Personal Mission Field/Transformation
As [King Theuderich] very often visited Columban, the holy man began to reprove him because he sinned with concubines, and did not satisfy himself with the comfort of a lawful wife...After this reproof from Columban, the king promised to abstain from such sinful conduct.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
- Matthew 14.3, 4
A hunting dog that "blinks" is one that deliberately passes by prey, not because of any sense of oneness toward its fellow creature, but simply because it prefers to romp through the fields rather than take a disciplined point and serve its master.
In a church I served some years ago, shortly before I became pastor, the men of the church had decided to "blink" at one of their friends who was involved in an adulterous relationship. They preferred to stay friends with him rather than point out the obvious. After he divorced his wife, several of them continued to be friends with him, hoping, they would explain, to "win him back."
By the time this man contacted me, he was miserable and wanting his wife and his faith back. He asked me, on numerous occasions, "Why didn't anyone ever confront me or help me? Why did they just let me keep on sinning?"
Columbanus, like John the Baptist, was not one to blink at sin. Sin is too destructive just to say, "Oh, well, no one's perfect" and look the other way. If I'm in sin, I want to know it. I should say, I need to know it. I may not want to, but stay after me anyway.
Paul says we are called to expose the works of sin and darkness (Eph. 5.11). This means helping others to see their sin and walking with them as they strive to turn away from it. It also means showing lost sinners that their sins put them in a bad light with God, and that repentance and faith in Jesus are their only hope.
Look, it's your Personal Mission Field, your turf on which to raise the banner of God's glory and Christ's redemption. Will you be content for people around you to continue sullying your mission field with wickedness and indifference to God's Word? Would you just stand by while someone trashed your yard? Why will you let them trash the mission field personally chosen and assigned to you by your heavenly Father (Jn. 20.21)?
We don't have to be snotty to be forthright. We can speak the truth in love. But not speaking the truth at all is neither forthright nor loving.
It's just plain disobedient.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Well the courts are a mess, but whose fault is it, and what can we do about it? ReVision has some thoughts.
And after you read ReVision you'll want to rush right over to the bookstore and get your copy of the delightful little book, The Ground for Christian Ethics. You'll be surprised to discover that ethics could be so simple and so much fun.
Have you encouraged your pastor - or, pastor, have you considered - to take a look at our mentoring opportunities? Here are some real opportunities to grow in your faith and ministry skills. Have a look.