Hi all, I wish to share to points which when kept in mind may avert some of the misunderstanding we had with our sister Anika.
- Love believes the best in others. From this premise, we have faith to believe God is at work in those who come in His name until they PROVE otherwise. When we see "proof" of error, let us double check to be sure we are seeing our "proof" clearly. For example, rather than saying, you are teaching heresy by saying we can pray to other gods, let us follow point 2.
- Ask, rather than tell, someone what they believe. Rather than saying, "you are teaching heresy!" Let us ask if our premise for our conclusion is agreed upon… "It appears you are saying it is helpful to pray to other gods if Jesus does not answer, is that correct?" We can proceed from there when they answer, but with point 1 in mind, we trust they are desiring to do the right thing and so we simply show what the Bible tells us is the right thing and trust they will follow. If they contradict it, then we can let them know why we disagree with them and the degree of seriousness we feel their error contains.
- We can pray the Lord bring us all into agreement with His Word, and do so in a manner that is not accusatory. After all, it may just be we ourselves who are missing something, and we need to be open to God's truth, just as we desire others to be.
I hope this is helpful as we learn to walk and talk in love with one another. We risked seriously offending a sister and even pushing her back. No one wanted to do that, but the devil sure did. By God's grace, Anika has a good degree of integrity, mixed with humility. We all see through a glass darkly, so there will be variance of opinion and expression that we will have to work our way through with one another.
God bless you all! Tim