Christians Persecuting Other Christians

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Many Christians suffer persecutions in their daily walk with Christ.  This should not be surprising.  Jesus predicted it for those who believed in Him (John 15:20) and the Apostle Peter told the church that they should not be surprised when they suffer insults because of their faith in Christ (I Peter 4:14).  What is surprising is that other Christians receive persecutions – and some of the fiercest at that – from other Christians.  This ought not to be so.

We are told to put on the whole armor of God and to protect ourselves from spiritual attacks (Eph 6:10-18).  The only offensive weapon mentioned is the sword which is the Word of God.  This weapon is intended to fight off spiritual attacks from wicked spirits but all too often believers wield this weapon against other Christians, however this is not the intended use for this weapon.  The last thing that Christ would have us to do is to attack other Christians using the Word of God (Bible).  Yes, we should challenge false teachings and false gospels when we see them and the Bible tells us that there will be many of these in the last days, but we are not to attack each other over non-essentials.  When Christians fight with each other over things that are not central to the gospel of Jesus Christ (Calvary, Jesus atoning sacrifice, etc.), then we send a strong message to unbelievers – that we can not even get along with each other.  Where is Christ in that!

Christians Persecuting Other Christians
Some Christians go so far as to sue one another in a court of law. This grieves God greatly.

Some Christians go so far as to sue one another in a court of law.  This grieves God greatly.  The Corinthian church was so carnal that they were fighting and arguing over who had the best spiritual gifts, even though these gifts were from God and not gifts that they themselves had developed.  The were suing each other too, as Paul angrily stated in I Corinthian 6:5-6, “I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!”  By doing this in full view of non-believers, we shame the reputation of Christ.  We are redeemed, but many times we don’t live like the redeemed and we don’t reflect the Redeemer.  Gandhi once said that “I love your Christ…it is your Christians that I don’t like very much.”  This is because he saw the two-faced nature of many believers.

Knowledge Puffs Up

I receive a lot of emails.  I have people occasionally contact me and say, I am wrong.  One person actually told me that I was going to hell because of what I believed.  Another told me that he went to Bible College and that he was wiser now being almost 60 years old and that I didn’t know what I was talking about.   The point is that God anoints people, not degrees.  The more a person learns about the Bible, the greater the danger that they can become puffed up by that knowledge.  Knowledge can often make a person full of pride.  I had a professor in my Master’s Degree course who said that “No one in my class can get an A…no one is that smart!”  You could not tell this man anything I was sure.  The day that we feel we can’t learn from another Christian is the day that we will stop growing in grace and knowledge.  I love the acrostic F.A.T. which stands for being Faithful, Available, and Teachable.  God must draw close to those who remain faithful, are available to be used by Him, and have a teachable nature.  For me, the more I have learned about the Bible, the more I see just how much I don’t know yet.  The Bible is an inexhaustible source of knowledge that in a hundred lifetimes I could never master.

Paul battled with the carnal Corinthians who felt superior to each other over gifts and over knowledge.  Paul knew considerably more than they did but he did not flaunt it over them.  Paul said “We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know” (I Cor 8:1-2).  Pride was the cause of Satan’s fall.  He was lifted up and wanted to be over God Himself.  Pride is essentially at the root of all sin.  God resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble. Literally, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6, Prov. 3:34).

He Who is Not Against Us is for Us

Jesus saw some petty jealousies even in His day.  His disciples came and told Jesus that others were teaching and preaching in His name.  They approached Jesus with the attitude of “How dare they!”  Jesus said “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50).  Aren’t we really on the same side?  Don’t we all need to get along?  Instead, we fight over peripheral issues that are not essential to salvation.  I heard it put this way, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  That should be Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Paul boasted to know nothing else by Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Cor 2:2).

Some argue that unless you have spoken in tongues you have not been truly filled with the spirit.  Others believe that anyone who doesn’t believe in the rapture is wrong.  Still others believe in healing ministries today while others disagree; some churches believe in tithing, others don’t; some believe it is wrong to eat pork, others disagree; some worship on Saturday while others worship on Sunday; some believe in the Millennium while others do not.  I told a church I visited once that some are millennialist (believe in a thousand year reign), some are amillennialist (no Millennium), and so on.  I told the congregation that I was a pan-millennialist; that it will all pan out in the end.

Love One Another

Jesus said that a house divided can not stand…and Christians are sometimes divided over issues that are not central to Calvary.  The Body of Christ should not be divided against itself, yet many times we are attacking each other over beliefs or any belief that differs from ours.  I love to quote the saying, “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.”  This means that above all things should be love.  We all have differences…yet these differences should not make us divided; they should make us complete.

Paul spoke about the gifts of the Spirit and said that the hand can not say to the foot that I have no need for you…or the eye can not tell the ear that you are not needed.  No, we all need each other.  We should be praying for one another.  Paul wrote in I Corinthians 12:25 “that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.“  Jesus told us that the world would know us if we loved one another – not if we argued against each other (John 13:35).  That is exactly what Satan must delight in.  What would Christ say to us if He returned to see that we are fighting over issues that are not essential to our own salvation and to tell others about Christ for the Great Commission?   I think He would honestly be ashamed of us or worse yet, angry that we can not get alone with each other.  He expects that from those who don’t have the Holy Spirit – but for believers who have Christ in them?

The book of Romans has much to say about living with differences among Christians.

Romans 14

1 “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”

4 -6  “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.”

10  “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”

13  “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

19  “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

22  “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.”

Romans 15

“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

The Apostle John spelled it out clearly, leaving no room for doubt about who are Christ’s: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (I John 4:20).   If we are constantly attacking other believers, then the love of God is not indwelling in us…and if anyone hates their brother or sister for their beliefs, then God says that they are a liar if they say the love God.  No one loves God and hates his brother or sister.  That is totally inconsistent with Christianity.  In I John 1:6, John is saying that we are living in duplicity or being a hypocrite if we say that we are in fellowship with God and yet do not live like it with other believers: “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”  Can it be any clearer?  Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies; how much more should we be praying for other believers and loving one another?

I remember having sword fights as a boy.  We were quite swashbuckling as we fended off the pirates, but when Christians wield the sword of the Word of God (Bible) against other Christians, then we are misusing the only offensive weapon in the armor of God at our disposal.  Instead of fighting off the enemy, we are attacking each other and wielding our sword in a sense of superiority (pride) because of our knowledge (which puffs up and makes us vain).   I hope I do not prove my point but I must wonder if this article initiates persecution.  It truly would not surprise me….but may the love of God forbid it.

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh November 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Jack,

It is so important for Christians to remember we are brothers and sisters in Christ and to love one another! What a great article here. A great reminder and good analogy at the end about sword fights as a boy. Thanks for your great writing and ministry you do brother!

Josh

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Jack Wellman November 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Thank you Josh. I am saddened by the intensity of attacks sometimes. I would pray that Christians and denominations could be unified in the work of the Great Commission. The church is the only organization that is intended to have a cause outside of itself…to share the gospel with others. I so hope that we can work together in this similar goal. Thank you for your comment Josh.

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Eleanor Vieau January 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Jack, what you wrote on your article makes sense. I just experienced something like this in a ministry that began from the leader. It was rather strange that he initially was sort of nice to me, although I sensed that he is the type that will turn against you, one of those that you have a question mark on. It seemed coincidental that it was not until I befriended a humble and giving lady where suddenly, he became aloof and suspicious. To make a long story short, he began to point finger about me on violating whatever rule he made up in his head. I grew up in the ministries, and despite the problems we have in the church as one, or churches (separate buildings), I have never experienced anything like this. Spending years volunteering on a mega church with international folks as volunteer writer interviewing visitors worldwide and writing about their story, naturally leads to friendship, etc. Well, sad to say, this is a no, no. If you even have the mutual exchange, that is also a taboo. The rule is that you do not get and likewise you do not give out. In the first place, as “wise” Christians, we are to exercise wisdom. And so why should we do something foolish. Are we to condemn the mutual exchange based on establishing friendly relations or do we do it for the sake of it that I could see makes no sense. Why would you do such a thing? And why would you freely want to give out your information? On the other hand, if there is a mutual exchange, would it be ludicrous for a member to ask the leader permission and let them decide what to do and what not? It is volunteer, not paid position, yet should not matter. The Biblical commandment that should surpass man’s opinion is to judge wisely, sound judgment, or discernment which a law cannot save our day to not be ensnared by the lurking, potential enemy without thinking prior taking action. Granted that there is ethics that we have in conscience, and I do not know of any church regulation unless the ministry leaders are modern-day Pharisees of Sanhedrin whose forefathers took the Law of Moses and added to them known to us as the Mishnah, e.g. if you happened to be out in the field plucking corn to eat because you’re hungry, you violated the Law of Moses because that represents work. What the Pharisees mean is that you plucked the corn, period. What their rule stipulates is that you needed to harvest the corn BEFORE Sabbath so that it does not predicate work. Well, how realistic is that. Things happen that you don’t anticipate. Would you say, “do not leave home without food?” Even if you did, big deal. Are we to worry about petty stuffs, to be enslaved by what you must do or should not do to arrive to perfection; in other words, meet their rules and regulations so that you do not mess up. Ironically, the Bible said that if you break “one” law, you broke all of them (Mt 5:19-20).

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Jack January 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Eleanor, what an insightful commentary that I wish I had the wisdom to include such examples as the religious leaders. Well done. I truly believe that no church has all truth and that every church has some doctrinal errors, given the fact that they may be unaware of them.

The universal church of Jesus Christ, worldwide, has such a variety of customs and intricacies that we must have grace for those who are different from us. Truly I feel that they only place we can call churches out are when they compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is that we need to repent, turn from our sins, place our trust and faith in Jesus Christ, and join a Bible-believing church. Its sad that we “sweat the small stuff” and wield the sword (the Word of God) against each other. Aren’t we on the same side.? Thank you for adding such important information to this article that I wish I had the foresight to include. May God richly bless you my friend Eleanor.

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Daniel B. Suello February 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

Dear Friends,
Here is something I discovered on my quiet time. God has opened my eyes as I continued to read it. You bet, this could happen anywhere. Please read and share.

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Jack February 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thank you so much Daniel for your comment and for visiting our website. I agree, this happens all to often and it is Christ Who is most displeased. The Body of Christ (the church) should not be attacking one another.

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Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Your post are being reposted in CBN discussion groups by Jas. MyCBN has been notified about this problem. Your post are not be used in a good light. The Discussion Group is Questions & Answers. The topic is SELF-APPOINTED JUDGES REVELING IN THE TIME BEFORE JUDGEMENT DAY.
Here is the link http://my.cbn.com/pg/groups/world/?filter=active

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Jack Wellman July 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Thank you for letting us know. I clicked on the link and it didn’t bring me to where I could find Jas but it simply brought me to mycbn.com. I could not find the Discussion Group with the Questions and Answers nor the topic you mentioned. Could you try to click on one of them and send us the url for it Anonymous? Thank you. This site is not allowed to repost any of our material since it is copyright material and all originals from this website.

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Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm
Jack Wellman July 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Anonymous. I found it. Much appreciated my friend.

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Pastor Gail August 10, 2012 at 7:44 am

Thanks for this article. Sad but the Church does not recognize the enemy. So we see the spirits of jealousy and envy, accusation, bitterness, and others manifested right in our Churches and families! Hosea 4:6

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Jack Wellman August 11, 2012 at 10:13 am

Thank you pastor for your comment. The saddest part is that we receive more persecution here at this website from other Christians than from atheists and agnostics. What shame to the cause of Christ this brings.

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Pastor Gail August 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

One of the very reasons why the Church has the same proportion of disease as the unchurched!!

3 John 1:2 2Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Souls is the mind will emotions…we get up to 60,000 thoughts a day…taking thoughts captive is not a suggestion it is a command.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/3-john/1-2.html

Rom2:13 For it is not merely hearing the law That makes one righteous before God but it is the doers of the law (Moral Law of Christ) this law was NOT done away with! who will be held guiltess acquitted and justified. Matt 5:17-18

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Barry Lewis September 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I really enjoyed reading this article. It put to words my basic beliefs regarding how we, as Christian’s, ought to treat one another. For that matter, it helps clarify how we should behave in general around Christians and non-Christians alike.
God is the only one who’s judgement counts. We all should be helping one another to learn to love one another, so that we all may benefit from our efforts to please our Father and bring light into this dark world.

Thanks again for the article!

Barry

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Jack Wellman September 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Thank you Mr. Lewis. I agree. When I witness to the lost I get some persecution but truly the most severe is from other so-called Christians but it reminds me of those religious leaders in Jesus’ day. They were the most severe persecuters of Jesus than were open sinners. Somethings very wrong with that. I am busy enough judging the man in the mirror and find him wanting! LOL Thank you sir.

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Marleena October 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I have question? Where we go to church we all wanted to make somthing for our pastor. The decon and usher are in charge of putting every thing together which they are doing. but there are two person in our church that don’t agree on a pastor that got invited to come and perch that day. they wanted someone else to come and perch but the decon already decided on this. These two person are new at our church they want stuff there way all because their pastors came to support our pastors came and they think they could come control everything. what could we do about this?

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Jack Wellman October 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Hello Marleena. I know it sounds like they could be a problem but as members of the church, I would just let it alone. As a pastor myself, I realize that actually Jesus is the Head of the Church and He will discipline the members of the body where he sees fit. They should not be wanting to control anything because even the pastor, who has authority, is under the Great Shepherd. I think trying to solve it by talking to these “controlling” new church members would only make it worse. How sad that they are not actually being submissive to those in authority as Christ would have them be. That’s not a great example. Just pray for them is all I recommend.

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Jan Espinosa November 7, 2012 at 5:51 am

Thank you so much for your encouraging article. There’s nothing that seems to turn potential believers off more than seeing judgmental Christians, passing judgment on everyone who doesn’t believe exactly like them, and even condemning other Christians who love Jesus but do some things or believe some things somewhat differently. I was seeking some information about healing since I’ve been injured but am not fully healed yet, so I went to youtube. I had seen some videos of a certain mega-preacher; frankly I don’t know much about him except that some people have been healed at his meetings. I’ve also listened to another mega-preacher´s audios, which I like very much as he encourages us to believe that God can use us, he has a very positive attitude which is wonderful and helps me to be a more positive person, trusting more in the Lord, etc. I know he doesn’t talk much about the endtime (perhaps this is not his strong point or personal interest) and maybe he’s what they call a “prosperity preacher,” (personally I just see he wants us to have the faith to rise above the poverty level and even flourish financially so we have our needs and can share with others in need) but still I’m very encouraged by his talks and he presents things humbly. Well, then I saw a video of the first mentioned mega-preacher accusing the other one terribly with aggressive gestures and great anger. You can guess who I will keep listening too–the second one mentioned who I hear that never raises his voice at another Christian and fellow believer. I’m sure the first mentioned preacher must have some good in his preachings, but I will not know since after what I heard and saw, I don’t want to see his videos anymore.
“Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.”
Verses on gentleness:
Gal. 5:22,23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Ef. 4:2 e completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ph. 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
I really do wish and pray Christians would stop fighting among themselves, even within their own families. It’s so sad and goes against all the teachings of Christ, who gave us a sample, making Himself a servant to all.
I get kind of discouraged reading websites where Christians attack other Christians over what I would call petty doctrines.) Why can’t they just agree to disagree and focus instead on what they have in common, the love of Jesus? I try not to read those discouraging websites and comments anymore.
Again, thanks for your inspiring article.

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Jack Wellman November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hello Jan. You are so right….we ought to be living like Christians and the job descriptions are found in Romans 12 and 1 Cor 13 and we need to be praying for one another, loving one another, supporting one another instead of giving a horrible example to non-believers and fighting amongst ourselves. Your comment is so refreshing and I thank God that there are godly, Christian women like you out there.

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Michael Boyd November 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks so much Jack! A truly great article and the comments after are awesome as well! During this past election, I have been disgusted by the pride some of our fellow Christians have displayed. The use of the faith and certain Bible verses that were taken out of contect to promote their political ideology and to persecute other Christians have me wondering how strong their faith is. I have felt that regardless of who our worldly leaders are, that we of faith have little to worry about. What I am trying to say is that we have to trust God. Every time I say “deliver us from evil” I truly believe that! Thanks again!

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Jack Wellman November 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Michael, you are such an encouragement and I believe this article is preaching to the choir because based upon your comment, I don’t believe you would be such a Christian that would attack another. Amen, we must trust God and God is sovereign over all (including who’s in the Whitehouse) for nothing happens that happens that is outside of the will of God. Thank you Michael. I get the feeling that you are a Barnabas to all that you encounter and I thank God for Christians like you sir.

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Chris December 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I am really, really happy that i found this article and God bless you Jack for posting this up. It has been a major encouragement to me, because the past few weeks, my spirit has been heavy laden with issues other than the love of Christ and to read something like this is very humbling indeed. My heart aches for this evil world and i thank the Lord who has blessed me with a gift of discernment and knowledge, yet sometimes just as ecclesiastes 1:18 says “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief”, this can be difficult. Its just recently that i’ve felt like i’ve been getting a little carried away with this gift of knowledge and a little judgmental of other churches and certain members and their doctrinal beliefs, but we are called to be judgemental as long as it is in righteousness. Although the discernment i have received is a gift from God, i’ve allowed myself to be puffed up and this article has given me a new perspective on the church and what Christ wants from me. There are many scriptures when God tells us to Judge righteously, and that we must judge in righteous judgement, and when one opens up in judgement of another, its hard for other Christians to take it on board without taking offence. As Christians we should be humble in hearing what other Christians have to say, as we are all here to help one another, but we must do this in a gentle, meek and humble manner, not getting aggressive. Christians who yearn for sound doctrine will eventually stop judging righteously through fear of reprisal from fellow Christians and this could have a detrimental effect on the church. I give you apostle Paul as a perfect example of Rebuking other Christians in what we might call “petty things”, but these things are not petty when it is from the word of God, these things allow us to flourish within the body of Christ and stop us from stagnating. We must let Jesus and the spirit guide us into truth but be humble enough to accept that when he uses others to rebuke and reprove us we are not just simply arguing with pride, but we have the best interests of our fellow Christians at heart. Thanks again and God bless you from a fellow household in Christ.

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Jack Wellman December 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Chris, what a precious comment and so full of truth. You are spot on about knowledge that is comes with its own problems and it also tends to puff up the person and I am no exception. God resists me when I am like this and all too often, He has to humble me in one way or another and it is usually painful. I agree that we argue over petty issues and the non-essentials should never divide Christians for I believe Jesus is grieved, as is the Holy Spirit when we take up the Word of God and use it against a brother or sister in Christ.

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Shavonne Johnson April 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm

This article truly blessed me. I have been hurt deeply by fellow believers in Christ and it even got to the point where they begin to question my relationship with God without cause. Although I don’t walk around with a sign on my forehead reading I am a Christian believer, they all assume it off the bat. And it appears that after its known they begin to find ways to prove I am a fake or should I say find fault in my walk. I am not ashamed of who I am and I will proclaim his Word from the roof tops but that doesn’t mean that I have reached my peak or that I know it all. God knows that I stay on my face before him seeking direction daily. My questions was why would a believer attack another believer for no apparent reason. I have even had a believer tell me that God will not bless me, and that I had a long we to go. And that hurt. Everyone has long way to go as relates to God. I thank God that I know Jesus for myself and that I know that a curse undeserved will return back to the sender. But these are things that causes babes in Christ to go astray. And we have to stop playing God for there is only one true judge and its not us. Thank you again for this encouragement. Its amazing how God can take a message from almost a year ago and convert it into a right now word today. Keep writing and keep lifting up believers. God bless!

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Jack Wellman April 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Thank you so very much Shavonne. You are right…why would other believers attack other believers and how dare someone say that God won’t bless you. I am stunned by that. That person needs to be on THEIR face and to repent. We will all stand before God and give an account for how we walked with Christ and that person will be responsible for such harsh words.

Let me give you an example about why we should never attack fellow believers unless they are creating division or heresy like Jesus was not God. Jesus asked Paul (who was Saul at the time), “Why are you persecuting me?” He didn’t say why are you persecuting the church or members of the church. No. When we attack members of His body, the church, we are attacking Christ actually. See why I say that. If believers are attacked, they are actually attacking Jesus for He is the Head of the Church and we are members of His Body so when we turn on fellow Christians we are actually turning on Jesus! That’s pretty serious.

I am encouraged by your humility. God bless you my friend Shavonne. I wish I had you in the church I pastor. What a blessing you would surely be!

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sjd April 21, 2013 at 3:22 am

These 2 things I try to remember most of all when I have so many questions about the many of what seem to be contradictory teachings in the Bible. Love the lord your god with all your heart, mind etc. and love your neighbor as yourself. I see and hear people quote lines of scripture to justify every thing from slavery to killing those who do not believe in Jesus. However, if we just do these 2 things we would not do either of these. Nor would we persecute others or each other. It straightens out a lot of confusion when people become so enslaved by salvation by letter of law and forget that we are to love one another as Christ loved us. He did not think of himself, but gave his life to save and thus serve and love others.

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Saved2trek May 31, 2013 at 12:02 am

Thank you for this article. As a pastor I find myself occasionally coming across someone who loves to argue scripture “at” me. Phrasing/Semantics/Traditions are all up for grabs. They seem to feel good about trying to “trip” me up using a verse here or there.
I am greatful for God’s grace which gave me forgiveness, salvation, adoption and eternal life with/through Him. He saw fit to give me the spiritual gift of knowledge and brings to mind scripture when needed. They don’t seem to realize how taxing and time consuming their “arguments” are. I love these parishioners as much as those who calmly and reverently live Christ daily.
If I allow it to go on indefinitely, God’s kingdom is the loser. This energy should be spent reaching the unsaved. Again, thank you for this insightful article.

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Kathi June 3, 2013 at 2:33 am

I am saddened, however curious, as to how our State Governor will respond to an announcement made by our Pentecostal Pastor, thanking him for passing a law making it a misdemeanor to anyone who makes a commotion during a church service, that they can be removed and charged from and by the church. The example he used in having a 74 year old elderly woman with Alzheimer , who has sat in the same pew, in the same seat for the past fifteen years, removed from the church premises by law enforcement, because “she played her tambourine too loudly”, the week before. The same tambourine she has played most of those years. She was told by law enforcement that she would be charged with trespassing if she refused to leave. She was also informed by the Pastor, he would be filing a restraining order on her, so that she can not return to church. Anyone who has ever been in a Pentecostal Church would know that people freely and openly say out loud things such as “praise the lord”, “amen”, and “hallelujah” for examples. This is completely acceptable behavior. If we accept and allow this Pastor and Church this kind of abusive power, next time it could be your Mom, or your Grandma. How do I know???? Because it happened to my Mom. Please support us, with your thoughts on this. Now the church has filed charges on my Mom and I, yet they are the one’s who became physically violent. Prosecuting Attorney has done nothing to protect us. The church recorded this very sad event of violence and outright hatred. Please help us if you can. Thank you, Kathi

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Peter Beasley September 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hey Jack, to tell you the truth, i,ve been to busy running my own race…to be worried about what other Christians are doing, seeing people saved, baptized, discipled, running youth group, pastoring, worship leading, you know “the great commission”, but I had the unfortunate experience of following a negative thread on a ministry I love on FB & it was so slanderous & defamatory that you could just smell the judgmental critical spirit coming off it….so I entered in,.. & said…how will people tell if we are Christians, what does a follower of Christ look like, what are the requirements….
Jesus said in John 13:34-35…“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, “so you must love one another”. By this all men will know… that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” what I see going on on this page is’nt love, it’s slander You know if you condemn, or put someone down really your just putting someone in a lesser light & this is the foundation of slander Listen Slander is saying anything that causes people to have a lesser opinion of another person….. theres an old saying that says…. Slanderers are like flies; they leap over, all of a man’s good parts & land on his sores
here’s some warnings in Scripture, about slander James 4:11-12…
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it.
When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge.
He alone has the power to save or to destroy.
So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Proverbs 10:18 ESV
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. Psalm 101:5 ESV
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy.

I’m out here…… something smells of a judgemental criticul spirit to me !
JUST MADE THIS ONE STATEMENT !

Oh Jack, some of them where like wolves saying stuff like Peter doesn’t like having his hypocrisies and sins found out and judged by the truth….from this one statement, MAN these guys don’t even know me….& if they can do it to me they can do it to anybody

I later had to repent… because I had sort of, judged myself, But the last thing I need is that stuff poisoning me

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Thank you Pastor. I appreciate your experience that proves what I have seen. Sadly, they are failing the real test of being a believer in Christ by what you quoted. I fear for many who are going to hear the most terrifying thing that they have ever heard in Matt 7:21-23 and by then, it will be too late. What comes out of the mouths (or typed words, the same thing) reveals what is in their hearts and I have a difficult time sometimes when I am getting bashed over things that I write and the Bible being my source. I too had to learn to stay away from the “wolves” (in sheep’s clothing?) as I was attacked viciously and these so called believers are denying what Jesus said that we will be known by…our love for one another. Thank you pastor for adding your own experiences.

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Daniel February 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hi Jack, God bless you! Your article has truly blessed me. I am only a new Christian for only a little over a year. If there is one major trick Satan uses to destroy the faith of newborn believers, is division. Division in knowledge, division amongst brethren, and seeing people who I believed on BOTH sides to be true Christians, with one side condemning the other and calling him a “hypocrite”, just because they have different beliefs on NON-essential doctrine. Another thing I hate is christians trying to “out-christian” each other, like it’s some competition, or trying to prove who’s the “true” Christian.

Anyway, my point is, I had to go through this, and I had to make a decision. An elder had a “calling” to start his own church, without any blessing or anointing from elders. I understand that the church is the body, not a building, but he has taken it to an extreme. And his followers, who used to go to our congregation, stopped coming to church, instead starting a small church. So I had to choose to Follow one or the other. This is the way I chose a side: the one who allowed me to choose, and wanted me to choose what God wants. And what he wants is in the Word of God. Submit to authorities, which includes elders and leaders in the church. and seek guidance from numerous brothers in Christ. Of the two sides, one only wanted the best for the other, and prayed for him and his followers. The other is critical of the other side and tries to use the word of God as a sword to the church. Now im not trying to condemn one or the other, perhaps God wanted both sides to go their separate ways. Perhaps to expand brothers to reach more people. I don’t know for certain. Only the leader knows, and God knows his heart. Im open to being wrong, but I believe strongly I have made the right decision. And your article has truly encouraged me and blessed me. Thankyou and God bless you.

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Jack Wellman February 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

Thank you Daniel. I sense such great humility in your words my brother. I think you did the right thing. The church that I am now under-shepherd of split and well over half went to the nearest town since they thought they couldn’t be in the same town. How sad, since as you said, we are the church and not the building and is Christ divided? No! I believe many will be ashamed at His coming when they will have to give an account how they pridefully divide over non-essentials.

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Mitch February 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

This was a thoughtful post. Thank you.

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Jack Wellman February 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Thank you sir. Believe it or not, this is a bigger problem in the church than you might imagine sir and so I thank God for you and for your encouraging words.

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Michael August 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

This article was right on point about everything pertaining to being attacked by other believers in Christ Jesus. I discontinued attending church building services because I kept being attacked by other Christians, lied upon. threatened, mistreated and not included as a fellow follower. I still spend time in prayer, meditating on the word of God, encouraging others and helping others as lead by the Holy Spirit. Just because I don’t visit a building does not mean that I have stopped functioning as a part of the body of Christ Jesus.

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Jack Wellman August 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Thank you Michael. What is so tragic about this is that I get more persecution from my many articles, not from atheist, agnostics, or those hostile to God but from Christians. Do you remember when Paul who was Saul at the time had Christ tell him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Paul was actually persecuting Christians but think about this…Jesus is saying that when you persecute them you are persecuting Me. When you do these things to them, you are actually doing it to Me. So we must be careful in how we treat other Christians for the way in which we treat them is the way that we are actually treating Christ. Does this make sense sir? Thank you for your gracious words.

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Lisaellen November 12, 2014 at 12:43 am

Ps Jack, It is sad but true and we are so surprised and blind sided by this, all the time. Jesus was a Jew and persecuted by His own. I think sometimes people just are too busy trying to be the voice of the Holy Spirit, that they don’t here the Holy Spirit. Or they look at life from how they think through life experience or from their understanding of what scripture says and not seek the precepts and the deeper mystery of the word. I learnt it is better to pray and truly love and care about others before I even open my mouth, even if I have discerned right. A gentle word can brake a bone and the words can be like salt in a wound. But Gods words are not void. Its religion that produces these seeds and not relationship, religion is law without love and is the dead letter, not the red letter of compassion, truth and understanding that comes from relationship. I have known at times Gods love has transcended these barriers when dealing with those who have persecuted me. It hurts but I ask God to help me lay it down and help me love them, because those who are very unlovable at times are truly the ones who need it most. Even if it is just falling on our knees and praying for them asking for Gods heart for them and for the Father to soften their hearts because I realized hurting people are hard on themselves and others. Bless You 🙂

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Jack Wellman November 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Amen Lisaallen. Yes, I agree, they are blind to what they are doing and it reminds me of those who think that they actually are doing a service for God but actually harming the Body of Christ. I remember when Paul was struck down on the Damascus Road that Jesus said that he was persecuting Him, meaning that when we are attacking believers, we are actually doing it to them. Perhaps they never think of that. What a tender heart you have my sister in Christ…praying for those who attack you. Wow. How special and solid evidence that you are walking with God, being Christ-like and being lead by the Spirit of God!

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Pete Beasley November 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

Matthew 12:36… I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,… blessings Jack very thought provoking piece !

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Jack Wellman November 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Well said Mr. Beasley. What you wrote reminds me of Jesus saying that at the judgment we will all have to give an account for every idle word spoken and I believe this means believers too…I can see you have the same belief on this topic as I. Thank you sir for your encouragement and may God richly bless you for being my “Barnabas” today.

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Pete Beasley November 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

Could be very embarrassing for some !

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Scott E. March 28, 2015 at 11:13 am

Thank you for your post Jack and the others encouraging posts. I have been blasted by a new believer in the last few weeks on face book who once attended our church and has gone from turning from drugs and adultery to getting saved to within 6 months or so. From there now he has began accusing me of being a false teacher, a blasphemer, lazy and saying all manner of judgmental mean spirited comments. Never in 25 years of serving the Lord has anyone inside the fellowship turned on me and so brutally verbally attacked me. In this condemnation he would use scriptures about sinful men like in the book of Jude and try to rubber stamp me as one of these people with no evidence of any such behavior in my life. He would attack my vanities(hobbies) and call them Idolatry in the most baseless attacks claiming the bible as his proof. It really upset me but I know now the Lord has used it to help build me up so as to deal with future adversity.
Thank you

Scott E.

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Jack Wellman March 28, 2015 at 11:17 am

Thank you Scott…and I know what this feels like brother and that’s part of the reason I wrote it. Sad isn’t it? Wouldn’t Christ be so grieved to see brothers and sisters attacking one another when our true enemy is the Devil and not each other. God is going to use you brother…for something special I believe.

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Wendy May 28, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I Am devistated & astonished at the so called Christian churches in CA. I don’t know what is going on here? If it is a small town thing or what?
My husband moved myself & two young children here from another state where I was born & raised. Where there was a predominant religion which I managed to escape its twisted grips. And thought it was hard being a Christian there. I couldn’t have known just how wrong I was before now. My husband of then 9 yrs. brought me here with a plan in place to divorce me, in part to isolate me away from all I knew & CA super liberal laws. I have been devastated! My babies devastated by Coruption in legal system & weird non excepting shunning behavior of Christian churches Big & small in two Differant towns. This is equally if Not even more devastating than my husband leaving me in the middle of the woods with two small children, knowing nobody. And living with his 25 yr. old girlfriend 1/2 mile from where I was forced to move, to share 50/50 custody of our children. I have literally had people talk to me once & then never again. I’ve sat alone in church Sunday after Sunday even got my children involved in church sports & had everyone act like I’m invisible. I have considered ending my life, but cannot do that to my children. I honestly don’t understand or know where GOD is in All of this? I Am considering joining the Jehovah Witnesses Atleast They seem like they stand by their own. I’m sickened by all I’ve seen here for 21/2 yrs. & Pray God If It Is something Im doing to deserve this? It I get answers or straightened out soon or in the end. Devastated In N. CA.

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Jack Wellman May 28, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Hello Wendy. I am so sorry for this terrible experience. Think about your ex-husband’s eternity. He will spend all time in God’s wrath (Rev 20:12-15). How can I say that? Because if you read 1 John chapter 3, he doesn’t seem to be a real believer at all. Also, if you join the J W’s, you’re going to be worshiping the wrong Jesus and if you don’t have the right Jesus, you don’t have the right Savior. Please don’t think that from your experience with, what was it, 2o r 3 churches, that all churches in California are that way. That is not so. If you join this J W cult, you will forever regret it I am afraid and like those church and the ones you mentioned in California, and the JW too, hear what Jesus will say to them…the “MANY” in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

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Lonnie June 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm

I had faithfully served my church 8 years. A series of bad things suddenly happened all at once. None my fault. The church turned their backs on me. They knew my fruits from 8 years. But they believed every lie and treated me like DIRT. A horrible violent man did everything he could to destroy my work, and right in front of the pastor shook his fist in my face when I had not even opened my mouth. The pastor and his wife took the man’s side and began a shunning campaign. I left the church. I lost all my friends because of bad things that were results of other people’s sins. My reputation is ruined. Yet no-one even considered the fruits of the people responsible. I am terrified of trying to attend another church because everyone in the area knows everyone else. Their lies will follow me.

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Jack Wellman June 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

How tragic…and they will be held accountable…God will avenge all of this my friend in Christ. This must grieve the heart of Christ Who is the Head of the Church.

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Zsha September 22, 2015 at 1:06 am

Thank you Pastor for sharing this article. I am a Catholic and loves the Word of God. I have been in a faith community for a long time and when i moved to another place, I started a small group to share the Gospel but was persecuted. I have read persecution in the Bible, heard from news and other bros and sis but i did not know exactly what it is or how it feels to be persecuted. I am only used to people leaving the community when they can no longer stand the righteousness of God but this one was different.

Ephesians 6 was indeed a powerful defense. I did not feel God’s presence and the Word of God did not come into my mouth. I was silently praying for God’s protection and rebuking the evil in the Name of Jesus. The more the evil cursed me, the more that i blessed Him…he was teaching me to be proud but the more i humbled myself…he was in rage but i was answering kindly. The threat of destroying me was there but it did not bother me, and every lie said unto me i rejected inside me…and more. That gave me the reason to pray all the more for them.

My prayer partner was so disappointed about how i handled the situation and has practically forsaken me. That created me to doubt if i truly acted in God’s righteousness. I asked God many serious questions and truly God is faithful to His Word and promise. I asked Him why He has forsaken me and He gave me Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I asked God why He did not put His Word into my mouth and He answered me, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8), I asked why why He allowed this to happen and He gave me, Psalm 23 “…You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” God continued to assure me that He saw everything that had happened by revealing to me every sin of tongue present during that night…The devil continued to pester me and I have to make a radical decision whether to trust God’s Word of theirs and i have chosen to trust God eternal Word.

One early morning at around 2am, i was awakened by a loud voice telling me to worship God, followed by another voice of a friend and so i did worship God early as 2am and when i opened my Bible, He gave me Isaiah 55 to show me that His thoughts and ways are different and higher than mine. Later that day, i felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to worship God and so i told my husband to grab the guitar and worship God and so we did and when i opened my Bible, God showed me Matthew 5:11-12 on persecution and the great reward in heaven. The verses exactly described my experience and it was on then that i realized that i was persecuted.

Another restlessness came to me when God was telling me to “do not trust them”, “do not be partakers with them”, “let no deceive you”. I asked God if if these are really coming from Him. It took me a while to obey God on this because i was expecting a more merciful and loving God who will tell me to bring them back. I do not have a spiritual director here and i was scared to tell anyone that i might be branded as gossiping or tell anyone what God has revealed to me as i might be putting God in a bad face…Until i just surrendered to Him and honestly told Him that I do not want to die and He judges me for failing to bring these people to Him but just tell me exactly what He wanted me to do and i will just obey it. He gave me, 1 Cor 15:33-34 ” Do not be deceived:
“Bad company ruins good morals.” Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

People may see me to have failed but that does not bother me because my obedience to God is my ultimate expression of love to Him. No experience is ever wasted when used for God’s Glory. God revealed to me His words on sins of the tongue and am now writing a book on this to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation. Let God be praised!

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Jack Wellman September 22, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Zsha, this is so true. Thank you for opening us up to much truth and yes, let God be praised!

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Tony February 23, 2016 at 3:12 am

I appreciate your point of view and relate to it in my heart. I am 41 and want to repent to Jesus for my sins, eventually be baptized and live a holy life so that I may be accepted into heaven. I love and appreciate Jesus in my heart and I pray for Jesus to help guide me so that the Holy Spirit may start to work through me and better my life. I see where this world is headed and I understand that there is much more important matters at hand. I see evil at work in me and my family and friends. I just want to start a new life in the name of God. Recently I was thinking about joining a Catholic Church, not because I have a preference, but simply because I have some close friends that are Catholic. My Catholic friends said I need to go through the Initiation and would be baptized the following Easter. When I mentioned this to some Baptist friends of mine they immediately jumped on the Catholic Church and I was exposed for the first time to what your article mentions. This made me feel uncomfortable, as I have always been weary of churches and judgmental people in the past. I have been reading the Bible and seems to me that God is the only one capable of doing any judging on anyone’s beliefs. If I could ask you one thing, it would be a recommendation on a good church. One that doesn’t have a lot of controversy, is friendly and teuthful. I was recommended The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name. I did some research and that doesn’t feel right either. I’m confused and I want to be baptized as soon as possible.

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Amy Frank May 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Well I left the church or Christ for 20 years because I was new to Christ and I just couldn’t take the wars that went on. Now I am Christian again but I’m not able to do any good. I have heard over and over again I am not in their church so I am not Christian. And I had a bunch of ladies walk out of my crochet ministry because I would not join their church and wear clothes like they wear. Right now I feel very alone.

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Katie June 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Oh Amy, my heart aches for you. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much, and just like earthly fathers don’t like seeing their children hurt one another, neither does our Father.
But, we have to trust our Daddy to discipline the siblings that misbehave. It’s not our job…we have to continue walking in love towards these people, even when they hurt us.

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:32-36 NLT

Amy, I pray you can find a good church home where you can be in true community with other believers. No church is perfect, but remember that our Father never changes and His love for us never ends. He loves you so much.

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Holly July 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Christians should never persecute Christians. The persecution is mainly coming in from the Christians who are caught up in apostasy rejecting Christians who are still following the gospel. The attitude has become “Jesus never taught that.” I want to be corrected in love when I’m wrong. But please stop telling me that I’m not living what Jesus taught when I stand up for the things of God that are being dragged through the mud, compromised and changed.

I should be able to lovingly tell non-believers there’s a better way without other Christians calling me a bigot and a hypocrite. Jesus DID teach to speak the truth in love, pull some from the fire, reprove, rebuke and exhort.

Since when is correction hatred or error concerning the things of Christ. Jesus also taught to not be deceitful with the gospel and provide things HONEST in the sight of ALL men. So who is any Christian to “rebuke” another for practicing these things?
Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

We can’t become a tribe of Judas’s so the world is more accepting of us. Jesus said if the world hate you, know it hated me before it hated you. Sadly, his very own has joined in the game.

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Jack Wellman July 7, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Great points Holly. Spot on. Thank you.

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Pamela July 7, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I have been praying to God for some things and it seems every time I turn around there is an article trying to discourage me. Only thing is this time these articles don’t feel like they’re from God trying to warn me not to expect my prayers answered the way I want but rather of the Devil trying to deceive me. He’s trying to trick me (and others as well) out of holding fast to our faith. It’s not actually that often. but every time I see one of those articles it makes me mad. In the past I’d become upset but not anymore. This time around I know my prayers of marriage and children WILL COME TRUE! And that the devil knows this and is desperate to have me lose faith that God will bring about these miracles. Miracles DO require an extraordinary amount of faith. More than any other type of prayer. So the weaker our faith, the less likely God will answer the prayer. But like the stubborn woman who kept bothering the judge day after day I know God WILL answer these prayers. These prayers AREN’T going anywhere. Not This Time!

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Aimee Fernback July 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Thank you brother Jack, for this article…something I have been pained by as a Christ-follower for a long time. People writing the most awfully mean things about other Christians’ ministries, other denominations, etc. One comment I read today bashed a Christian teacher for her belief that God loves and will save (Christians from a large denomination) too. All I can say is, you have hit the nail right on the head, and the Scriptures are very clear that we are to walk in love by the Holy Spirit. Not in petty divisions or outright meanness as is too often the case. It is God’s to judge…He alone is perfect in righteousness and the rest of us…are not.

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Lynn McBurney October 26, 2017 at 3:26 pm

A Christian pastor turned me over to the devil for refusing to give him money in 1988 and since then I have been getting attacked by demons and cursed by people. I found out the people cursing me are Christian’s. Please pray for me and break that pastors curse and free me of the devil. I have asked other Christian’s to pray for me but no one has ever done it. Christian’s have cursed me so much that they have driven me from the church.

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Jack Wellman October 26, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Hello Lynn. I will pray for this. What a terrible situation.

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Winston Gold November 1, 2017 at 2:33 am

Thank you Pastor for your encouraging post.

I would love to find an article explaining how we should not go to court as the lawyers end up taking all the money from both parties in the law suit.

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Jack Wellman November 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

Hello Winston. I agree…the lawyers are the ones who are, in most cases but not all, getting a lot of money in these settlements. I had not thought of that sir. Thank you.

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Came Veal June 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

This article really put some things into perspective for me. Thank you very much. Very true and practical with the Word to back every argument.

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Mark Pearson July 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Hi: Good article. What about the issue of seeing a Chrisitan friend who is marching at a pro-abortion rally? I have some distant friends who I’m seeing post pictures of evil men and their participation in abortion rallies and supporting other liberal beliefs that are against scripture. I carefully and as gently as I could emailed asking why the support abortion, as a fellow Christian, and they attacked me insulted me, saying I was rigid, black & white, and limited, etc. Terrible. But he never explained why he believed in his actions. I kept up decorum and apologized that he seemed to misunderstand, etc, but he kept up the attacks on my character. Bizarre! He claims himself to be a liberal-Christian, which I also don’t understand. So your article emphasizes, the attacks for non-essentials, but someone who said they were a friend (a christian friend), who says he loves God, then believes and shows he believes in abortion, and evolution, and the persecution of Jews, is a different matter. I feel at least I said something, but he and I clearly cannot be friends, and I gather I need to shake the dust off my feet — ie., let it go and not let it bother me? But it does bother me that he wouldn’t talk about it, but instead insulted me.

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Jack Wellman July 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Hello Mr. Pearson. Matt 7:21-23 comes to mind after reading your comment about your friends. How can a believer support abortion? That’s murder, so I am with you. There are no such things as liberal Christians, but there are lukewarm ones and they are in dire danger to me, presuming on God’s grace. That’s thin ice. You are right to be concerned about them. The short book of 1 John 3 shows those who don’t love others, even their enemies, are not the children of God. Many will say, “Lord, Lord,” but notice the same “many” are turned away. True it is, many are called but few are chosen. Pray for them. They might be false converts!

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