AN OPEN POST TO MY FRIEND, ER
Note: I posted this in comment form over at my blogger buddy, EL's place. I am posting it with some minor changes here, in hopes that ER happens across it and begins to understand what I have been attempting, in my less than adequate way, that I love him as a brother in Christ. I hope and pray that indeed he is my brother in Christ, but often times I wonder. If I were to simply assume he is a Christian, and I said nothing because of it, I am failing my God. Although it isn't my place to judge, I reserve the right to surmise about his and anyone else's salvation.
For background, ER commented in a previous comment that he can't stand me. I posted (with minor changes, as I stated) the following response:
ER, I find it interesting that you state that you follow Jesus, who said, "love your neighbor, even as I have loved you", and then, in almost the same breath, say you can't stand me.
In spite of all of your heretical and apostate misinterpreted statements of tainted faith, I still think you would be a great friend to sit with at the bar, drinking beer, and watching football. If I drank.
I don't hate you, ER. Quite the contrary, I see it as part of my commission to point out the error of your ways. To save you from being one of those, who BOWING before God, hears the terrifying words, "Depart from me you cursed, I never knew you."
Those are indeed frightening words, ER, but more frightening than the words is the very real possibility that you may someday actually hear them with your own ears.
I'll let you in on a secret:
I don't want to hear them, and the thought of the possibility that I might scares the Hell out of me. Literally. It quite possibly is what most motivates me to try to live my life as Christ would have me live. An attempt at which, I have to admit, I fail miserably.
ER, wouldn't you at least make some effort to rescue another person, regardless of whether you personally like him or not, from a burning house?
Or would it be considered a loving, selfless act to warn someone in the path of a tidal wave that he may experience a little moisture?
By the same token, if you see a human being in danger of going to his Maker without Christ, are we supposed to ignore that fact, and justify his sin by twisting the Word of God to mean something completely opposite of what it is intended to mean, or try to do whatever you can to help him understand he is in danger?
What would be more loving? To tell sinners they are in danger of the judgement even when it angers and/or offends them to tell them or to pretend that they are resting safely in the bosom of Abraham in spite of their unrepentant sin?
Is giving fair warning to the sinner, in love, the same as scaring people into Heaven?
I don't think persuading an unbeliever that he is a Hell bound sinner is scaring him, although admittedly, sometimes it no doubt has that exact effect. It is simply informing him of Biblical truth, in hopes that he will understand and repent.
The truism, "Turn or burn" is a valid point. Even if it is overused, it is still very much accurate.
I'm quite sure those religious leaders in Christ's time didn't like being called a generation of vipers, either, but nevertheless, that is exactly what he called them. Do you think he called them that just to anger them or was it to make them think about how they were misinterpreting the teachings of the prophets?
That is all I am doing when I tell you what I think. It sounds as if I make you uncomfortable. Maybe that means I make more sense than what you care to admit.
Our mutual friend, Timothy, has given up on you, ER. I am not so ready to give you up to Satan. So curse me if you will. I am only trying to shepherd you back into the fold.