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Thread: What we say

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    What we say

    We as believers need to weigh our words very carefully. Too many times what we say and/or write can affect others more than we know and have more or less meaning than what we first thought. In another thread I noticed this happening and I thought it important enough to discuss. I do not bring it up to be nit-picky about anyone in particular because we are all guilty of it at times. This is just an example. Here is the quote:

    Like most spiritual convictions that I hold to, it came only after a long period of extensive study of and struggling with the Word.

    Predestination of all things #31

    I felt that it was proper to start another thread, since this topic doesnít deal with the topic that I took this quote from.

    I wanted to make a couple of comments. I donít do this to bring up controversy or show you any disrespect. We need to be very careful how we word our statements. How this statement is worded takes all the glory away from God and it all goes to you. I am not saying that you meant it that way, but it does come out that way. In fact, I commend your commitment and persistence. Most people just flip open a commentary and rely on another manís opinion instead of waiting upon the Lord for an answer. But that is just it, it is the Lord's answer. We can't try to work it out in and of our selves. ALL the glory goes to God and none to us.

    What I mean by that is this. ALL of Godís truth can ONLY be taught by the Holy Spirit. It doesnít matter how much study anyone does. If they do not have the Holy Spirit directing and teaching them, then it is to no avail. We see this all the time with the so-called seminaries. These men spend hours and hours a day just studying the Bible. They spend hours and hours a day studying about the Bible. They spend hours and hours a day studying the history of the Bible and God's people. And yet, they send out dead men walking all the time. Sure, they have a head knowledge, but they don't have a heart knowledge. It doesnít matter how much worldly knowledge one has, if the Lord has not given them eyes to see and is directing them, then all they will do is deceive and misdirect.

    Donít get me wrong and misquote me. I do believe that we are to study the scriptures. Scripture is very clear that we are "to study to shew thyself approved." But most people have this backwards. We do not get approved because of how much study we do. We study because we are approved and that is how we show it. We are also told to test all things and hold on to the true. So, yes it is clear from scripture that we are to study. But we can take no credit for any truth that has been revealed to us. It only comes from the Holy Spirit.

    One in hope,

    Tom



    Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
    Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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    Re: What we say

    Quote Originally Posted by hardshall
    We as believers need to weigh our words very carefully. Too many times what we say and/or write can affect others more than we know and have more or less meaning than what we first thought. In another thread I noticed this happening and I thought it important enough to discuss. I do not bring it up to be nit-picky about anyone in particular because we are all guilty of it at times.
    I agree that we should take care over our choice of words and it is certainly true that what we write can affect others in ways in which we did not intend. None of us should ever want to cause the least of our brothers to stumble nor would we want to fail to have "sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us ... showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior" (Titus 2:8,10).

    Having said that, I think we also need to own up to the possibility that we may also mis-interpret or mis-understand what others are actually saying and/or attribute false motives to them. We should therefore be concerned to take just as much care when we are trying to understand what others are saying. Rather than jumping to conclusions and immediately going on the offensive we should be charitable towards those with whom we appear to disagree by first confirming that we have understood them correctly. From what I have seen I would be inclined to say that I think that this is an even bigger problem.

    Of course, I cannot really comment on behalf of others but I will certainly admit for my own part that I have all too frequently posted without a prayerful, submissive attitude. Since we have our treaure in jars of clay, the clay will often corrupt not only our words but even our motives such that though we think we may be defending God's honor our deceitful hearts may shield us from seeing that we are just as much speaking from pride and/or a desire to defend our own reputation. Unlike the apostle Paul, I am also conscious that I can be much bolder in writing than in person!

    Nevertheless, in spite of all these weaknesses, I would like to make three observations:
    1. Such problems are generally much less here than most other on-line discussion forums I have seen;
    2. I cannot speak highly enough of the overally value of being able to interact with like-minded brothers and sisters in the Lord in this way. I have learnt so much and so much more quickly from 'hanging-out' here than I ever would by any other means;
    3. When I see such weaknesses as I myself am guilty of in the posts of others should this not serve to remind me and teach me more of my own sinfulness and of my need for a godly attitude at all times?


    Regarding the comment you made on the quote you gave (which I think was made by "Bill Twisse"):
    Quote Originally Posted by hardshall
    How this statement is worded takes all the glory away from God and it all goes to you. I am not saying that you meant it that way, but it does come out that way.
    I have to say I thought this was somewhat ironic because I completely fail to see what is wrong with this or what has led you to interpret it that way? Of course Bob (Bill Twisse) is more than able to defend himself but I couldn't help noticing that this is an example of what I have just been commenting on.

    Martin

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    Re: What we say

    I love this quote from John Newton

    Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles to the exercise of gentleness and moderation. . . . The Scriptural maximum, that "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God," is verified by daily observation. If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn, we may think we are doing service to the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit.



    Peace

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    Re: What we say

    Thanks for the good advise.

    I am going to do this "jump to opposition" thing. This is something that came up in another discussion and the phrase was used by hardshell so I am going to ask this because of the phrase.

    This idea of "head knowledge" vs "heart knowledge" is a bit beyond for me. The heart beats and pumps blood and is incapable of having any knowledge whatsoever. So ... Is not the difference being merely an "intellectual knowledge" vs a "God granted knowledge" which all resides within our heads or minds for that matter.

    I know I am being silly here but it sorta bugs me to hear someone say you have to accept Jesus into your heart or you have to have this knowledge in the heart.

    I too failed to see what was wrong with the quote used to demonstrate hardshell's argument. I don't think what Bob said necessarily took away Glory to God. Any spiritual knowledge that we are granted comes for the Holy Spirit and I think that is 'a given' especially among most of us in this forum.

    As far as saying things that maybe hurtful I fully agree that we need to pull back and remind ourselves that sometimes words are better left unsaid. I have been guilty of it at times.

    I too have appreciated being part of this forum. Most everyone is very helpful, kind and considerate. If you come to the forum with a ligitimate question or topic it is dealt with scripturally and honestly. Even when folks don't agree you rarely see personal attacks. When it gets to that usually someone (either the one offended) or one of the moderators is quick to correct. I really appreciate that as well.

    Hardshell .... I guess I am wondering if you are looking for some sort of "for the Glory of God" after each comment or something?

    Thanks to all in the forum for your help and guidance in my walk .... Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: What we say

    When certain statements are made, I doubt malice of glory grabbing is the intention.


    Quote Originally Posted by martin
    Having said that, I think we also need to own up to the possibility that we may also mis-interpret or mis-understand what others are actually saying and/or attribute false motives to them. We should therefore be concerned to take just as much care when we are trying to understand what others are saying. Rather than jumping to conclusions and immediately going on the offensive we should be charitable towards those with whom we appear to disagree by first confirming that we have understood them correctly. From what I have seen I would be inclined to say that I think that this is an even bigger problem.
    MArtin this is true, but also we must admit that it is our understanding that may be misinterpreted by ourselves.

    When I start out a point with "After considerable study and prayer, this is my conclusion" This smacks of self righteousness. As if the p[erson we may be debating with doesnt pray or study. I do nto intend that result, but it is present never the less.

    We must also be careful not to use the perverbial flea comb when listening. I have the tendancy to listen only in order to find out what is wrong with someones statements. And if I believe they error, I immediately bring out the rack.

    In our zealousness to defend God, we may be blinded like Paul. He thought he was defending God. DOing all that was required, then he was struck by our Lord and corrected. Isnt it ironic that Christ says in Pauls damascus journey, "Behold he prayeth" This caught me the other week because Paul would have thought he prayed for his whole life. But Christ makes this point as if it was the first time Paul prayed in his life. My point is to always show charity and understand others as well as ourselves.


    Joe

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    Re: What we say

    Thanks to all for your comments. I have nothing to add on this issue in this particular context.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: What we say

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    Thanks to all for your comments. I have nothing to add on this issue in this particular context.
    Bob; how can you say this? This statement robs the Glory from God.





    Joe

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    Re: What we say

    Joe, I believe this is another example of you using humor inappropriately.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: What we say

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Joe, I believe this is another example of you using humor inappropriately.
    Perhaps Brandan, My point is that Bob, would never intend to do that with anythign he says. IF anyone denies self and elevates God it is him. I did nto know this was an intense discussion and apologize.


    Joe

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    Re: What we say

    Joe, I agree with you. However, we must consider Tom's perspective even if we may disagree with it. I know Bob probably better than anyone on this website (excluding Milt perhaps) as I keep in touch with him offline. I know he believes all "five solas" and credits God alone for every blessing in his life. However, I have also spoken with Tom (hardshall) offline and know he believes the same thing. He is a brother in the Lord, and to make fun of him or his position is uncharitable in my opinion. Thanks Joe for understanding.

    Brandan
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    Re: What we say

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Joe, I agree with you. However, we must consider Tom's perspective even if we may disagree with it. I know Bob probably better than anyone on this website (excluding Milt perhaps) as I keep in touch with him offline. I know he believes all "five solas" and credits God alone for every blessing in his life. However, I have also spoken with Tom (hardshall) offline and know he believes the same thing. He is a brother in the Lord, and to make fun of him or his position is uncharitable in my opinion. Thanks Joe for understanding.

    Brandan
    Your'e very welcome brandan. I meant no offense to Tom personally. What he said is very true. Just using Bob as an example was off. Now if he used me, well that is a different story.


    Joe

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    Re: What we say

    I didn't mean to single out "BillTwisse" in particular. I just meant it with the quote.

    Brandan, thank you for your comments.

    Again, I meant no offense to anyone. I know that I have said things as well that I wish that I could take back because of the meaning that it brought that I had no intention on it meaning. With the comment that I quoted, it specifically said that he came to his conclusion due to his study. Where does the glory go? If the comment would have said that "through study, the Lord opened my eyes to His truth," then the glory goes to God. Again, just semantics, but sometimes semantics have a lot of importance.
    I knew a guy once who is now going to a "Calminian - Fullerite" church. He once told me dogmatically that anyone who truly studies God's word has to come to the conclusion of God's absolute sovereignty and the 5 points of the doctrines of grace. What I tried telling him was that he was wroing. Because those truths are spiritual and the natural man cannot comprehend them. They only can be taught by the Spirit of God.

    "BillTwisse" I apologize to you if you took this as a personal attack. I did not mean it that way at all. I have said those comments before and I still catch myself saying similar ones.

    One in hope,
    Tom
    Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
    Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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    Re: What we say

    Tom. I don't know if you positively mean to say that anyone who knows, understands, and believes "the 5 points" as well as God's absolute sovereignty has to be a true believer who has been taught of the Spirit. If this is your meaning then you are dead wrong. If this is your intent then you need to look carefully into 1Corinthians 2 again. Nowhere in the chapter is "spiritual things" defined. Nor yet defined as some 5 points.

    Whatever your intent was I would say that there have been thousands and again thousands of men and women who have held to the 5 points and God's absolute sovereignty, but who have died without the Spirit of God. Who have gone into a Christ-less eternity. Ultimately "the 5 points" are something that God through the Spirit has revealed in the Scripture to man. But I would not be dogmatic so as to say that all unregenerate men and women who have held to the 5 points plus God's absolute sovereignty were taught of the Spirit of God. I do not know if saying such would be any God-glorifying. I don't know if it is even a true statement to make. I believe men/women can learn the 5 points plus God's absolute sovereignty apart from having the Spirit of Christ as personal anointing and Teacher. I think you do agree. If you do agree then you see you should have formulated yourself more clearly from the start.

    As for speaking things which give glory to God I shall add a thought in brief. I know of people who have made seemingly pious and God-honouring statements, but who I know for sure were unregenerate. Paul was not impressed with "the word" (Gr. logon - word, expression, speech, diction etc.) of some in 1Corinthians 4, he was bent to learn their "power". Behind seemingly God-glorifying verbal expressions may often hide a wicked and evil heart of unbelief, which has no eye at all to the glory of God. A man may say, in pious verbiage, that he has arrived at this or that truth "thanks to God's Spirit". A discerning man may perceive that the person speaking is but a presumptuous boaster who wishes to appear righteous to men. Another man may in less pious words say that he has arrived at this or that truth through much struggle with the Scripture. He may for some reason not mention God or His Spirit. But a discerning man may perceive that God the Spirit has, after all, been there guiding him into that specific truth. Externally pious sayings may not tell the whole truth about a person. Let each who names the name of Christ judge righteous judgment, not according to outward appearance merely.

    No offence intended to you, Tom. Just wanted to try getting your focus away from the external.

    one with a little hope,
    Harald

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