What Manner Of Spirit Are You?
ome have missed the pathetic spectacle of a small
group of radical "believers" that were recently arrested after publicly
disrupting a service at a Catholic Church in Decatur Georgia. Two couples
in their twenties, apparently enraged at the apostasy within the Catholic
Church, disrupted the service as their leader ran up to the front of the
church, overturned a one hundred year old marble altar (which smashed into
pieces), and shouted "This is
idolatry, you are worshipping false ideas, and these are end times."
The zealots were
arrested, and no-one was hurt, but children were crying, and many were
shocked and terrified before the group was subdued by several men from the
congregation. It is unknown at this time what their religious affiliation
is, but it is clear their perspective is one of contempt for Catholicism
-- and the terms they used are common to "Christians" that are outside the
church. Regardless of what doctrinal stance these people have, the issue
demands a response.
actually addressed this very situation at
a key point in His ministry. As He sought to indoctrinate the disciples
concerning the Father's will for their lives as followers of His son,
Christ was to visit the Samaritans as he was en route to Jerusalem.
Luke tells the story:
"And it came to pass,
when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set
his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they
went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go
"And when his disciples
James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire
to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he
turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what
manner of spirit ye are of.
For the son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them"
At this point in the
LORD's ministry, the 12 had already been given spiritual power over the
devils (Luke 9:1). He had already walked on the water (Luke 8:25), raised
one young girl from her deathbed (Luke 8:2), and resurrected another that
had already died (Luke 8:49). He had been transfigured in the presence of
these same two disciples (Luke 9:28,29), so one might think they would
have a fair idea of what "manner of spirit" was indwelling them.
Because we live in a
time of great apostasy, many Americans that fancy themselves as followers
of Christ have come to believe that God desires action of His
people -- and in a very real sense, they are correct. However, the
preponderance of Scriptural evidence pointedly instructs genuine
Christians that we are not
the reapers -- the angels are.
are not the arbiters given a mandate to decide who is wheat and who is a
tare (Matthew 13:29). Indeed, in the wheat and tare parable, the LORD
flatly stated that role is
not ours as "lest
while ye gather up [read destroy] the tares, ye root up also the wheat
with them" (Matthew 13:29).
While Catholicism (and
so-called Judaeo-Christianity, and Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc) is
decidedly tare-like in terms of their belief structures, the LORD has not
given us the role of reaper (or in the present case, harasser), but of
those that bear witness to the light. "I will repay, saith the Lord"
This is not a blanket
call to a worthless passivity either, for Jesus, in a defensive
context, allowed the disciples to be armed in order to defend themselves
(Luke 22:38), and their families (I Timothy 5:8). However, those that
would use force and coercion to press their theological view upon others
clearly demonstrate they are not of the same Spirit of
God which indwells the
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ.
October 5 2005 -- James Lloyd
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