay out of politics. That will ensure that the nation is led by evil men!!
I do not believe in the authority of the Catholic Pope who has persecuted true Christians throughout history for following the word of God instead of believing in his church traditions and dogmas. Study the inquisitions. Scripture indicates this imposter will continue to persecute the true Church, as well as Jews, in the future as he did in the past with his catholic army, The Crusaders. Constantine was a Sun God worshiper, not a true Christian. He polluted the world with his false Christianity. Hitler followed the Pope’s example of persecuting the Jews to try and control Jerusalem.
I believe since Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, we can have a church worship service any day of the week. The Pope chose Sunday but I don’t follow the Pope. The Jews were meant to worship on Saturday to set them apart. Jesus himself, at times, broke the law of the Saturday Sabbath. If I were preaching in a Muslim country, I would do the service on Friday as that would be the nation’s day off (Matthew 12:1-12; Romans 14:5-6; 2 Corinthians 3:6-17).
I believe in remembering the Feasts of the Lord as they all point toward Jesus Christ. Jesus has already fulfilled the first three Spring Feasts. Obviously the orthodox Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, so they celebrate the Feasts completely different than a Christian would. PASSOVER - Jesus was and is our Passover lamb, dying for our sins, consequently we don’t sacrifice a lamb as the Jews would. UNLEAVENED BREAD - Jesus is our bread and he died on the cross to remove our sin. Now we must cooperate daily and remove ourselves from all types of sin. FIRST FRUITS - Jesus rose from the grave. Some people call this Easter, but I call it Resurrection Day which is an accurate Biblical name.
THE FEAST OF PENTECOST - Jesus fulfilled this feast as He was glorified and exalted to the throne of God from where He sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples on the Day of Pentecost. When Jesus ascended, He commanded us to go tarry for my Spirit to come upon you, so you can represent me as my ambassador with power, authority and operating with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:44-53).
The Fall Feasts are TRUMPETS, ATONEMENT and TABERNACLES: These three feasts are yet to be fulfilled upon the return of Jesus Christ, but we as Christians can prepare ourselves for what is about to happen. Again, we don’t celebrate these feasts as do the Jews because they do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but we study and marvel at all the scriptures foretelling what Jesus would do to fulfill these feasts. It is truly faith building as we see prophecies coming to pass after thousands of years and also very inspirational for every believer young and old. The ultimate fulfillment of the FEAST OF TRUMPETS is the second coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19; Revelation 11:15).
The FEAST OF ATONEMENT was partially fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross, thus covering our sins with His blood as a sacrifice for our guilt. We must still judge ourselves daily for the purpose of maintaining fellowship with Him as John 1:6-9 tells us. We also go through trials of our faith (Luke 3:16-17). Jesus was crucified for our sins and we must die to ourselves daily and pick up our cross and follow him (1 Peter 4:12, 17, 19; 1 Peter 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Jesus did not die to save us from trials, but to give us the victory as we go through them.
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES, as described in John 1:14; Colossians 2:9 is our dwelling place. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 to “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...” We as Christians can enter into His rest now, not allowing our burdens of life to wear us down and upon His return we will fully enter into His rest throughout the millennium and beyond.
NOTE: I want to make some comments on the following holidays. I understand that intent is critical in law for conviction and many Christians would say that is not my intent. I do not condemn those who choose to celebrate these holidays knowing the pagan history and roots, but neither should Christians be rejected and ostracized for deciding not to celebrate them. I do think modern day believers have little power and authority because of their constant compromise in society. As I work amongst interdenominational pastors and Christians, many have chosen not to celebrate some of these holidays or not to fully embrace their customs such as putting up a Christmas tree.
“HALLOWEEN, celebrated in Modern Babylon with trick-or-treating, was instituted in the Catholic Church as the ‘Hallowed Day of All Dead Saints’ by Constantine. Ancient Halloween was believed to be the one night a year that ghosts, witches and evil spirits come out of hell to pray.” (Page 177 of “The Mystery of Babylon Revealed”) Adalia and I have decided not to celebrate this pagan holiday and to teach our son the reason why so he knows the truth and doesn’t feel like he is missing something. Hopefully he will help raise a new generation of leaders who will not compromise. We will do something special with him that night.
VALENTINE’S DAY, which has become a romanticized celebration for lovers, can actually be traced back to the wicked Nimrod. It is a day of false sentimentality perpetuated by merchants who use this opportunity to flood the stores with cards, perfume, candy, flowers and other such merchandise which the ‘Queen of Heaven’ uses as a device to substitute for true love and affection. Many women fall prey to this strategy and feel totally rejected if their husbands and lovers fail to observe this pagan holiday. Nimrod was a mighty hunter and statues were made of him standing naked with his bow and arrow. Another one his names was Cupid, which means Desire - the inference is in actuality the glorification of ‘lustful desire.’ (Page 177 of “The Mystery of Babylon Revealed”) My wife and I do not celebrate this holiday at all. I tell my wife daily, more than once, how much I love her and kiss her regularly throughout each day. I also buy her presents continually such as candies. She feels my love each day of her life. She doesn’t need this lust filled holiday that produces more fornication and adultery than any other day of the year. I was a former youth pastor and this holiday was also responsible for sin in the youth group, especially if they made it a special occasion.
EASTER, which is the name used for the time set aside and believed to be the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, is in truth the name and celebration for the Babylonian pagan goddess of Spring. At these early pagan celebrations, eggs were colored in honor of their goddess Semiramis. Sunrise services were held to worship the sun. When Jesus Christ was captured, sentenced to death and crucified, He was in Jerusalem to observe and celebrate the Passover. EASTER has also been used by Satan to cloak the emphasis of this most holy holiday whose Judaic origin (Exodus 12:1-14) is profoundly significant to all true believers... In Modern Babylon, Satan has clouded this great triumph with Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, the thrill of parading in new clothes and the trappings of Ancient Babylon. Americans, including the clergy, frivolously and ignorantly sustain this pagan practice. (Pages 177-178 of “The Mystery of Babylon Revealed”) My wife and I celebrate Resurrection Day, but we do not participate in Easter bunnies, eggs or Sunday sunrise services as the service was initiated to worship the Sun. The first Pope Constantine was a pagan sun worshiper, not a Christian. We do not condemn or criticize those who celebrate this way. We can attend a church that participates in these activities without causing a problem and keep our opinions to ourselves. We respect the choices of others and they should respect our choice and that of other Christians who now also refuse to compromise in these activities.
CHRISTMAS, the holiday which is so widely celebrated with its Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, toys, gifts and Christmas trees, is a mockery to the precious name of Christ. Even the name ‘Christmas’ is an evil deception of Satan to attempt to merge the name of Christ with the word, ‘mass’ - a pagan ritual. Much of what is observed today in the celebration of Christmas is directly from the pagan rites of ancient Babylon. The date of celebration - December 25 - was the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of the sun god from Babylon. It was in the 5th century A.D. that the Roman Catholic church instituted this date to observe the birth of Christ. The Christmas tree also originated with ancient Babylon. Semiramis, the mother of Tammuz, claimed that overnight an evergreen tree sprang up from a dead tree stump. This new evergreen tree symbolized her dead husband Nimrod that supposedly came to life again in the form of her illegitimate son, Tammuz. This idea spread and developed so that tree worship - complete with gilded balls symbolizing the sun - and all the festivities of pagan winter solstice and Druidic ceremonies (holly mistletoe) were absorbed into Christmas Day. GOD WARNED HIS PEOPLE TO AVOID ALL SUCH PRACTICES AND CELEBRATIONS. “Thus says the Lord. Learn not the way of the heathen (nations), and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens; they are dismayed at them, for the customs and ordinances of the people are false, empty and futile. It is but a tree which one cuts out of the forest (to make for him a God), the work of the hands of the craftsman with the axe or other tool. They deck the idol with silver and with gold. They fasten it with nails and with hammers so it will not fall apart and move” (Jeremiah 10:2-4 AMP). Little has changed since the days of Pagan Rome when this time of the year was celebrated by giving gifts, drunkenness and debauchery. Modern Babylon, too, sees this joyous season as a time for office parties, family gatherings, exchanging presents, buying new clothes and eating, drinking and being merry. Spirits of false sentimentality ooze from holiday gatherings, family reunions, broken family ties and the suicide rate soars. This is also the time of year when accidents and deaths on the highway due to drunk driving are at their peak. (Pages 178-179 of The Mystery of Babylon Revealed by Ed and Jody Mitchell)
NOTE: Adalia and I don’t put up a tree, but we do take the day off and spend it with family and friends for a good meal and worshiping Jesus.
Jesus, as all scholars know, was not born in December, but during the Feasts of Tabernacles which is either in September or October, depending on the year. The Jewish calendar is a moon or lunar calendar and our Gregorian calendar, named from Pope Gregory who established it in 1582, is a solar calendar which is 11 and 1⁄4 days longer than the lunar year. Jesus was probably conceived in December. We don’t get involved in the pagan roots of Christmas, but purely focus on Jesus, family and friends. We don’t criticize those that do celebrate and we still go to grandchildren’s school or church Christmas programs. I preach on Sunday in churches that put up Christmas trees. As I mentioned, I don’t make an issue over it with those that want to do all the Christmas activities.
THE FESTIVAL OF HANUKKAH is held in December. It is also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication and Feast of the Maccabees. On each day of the eight day festival, a new candle is lit on the Menorah, a nine branched candelabrum. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC after the Temple had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria and overlord of Palestine. In 168 BC, on a date corresponding approximately to December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, the Temple was dedicated to the worship of Zeus Olympus by order of Antiochus. An altar to Zeus was set up on the high altar. When Judas Maccabeus recaptured Jerusalem three years later, he had the Temple purged and a new altar put up in place of the desecrated one. The Temple was then rededicated to God with festivities that lasted eight days. According to Talmudic tradition, only one cruse of pure olive oil, sealed by the high priest and necessary for the re-dedication ritual, could be found. That small quantity of oil, sufficient for only one day, burned miraculously for eight days. The festival is a family affair lasting eight nights, celebrating the miracles of God with food, fellowship and the dedicating of their lives to God. This festival is a great way to show what can be done when relying on God and standing up for truth. We want to teach our son how God can give us the victory to overcome insurmountable odds even when it takes a miracle. My wife and I will celebrate this festival with our son as well as Christmas Day focusing on Jesus.
I believe marriage is a commitment between a man and a woman with witnesses under God. Until 1741 in America there was no such thing as a marriage license. The marriage was conducted by the church, as some people still do today, insisting that the state has no authority to dictate who should get married. The union was done under God’s authority, not the state. The people believed if a clergyman performed the vows, with witnesses, it was sufficient. I believe this! In 1741, the colony of North Carolina assumed authority with a marriage license to control interracial marriages. By the 1920s, over 38 states adopted similar policies requiring a state license, again to maintain racial purity. Finally, the United States Supreme Court struck down the law against interracial marriages. Millions of people believe they are legally married before God, without a state or country license to marry, if the union is held before witnesses and performed by a minister of the gospel. They believe there is no immorality regardless of the state’s position. I believe two people can exchange vows under God, with witnesses and performed by a clergyman, without violating God’s morality and without state or government marriage license approval. If they are migrating to another country, they might not be considered married by the state or government they enter, but they are under God. They can then obtain their marriage license in the new country, which is required to become a citizen.
I believe that a person cannot understand the Bible fully and correctly at times unless he is operating with a renewed mind. Most Christians who operate in unbelief are relying on the five senses. The renewed mind operates in the sixth sense or the Holy Spirit leading which requires faith. When the Spirit tells you to get out of the boat and walk on water, or stick your rod out over the Red Sea, or march around the walls of Jericho seven times, or go to a nation of genocide, the renewed mind has the faith to obey. It does not make the decision to obey God solely on logic, but on the expressed will of God by the Holy Spirit. Doubting Thomas had to see and touch Jesus to believe and that is the way most believers are today. They don’t operate in great faith, but in their own reasoning and understanding. This is not faith, so they live a life of unbelief and never see any miracles. Now in order to justify their failed Christian walk, they have to criticize the person who does live by faith and damage their reputation, thus allowing them to feel better about themselves. For the person operating in the renewed mind, the supernatural is normal and they love gathering with other people of great faith to exchange testimonies of the power of God operating through their lives. This is not boasting, but faith building and they encourage one another with the reality of who God is and what He can do. I loved listening to my grandmother Letta Hansen testify of what God had done through their ministry, which not only gave credibility to the reality of God, but tremendously built up my faith.
Love holds no grudges, restores relationships and cherishes, respects and honors family and parents. If a person cannot do this I believe it is because they do not have an intimate relationship with Jesus, submitting their will to the will of God described in the Bible. Pride always stops God’s love from operating and being exhibited in our lives. We seek retaliation and destruction instead of forgiveness and restoration. Pride causes us to take the scriptures totally out of context like the religious hypocrites, scribes, Pharisees and Sanhedrin did in the Bible to attack the innocent. We try and dehumanize, demonize and defame those who walk in the fullness of God with signs following because we don’t understand them and their supernatural walk with God. How sad it is that our pride destroys our relationships and allows us to attack and divide the brethren.
In New Testament times, the most significant leaders in local churches were elders, men who displayed reliability and certain spiritual qualities. Elders were entitled to respect (1 Tim. 5:1, 19). Christians were to heed their teaching and follow it. As in today, first-century Christians sometimes entertained critical feelings towards their elders.
They were not to rebuke elders but at the same time they were free to speak openly with them about their failings, provided they did so in a proper manner (1 Tim. 5:1; Matt. 18:15-17).
Elders can and do make mistakes, and we should humbly submit ourselves one to another in the true spirit of reconciliation. The ultimate goal of restoration is to restore the relationship that has been alienated, separated, and damaged because of sin.
NOTE: If a person, after an attempt at reconciliation, says, “I have forgiven him but I cannot work with him,” then we must recognize that reconciliation undisputedly has not taken place. Instead, there is still alienation brought on by sin, which encompasses a spirit of deception, pride, bitterness and dishonesty.
This six-part series on reconciliation between believers is extremely important as I believe gossip, murmuring, backbiting, complaining, tale bearing, a whisperer and slandering describes sins of Christians. I believe these classifications of sins and the people committing them are the number one tool of the enemy in separating the saints, causing a dysfunctional church.
Dr. Sedler teaches in his book how violating Scriptural protocol renders the person guilty of becoming “evil reporters.” He also warns us how we are accountable for listening to gossip and not stopping it. Many times today in churches the guilty party who has engaged in spreading “evil reports” causing much dissension in the body of Christ until church leadership finds it necessary to expose the person becomes the poor innocent victim as believers not recognizing the seriousness of the offense nor the details sympathize with this rebel. They do not comprehend that God holds them responsible for listening to this trouble maker and sympathizing with him. God expects the listener to instead stop the person from spreading his evil report by rebuking the gossiper and walking away if the person does not repent.
“There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers” (Prov. 6:16-19).
Ladies and gentlemen, I could tell you of one horror story after another of leaders listening to guilty people spreading evil reports about me and other leaders lacking the integrity and maturity to check it out with me. Instead I am tried and convicted without a trial by these so called ‘church leaders.’
Dwight Carlson, M.D., in his book, OVERCOMING HURTS & ANGER, states, “Ultimately, the goals to achieve in constructive communication are as follows: ‘... To understand each other clearly and to have both parties feel heard’ ” (pg 145). The reason for confrontation is for reconciliation to take place; for the relationship to be restored. Carlson warns against using “Blaming You Messages.” “Blaming you messages usually begin with the word ‘you’ and include an accusation. They frequently assume to know the intent, motivation, or feelings of the other person...it is usually difficult to defend. Such messages come off as being judgmental, critical, attacking, and final, giving no room for the other person to respond or provide clarification. They tend to raise the hostilities and defenses of the other person. Only the extremely mature person can receive a ‘blaming you’ message and turn it into a constructive interaction” (pg 89).
Dr. Carlson writes, “Avoid put-downs: A sweeping judgment or putdown is highly destructive. You need to refrain from ridicule, shaming, judging, criticizing, and fault-finding. Devaluing body language such as eye rolling, grimaces, or groans should be avoided. Avoid all inclusive statements: Avoid using words such as never or always when you make a point. To do so is to make sweeping generalizations, and typically what happens is that you end up arguing about whether or not the all-inclusive statement is true. Thus you have left the original discussion and are accomplishing nothing” (Pg 143). “Don’t interrupt: Make it a rule that whoever is speaking has the right to complete his or her thoughts without interruption. Speak from your own perspective: It is crucial that you speak from your own perspective and allow the other person the right to a differing view. Seldom, if ever, does either party have the absolute truth on a given issue. Two individuals witnessing the same automobile accident often see it differently. Even if you fully believe you are in the right, if you state it in such a way as to give the other person some room, you are facilitating dialogue. For instance, instead of saying, ‘That is not what happened,’ instead say something like, ‘From my perspective it appears...’ ” (pg 142).
If you go to another person and just accuse him and label your perceptions as overt sins without giving that person the courtesy or right to explain himself, then your reason for confrontation is suspect. If, when the person tries to talk, you interrupt him with sarcasm both in words and body language; that is not a spirit of reconciliation. If you bring accusations against another and you initially did it out of scriptural order by bringing another party along for moral support that is not reconciliation. If you accuse somebody and you fail to be patient and allow that person to explain himself but instead you demand by your impatience, tone and demeanor that the person acquiesce to your allegations and demands or you will leave the relationship, that is not reconciliation. In this, you multiply the offenses if you fail to follow scripture and refuse now to meet with church leadership over your charges. This, again, is not reconciliation. If you confront others in such ways you will seldom promote or come to reconciliation. Thus, the goal is not achieved and frustration and anger may increase and you will be tempted to leave the relationship. God certainly did not speak to you to leave the relationship. God’s will and order for reconciliation including the attitude and sequence it is suppose to be conducted in is very clear. Failing to follow proper steps with a spirit of reconciliation and attitude has to be recognized is nothing short of pride and rebellion. This act is caused from a lack of agape love replaced instead by anger and unforgiveness.
Dr. Sedler continues, “Noah Webster’s 1828 edition, states that the word evil means, ‘having bad qualities of a moral kind: wicked; corrupt; perverse; producing sorrow, distress, injury or calamity.’ Thus, an evil report is not only what is said, but how it is said. It involves our attitudes and even the condition of our hearts...Evil report: When an individual maliciously injures, damages, or discredits another’s reputation or character through the use of words or attitude...Ungodly, damaging conversations. How often our words ramble casually and carelessly without any thought as to the repercussions in another person’s life!
James 4:11-12 reads, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Colossians 3:12-14 describes the attitude that the accuser is supposed to confront the offender. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
1 Peter 4:8 states, “And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins.”
I spent some time talking about Church Reformation because this is what Jesus is all about, restoring man back to God. The entire gospel is about restoring relationships with man, God and one another. If a person doesn’t want to restore relationships with all due amenability, then the process is subject to question. We do not go into a session with the attitude that we are totally correct but with an attitude to listen to the other party with patience and love, in case our problems between each other is just a misunderstanding. When it is a theological disagreement, we must be extremely careful and leave room for differences. Also, be extremely careful about judging intent as only God knows the heart.
Please read my following newsletters: "Spiritual Gifts" Parts 1 - 3. They explain the Gifts of Ministry; "Other Ministry Gifts" and "Gifts of the Spirit". Also read my newsletters on "The Most Misunderstood Man", "The Love of God", "The Fullness of God" and "Church Restoration" Parts 1 - 6.
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