Those who disagree are not wolves

christian wolves
I am not an evil wolf. I am not an enemy of the faith. I am not here to attack the faithful brethren and demolish their sound doctrine. I am not a cold hearted philosopher who only cares about the ideas and doctrines of men. I am not a shipwrecked doubter who wants to drag others into his pit of ceaseless doubt. I am not working in league with Satan on a secret mission to overthrow the Slavic Churches in WA state. I am not a rebellious Absalom intent on shaking the pillars of power in order to take over everyone’s positions.To some of my readers who are quite new to my blog this may seem like a strange and incredibly funny introduction and statement. Alas, those are ideas that have been thrown this way before. At this moment you will (very rightly) think “this Yuriy guy is soo self-centered” and you are indeed right, this post will (unfortunately) be a bit “I” centered. I really do feel a bit guilty to talk about my own motivations so publicly and so candidly. It feels selfish, as if I only want to defend my name and my honor (Lord knows that deep down I do, I admit that and repent of it). Yet I mainly want to explain the heart of this Yuriy, who may have at some point  disagreed with you, for a purpose bigger than just to defend Yuriy. I want to show how the heart of a Christian who kindly disagrees. If you have ever seen me in a discussion and debate, and assumed I was wolf, attacker, demolisher, doubter, futile arguer, vainly puffed up debater, divider of the brethren, Satan (or worse than all of the above, combined, a Calvinist) I want to appeal to you to understand that not everyone is your enemy.

The point of this blog post is to show that while some Christians are divided over secondary issues, there is no reason to vilify each other. In most cases one of us may disagree, not because we have evil motives. In most cases, one of us is not attempting to belittle the other. Just because you and I don’t see eye to eye on some things, does not mean we are enemies who share nothing. 

THINGS WE CAN AGREE ON

Gospel

I am with you in caring very much about the Gospel of Jesus, the good name and fame of Jesus. I am sure there are better, more effective ways to contend for Jesus and His Gospel than what I do. I know there are examples of men a million times my worth, yet I am not them, nor do I have their gifting and calling. Mine is a tiny one. If I can make a small impact for Christ through speaking and having conversations, or writing to them online, then great. I know there are hundreds of thousands of Christians that do better things than I, and I should hold them as examples, but in my own little way I do care about the Gospel of Jesus. I want people to hear it and read it. I may be wrong sometimes, if that’s the case, lovingly correct me and reason with me, but understand my motive.  I don’t do what I do out of a heart for strife, envy, and evil, but for the Gospel.

Churched

I am with you in caring very much about those who go to a church, any church which belongs to the body of Christ, no matter how far off course they are. I am sure better, more effective, ways to care for the churches of Jesus, and men who do it far greater than I can even fathom, and I could never be them or even pretend. I am not qualified to be an amazing mega-church pastor who teaches without preparing and from whom God’s Word emanates clearly and soundly. I don’t have a 20,000 member church to back up my words, or grand achievements in the church to give me “authority.” I only write a small stupid little blog online. But I eagerly want something better for the work of Jesus in the church then the way it is now. And if we come across and we disagree, that is not because I am trying to be someone I am not, or pretending I am “super-mega-pastor-theologian” or trying to put down everyone. I am simply trying to the best of my ability and reliance on Jesus, to understand the Bible and help a few church folks think about it too.

Post-churched

I am with you in caring very much about the people who have left the church or been rejected by it. I am sure better, more effective, ways to reach the drop outs of Christianity and there are people who do an amazing job, ceaselessly, giving it more time than I can ever give, though I am not them, nor do I have their gifting and calling. I write a few silly things online everyone in a while. Maybe someone who left the church will never even read them, I don’t know, but I hope they do. Deep down, I don’t just aim to criticize everyone in established churches in a certain ethnic community. I want to reach out to the people out there that gave up on Jesus because of the failure of people. I want to tell them “yes I get that was a bad church experience, I am pleading with the church-people to change too, but don’t give up on Jesus because of a some people.” I know I’m not doing something big like a cool super effective post-modern young adults college ministry, I simply talk about Christianity the internet, any bozo can do that (I am proof). But just because I point out something bad about religiosity doesn’t mean I hate everyone and think I am better, I simply want to challenge those who left Jesus because of religiosity to come back to a church without the religiosity.

Unchurched

I am with you in caring very much about the people who have never been inside a church. I agree there are evangelists and preachers who are so used of the Lord, when in heaven, I will not be able to see them, so far away from God’s throne I will be, while they will stand next to it. I am not Greg Laurie or Billy Graham. I understand that. I understand my work is not that important, and compared to the greats I am simply a dude in “a closet” with a laptop. There is nothing special about me. I am not qualified or called to such big important things. I am probably one of those guys to whom Paul writes “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you” (1 Thess 4:11). Yet in a little tiny way, I yearn to make a small impact on people in my life, and pray that God does something through me that will make it all worthwhile. If we ever disagree on some small or big thing, please understand my motive is not evil, I genuinely yearn to do good for Jesus. Please don’t assume I’m lazy, wicked, or wrong, but understand my small calling is different than yours. Just because we disagree, does not mean I am “attacking the faith” or speaking false heresies to deceive you.

BUT IF WE DISAGREE, WE ARE NOT ENEMIES

I just yearn for you to understand that not every single person who disagrees with you is out to get you. I know I am not. I do admit I want you think like I do (probably out of some combination of my pride and my earnest desire for you to honor God’s Word). Yet am willing to kindly and politely disagree, while maintaining unity and friendship. How many people are coming from the same position that you or I consider enemies? When I was young and immature I often considered those who disagreed to be my enemies. I often assumed things about them that I shouldn’t have. I often said “OMG, can’t believe they said that!” and contemplated about some minor conflict far too long. I have repented many times since, and perhaps at times I still do fail. Yet, I genuinely try to understand not everyone who disagrees with me, hates me, and I encourage you to think the same way. I encourage you to join me, and together, let’s not assign guilt, shame, or heresy to someone who does not agree.

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