Persecution or Prosecution?

Kirk, Spring 2001

1 Peter 2:20 states, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."

The question that arises when a person or gathering is buffeted is, is it because of their own faults, the consequences of sin or are they simply suffering for righteousness sake? Is it persecution or is it prosecution? Surely in the midst of suffering the buffeting of ones circumstances it is not always readily apparent if it is for faults that these have been brought upon ones self or simply enduring the hatred of the world. They hated our Lord and surely they will hate the believer for the servant is not better than the master.

But in the present problems I am wearied by the continued assertion, "We just need to stand in this conflict where we are the victims of persecution, wrongfully accused by malicious liars." Let us not fall into the error of denial. Denying the past will only lead to a future that repeats it. I am weary of listening to ministry that says, "Don’t pay attention to that past event it is time to go on," when healing has not occurred. It is like saying, "It's time to play football again while the cast is still on the broken foot." I am weary of hearing ministry about not paying attention to the "rumor mongering accusations" that exist when a large portion of it is true and unaccounted for. I long for the healing ministry of the person and work of Christ.

Autonomy or Wimpy Convictions?

We have believed for years and seen in the scriptures that one local gathering is autonomous from another. We are all of the body of Christ but not THE body of Christ. The church at Ephesus is corporately responsible before God. It is not the church at Jerusalem or Antioch that is responsible for the assembly at Ephesus. I believe the behavior here in SLO contradicts these truths.

Some recent examples:

The Issue Our Resolve before Counsel After Official Input
D.G. Lord's supper Discipline There was no doubt about the need for D.G. to be disciplined and not allowed to partake of the Lord’s super There are some invisible signs of D.G’s repentance and we see no reason why he should no longer be allowed to partake.
Witnesses against D.G. The witness against D.G. is sufficient and there is no need for further investigation or witness discovery. The witnesses have no or very little credit and should be brought into questionable worth.
"Rick's" letter to D.G. Kirk you should write a letter to D.G. …Sounds good. Sounds harsh and ‘just like D.G.' Is Kirk bitter towards D.G.?
"Rick's" letter to G.G. You should not be writing this if you are a Leading Brother. Kirk should have a way of communicating his grievances.
"Rick's" involvement in stated ministry Kirk should be allowed to continue preaching in the rotation I am no longer welcome to contribute in that esteemed way. It has been made clear that I am a threat because I have serious doubts concerning this ministry.
D.G.’s abusiveness Yes D.G. was abusive to Judy and the saints Harsh at times but abusive is too strong a word especially in our PC sensitive culture.
We were cowards in the past Yes, we behaved weakly/cowardly before D.G’s bullying No. We informed the saints of past cowardliness in error, or at best just to appease Kirk.
Welcome Announcement We resolved that our responsibility in welcoming guests was announce their welcome, not to divide them into categories by giving their geographical locations or/and their church affiliations. No. We should note those who are involved with this ministry and call special recognition to their visits…thus making less the welcome of those other Christians. The welcome is to make a clear distinction between us and them.

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