R. E. S. P. E. C. T….Find Out What it Means…TO GOD

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Anything that goes against the world’s false narrative is considered to be “disrespectful.” So, we must seek God’s view on it, and His Word reveals that just because someone “feels” disrespected, their feelings cannot be determinative of truth. For instance, the Pharisee’s and other heretics of Jesus’ day were ruled by their emotions and feelings, but Jesus never catered to their false perceptions of reality.

Although feelings are important, they are NOT to be confused with facts. And one fact is that there are those who will feel disrespected no matter how respectful you put the truth. It is just inevitable. But only biblical facts are determinative of truth, NOT people’s sinful emotional responses to it.

Despite the worlds’ knee-jerk reactions to the truth, it is perfectly biblical to battle against what we personally KNOW to be the cause of our loved ones apostatizing.  It is also biblical to faithfully depict and debunk its spiritual effects on them, so that others can be warned (1 Tim. 5:20). We cannot passively allow our good be spoken of as evil (Rom. 14:16).

There are no better advocates for a cause than those who have been the most personally affected by the enemies of that cause. Such advocates are commendable in the natural realm, so how much more should God’s people be commended for being spiritual advocates in the cause of Christ?

For instance, there are no better advocates for the cause of Christ against drug abuse, than those who have personally witnessed, firsthand, what that has done to them personally, or what it has done to their loved ones. Likewise, there are no better advocates for the cause of Christ against the CoC cult, than those who have been the most personally affected by it or have had loved ones whose lives and souls have been destroyed by it.

How could we ever claim to honor our loved ones if we did not zealously go up against the evil that has caused them so much spiritual damage? God forbid! We are to follow Jesus’ example, for He publicly exposed the unrepented spiritual abuses of the Pharisee’s and their ancestors, and even revealed the consequences of those abuses (i.e., Mt. 23).

God’s people have always confessed their sins and that of their own kinsmen and countrymen (i.e. Acts 7, Rom. 9:3; 10:1-3). For God’s people have always witnessed and experienced, firsthand, what those sins have done to them and their people, and how God has been blasphemously dishonored by them.

No wonder God wants us to acknowledge the iniquity of our people. And such confessions are meant to remind and warn us of what might happen if we follow in the same sinful footsteps as our apostate ancestors.

“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Mt. 23:31-33).

God chooses certain people, with certain backgrounds, to be ambassadors for certain causes, because those that He has specifically qualified, for specific purposes, are those that He has equipped to passionately speak out about what happens to those who go against God’s objective, absolute truth. For they have personally experienced and witnessed the effects of such error, especially upon those closest to them.

Those, whom God has granted the experimental knowledge of just how spiritually destructive a false gospel really is, are equipped to be some of the most faithful witnesses. For they are enabled to address these issues at a much deeper level that can better help to warn others of the dire consequences of choosing subjective feelings over God’s objective truth. By doing so, they honor their people, and they honor God above all else, by speaking against what they experimentally KNOW to be so manifestly evil.

“We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee” (Jer. 14:20).

As a result, God’s people overcome evil with good. And even when they get backlash for speaking out, they must double down and finish what they’ve started or else the cause of Christ will be mocked (Lk. 14:26-33). Wicked silence and cowardly compromise is NOT an option. In the power of God’s might, Christians must be assertive and stand firm in their convictions.

By God’s grace, believers must also be honorable in the way they address these crucial issues, and must seek to have an honorable demeanor when doing so.  We, as believers, must strive to be honest, which means the truth will sometimes hurt or outrage those who are not wanting it to be exposed to the light so that it can be repented of and healed (Prov. 27:5, Jn. 3:20-21).

When people deny or minimize their sins and the sins of their ancestors, we may not get the hoped-for resolution. But we must still fight for our loved one’s honor, by standing firm against the enemies of their soul. And we honor them by not focusing on their personal attacks against us, but by focusing on what causes such spiritual abuses, and how they offend, disrespect and dishonor God.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers of darkness (Eph 6:12-13).

By biblically putting to the proof how they have sinned against God and others, we risk their anger and disapproval, for it will upset the “status quo.” Yet, they are still going to be held accountable for how they respond to the truth that’s presented to them. It may even feel unloving to call them to repentance. But in all actuality, it is deeply respectful of their dignity, integrity and intrinsic value. Therefore, it is truly loving to do so. Anything less would be a wicked disrespect and total disregard for the eternal worth of their soul. 

“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (Jn. 5:44).

We cannot lean on our own understanding, feelings or emotions, but solely upon God and His Word (Prov. 3:5-7). Jesus never allowed other’s emotions, feelings, or fallen human reasoning to determine His decisions, for He did not take His cues about what to think or believe, or how to speak or behave, from other people. Because He had the inner substance to do what He KNEW to be right.  And those of us who are indwelt and guided by the Holy Spirit are also enabled to do what we KNOW to be right according to God’s Word, which reveals that God’s approval supersedes man’s disapproval.

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

But there are those who have attempted to re-define God’s truth to mean embracing someone else’s emotional state as determinative of truth. In other words, the world’s obsession with the emotional life of individuals is dictating that we must be “respectful” towards those who are rebels against Christ. This is because they want Christians to back down on their convictions. But we must keep a very delicate balance between respect and a rebuke of sin, for they are both biblically compatible. Or else we will fall into the trap of bowing down to the most ridiculous ploys of modern-day wickedness, which is NOT respectable at all.

A prime example is the recent scandal created by a student who “identified” as a CAT. The student had obviously been willingly brainwashed into thinking their feelings were determinative of reality. But feelings are NOT facts! Nevertheless, a teacher was fired for not “meowing” back to the student!! And such spiritual insanity is the inevitable result of confusing the difference between feelings and facts. It is also the sad outcome of blurring the lines of distinction between true respect and disrespect.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).

Perhaps the student was feeling offended and disrespected by the teacher’s acknowledgment of reality and a refusal to go along with a lie. But it was actually the student’s delusional thinking that was a disgrace upon their own honor, integrity and the value of their own intrinsic worth. If the teacher had made excuses and just mindlessly went along with such vain and vile imaginations, it would have been spiritually abusive to the student, for it would have been a false witness against the truth and would have been a total disregard and disrespect for the dignity and worth of an image bearer of God.

Worse yet, it would have been a total disregard and disrespect for God Himself, for He is the One Who assigns our “identity” at birth. So, despite the fact that “truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth” Christians are commanded to cast down every absurd imagination and every dishonest claim that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:4-5). This extends to stern warnings to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

When Apostle Paul refused to empathize with those who were rebelling against God, he was being extremely respectful of their human dignity, by not giving in to what was an eternal threat to their intrinsic worth. He stood firm against a blatant disregard and disrespect for what it truly means to be an accountable image bearer of God.

Everyone knows that when loving parents responsibly discipline their children, for their good, it is still typical for a child to say something along the lines of, “You hate me!” Or “You’re mean!” Because children are still immature and not yet fully capable of separating their feelings from facts. However, it is FAR below the dignity of a mature adult to act out so childishly, especially when they have been respectfully, honorably, humbly and firmly called to repentance for blatant sins and apostasy. And yet, as society continues to devolve into degeneracy, such absurdity is becoming more and more prevalent.

Although the world will increasingly continue to accuse faithful Christians of being “disrespectful,” unloving, “selfish” and judgmental, when they warn of God’s judgment, we are to NEVER cower or shrink back from exposing serious departures from the Christian faith behind an unbiblical concept of love. Because, according to God, TRUE respect and love… rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:6).  

Copyright ©2022 by Lee Anne Ferguson.