mental radio when the tunes playing inside my head,

turn out to be the LORD trying to tell me something...

Thursday, October 21, 2004
'on the fritz'

Back before I got married, I used to like to listen to Christian rocker Steve Taylor. On Tuesday, his song 'On the Fritz' kept running through my mind. Yep, the ol' mental radio had tuned in an oldie-but-goodie. In particular, these lines:
So the crowds grew, and their praise did too
and a mailing list sent you money
so they love Jerry Lewis in France
does that make him funny?
now victims of your double life are naming names
I didn't really think about it though at the time. Just some old tune I used to listen to, right? But then on Wednesday, I began receiving email forwards about some Christian bigname (I actually know very little about him) who has apparently fallen into sin.

I don't see any point in mentioning the man's name here. From what I read, those in authority over him tried to hold him accountable, and he refused. I did some web searching to find his response to the accusations, and didn't find anything, so at this point I only have the one side of the story.

My take: I see this as another case of the enemy - the adversary, the accuser of the brethren - doing his usual thing of stealing, killing, and destroying. Of trying to take down a ministry and smear the name of Jesus Christ, all in the same blow.

Certainly the world will use this as an occasion to blaspheme, to speak evil of the LORD and of HIS people, to paint all Christians as hypocrites. To mock, to belittle, etc, etc.

The question to me is: how will we who are Christians respond? Will we too mock and speak evil? Will we do the accepted 'Christian' sin of gossiping about the man? Or the even better, more Christianized version: gossiping about him under the guise of asking prayer for him?

Galatians 6:1&2 says:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Other versions translate the word meekness as gentleness. To keep a gentle, loving attitude while seeking the man's restoration. Being careful that we are not tempted to sin in doing so.

Tempted to sin? Tempted to what sin? The same sin that he is accused of? Perhaps. But also - guarding against puffing ourselves up at seeing another fall - guarding against wielding a malicious, backbiting tongue against the man - guarding against slicing up both the man and those around him with our sharpened, deadly words.

The goal is his repentance and restoration. His purification and transformation. For this evil that the enemy has planned against him could very well turn out for a mighty and miraculous healing instead, for this man and for many.

But we need to check our own hearts, bridle our tongues, and pray with mercy. (And where appropriate, beg the LORD for forgiveness - for us!)

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