Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lurking in the Darkness?

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-8)

What is walking in the Light? I need to look at e-sword to see if I can figure out the nuances of that phrase, but I have always thought from past readings that it meant something like “to be out in the open.” I think of “walking in the light” as being able to be seennot hiding. Walking in the light is just being what you are and not pretending to be someone who you are not. It is being honest about your sins and your struggles.

If I am correct about this, then the next part of the passage makes a lot of sense to me. “… we have fellowship with one another…” How can you have fellowship with anyone if you are hiding who you are? If you are keeping a secret sin from your spouse, for example, how do you ever expect to have intimacy? Or … If you have friends at church who know you as a reasonable, kind and loving Christian person … but when you go to work you act like a butthead and treat your employees like you think they are dog meat, you are not walking in the light. You are living a double life. Be more genuine and level that off a bit. Why not just be who you are in both places? Think about what you learned in the Bible when you are at work – it applies there! And on the other hand … Go to church and say what you really think, even if you sound like a jerk. Your godly friends might try to convince you of the ways of Christ, help you see the light and the Word of God can change your mind and actions. This could be fellowship! Hiding who you are is not helpful to you or anyone else in the body of Christ. It is like having a hidden cancer in one of your organs. A disease can’t be treated if no one is aware that it is there. This isn’t fair to the body of Christ … and in the earlier example of the husband and wife, this is not fair to your family. If there is something that you feel you just can't do "out in the open" ... then you probably shouldn't do it! Duh.

Phonies can’t have true fellowship. When two people are sitting face to face and one of them is being a phony, then the other person is having a conversation with an imaginary person. What an unfortunate event for both people. The deceiver is missing out on the friendship while he carries on the hoax ... and the unsuspecting friend is missing out on truly knowing the person whom he is investing time with. Honesty and truth is the springboard for love and intimacy. Deception is the seed of isolation. Both the deceiver and the deceived are wasting precious time that could be spent in fellowship.

“…and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This is the part of the verse that brings the solution to a head for our sins and struggles. Walking in the light and being honest about who you are … having real fellowship with others as they see who you are … this all allows for the cleansing, practical living out of the justification that Christ has purchased. Turn that rock over and let the blood of Christ wash off the slime. This needs to be done out in the light. When I hear of people trying to get past some of these sinful habits without telling anyone … keeping them a secret, I know they are traveling up a steep and slippery hill. We can’t do this in a dark cave. We aren’t meant to be alone. We have to come out into the light. The true fellowship will happen with those who really love you in the Lord … and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-8)
If you don’t believe this, then why say you believe the Bible? This is not a pious platitude; this is where the rubber meets the road.

Labels: , ,

28 Comments:

  • This is such a great post Rose. I really enjoyed it.

    I can see how some would want to hide their sin. I think if I were caught up in some major sin that I would do everything I could to get through it alone or with a select few. I would hate for my credibility as a christian to come into question among my peers and/or those who could learn from me. And I would hate for such exposure to ruin my witness to the unsaved. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that unrepented sin does need exposure in hopes that it would bring one to true repentence and healing, as has happened to some in the clergy.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/03/2007 3:41 PM  

  • Deception is the seed of isolation.

    Indeed...

    By Blogger Even So..., at 3/04/2007 12:17 AM  

  • Very fascinating that you posted on this topic at this time. I actually decide to venture out into the blogosphere and you post on something that is extremely poignant right now. Last night I found out that two of my friends have been keeping something a secret from the rest of us, ostensibly to avoid hurting another friend. The truth is that hiding it made it worse. Deception, for that is what intentional omission of this nature is, can never benefit anyone. Keeping things hidden is indeed a hindrance to fellowship and threatens to destroy trust forever. In this case two of one friends' closest three friends together chose to keep their actions in the darkness. I am the last of the three friends, which is an honor and a responsibility. I am also very close to one of the dishonest ones and I don't know how to behave yet.

    I have seen too many examples lately of Christians doing things that seriously hinder fellowship with other believers, and in all cases they were done to those considered close friends.

    When I left home the first time to go to college I made a commitment to be open and honest with myself and other people about my imperfect state. It was when I stopped trying to make people think that I had it all together that I started to really grow, and a lot of that growth happened when I confessed something from my past that I had never told anyone about. That experience was like light rushing into my soul when I finally let go of the little corner of darkness to which I clung.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at 3/04/2007 11:04 AM  

  • Wonderful post, it truly is "rubber meeting the road"

    Nothing can be debated on this post, Rose. :) Its content is very important to every believer......what theology do you get this from. LOL

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/04/2007 10:04 PM  

  • I think this post was right-on. It is very well written and very to the point.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/05/2007 7:57 AM  

  • Dawn,
    Thanks for reading. I do realize that discretion comes into play. I did not mean to say that someone should broadcast their dark secrets from the front of the church ... or tell their kids all the wicked things they do. I just mean that we all need to have AT LEAST ONE, at the very least, one person who is a believer who knows ... ON AN UPDATED BASIS ... what we are all about. A small group would be even better.

    I would hate for my credibility as a christian to come into question among my peers and/or those who could learn from me. And I would hate for such exposure to ruin my witness to the unsaved.

    Maybe I will sound uncompassionate, but my reaction to that is: why participate in the secret sin then? I guess maybe that is not practical. I can't help but think, though, how important is our ministry and our witness to us? Where are our priorities? Or ... maybe that is the wrong question.

    Just thinking...

    Even so,
    I do believe that deception puts the deceiver into a state of isolation. When you are hiding, you are all alone ... that is the point of hiding.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/05/2007 9:35 AM  

  • IBEX,
    Wow, I am glad that the post was relevant to something that you are experiencing. That sorta makes blogging all worthwhile. I am sorry for your situation. It is sad when you have to go through these things with friends.

    It was when I stopped trying to make people think that I had it all together that I started to really grow

    Amen, sister! I think many have discovered that. The pretend me can't grow because he isn't even real. The real me is in the dark and can't benefit from that which could help him grow! It is a vicious circle.

    That experience was like light rushing into my soul when I finally let go of the little corner of darkness to which I clung.

    How wonderful! I love to hear about these kinds of things happening to Christians. This is the beauty of walking in the light.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/05/2007 9:40 AM  

  • Kris,
    Do you ever read/listen to J. Vernon McGee? I stole two phrases in my last paragraph form the late McGee:

    *Pious platitude
    *Where the rubber meets the road

    I am glad you say that this can't be debated.

    what theology do you get this from

    1 John 1? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/05/2007 9:47 AM  

  • Bluecollar,
    Thank you! Thank you for visiting. I really appreciate your comment. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/05/2007 9:48 AM  

  • I mean Mark! (Bluecollar is a term of endearment to me, brother.)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/05/2007 9:48 AM  

  • Rose: "I just mean that we all need to have AT LEAST ONE, at the very least, one person who is a believer who knows ... ON AN UPDATED BASIS ... what we are all about. A small group would be even better."

    I agree, for the most part. For the record, I'm very open about my faults and sins. Though I don't talk about them to just anyone because there are some who may not be able to take it and it might cause them to stumble. I hope that makes sense. I'm not into any horrible sins (though sin is sin), but my flesh does get the best of me at times (e.g., anger, not reading the word enough, etc.).

    But let's take Jimmy Swaggart for example. I don't blame him for wanting to hide his sin. I can see where he wanted to try to deal with it himself and maybe get through it without anyone having been the wiser. Apparently he could not do it alone and God chose to reveal it to all the world. And it was a good thing because now (as far as I know) he's repented and has been restored. However, if he somehow could have repented without the exposure, I think it would have been a good thing. He would not have lost credibility with his peers, his congregation and the lost.

    Dawn: "I would hate for my credibility as a christian to come into question among my peers and/or those who could learn from me. And I would hate for such exposure to ruin my witness to the unsaved."

    Rose: "Maybe I will sound uncompassionate, but my reaction to that is: why participate in the secret sin then? I guess maybe that is not practical. I can't help but think, though, how important is our ministry and our witness to us? Where are our priorities? Or ... maybe that is the wrong question."

    In the case of Swaggart, if I somehow was caught up in sexual sin, I would do my best to keep it to myself and God and HOPE that I could get through it without exposure. Maybe I'm just plain wrong for thinking that way.

    I found out a couple of years ago that some people think that "crap" is a cuss word; therefore, a sin. I don't think it is, but since I've learned that some do believe it is a cuss word I try not to say it in front of people that I know feel this way or people who don't know me very well. So I "hide" the fact that I say "crap" from time to time from certain people. Probably, the ideal thing would be for me to expunge that word from my vocabulary so that I don't slip up, ever.

    I know some people who hide their smoking of cigars from certain others. They don't believe it to be sin, but others do. One person in particular is a Sunday School teacher and I have no doubt that if others in the church knew of the cigar smoking that they would not be allowed to teach and they would lose the respect of their pupils and fellow congregants.

    I know some people who hide the fact that they drink wine or beer (not to excess) from others because some belive it to be sin.

    I know the last three examples are apples and oranges when compared to sexual sin, but still the latter is hiding who you really so as not offend certain others. And maybe that is not at all what you are talking about here.

    However, I agree. If someone is all loving and "christian" at church and acts like the devil at work then there is truly a problem and they are a deceiver.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/05/2007 2:41 PM  

  • One more thing, Rose.

    I once grew cold in the Lord. I used to work outside the home and those around me knew I was a christian. I truly talked the talk and walked the walk. Long story short, the growing cold toward the Lord progressed over a period of time (years). Once I realized what was happening I DID hide it from my co-workers. Not because I wanted to be deceptive, but my worst fear was defaming GOD. My attitude was changing. I was not longsuffering toward others in my heart (though I was outwardly, but it was getting harder and harder to hide it). It was one of the main reasons I quit my job when I did. (I had already wanted to quit, but my failing walk spurred me on to do it ASAP.) I did not want my failed walk to be the reason some thought the God thing was a sham. There is way more to the story, but I'll not bore you with the details. God forgive me if I was wrong in hiding my failed walk. (I didn't fall so far as to go out drinking or anything like that, I simply didn't want much of anything to do with serving God. I never quit believing in God or paying tithes. I just quit going to church, reading the word, praying (unless I needed something) and fellowshipping with other christians other than my family and a few very close christian friends that we'd see from time to time. I think that type of fall did as much or more damage than if I had gone out drinking, etc.)

    I had already fallen once in my early walk when I was in my early 20's and single (I was a fairly new christian) and it devastated one of my non-saved co-workers I'd been witnessing to at a different job. She caught me drinking alcohol at an office party after work. She just could not understand how I could fall like that having been such a devout christian. I couldn't believe I had done it myself and never wanted to do it again.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/05/2007 3:27 PM  

  • Ooops, I wasn't finished. I said all that to say, I think that maybe it was a good thing that they never knew my deplorable state? But maybe you disagree.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/05/2007 3:32 PM  

  • Gosh, I hate to keep posting, but I don't want to give people the impression that I am a deceiver.

    Any new relationships I developed, I never claimed to be a christian. If I talked about the Lord to someone, I always prefaced that I wasn't right with God, but here's what I know and believe, etc., and that I hoped one day to be in right standing with him again. I made sure they knew it was a problem with me and NOT God. I am very much an open book. Maybe even too open at times.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/05/2007 3:37 PM  

  • Rose, I'm just thinking out loud. This may be useless, but here goes. I love all the Word of God, but I especially love the Psalms. My personal favorite hands down is Psalm 73. It speaks a lot along the lines of your post. The Psalmist had a serious crisis of faith. The whole Psalm is just jam-packed with meaning, but especially verse 15 stands out, & especially in the context of what you & Dawn have said. I found myself resonating with much of what both of you have posted. "You go, girls!!" Seriously, verse 15 reads: "If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children..." He was saying, to me at least, that if he'd just blurted out his doubts & lack of faith in the midst of his crisis, he feared he may have caused his brethren to stumble. I can certainly understand this! Yet, he goes on to say that it almost became unbearable (v.16) UNTIL!! How beautiful is that 1st word of verse 17! It is the pivotal verse! "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end" It reminds me of Hebrews 11:3, "through faith we UNDERSTAND..." This man evidently went into the Temple to worship & study the Word with his fellow pilgrims, & though his heart was breaking, he heard the Word expounded, and POW!! God spoke to his heart & his great need! Then just read verses 23-26 on your own! Man!! Be sure to rent a truck & fill it with tissues! Powerful. My words just get in the way. I can remember many times I was having a similar crisis of faith. It seemed the weight of the entire world was on my heart about to bust it into a zillion pieces, & then just at the right time, God sent a brother or opened His Word to me in a new & fresh way, & pow.
    OK, I guess I'm through & I don't really know if I've said anything coherent. I just needed to get it out I guess! The Lord has used times like this to help me grow, & I guess He will continue if I let Him. You & Dawn are both right. We do need to walk in the light with our Lord at ALL times, but AFTER the crisis has passed may be the best time to share it with the world & how God used it to grow us. But Rose you are right on in that we should never never never try to hide from God. And there should be that mature brother or sister that we can share with even in the midst of the pain at times. OK, I'm outta here! God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 3/05/2007 9:15 PM  

  • David: "We do need to walk in the light with our Lord at ALL times, but AFTER the crisis has passed may be the best time to share it with the world & how God used it to grow us."

    Hi David. Thanks for the encouraging words and scripture references. I agree that some of our sins may only need to be shared AFTER we're through it. I guess it depends upon the sin and the circumstances. If we find that we just cannot go it alone, then by all means we should seek help from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/05/2007 9:47 PM  

  • Hey Rose,

    God works and operates "in the light". He cannot and does not operate within any sense of any sphere of darkness.

    When John says "we have fellowship with one another" he does not have in mind horizontal social and Christian fellowship. He has in mind fellowship between the one walking in the light and God Himself.

    Walking in the light to me is being open and honest in all your doings in regard to integrity before God, and in relation to His Word.

    The word "fellowship" means: sharing, participation. The first thing that comes immediately to mind when critically thinking about this verse, is that the thing shared between God and the one walking in the light IS the light. The light is what is fundamentally shared between the Christian and God.

    When the Christian walks in the light, sharing it with God, man is participating with God in an intimate way. The promise attached to this is that the one so walking will be continually cleansed by the blood of Christ.

    We aren't walking according to the light, for in that case we would have to be sinless. But we are walking "in" the light. And when that light reveals sin, we must immediately confess it to God, and we will be forgiven. Furthermore, there will be no break in fellowship with God, for you are walking in the light and responding to what the light illuminates in your life.

    Seeing that Christians, even in the midst of their best walks, are riddled with sin, the promise attached to walking in the light is of greatest importance. The Christian is only obligated to confess his sin when the light brings the sin to his/her attention.

    God knows that we are but dust, and cannot even fathom the depth of our sin. We are often not even aware of some of our sinful activities. The blood of Jesus is continually cleasing us from these sins so that there is no break in fellowship with God.

    We must be increasingly in tune with the light. As we grow, the sphere of that light grows as well, as we become more aware of our sin through study of God's word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    Even a new Christian can continually walk in the light if he merely walks in honesty, integrity, and openness before God. The new Christian can live throughout the day in continuous fellowship with God.

    It is sort of deceiving when people say "Sin breaks our fellowship with God". It will only break our fellowship with God if we deny what they light reveals to us. If the moment we become aware of our sin, we confess it to God, that sin will by no means break fellowship with God, because of the aforementioned reason that Jesus Christ's blood continually cleanses the Christian who is walking in the light, and prompt confession continues fellowship, unbroken.

    I believe that there may be some principles that we can draw from this passage to apply to the relationships we have with other people, but that is not the intention of this text. It deals only with fellowship between the Christian and God and His Son.

    Isn't this great news?

    God wants us to grow! God wants us to have intimate partnership and sharing with us. He has provided the means necessary to have fellowship uninterrupted with us!

    Praise be to God!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3/06/2007 5:20 PM  

  • Thanks Dawn for the kind words.

    Antonio! Beautifully said! Makes me rejoice in Christ!!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 3/06/2007 8:13 PM  

  • Rose, I have listened to McGee alot during the first years after I was saved. Wow, that was in 1988....I was 27 then. Anyway I fell victim to my own pride and legalism hardened my heart and I fell away in 1995 till the summer of 04.
    Thankfully I was grounded enough in free grace thoughts, or rather the Holy Spirit within me, that I knew I was the Lord's.

    Anyway sorry for rambling. Today I listen some to him but not as much. I really watch how much I listen to radio preachers, even if they are dead :), that was one of the reasons I fell into legalism and got totally confused, you know tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

    So, thats brief summary of some of my rubber and the road.....wether you wanted it or not LOLOLOL

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/06/2007 8:27 PM  

  • Jesus is the Light of the world. Having fellowship with one another is one of the evidences that we are walking in Him (the light).

    Only those who walk in Him can have true fellowship with one another.

    By Blogger Joe, at 3/07/2007 8:54 PM  

  • Hi Rose, I am a free-gracer from Indonesia. I just started a blog: CALVINOLATRY. The problem is that my English is not good enough.

    I enjoy your reading your blog. I have a request: please discuss key verses that the calvinists use to proof-texted TULIP.

    Sincerely
    Roby

    By Blogger roby, at 3/08/2007 12:18 PM  

  • Rose,
    I brought your ministry to my wife’s attention after we endured the first in a series of totally unexpected Sunday morning indoctrinations of “The Doctrines of Grace"; a newcomer had recently convinced our pastor that Calvinism is the essence of the gospel. While division in our body is distressing, the doctrine is more offensive. Our brothers and sisters in the faith endured the consequences of that doctrine.

    "It appeared to me, that unless I opposed them [Anabaptists] to the utmost of my ability -- my silence could not be vindicated… This was the consideration which induced me to publish my Institutes of the Christian Religion" (John Calvin; 1536).

    Of the millions of Anabaptists that Calvin “opposed,” the following contains the remembrance of one:

    http://theisraelofgod.blogspot.com/2007/02/little-flock-of-israelites.html

    Christian

    By Blogger Christian, at 3/09/2007 3:17 AM  

  • Wow,
    I really appreciate all of that have read and commented. I hadn't been able to log-in for days here at Google. I had something turned on im my internet settings that I now believe was blocking access to the log-in screen.

    I am working now, but I will be back later to say a couple of things about your comments.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/09/2007 9:38 AM  

  • Dawn,
    You really have a lot of thoughts on this.
    I have a thought for you: his strength is made perfect in our weekness. If we hide our weekness because we want to protect our testimony, then we aren't doing the cause of Christ any favors. That is what I think. I just let people see me, warts and all. If they can see that I am saved in spite of my sin, then maybe they will appreciate the gospel more and think of it as a religion of "clean up your act" less.

    Now, what you say about using the word crap and smoking cigars and all... I am not talking about those things.
    I am talking about something where the person participating KNOWS what he is doing is a sin. HE is offended by it. When it comes to me keeping something from another believer because I don't want to OFFEND them, but I don't think it is a sin, that is a whole different topic.

    I had already fallen once in my early walk when I was in my early 20's and single (I was a fairly new christian) and it devastated one of my non-saved co-workers I'd been witnessing to at a different job. She caught me drinking alcohol at an office party after work. She just could not understand how I could fall like that having been such a devout christian. I couldn't believe I had done it myself and never wanted to do it again.

    You never know how the Lord might use that in the witness to her. We don't need to be examples of perfect people in order to show Christ to the lost. We should try, of course, but if we fail, I think others are OK to know. And, as my post says, it is NcESSARY for someone in our brethren to know. I really believe that. We shouldn't hide.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/12/2007 2:04 PM  

  • David,
    Thanks for your post and for your passion about the Word of God. How refreshing!

    Antonio,
    Hi there brother. When I read fellowship with one another I absolutely was thinking horizontally. I must needs look into it more to see if you are right.

    Seeing that Christians, even in the midst of their best walks, are riddled with sin, the promise attached to walking in the light is of greatest importance.

    How true. Your post was very beautiful and spoken like a true minister. Praise be to God indeed!

    Kris,
    So you used to ride on the Bible Bus? lol Yes, I don't always listen so much anymore, but I have a lot of his books and I always like to see what he has to say about things in the Bible still to this day. I am glad you got out of legalism.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/12/2007 2:10 PM  

  • Thanks, Joe!

    Hi Roby,
    You should read the links in my sidebar to T-U-L-I-P and all the comments. There is where you will find a lot of proof texting and discussion. Many Calvinists were present. I have an idea, though.
    Why not give me a verse that you are thinking of, I can post it and we can discuss it. I am sure some Calvinists will join in - many are my blog friends.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/12/2007 2:13 PM  

  • Christian,
    Thank you for the link. I will print it out and read it. I hope what you describe doesn't happen in our church. That sounds just terribly disturbing! I think I would be tempted to stay at home from then on! Help me! You should read the article that I linked to in my comments on the post a couple above this one which is entitled "why do I have a problem?" It is an article by Ray Comfort. You may find comfort. teehee
    Thanks for the visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/12/2007 2:17 PM  

  • Thank you Rose. I believe you meant RON Comfort rather than Ray Comfort in your response to Christian. There is a world of difference in those two!

    Good points. I surely do find myself falling in battle all too often. But, God's grace is so awesome, & I do NOT say that lightly. God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 3/13/2007 6:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 

Who Links Here