In this day of compromise and lack of conviction (and there is plenty of both in and out of the church), we hear a great deal about "the spirit of Christ." I have no desire to reflect upon the real spirit of Christ as revealed in the New Testament, but I do want to show the false and cowardly dodges often made under the guise of "the spirit of Christ" in an effort to keep from "standing" for the truth.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). The subject is the power or force by which one lives. By the "flesh" we mind the things of the flesh; by the "Spirit" we mind the things of the Spirit. Verse 5 says: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” To have the Spirit of Christ in this passage is to be dead to sin and alive to the things of the Spirit, to follow or obey what the Spirit sent from Christ teaches. This is in contrast to obeying "the things of the flesh."
In speaking of the attitude of Christ, which is generally meant by "the Christ-like spirit," Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). This "mind" (state of thought; what one has in mind; attitude) is shown to mean obedience even unto death in the case of Christ. The "spirit of Christ" and the "mind" of Christ have to do with obedience to the word of God. But this is not what denominational people and liberal minded people in the church mean by the "Christ-like spirit."
The "Christ-like spirit" to some means to be tolerant of everything; to allow almost any situation to remain without opposing it. Is this the attitude the Lord had toward sin? He drove out the moneychangers from the temple and overthrew their tables (Mk 11:15). He condemned the Pharisees in the strongest possible terms (Matt. 23). This was the mind of Christ toward evil. One is most unlike Christ to tolerate sin and error without rebuke. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Would it be a "Christ-like spirit" to obey this statement of inspiration?
To some the "Christ-like spirit" means to "let me have my way about every thing." This has become the predominate attitude of denominationalism today. They DO NOT WANT TO ENGAGE IN BATTLE! They do not want to have to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3). They prefer to live by the "live and let live" rule. They are content to oppose nothing and promote everything on God's green earth that satisfies the lust and vanity of man. I have confidently said publicly and in print that the day of religious debates is about over. The false teachers who have engaged in one or more debates have lost their taste for it. They want to profess the "Christ-like spirit" and disassociate themselves from battle. The few who believe they are right will engage in one debate and then they lose their taste for it. But a greater controversialist never lived than Christ. He opposed spiritual wickedness in all forms and in all places. We are taught to "fight the good fight of faith."
Perhaps the greatest charge of not having the spirit of Christ comes from those who dare expose sin in all forms. This opposition comes from within the church as well as from outside. Some brethren who have no conviction except that one ought to be baptized and be a "member of the church of Christ" cry to high heaven when someone stands for New Testament truth. When sin and wickedness in high places are exposed, we are "fanatics"; when the one way of Christ is taught, we are "narrow-minded"; when the religious errors of denominationalism are exposed, we are "bigots"; when complete obedience to the gospel of Christ is taught, we are "legalists."
The spirit that desires to compromise truth with error stands for nothing in doctrine, agrees with all plans and doctrines of men, and promotes all sorts of unauthorized projects in the name of religion. This is the "antichrist spirit" rather than the "Christ-like spirit." The spirit of Christ requires complete obedience to all that the Spirit requires. The mind of Christ requires complete submission to all that Christ commands of us, even unto death. It means to oppose error with the same force that Christ used. It means to stand for something and against something -- stand for all truth and against all error. It means to regard the New Testament as the final and complete will of Christ, and to presume to do nothing without his authority. If you want the "Christ-like spirit," go to the New Testament and there you will find it. Eternal happiness depends upon “walking in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:6).
a leader in Prison Ministry
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their belief systems.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.
After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, "Nonbelievers!"
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight.… All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and
to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"
The Imam was speechless.
I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?"
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.
Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with Rick's way of dealing with the Islamic Imam and exposing the truth about the Muslim's beliefs.
I think everyone in the US should be required to read this, but with the liberal justice system, liberal media, and the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized.
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well known leader in prison ministry.
[jlc-I have no way of verifying if this article really is true or not, and I have no idea who Rick Mathes is, but true or not, it illustrates a definite truth]