Discipline for the Disciplinarians

Tuesday Re-mix –

“Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath!”  
Isaiah 10:5

I know I have joked (kind of) in previous posts about how theology watchdogs in the blogosphere (and in the church) are annoying in the same way as that teacher in high school who constantly corrected your grammar while you were trying to talk.  But I also do recognize that God has given us brothers and sisters whose giftedness and very calling is to help us keep our doctrine pure…they are the doctrine disciplinarians, if you will.  You know the ones I mean.  They blog about your favorite pastor, who made a horrendous, unbelievable, heretical, probably-not-saved-if-you-say-this theological error in his sermon last week.  They call him out by name, and the venom with which they attack him is, well, pretty ungodly.  Or they review the most recent book by one of your favorite authors and basically question his very humanity, not to mention his spirituality, because of the position he seems to have taken on this theological issue or on that social issue…again, with uncommon rancor.

[And, as an aside, you know what is one of my pet peeves?  That blogger almost never makes any attempt at all to actually contact that pastor/teacher/author in order to practice this “discipline” or “accountability” Biblically, which pretty quickly gets me wondering whether they are really loving this brother or rather are just a little envious of his acclaim.  But I digress.]

I know that God disciplines us.  And I know that he often uses others to do it.  I am really OK with that.  In fact, it seems like a good plan to me.  I think scripture gives us plenty of examples of God using people to discipline his children.  Sometimes, he even used a pagan, non-believing people (like the Assyrians) to do it.

But scripture seems equally clear to me that to be used by God in this fashion comes with a heavy responsibility.  God’s discipline is to be carried out God’s way and with God’s honor and God’s love in our hearts and our minds.  When God’s “tool of discipline” forgets this or forsakes it, the consequences are dire.  When God punishes the punisher, it is ugly and horrifying, filled with His wrath.  Again, Isaiah 10 and the Assyrians come to mind.

So, fellow bloggers and church leaders…before your fingers hit the keyboard to release your discipline on that weak-minded pastor or that hopelessly lost author or that wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing so deserving of your harsh rebuke, will you make sure your knees hit the ground and your heart turns toward God?  We need your passion.  God’s kingdom needs your giftedness.  The church needs your laser focus on helping us keep our doctrine straight.  And we love you too much to allow you to throw it all away because of a wrong attitude or a bad motive.  Fulfill your calling…by checking your heart!

And stop correcting my grammar.  Seriously.

© Blake Coffee
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