It's sad how easily we all can dismiss genuine believers so ceremonially in the blogosphere today. Throwing people under the evangelical bus has become a spiritual gift. Some make sport of belittling others to exalt themselves; forgetting that "pride comes before a fall." Under the noble flag of "we're defending the truth", they will justify anything they say and do in order to evince their tone and tactic.
How do I know this with such certainty? I have shamefully done this myself; it is wrong; it is sin; and needs to be repented of (no matter who you are). Numbers mean nothing in real ministry; inviting the trolls to stir up controversy and ravage comment threads just to boost ones own visibility is rubbish. Faithfulness, Christlikeness, God's glory, sound doctrine proclaimed in humility and love, yet with boldness, and genuine unity with other Christians IS everything. It is here that we must be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matt. 10:16).
Beloved, true biblical discernment requires skillful use of a scalpel rather than wild mutilation by machete (cp, Eph. 6:10-18; Heb. 4:12). Spurgeon gives us a great remembrance of such skilled workmen, unashamed, approved unto God in handling the truth of God's Word. A dear pastor friend of mine emailed this gem to me and I thought it good timing to share it with you. It is excellent truth for us all to heed. Read Spurgeon's words carefully--they are powerful, convicting, humbling, and useful in our sanctification.
May his tribe increase...
Run to the Battle,
1 Corinthians 15
“Everybody admires Luther! Yes, yes; but you do not want any one else to do the same today. When you go to the Zoological Gardens you all admire the bear; but how would you like a bear at home, or a bear wandering loose about the street? You tell me that it would be unbearable and no doubt you are right. So, we admire a man who was firm in the faith, say four hundred years ago; the past ages are a sort of bear-pit or iron cage for him; but narrow-minded bigot, or give him a worse name if you can think of one. Yet imagine that in those ages past, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and their composers had said, ‘The world is out of order; but if we try to set it right we shall only make a great row, and get ourselves into disgrace. Let us go to our chambers, put on our night-caps, and sleep over the bad times, and perhaps when we wake up things will have grown better.’" Such conduct on their part would have entailed upon us a heritage of error. Age after age would have gone down into the infernal deeps, and the pestiferous bogs of error would have swallowed all. These men loved the faith and the name of Jesus too well to see them trampled on. Note what we owe them, and let us pay to our sons the debt we owe our fathers.
I can do no other...
It is today as it was in the Reformers’ days. Decision is needed. Here is the day for the man, where is the man for the day? We who have had the gospel passed to us by martyr hands dare not trifle with it, nor sit by and hear it denied by traitors, who pretend to love it, but inwardly abhor every line of it. The faith I hold bears upon it marks of the blood of my ancestors. Shall I deny their faith, for which they left their native land to sojourn here? Shall we cast away the treasure which was handed to us through the bars of prisons, or came to us charred with the flames of Smithfield?… An ancestry of lovers of the faith ought to be a great plea with us to abide by the Lord God of our fathers, and the faith in which they lived [Hebrews 11].
Look you, sirs, there are ages to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth today. We have come to a turning-point in the road. If we turn to the right, mayhap our children and our children’s children will go that way; but if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to his Word.
I charge you, not only by your ancestry, but by your posterity, that you seek to win the commendation of your Master, that though you dwell where Satan’s seat is, you yet hold fast his name, and do not deny his faith. God grant us faithfulness, for the sake of the souls around us!
if the church is false to her Lord?
How are we to lift the masses
if our fulcrum is removed?
If our gospel is uncertain,
what remains but
increasing misery and despair?
Stand fast, my beloved, in the name of God! I, your brother in Christ, entreat You to abide in the truth. Quit yourselves like men, be strong.
The Lord sustain you for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
quoted in Ashamed Of The Gospel [MacArthur], p 41: