Saturday, January 14, 2017

"When we fall"

There was a meme, that crossed my path this week via Facebook again, that provoked me to do some thinking. If I may, I would like to do some thinking out loud and expose some of my thoughts on the matter.

In this meme posted to the left, I will assume this picture illustrates the event in 2 Samuel 12:7 where David is rebuked by the Prophet Nathan for his sin and deception over the murder of Uriah and affair with Bathsheba.

It is a stunning account, one which just the reading of causes the understanding to cry out for justice. One senses a relief that all the treachery and hypocrisy has been brought to light. Let's consider though the fact this was not a gotcha moment for Nathan, but a devastating moment both for the Prophet and the nation. Yet it is a necessary moment to preserve David and the nation from further destruction.

A few things should be noted. This thing did not happen in a day, nor in a moment of weakness in David's life. As you consider David's history, you notice a pattern in his life that left unchecked would eneviably lead him to this event. Perhaps there were those who loved him enough to rebuke him for much lesser and weaker sins preceding this event, and perhaps no one loved him enough to check him. If the former, then David's rejection of the rebukes brought his judgment, if the latter, the lack of love of those who knew him allow him to be brought to this moment. Surely we can see the great benefit of a rebuke in this, when either from a spouse, Pastor, friend, or brother. It could save us much damage. Oh Lord, how gracious to bring these rebukes in our lives.

I was watching "Enterprise" a spin off of the Star Trek series last night. There was a scene that was very sensual, Julie looked over at me and simply said something to the effect, "should we be watching this?" My conscience was quickened, I realized, no, we should not. So, that episode is censored in our domain.

You may say I'm being ridicules, it's an insignificant scene. I must remember, David's eye's began with a insignificant allurement toward other women, but being left unchecked grew. It grew into a much more significant sin. A desire for one drink is insignificant, but for that minister I'll mention in a moment, left unchecked grew. It grew into a much more significant sin.

When we leave these things unchecked, we become comfortable with them. It then takes a little more to awaken our conscience. We continue to leave that unchecked, it then takes and even greater allurement to awaken us to it's sin. Little by little we are drawn into the depths of our depravity.

    What do we do when we fall, or those we love and admire fall? I was reminded this week of two examples where men I looked up too fell greatly. One was back in 2013, a leading minister in the Home school circles and patriarch movement. I had come to appreciate his devotion to the family and the church. He spoke often of building generational faithfulness in our families.

He was such an eloquent speaker and a profound leader. Then it was discovered he had been abusing a minor sexually and being unfaithful to his wife for years.

The other was a leading and well know speaker among the reformed churches. Though he made a lesser impact in my life with his teaching than the other, never the less, I appreciated his dedication to the Lord and his commitment to faithfulness and holiness. Then it was discovered he had been censored for viewing inappropriate web sites. Then a year later being arrested for drunk driving with a minor in the car with him. One thing we can know for sure, these things didn't happen to them in a moment of weakness (as one said in his defense) but like David, allowed a pattern of lesser deficiencies to remain and grow in their lives. When public sins are discovered, they are most always preceded by years of private sins.

An early rebuke by those who loved them, if headed and received, could have saved them this destruction. But we are here now, so what do we do? In 2 Cor Chapter 2 we read 2Co 2:6  Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
2Co 2:7  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.


Many times Scriptures like this are used to bring restoration and the setting back in place those who have fallen from leadership. But we also have Scriptures like 1Timothy chapter 1.

1Ti 1:19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
1Ti 1:20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.


We have to say yes to both types of Scriptures. Yes, we must forgive their trespasses, and yes, they must be censored with discipline. First, one must question the validity of their profession, if or not they are indeed a true Christian. Time must be given to bring reasonable assurance that true repentance has been brought forth. They should be received back into fellowship, encouraged and helped with patience and love, yet, their leadership role must not be restored until this reasonable assurance can be known, and depending on the nature of the sin, it may never be restored. Remember, David was repentant, he was forgiven, but he bore the consequences for the rest of his life. If we do not receive our rebukes, we may well do the same.

There is evidence that both the men mentioned above were lovingly rebuked, and gave a sign of repentance. But in the end demonstrated they never really repented at heart. Even now it is questionable whether they are really repentant or not. Sorry, yes, but repentant, maybe not. 2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

This should weigh upon us mightily, it should cause us to examine ourselves. 2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? If such men as mentioned above, who had such great knowledge of God and his word can fall, how easily could I, if I neglect the great gift I have been given, in receiving the loving rebukes of those who love me?

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,

David



  

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