Quite a few years ago, before it was altogether clear that Jack Van Impe was going apostate, we read his newsletter, which made a plea for Christian love among the brethren. The article seemed timed with the his friends' exposure and the beginning of his exposure. The article forced the impression that Christian love is better connected with apostasy and error than it is with public rebuke and exposure of the same.
In the article, this defender of Christian love proceeded to use words such as "religious headhunters," "cannibals," and "religious hobgoblins" (all in the name of Christian love) in order to describe those, who would dare expose apostates of this apostle of Christian love's liking. In nearly the same breath, the evangelist writer lamented that the "religious air is filled with name-calling." Jack's solution, in the name of love, is that God should pour out His "wrathful, consuming grace (?) to purge the forest clean." This is something we would expect Calvin to say as he allowed Servetus to be burned at the stake. The "I am allowed but you are not" philosophy is exhibited by many, who bandy about the word "love," which only means to them, do not say anything about my sins or my friend's sins. More than often, they exhibit less love and tolerance than those whom they upbraid for having a lack of love.
It is interesting that the scriptures never indicate that we should rebuke a brother for not having ENOUGH love or TOO LITTLE LOVE, for that would be a very subjective thing based on one's self measure and opinion. The scripture does allow the exhortation of the brethren to have love and to display love and for that love to be an active love not just in word only.
Now, often, amidst the condemnation
of "unloving" brethren (and there are many of those), the accusation of
"judging" is vainly jangled about. Now, to pretend to know a man's heart
or to know his complex temperament, which includes his faith, love, maturity,
spirituality, ability, grace, righteous indignation, and unique circumstances
is beyond each one of us and amounts to judging the accused "judge." This
is especially so, when a Christian is doing what the scripture tells him
to do in contending for the faith and marking and avoiding those contrary
to the doctrine of God's Book.
UNFEIGNED, GOOD CONSCIENCE
LOVE ABIDES IN THE LIGHT
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none OCCASION OF STUMBLING in him. -- 1 John 2:10
Let love be WITHOUT DISSIMILATION. ABHOR that which is evil; CLEAVE to that which is good. -- Rom. 12:9
Now the end of the commandment is CHARITY OUT OF A PURE HEART, and of a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and of FAITH UNFEIGNED: -- 1 Tim. 1:5 OPEN REBUKE is better than secret love. -- Prov. 27:5
It is clear from 1 John 2:10 that it is the one, who departs into darkness that is the unloving one and not the one, who abides in the light. It is the embracing of correct faith, doctrine, and practice that brings about love, not the discarding of faith, doctrine, and right practice. The love that is not the hypocritical, sloppy sentiment type love, the love that is without dissimilation. It is the kind of love that is unfeigned or an unpretended love. It is he love that abhors evil and the love that cleaves to that which is good. We are persuaded that turning one's head and looking the other way is not real love, something the Corinthian church did and were scolded for by Paul. Open Rebuke is better than secret love.
The characteristic of a Bible corrector or an apostate is that he must pretend to be sound. He will go to great lengths to defend his fidelity at first. After he has an army at his side, he no longer has to pretend and will become bolder in his departure from the faith. The Bible believer, however, has charity out of a pure heart and faith unfeigned. How any one could even suggest that the so-called love that is extended to apostates and heretics is Bible love is beyond us. Everyone knows why folks join hands with Ahab; it is to extend and enlarge one's own program and outreach. When you think that you cannot go and grow by legitimate means any more, you begin to look at the illegitimate means, hence the compromise.
The conscience can be overridden
or even seared according to 1 Tim 1:5. Baalam, David, Saul, Jehosaphat,
Saul, and even Peter, and Paul evidenced this in there lives. Some recover,
but many do not. Compromise strives to not allow anything to arouse that
conscience. The trick is to (1.) ignore your critics (2.) Criticize your
critics (3.) portray yourself as one, who is persecuted 4.) Take a strong
stand on something else to get the heat off yourself and your sin (4.)
try to appear like you are defending someone else instead of yourself.
But those, who defend the Bible, right doctrine and practice, can have
love that is out of a good conscience.
THAT KEEPS HIS COMMANDMENTS
AND HIS WORD
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. -- 1 John 5:2,3
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. -- 2 John 1:6
If ye love me, keep my commandments. -- John 14:15
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. -- Psa. 97:10
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. -- 1 John 2:5
He that loveth his brother . . . and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. -- 1 John 2:10
Criticizing and finding fault with God's holy and faithful word is not love. Those, who readily hear the word of God and keep it are those, who are perfecting their love. Along with perfecting love, they have a strong assurance of their salvation and are able to give a solid testimony of that salvation. Placing a stumbling block in front of believers, especially young believers and young converts is not BIBLE LOVE.
The professing brethren, who apostatize and compromise the truth of God's word and commandments are the ones, who do not love the brethren, not the ones, who endeavor to walk circums- pectly. It is the looser brethren, who do not love the brethren. They are the whiners and complainers about the lack of love not as Peter or his friends, who took the rebuke, when Paul rebuked them for their compromise, dissimilation, and occasion of stumbling that they place before other believers.
Paul was never charged with being a "religious headhunter" or "cannibal" or wielding "word-weapons" against his brethren to satisfy his own selfish cause. Neither can we find and scriptures that accuse Paul of taking the sword without pity to Peter, Mark, the Certain liars and slo-bellies, Hymenaeus, Alexander, Hermogenes, or Demas. We cannot find the passage that condemns or likens loving John to a "cannibal" for his exposure of Diotrephes.
While we would agree that wars among the brethren are undesirable, we do not agree with our brethren's opinions as to the cause of those wars. It is the compromising and apostate brethren, who trouble Israel not the defenders of the faith. Wars are like the poor, we will always have them with us. Now, one place wars do not belong is in our local churches. There is where the unity belongs. Let the wars be fought in Christendom. Still, there is no way that shepherd pastors, who love their flocks, are going to be silent and stand by and allow radio, T.V., and newsletter personalities influence their members or their seminary students or young people in the ways of compromise and apostasy or who puts stumbling blocks in their way.
National prestige demand national responsibility and the sowing and reaping and exposure that goes with it. If a man can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. If a man is a true servant of God, No weapon that is formed against him shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against him in judgement shall be condemned. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. If you are accused unjustly, God knows about it and will take care of it. BUT if the charges are true, buckle your seat belt here or look out for the judgement seat or worse.
Still, as far as the love that
the compromising, apostate, and modernists talk about, we do not regard
it as Bible love at all. Such love, such marvelous love . . .