Saturday, October 29, 2005
Should we be surprised?

Should we be surprised when we get a hard time from other people? Particularly people who do not know the Lord Jesus as their saviour. Should we be surprised when they call us names, throw stones at us and make life unpleasant? Should we be surprised when our non-Christian MPs pass ungodly legislation? Should we even be angry and want to return the favour? Should we be disappointed and hurt?

The bible tells us how to behave in all things. Philippians 5:2 You attitude should be the same of that of Christ Jesus. What did Jesus do to the people who mocked him, whipped him and eventually killed him in a brutal way? He remain silent, and even asked God to forgive them because they know not what they do

We cant really expect people who are walking in darkness to behave in the same way God has commanded us to. We cant get annoyed or call them names or tell them to shut-up because they know not what they do. They may have been brought up to know right and wrong and have a conscious to tell them not to behave a certain way but ultimately their reason for doing so does not flow from a regenerated heart.

We must have compassion and merciful hearts towards these people who are lost in sin. Why- because God does! For while we where yet sinners Christ died for us. He loved and redeemed us in spite of ourselves. Surely we should love others and sometimes (always) in spite of themselves. That means showing love and grace when they kick us in the shins not kicking them right back.

Ultimately I dont believe it is our job to judge others and shake our fist at them. To borrow a line from a Will Smith song. Let God deal with the things they do cause hate in your heart will consume you too Ok so I dont think Will Smith is a Christian so this line is remarkably true. Leave the judging to God and lets get on with the loving.


May I suggest that you may not be dealing with the Philippians passage correctly.

When Paul says "Your attitude should be the same of that of Christ Jesus" he is dealing with a specific issue. If you look at the previous verses, you will see that the issue is unity and putting others before yourself.

Phi 2:2 - 4 make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.

Christ's supreme example of not taking what he deserved, and going to help those who didn't deserve it is used to back up Paul's request that they treat others as better than themselves.

It is not per se about acting the same as Christ when non believers mock us and jeer at us. It is about how we should treat fellow Christians.

By Blogger Scotty, at 2:37 pm, October 31, 2005  

So are you saying that we shouldn't have an attutide the same as Christ's?

By Blogger Anita, at 3:37 pm, October 31, 2005  

This is what the passage is saying (in my reading of it):-

Hey Philippians, please be unified. You can do this by putting each other first. You know Christ was the perfect example of this. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

So in summary yes we should be like Christ Jesus in that we should keep unity in the body of Christ by treating others as better than ourselves.

But I don't think we are to necessarily copy Christ's example of silence every time we are persecuted. And the Philippians passage can not be used to say that without twisting its scriptural meaning.

By Blogger Scotty, at 5:22 pm, October 31, 2005  

Well I find it a little strange to not be able to back up the statement 'Your attitude should be the same as Jesus' with a verse that says 'Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus' Taking a passage out of context means that you are twisting it to say something it is not. The whole bible echos we should be Christlike in all things! It you go on the passage talks about us shining as stars to a depraved generation. I would take this to mean that we can only do this because we have unity and Christlikeness.

Please give a bible reference to say we should not imitate Christ example on the cross when we are persecuted. The opposite springs to my mind 'Turn the other cheek' and 'Love your enemies'.

By Blogger Anita, at 9:14 am, November 01, 2005  

There are plenty of examples for what you want Anita! Just not that verse.

By Blogger Scotty, at 10:35 am, November 01, 2005  

So are we allowed to drive greedy self-seekers out of our churches with whips?

By Blogger Dan, at 10:37 am, November 01, 2005  

Of course but again I thought the best verse to use to backup the concept that we should have an attitude like Christs was that verse (obviously).

Again- Please give a bible reference to say we should not imitate Christ example on the cross when we are persecuted.

Hey Dan- not sure what you mean but that doesn't have to do with being persecuted I don't think. I would say that the people in the temple where jews and should of known better because they had the word revealed to them. Is that what you mean?

By Blogger Anita, at 12:08 pm, November 01, 2005  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Scotty, at 12:43 pm, November 01, 2005  

I've already explained to you why that verse is not talking aboutcopying Christ's example of silence. It's quite simple really.

If you don't get what I'm saying from my explanation of the context I don't know what else to do to help you see it.

As for your answer to Dan. You said but that doesn't have to do with being persecuted I don't think. That is exactly the point. Neither does this verse in Philippians!!!!!

By Blogger Scotty, at 12:44 pm, November 01, 2005  

That is cool Scott cause if you read what I said was that our attitude was to be like Christ. And then how did Christ react... He didn't except to forgive- which I used the 'forgive them Father for they know not what they do' (although I didn't reference. I was using the passage to back up one point only- our attitude should be like Christs. And then went on to comment further

Is this theological kit-picking? I find it so disappointing that you are not actually disagreeing with what I say but whether I can use this verse to say it. I have consulted those more trained in the word than you and I and they concur that I had not taken anything out of context.

I am really disappointed that we can't affirm and say 'Amen Sister' to a post that is 100% biblical. Why can't you encourage and affirm instead of being picky?

For the third time- please back up this statement with biblical references-'But I don't think we are to necessarily copy Christ's example of silence every time we are persecuted'

By Blogger Anita, at 1:06 pm, November 01, 2005  

Jesus act of silence before the cross was purposeful. It was not really a polite gracious silence at all. He simply refused to say anything. And I don't think that is something that we are called to do in the face of persecution. Do you really believe we should point blank refuse to answer questions and simply say nothing in the face of persecution?

Acts 4:18-20

So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."

However. Your point is still a good one. We are to be like Christ, even tho scott is right and Phil 5:2 by itself is out of context there other places that show we are to be Christlike and should show more love and grace to those who don't know Christ End of 1 Cor 10 and begining of 11 is one example I can think of. Being loving and Gracious at all times not just in the face of persecution. We will see more persecution as time wears on and we need to be ready for it. Ready to show the character of Christ.

Sorry I'm in a hurry! hope there's not spelling mistakes :)

By Blogger Jonathan, at 2:55 pm, November 01, 2005  

Anita - what does it prove that someone ?more trained in the word? agrees with you? More trained than who? And does more trained absolutely guarantee better quality? Of course it doesn?t - look at the scribes and Pharisees arguing with a certain carpenter. I asked Pete what he thought, and his analysis agreed with mine - but really that doesn?t prove anything does it? We must look not at who says what, but what who says!!!

Ok - your challenge. Here are some Biblical reasons we shouldn?t simply follow Christ?s example of silence always.

Firstly, Jesus himself is not a 1 dimensional character. His response to every situation of persecution or conflict was not always the same. A quick look into the life of Jesus shows that his reactions to persecution and challenges to himself were varied. At times when crowds tried to get hold of him, he slipped away. Other times he unleashed such verbal abuse that puts ?silly clown? to shame. His woes upon the Pharisees are an example. And of course when he was about to be crucified he was marked by silence.

But secondly, we must recognize that the silence which marked Jesus in the period leading up to the cross was something special. It was fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, but not only that but it was important because Christ needed to go to the cross. He wasn?t to fight it. The purpose was atonement. The persecution we go through is not an atoning sacrifice for others. So I think care needs to be used when we look at how Christ acted in the cross event. We cannot do what Christ did even if we wanted to be ?Christ like? in these areas.

Thirdly, the early apostolic age we also see varied reactions to persecution. Look at Acts 4. Peter and John flatly refuse to shut up. What about Stephen? Like Jesus he stood before the Jewish leadership. But unlike Jesus he had a lot to say. He preached the gospel to them - and was very blunt.

By Blogger Scotty, at 3:15 pm, November 01, 2005  

Unfortunately the last comment was produced in Word and when transferred over, some of the punctuation turned into question marks. Please excuse this.

By Blogger Scotty, at 3:30 pm, November 01, 2005  

But Philippians 2:5 was not taken out of context at all! I was saying that we should have the attitude of Christ and used the verse that verse to back it up. It is totally and absolutely ridiculous to state it was taken out of context when it is repeating exactly what I have said. Exactly. I use another part of the bible and linked the two together.

I maintain that you are being picky simply to deflect from the real issue Scott. It is really sad. You have not affirmed anything I have said but to pick at relatively insignificant issue in the context of the entire post. But hey if that is where we are at now then so be it. I don't understand why you can't be gracious and just ask me to explain myself further if needs be.

Of course Peter analysis would of agreed with yours. Did he read the post for himself or did you just tell him that I used Phillipians 2:5 to say we should behave like Christ at the cross. Which is not what I did.

As for the rest of your examples of Peter and John and Stephen - they were filled with the holy spirit which compled them to speak the words of God. They were obeying the commands of God to bring their case. Just as Christ was obeying the prophesy. The crowd saw this and knew they were filled with the holy spirits. I doubt that when we react to non-christians the way we do that we are filled with the holy spirit. Remember these are examples of when the apostles were being called to the jewish court to give account of their perceived wrongs. I am not talking of the same situation rather it is us passing judged on others when we see them doing wrong.

By Blogger Anita, at 3:37 pm, November 01, 2005  

Obviously we could continue this discussion on and on. But I think continued discussion on this point by me would be against the Philippians injunction of being Christlike, as it will cause disunity.

By Blogger Scotty, at 3:48 pm, November 01, 2005  

Phil 5 is not saying this;

We should have an atitude like Christ's in all things.

It's saying this;

We should be a unified body of Christ, serving in humility before one another as this is the attitude Christ had.

By Blogger Jonathan, at 3:54 pm, November 01, 2005  

Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying we shouldn't be Christ like in all things!

I'm just saying that Phil 5:2 doesn't say this.

By Blogger Jonathan, at 3:57 pm, November 01, 2005  

I gave up reading this half way through.

Theological nit picking... um... would that be debating the difference between correct and incorrect interpretation of scripture? If so... I plan to nit pick all the more and make sure I'm right and not going with the flow.

Which of you two is right? No comment. I'm not going to look at that point and get caught up in the middle of this.

What I will say is that Jesus commanded us to give reasons for what we believe. I also remember the famous words
?Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience.
Here I stand. I can do no other.
God help me. Amen.?

Obviously Luther wasn't much up for ignoring nit picking either.

I am curious as to why we tend to disagree on such issues frequently :) * ponders without conclusion *

btw Scott, OpenOffice doesn't have such bugs.

By Anonymous Allan, at 8:41 pm, November 01, 2005  

I fear the tui billboard has struck once again!

Scott, OpenOffice doesn't have such bugs.


By Blogger Jonathan, at 7:54 am, November 02, 2005  

on the blogger messing up with copy pasting... haven't found any Jono :p

By Anonymous Allan, at 9:42 am, November 02, 2005  

um... but what happened to scotts text also happened to yours! You were saying that open office doesn't do that!

By Blogger Jonathan, at 9:57 am, November 02, 2005  

I actually think their is something wrong with my blog template cause when I post I get the funny ? when I have put a '

By Blogger Anita, at 12:05 pm, November 02, 2005  

hmm. I didn't compose in OO lol

I'll look at the code and point out anything obvious that my ill trained html skills see :)
Don't hold your breath hehe.

By Anonymous Allan, at 11:55 pm, November 02, 2005  

"test" - plain text

“test” - OO

I think it's pasting a different character actually... It's pasting a left double quotation mark whereas the original was a plain double quotation mark.

I have recently updated to OO2.0 so that may be the difference. Stupid. I shall complain.
Still unsure how the ones in my post got mixed tho as I don't think I used OO.

By Anonymous Allan, at 1:30 am, November 03, 2005  

or not...

“Here I stand. I can do no other.
God help me. Amen.” - from OO

"Here I stand. I can do no other.
God help me. Amen." - from Notepad

OO uses a different character for " reguardless of font:

“ ” - from OO
" " - from Notepad

By Anonymous Allan, at 1:41 am, November 03, 2005  

oh rats. now I'm totally confused.


By Anonymous Allan, at 1:42 am, November 03, 2005  

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Anita posted at 10:12 am

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