[ Today’s post is dedicated to the broken-hearted. ]
We go to a big church—every age, shape, and race. But our pastors often remind us: “There are two kinds of people.”
Rightly dividing the Word is their passion, and they know the Bible says that we cannot tell, among two kinds of people, who’s who: it may indeed seem obvious—but it is ultimately the LORD’s job to separate the wheat from the tares—and one Day, He will.
Cult leaders don’t get this; they act as the mouthpiece of God, declaring who is holy and who isn’t; and people get kicked out, or worse. I know first-hand; it happened to us. Thankfully, three years into being shunned, we yet have God’s peace.
But I continue to shout warnings on behalf of a remnant in exile. These are heartbroken Christians, ostracized by loved ones because a so-called elder wanted them gone—through a twisted interpretation of discipline and spiritual cleansing. These dear people are exiled for any reason convenient:
—- chided for non-compliance with elders’ manmade dictates for their family;
—- declared heretics for participation in certain community activities;
—- shunned for not shunning those who revealed leadership’s failures;
—- banished due to being falsely declared rebellious, discordant, or revilers;
—- slandered to keep from contact, lest they reveal the elders’ darkest secrets;
—- and the list goes on.
…In reality, it may be that these ignorant ousters are actually the ones in exile…
Jesus, the Friend of sinners, came to seek and save the lost; but, contrary to His example, separation practice is rampant through history—and it’s ugly. Instead of teaching faith in the Savior who brought peace on earth, they wreak unbiblical havoc: a power-hungry elite separating loved ones and wasting evangelistic opportunities.
Historically, such un-Christian divisions became so enveloped in darkness it resulted in multiple murders! Feuds under the guise of spiritual cleansing: the Salem Witch Trials: a quarrelsome community, elevating their judgments to the point of government-sanctioned killings. Nowadays Church and State are separate—but there are still the defeated, appealing to secular courts to solve church divisions. (Yikes.) Far from Christianity, any kind of witch hunt is rightly called “the rock on which theocracy shattered.”
So yes, there are two kinds of people. But as for who’s who, we don’t get to make that call. Do you see concerning behavior? Pray. Teach. But please don’t tell others that So-and-so is damned; you’re not the boss of that. Do you observe good deeds? Write a thank you note. But please don’t give assurance they’re saved; you’re not the boss of that, either.
So what *can* we do? This very day, someone might cheat us; hurt us; malign us. We are to turn the other cheek. If we do respond poorly, we apologize. Post a mighty guard against polarization! And whenever studying Scripture, we ask only what He is saying to the reader, and nobody else: we cannot know who’s who.
We are implored only to be reconciled to God and maintain peace—with Him and others. There are two kinds of people—be that kind.