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John Hagee, Ministers, and Rabble-Rousers
By: Rev. John L. Terry, III - Revelation Files
14 December 2007


Jim Bramlett just forwarded a video Message from Jim Hutchens, president of The Jerusalem Connection, regarding John Hagee and his book In Defense of Israel:
http://support.tjci.org/site/PageServer?pagename=WeeklyVideo

 

I agree with Jim Hutchens that we need to pray for John Hagee, and appreciated his comments. I also appreciated Jan Markell's concerns about John Hagee's comments in his newest book, and I join she, Jim Bramlett, and Jim Hutchens in praying for John Hagee, a great man of God. These people are concerned about reconciliation and have chosen the high road, rather than personal attacks on a minister and ministry who is struggling with an interpretive issue of Scripture.

 

I've read other commentaries in the past few days that I can't say the same about. One even recently complained about losing "paying members" of their pet Internet "club" because "they are speaking the truth", as if they are right and the rest of the world (and the Christian community) is wrong. Their gnashing of teeth and "holier than thou" attitude is appalling, and a lost and dying world sits and laughs as Christians seek to devour one another with words.

 

If the harshness of tone used by these self-appointed assassins with fellow believers was directed toward children, many of their comments would be labeled as cruel verbal child abuse and they would be prosecuted for their actions.

 

There are too many self-appointed zealots who are out there today who believe their "ministry" is to devour those in the Christian community they may disagree with. And this small (but vocal) group all seems to stick together, as they feed on the anger and resentment of each other, in their never-ending quest to destroy ministers and ministries who don't see as they do. Rabble-rousers, they are, inciting those who are not deeply grounded in their faith to rise up and join the "picket lines" and stirring raw emotions of hatred and anger, all in the name of the Lord.

 

Yes, we may (and will) have theological differences with other ministers, ministries, and denominations, but if they are preaching the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, they are bringing people into the kingdom of God, and we need to recognize those who are not against us are for us.

Some believe in speaking in tongues, others do not. Some believe the works of healings and miracles are for today, others believe these died out with the apostles. Some believe you can have what you say and that God's plan is to prosper His people, others do not. Still others believe in personal prophecy within the walls of the church, others do not.

 

So who then is in error? Each can support their arguments with Scripture, and do so convincingly. We all believe the Bible as we interpret it and as we have understanding and revelation of the truths therein. But there is one truth that is universal in Scripture, and that is salvation through faith in Christ.

 

When we stand before God, He will ask us one important question, "What did you do with my son?" I John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." That is the most important thing. If we haven't accepted Christ, everything else we have done is moot.

 

Yes, we should address error, but do so without personally attacking the messenger, and do so in love as we seek mutual understanding and reconciliation. The venomous hatred of personal attacks voiced by these Pharisees needs to stop, as it serves no purpose other than to divide the body of Christ. We are called by Christ to love the sinner, but to hate the sin. We are also called into the ministry of reconciliation. But we can't win those who are in error by lambasting them with vicious personal attacks.

 

We can, and should, point out error where it exists, but not crucify the messenger in the process. I pity the comments these so-called "watchmen on the wall" and remind them they should get the log out of their own eyes before trying to remove the splinters from others. If these men and women that are being attacked are preaching salvation through Christ, and people are being born again into the kingdom of God, then let us pray that God would move through His Holy Spirit and illuminate to their minds other areas of Scripture that they may be misinterpreting and speak Truth to them in love.

 

If they are preaching something else, let us pray that God return them to their first love, the love of Christ. Let us point out where we disagree, and seek to bring illumination, understanding and reconciliation&ldots;not verbal abuse and hatred. A brother offended is harder to win than a fortified tower, yet these overzealous "protectors of the faith" believe it is their God-given calling to engage in "seek and destroy" tactics. Jesus said He came to give life, but the enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy.

 

Satan is our enemy, not fellow believers in Christ. Some may be misguided, and if so, they need to be shown the error of their ways. Jesus had a woman brought in the midst of adultery to her, and the mob (religious zealots) wanted to stone her. Jesus knelt, drew in the sand, and reminded these "protectors of the faith" that those who are without sin should throw the first stone. After the mob had departed, He spoke to her, and lovingly corrected her behavior.

 

Perhaps we would see more reconciliation if we used the manner of Christ than that of the mob.

 

In the book of Acts, a debate over Paul's preaching of Jesus was summarized by Gamaliel when he stated, "If it be of man, it will not last, but if it be of God, who are we to stand against it?" (Acts 5:38-39)

 

All of us are imperfect people who love and serve a perfect, holy God. There is only one person who knows it all, and none of us are that person. (Like the popular T-shirt says, "There is only ONE God, and You Ain't Him") We are not nearly as important as we often think we are, and in the ministry gifts that are listed in scripture, I have never read "devouring the saints" or "crucifying those we disagree with" therein.

 

Hate sin, love the sinner, address error, seek reconciliation, but do it all in love.

 

I can't wait to see what these zealots write about me now.