Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fight the devil? Or, Serve the Lord and resist the devil ..

James 1:19-21 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
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Some people know a lot about fighting the devil. They got themselves bible quotes and grim determination based on tough pasts. They will let you tell them about yourself up until the first fault they find. Then they will rapid fire skewer you with quotes and corrective advice. So, where is the love? The community? Family building? Respect? Confidence? Where is the recognition of salvation? Righteousness? Humility? Is a diverse community incompatible with a life of devotion?

I feel more is to be said in favour of those who serve the Lord and resist the devil. Clearly it is not desirable for ones daughter to dress herself as Baal worshipper with rings and tattoos skewering multiple body parts. but that doesn't make her less of a daughter, less in need of salvation, God or love. Or when a friend does something you don't like, or feel is right; do you have to tell them directly and threaten to unfriend them?

Fighting the devil may well be a fool's errand, with the belligerent ending up dancing to his tune. Serving the Lord is not mutually exclusive, but rhetorically, it is better to serve the Lord, keeping one's attention on doing what is right and being righteous in failure, resisting the devil, than grabbing at weapons to fight the devil. Don't worship the weapon, worship the Lord.
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Imagine the Lord materialising before his people and calling them to account for what they have done ..

Follower: Lord, I realised the world was getting too hot, so I moved to limit the population. I stopped people from burning fossil fuels and instead got them to rely on sun light. And wind. I promised them things I couldn't deliver, but they weren't good for them anyway. I saw they didn't respect your creatures, so I made sure your creatures had protection. I saw some were very rich. So I took some of their money. I gave lots to hospital administrators because doctors and nurses were so expensive. I found your poor and struggling. So I made sure they had a bit more. I lied, Lord, but it was for a good reason.
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