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How Should A Christian Take A Stand?

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How Should A Christian Take A Stand?
Below is a partial forum post by a long-time member of Praize and my response to him. I would like to have others' opinions both on what he says about Praize and what scripture says about those we disagree with and who disagree with us.



Meanwhile, I'm warning all my friends against joining this site. It's full of false doctrine that is openly tolerated.



Allen, I hope and pray that somehow what this says is not what you meant. You are telling people NOT to come to Praize? If that is true, I have one question for you... What has Praize ever done to you?



Just because some people have different opinions is no reason to boycott the site! What fun is Debates if everyone has the same opinion? One of the beauties of Praize is that people can say what they believe and be told that they are wrong. Of course they don't have to accept the correction. In God's world there is freedom to make choices and freedom to make mistakes. You have been allowed both here.



If you truly mean what you said here, I forgive you. This is God's site and in His hands. I am His child and his appointed and annointed person to run the site. Please be careful. You reap what you sow.
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Sarah:

I'm gonna have to take a step back, and sleep on my response. My tolerance level for judgemental, self-righteous demagogues....seems to be 'down a quart' tonight!



Please don't take it 'personally'....most people like 'that' tend to be almost as insufferable to their local church family...IF they even have one... just as anger addicts feel freer to 'express themselves' more freely when surrounded by 3000 lbs of steel.



God bless you, Sarah...'We' love ya!



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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I KNOW ya do, Walt.

But I still want to get a discussion going on how to deal with people we don't agree with. I have had about73 years of it, and I think I do a pretty good job, thanks to the Lord. But the Bible has plenty to say about it. I want you guys to do the work for me and quote the scriptures. LOL Love ya!



Also, thank you for not flaming. Flaming is NOT the godly response, although many seem to think it is. I believe we will have another lively discussion here.
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Quote:"But I still want to get a discussion going on how to deal with people we don't agree with."


Well....FIRST we'd have to define some of the terms...right?



FRIENDS: definition: "People (or person if too few to categorize in the plural)....who 'know' us in the flesh, yet, still, somehow, tolerate us in spite of ourselves.



FALSE DOCTRINE: "Any belief, any doctrine, any 'interpretation' of Scripture....that differs from mine in the minutest degree!"



WARN: "Stridently calumnize, condemn, criticize, demand that others adhere to MY 'Judgement'.



Only THEN....can we begin to actually discuss the issue....how to deal with those with whom we DO have a disagreement.



Gotta go to work....more later.



Blessings,
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
1Thessalonians 5:13-15

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

It's not about right or wrong doctrine - its about LOVE.

Love doesn't strut,

   Love doesn't have a swelled head,

   Love doesn't force itself on others,

   Love isn't always "me first,"

   Love doesn't fly off the handle,

Love puts up with anything.

Look what God puts up with us!
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Quote:"And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out."


Oh...I'm SURE the argument would be advanced that THIS injunction is ONLY for those who are already completely in lockstep with you....in other words...for 'personality disagreements'...and NOT....(gasp! Heaven forbid!) for doctrinal/theological/interpretational disagreements.....right?



Blessings,
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I really appreciate you going for the groundwork here, Walt. But now I am wondering if we first need to discuss how to deal with those we DO agree with. lol Or maybe that will come up anyway in the course of our discussion... that is... if we ever get a discussion going... and then... I guess we would have to define and agree upon what makes up a discussion... blah, blah, blah
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
How Should A Christian Take A Stand?



Scripture seems to use the word stand in three slightly different ways.



1. (To take a stand) to resist attempts to throw you from your moral position, -



2. (To hold to a certain belief) To place complete faith upon, to rely completely and exclusively upon an article of the faith.



3. (To occupy a place or position) to stand afar off, near to, away from etc. To appear before authority.



Only the first two definitions seem relevant to this debate, so I have quoted only one relevant reference for the third definition. There are many others.





1. Taking a stand against evil. :



A. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph. 6:11



B. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Eph. 6:13



This verse contains a military term for stand. It meant to adopt the defensive position that Roman Soldiers formed in ranks, with shields locked, legs braced and gladius, (short sword) withdrawn ready to strike through the shield wall when the enemy pressed against it.



C. stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. Eph. 6:14



D. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear. 1 Tim 5:20







2. To stand firm in the faith – to rely upon the hope we have been given through the teaching of the Apostles.



E. through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. Rom.5:2



F. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. Rom. 11:20



G. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Rom 14:4



H. Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. 1 Cor. 15:1



I. Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor. 16:13



J. I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith. 2 Cor. 1:24



K. For freedom Christ has set us free. stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Gal. 5:1



L. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. Phil. 4:1



M. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. Col. 4:12



N. For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith. 1 Thes. 3:8



O. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. 2 Thes. 2:15



P. Through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, I have written this short letter to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. stand fast in it. 1 Pet. 5:12



Q. Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24





3. To literally stand in a place or metaphorically to appear before an authority.



R. For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. Rom. 14:10





It seems self evident that ‘taking a stand’ against evil, false teaching etc. (not taking a stand against other believers) is referred to much less often than taking a stand against a loss of our own faith in Jesus Christ.



In other words, what is most important to the preservation of our faith is what WE believe. What others believe is far less important and can be treated by the ‘believer’ as either (an interesting point of view worth consideration and evaluation, even assimilation), or (a view which does not accord with, the balance of scripture, the tradition of The Church, or common sense and can therefore be safely discarded as information not of value to one’s faith or personal walk with God).



My own favourite verses are B, E, G, I, K, Q and R.



Especially - G. and I



When ‘believers’ take a stand it should always be in love.



I. Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor. 16:13



Regards Chris.
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I. Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor. 16:13



I love that verse also, Chris. Being as we Christians are children of the King, why do we find it so difficult to obey? I think this will still be on topic.

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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I recently read the following. Here is the link:



http://www.probe.org/site[...]8083621



Rick Wade of Probe Ministries writes:



"First, don’t be hasty. If real heresy is afoot, a delay of a week or so in raising the alarm can’t hurt. On the other hand, having to apologize for getting something wrong can be rather painful.



"Second, beware of jumping on the bandwagon. When we were kids playing football, we loved nothing more than to pile on the guy who got tackled. It was lots of fun (until I was the one on the bottom!). Piling on in the present context can actually work to the benefit of the person being criticized, because the piling on can evoke sympathy in people, especially his own followers.



"Third, know the person’s position. Know the person’s position. May I say it yet again? Know the person’s position! Let me expand on this.



"Fourth, beware of reading in bad motives. .... (skip). It does absolutely nothing to advance the discussion of the ideas being propounded to engage in such speculation. Personal motivations can be discussed, but we’d better be very sure of ourselves before discussing them (and have very good reasons for doing so). To suggest bad motives before establishing one’s case very well on better grounds is to commit the logical fallacy called 'poisoning the well'."



His whole piece is a little longer, and it is well worth reading, I think. The topic is universalism, but Rick directs his comments more generally, hence my citation here in this thread.
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
BE VERY CAREFUL

KNOW THE WORD

IF YOU BELIEVE THE APPROACH OF UNIVERSALISM MAKESURE YOU CAN CONNECT THE DOTS SCRIPTURALY.

LASTLY LET THE SPIRIT OF GOD LEAD YOU
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Quote:"Rick Wade of Probe Ministries writes:...."


Sounds like a breath of fresh air....in terms of a fair, balanced, reasonable approach....regardless the subject.



Thanks for posting this.



Blessings,

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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
mystic37 (mystic37) :



http://www.probe.org/site[...]8083621



Very sensible advice and partiularly relevant to the threadline. If only more 'Christians' took their 'stand' following this advice then the worldwide visible Church would be much more visible to the world.



Regards Chris.
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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I have not read the orginal article so not sure what the subject was on. But reading the responses I get different views of the subject.



The verse that came to my mind was Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.



So my thought is that when the topic of things of the Bible come up and someone things differently then we do we are to go to the Scriptures and look up whatever subject that was discussed and see what it says. Again may have a problem with how reads the Bible. Any Bible verse can be use for whatever one wants if they desire to do that.



To take a stand can also not say anything. Like Jesus when He went before Pilate. He was silent. So don't argue over Scripture. Just be sure that you are strong in your faith and it goes along with the Bible.



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Re: How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Hi Bonnie:

Thank you for your input....and welcome to Praize.



Re: the context....well....suffice it to say that this individual kept coming back....like a moth to the flame....and charitably....he would qualify as a rabid 'fundamentalist' of the first degree.



There were never any shades of meaning with him.....HIS interpretation was the CORRECT one....anyone else....holding even a moderately different or nuanced viewpoint....was a 'de facto' heretic.



Thus....there was no real 'window of opportunity' to share with each other....to explore points of congruence....and points of interpretational difference....and why.



Anyway.....good points....and hope you hang around.



Blessings,
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Re: [PRAIZEOP2] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Unfortunately Rick's article website returns void. I like the excerpts, though.

I've cycled through no telling how many Christian groups, watching new believers fall at the hands of persistent false teachers, atheists, and the like. The inevitable end is total frustration, most "debaters" never willing to adhere to principles of debate or fairness, becoming like greased pigs at the county fair which nobody can catch. Ever been to one? You can keep what you catch, but it just doesn't happen. True debate limits presentations of points, demands answers to all challenges with citations. Among Christians discussing doctrine that ought to be the Bible as final authority.

1 Cor. 16:13 "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."

I hold that is shameful to run from a legitimate fight where precious Bible doctrine is concerned. It's probably wise to exit all other debate/discussion topics where offenses grow daily. In those cases I make one "best case" statement then refuse to argue it unless I'm shown specific Bible cause. All personal opinion, like I'm typing now, is subject to being ignored, someone calling their opinion a victory over mine. But we ought not allow a mere opinion stand above one based solidly on the Bible.

"Quit you like men" means "don't retreat" from your mission. Jesus never once retreated from a battle, nor did his apostles once filled with the Spirit. Most suffered violent deaths while standing firm on their faith, upholding Bible doctrine to the last breath. It isn't to say you can't avoid a battle. It is senseless to engage in any battle from which no gain can be derived.

Romans 16:17
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. " That isn't particular to mere disagreements, and even Paul went to and disputed Peter. The issue was settled. Had Paul decided to let it go, the Church would have collapsed. If someone refuses to be reasonable and orderly discuss important issues, then maybe a special flag needs to be attached to their posts. If they are allowed to roam like ravenous wolves, the community will suffer. Yet, at the same time, realize God might send a Spirit led teacher in here that could upset some folks. That's how I interpret the advice not to get in a hurry. Go study, look up the original language words and examine their definitions. Weigh some commentaries, praying as you go. Before inserting foot in mouth try to be accurate, working toward a high batting average.

As concerning how do deal with fellow Christians I disagree with in some area, I have learned it often does far more damage to try to change opinions. For lots of years I let out my phone number and met with maybe 40 members of the groups, many vacationing here. Some I took fishing, some to church, but most encounters took place at restaurants over coffee and a donut. I learned that even the fiercest disagreeable online folks turned out to be very normal people, not at all offensive in person. Somehow being online sometimes creates an unreal alter ego in people. Because of that I keep in mind there's a huge difference between strictly mind talk and personal meetings complete with voice and body language. When separated them from their various webmaster gurus they cool down. Even evolutionists!

We understand such opportunities would be rare, so what to do? Don't feed their fire. If they insist on bucking the community, stop answering their repetitious posts. Make one well constructed post early in the discussion, then leave them with it. If they write something that challenges your belief, consider carefully engaging. I don't rush to get my doctrines altered. I've read and studied the Bible through enough times to suspect when I'm right enough.

We have only one place where debate is allowed in Christian categories, so please consider requiring posters in the non-debatable categories who keep restating their original position to combine subsequent comments into their earliest post. That would guarantee no debate, if they can't add commentary on other's posts. That way, when one member comments based on scripture, and another chooses mere opinion, all readers can learn the difference without becoming confused or frustrated, thereby growing in the Word. I believe that would preserve the high standards here.

Jim
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Be fishers of men

Last edited by:

dovegiven: Aug 1, 2011, 1:32 PM
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Re: [dovegiven] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
I have just got out of the Hospital again from surgery: this time a problem with the heart. In the days before the surgery I Angelicexperienced the presence of the Lord like i never had before basiclly because of worship,Laugh music that l listened to for hours.
It seemed the presence of Jesus would draw right into my room. While at the hospital,the nite after surgery I was in discomfort but yet all i could do was sing and was startledw00t by a young nurse came in and stood there for some period before saying anything. It was not about the quality of great voice but the reality of the Lord in the room.
Her comment was I didn't know the lORD existed like this and there in that short period i had time to bring her to Jesus.
My comment about taking a stand is if your life doesn't have the goods of heaven don't worry about it they won't heAR you anyway.
M7TH
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [m7th] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Jim, I know fully what you tell of. Back in 2000 I came in very late from work, plopped on the couch fully dressed without disturbing family sleep. I dreamed I was a puppy in a bag gasping for air, dropped from a bridge. I had read of that happening. I awoke gasping and disoriented. One word seemed to flash like a giant billboard..HOSPITAL. Although I could hardly take a step I managed to get back into my pickup, hit the bypass towards the hospital. Along the way I stopped (midnight) in the center of the road, cars passing each side honking. I got out walking around seeing the sign on the hospital which is next to the bypass. I couldn't remember how to get to it. I got back in and decided to just exit because of the other cars honking and flashing lights. It was the right exit. I parked in the doorway of ER, walked in, opened my mouth to speak to the trauma nurse, then passed out. The report showed a BP of 40/20, pulse 25. They called my wife. By the time she got there I was drawing a crowd of nurses and doctors, dying. The only defibrillator (shock paddles) was already in use for another patient, so the nurses took turns doing CPR on me. One called out "Flat line". One by one the staff left, one nurse straddling me still working. A nurse told her it's too late. My wife took over encouraging the one nurse to keep up the CPR while praying. She called my name, told me to come back..."Jim, I need you. Don't leave me. Come back." There was no pulse, no BP.

I was not in the body. I watched all that happen from near the ceiling. As my wife interceded I couldn't understand why she would be so insistent. I was on my way up. That poor nurse was exhausted. Finally another nurse arrived with the big machine, began hooking me up. Right then I felt myself sliding through my feet and back into that cold body like a warm water wave, the monitor screen leaping to life. A pulse showed up, so the nurses stopped to hook me back up to IVs and machines. I awoke, opened my eyes, and thanked that nurse. I related the events, thanking my wife for her steadfastness. The nurse fell to her knees. "It's impossible for you to have known all that. God is real. Your Jesus listened. I believe." They put a pacemaker in me that night, not knowing what happened, no damage done to the heart or brain. One by one nurses, technicians, doctors came into my room to meet "God's wonderman". Several told us they would "get serious" with God, get back to church, 'recommit', all good comments. I got to tell the gospel there.

Blessings, Jim
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Be fishers of men
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Re: [dovegiven] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Interesting testimony there. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings,Smile
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Re: [PRAIZEOP2] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
There's no reason why people can't have discussions on all things biblical and what they've been taught. However, we need to be careful to avoid telling people that their views are not welcome or referring to their religion in way that is demeaning. If we are to discuss and/or assist in anothers ability to learn or engage their hearts and minds, we need to keep things peaceable but, be able to talk as though we were all sitting in a coffee shop having a friendly chat. You know?
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Re: [MaryPankratz] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
Over the years I have been a part of many Christian websites. I have seen bickering, back-stabbing and insulting on all of them by those who claim to be "Christians". I was even banned from one Christian website for pointing out the difference between a Biblical marriage and a civil marriage because it didn't agree with that sites doctrine. I believe a Christian website should be a place where Believers can freely discuss ideas and should back them up with Scripture. If it disagrees with that websites doctrine that is no valid reason for blocking the poster or "warning" that poster. There is no Christian website that has a 100% correct doctrinal statement including this one. But when we disagree let Scripture set us straight. And if there is a difference of opinion or interpretation then just let is rest there.
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Re: [chaplainbob] How Should A Christian Take A Stand? In reply to
[quote chaplainbob:"Over the years I have been a part of many Christian websites. I have seen bickering, back-stabbing and insulting on all of them by those who claim to be "Christians"[/quote]Yup! And....over more than six decades...I have been a part of many 'Christian CHURCHES'....where I have seen bickering, back-stabbing and insulting in all of them by those who claim to be "Christians".

What does this prove?

That we ALL face an internal dichotomy between what we believe....or CLAIM to believe....and how we live?

That we're fallen creatures....who, at best, only partially live up to our Lord's example?

That in the heat of debate, far too often, common sense (and civility) just FLY out the window?

All of the above?

Isn't that where transparency....and humility....and repentance and forgiveness come in?

Quote:
Quote:"I was even banned from one Christian website for pointing out the difference between a Biblical marriage and a civil marriage because it didn't agree with that sites doctrine. I believe a Christian website should be a place where Believers can freely discuss ideas and should back them up with Scripture. If it disagrees with that websites doctrine that is no valid reason for blocking the poster or "warning" that poster."
While, academically....I might partially agree with you.....when you have a 'FREE' website, we are all on here (and elsewhere) on sufferance of those who've designed and paid for that website....and we ALL sign off on 'terms of use'....and/or 'standards of conduct'.

The adage seems to hold true..."My SITE....My RULES"! I don't find THAT inherently unfair, after all...if one doesn't like the site rules, one is free to depart...trudging away, carrying his little bucket and shove......and building his OWN 'sandbox'.

What IS reprehensible...is when Moderators or even site owners post in a manner that they have a tendency to suspend OTHERS for...but it becomes one set of rules for them...and another for the members. I haven't seen that here....but HAVE on another site I've participated on.

Blessings,
Smile