Yesterday, I encountered two situations which has precipitated the writing of this message. The first one involved a conversation where a brother making certain statements was challenged by someone who said, “How can you call yourself an Adventist when you don’t accept what Adventist teach?” The second situation was the result of a young lady, an Adventist, who made a statement involving spiritualism. I mentioned Christians do not use such words. Someone later, perhaps a relative, because of their name retorted, “I believe in such and such, and I’m a Christian.” In both situations, although different in their relevance, carry about the same inference: are we what we say we are?
If we were to sit down to play a game of Checkers, we cannot play with the rules of Chess although they use the same board. One young man last week stated, “Although I do not believe in Ellen G. White, I am still an Adventist!” How can one be the member of a body of believers when the church they claim to be a member was precipitated, by God, by the using of this woman? How can someone call themselves a member of this church yet criticize the leadership of the church, won’t attend the local church with the claim they’re members of the governing church body? Foolishness. The second scenario, I believe, was due both to the ignorance of what the young lady said followed by the ignorance of the relative because if one’s statement bespeaks of spiritualism, how can you claim to be a Christian and yet be a believer of spiritualism? You’re either one or the other or you’re deluded and can’t see that you are!
Words are powerful! Many lives have been destroyed, shamed, debased, and corrupted by the usage of words. The problems we are facing every day of our lives is the result of the manipulation of minds because of how something was said. No wonder James devotes a whole chapter to the subject of the tongue and how deceitful and powerful it is and it would be wise we learn to control it. It is not so bad when one is victimize as a result of what someone said as much as the one who said it bears the greater responsibility especially when they know what they’re saying! Part of the, “by their fruits ye shall know them…” comes by a listening to what people say. It is by their words we can tell one of two things: (1) Are they really believers and are not aware, or (2) are they really believers at all? The majority of us have never seen our attacker but we’ve heard him. I’ve had to respond to a brother yesterday who makes the claim, “God doesn’t speak to man today.” Now, this is truly interesting because if satan speaks to man today, why wouldn’t God!
My counsel today is be careful of what you hear but even more careful of what you say.
November 13, 2014