Tuesday, October 04, 2011

What Discern Meant?

Check this out from Paul:
"11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 
12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 
13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 
14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" Galatians 2:11-14
This post isn't about living like Jews, or the hypocrisy demonstrated by Peter. Well, kinda sorta-read on.
Look at Barnabas. He was lacking in discernment, but, in his defense, look at what he had to deal with:
Peter, the friend of Jesus who walked with Him, had sat at His feet, leader of the Jerusalem church...was in error.
Big Pete. The Man. The legend. Error plagued sinner.
Barnabas had accepted 'as Gospel' that Peter was shooting straight. If Peter shunned the Gentile Christians to please the Jewish Christians, who was Barnabas to say different?
Well, he was a Christian. God imparts discernment as one of the gifts of the Spirit. If he had inquired of God regarding Peter's actions, he wouldn't have joined in Peter's hypocrisy.
But he didn't and he was and it was a failing; thank God for Paul! He knew what it meant to oppose Peter-he risked splitting the Jerusalem church, actually all of Christianity-but he didn't hesitate a second.
I've been observing an unfolding drama playing out in our 21st century church-a man, T.D. Jakes, who is considered a heretic by some, a 'Bishop' by others- has been invited to a Christian conference of some great import...but as a heretic, or a brother? To be reasoned with, or welcomed in fellowship? huh.
How can we discern from God whether Jakes is Fakes? Judge him and his fruits against Scripture-my opinion and your opinion are worthless. God sets in His Word clear evidences of who is or isn't a follower of Christ-so if we look into Jakes's theology, measuring it against Scripture, we should know the truth and hopefully be like Paul and not Barnabas.
If T.D. Jakes is a Christian, then this situation mirrors what happened in Antioch as set down by Paul. Get in his face and call him to repent.

If T.D. Jakes is NOT a Christian, if he is indeed a heretic...then he should not be invited to the conference. But it's not my conference, and it's not my call. I'm just observing from the back of the room. Party on, Garth.

1 comment:

Doug said...

I have been a Christian for over 30 years now, and I am just as fallible today as I was then. I have learned from God, and have some measure of discernment, but I know that when I get to Heaven the miniscule discernment I had while on earth will seem insignificant.
Work in progress, friends. But I have made progress.
Back when I was a shiny knew Christian, I was 'in' many different churches, and had jumbles of mixed theologies bouncing around in my cranial pan.
I was attempting to justify the Lutheran church theology I grew up in as a non-Christian. Gone now, left in the dust.
I was also seeking to know of God in Pentecostal churches;also dust in my rear view mirror. I had asked God for discernment regarding the theology taught amongst the Pentecostals, and He led me out of those churches. He also seems to keep some good Christians IN those churches, which I can't get my head around, but that is for another day.
I was also visiting Baptist churches as a novice Christian; sometimes I would be in all three churches in a week-confusion aboundededed.
But I am no longer confused, and I am a member of the church where God has placed me. I am a Christian in a Baptist church.
May God give you discernment to know His truth.