Friday, March 1, 2013

The Strategy of the Gospel

The Strategy of the Gospel was originally a blog comment.  However, as I thought about it, I realized that it ought to be shared on a broader forum.  We can all use encouragement from time to time; this is yours today...

The Strategy of the Gospel

There is a “theology” that the Bible is mostly allegorical. Bill O’Reilly was the most recent in current events to allude to that when he was interviewing Roma Downey and her husband about the Bible miniseries. I remember you saying, however, that you take the whole Bible as truth. As that is so, let me offer a little bit more advice, partially from personal experience, partially from the Word of God.

I was on FB at one point. I did some investigation into Zuck’s political pandering, donations, and the biased slant the advertisements for candidates had taken. For instance, Obama’s campaign ads showed up when one was viewing any page having to do with hope, change, and even our Savior. This might not seem like a big deal, since people who pull advertisements have a say in preferred placement.
However, the ads for McCain showed up when one was viewing FB pages that supported Westboro Baptist, satanic groups, etc. These are obviously not preferred spots for a political candidate, yet there is where they were seeing their ads.

As a result of me publishing my findings, both on my blog and on FB, I was banned from it, without warning.

Strategy of the Gospel: Not Our Own Works

What the Lord showed me is that while we are meant to uphold the truth, we are also to bring it in love, as He showed you. Yet He also brought my attention to Matthew 10:16, which reads:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

See, I thought He was done at that point, but He wasn’t. He knows exactly who He has placed us among, and He specifically commanded us to be wily, crafty and intelligent. (Note that I use these words in the sense of strategy, not deception!) Why would He send us out among wolves, and why tell us to be strategic? The answer is partly in the wording He chose, and and partially in His following explanation.

The word “wise” being used there is phronimos (φρόνιμος), and means sagacious or discreet. There were two other words He could have used: Sophos, which is general wisdom, or sunetos, which denotes problem solving. However, He chose to use phronimos, which combines sunetos with phren, which suggests a covering, or discreet nature.

Then, in verses 17 and 18, Christ says this (and I’m using the Phillips because of the way it reads):

“But be on your guard against men. For they will take you to the court and flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought into the presence of governors and kings because of me – to give your witness to them and to the heathen.”

He told us why we were to be discreet; why were are to be strategic in bearing our message: Because we are to be on guard against men; not comfortable with them, but at the same time, not trying to stir them to anger, either, no matter how they may treat us.

Strategy of the Gospel: Not Our Own Voice

Note the reason all of this is taking place, was the next thing He taught me: It is by MY will, not your own pride or blunder, that will bring you before governors and kings. It is NOT because your words stirred them to anger; or because your words were so powerful, undeniable and moving; but because of MY will ALONE.

Then came the next two verses, 19 and 20 (same source for the same reason):

“But when they do arrest you, never worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be told at the time what you are to say. For it will not be really you who are speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

Even in this moment, when all seems lost and it looks as though you have reason to be indignant, He said, you are not to lose your temper. Remain calm, be still, and you will know that I am God.

So, we are to be discreet, and when the time comes for us to be uncovered and exposed before the rulers of this age, whether it be the President or FB, it will be His doing, not ours. We will know this because we have adhered to His word; we’ve delivered truth in love, and carried it with wisdom and strategy.

Hope that was of some encouragement to you.

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