Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ambassadors for Christ: The proper manner of interaction with those outside the faith

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:1-6)

As ambassadors for Christ, we represent Christ as His witnesses. That means that we have no right to change the message or function as a mediator between God and men. Jesus Christ is our only mediator, and only through Him can people come to have eternal life.

What does this mean for us as we interact with professing believers, and those outside the faith? It means that we operate with this reality in mind. We are united with fellow believers, and that is an objective reality. This unity is shown in the fact that we are united around one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father over us all (cf Eph. 4: 5). But apart from this unity, there is division, for light cannot co0exist with darkness.

As ambassadors, we proclaim the message of God's salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our interaction with those outside the faith therefore is one of proclamation. As ambassadors, we deliver the message and implore those outside the faith to repent. That is the antidote to "inward" looking that the Scriptures commands. The antidote to introspection should be defined by the Scriptures, not for our own carnal minds to dream up solutions separate from and opposed to the wise counsel of God.

The participants to the Elephant Room therefore are committing a sin by their implicit endorsement of the Sabellian heretic TD Jakes. That form of interaction and conversation is NOT the form of interaction endorsed by the Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures. It is an open violation of Scripture, as it is written:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:10-11)

May we take note of this and learn from their mistakes, and not deny our Lord by our actions. Amen.

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