(Originally posted at http://www.voy.com/60734/ by Egon S., a former member of a UBF chapter in Estonia.)
Date Posted: 08:19:14 08/10/02 Sat
Author: Egon S.
Subject: Re: Love your enemy
Dear Chris and others!
I think we have the same mind even in this question. I am agree with You and Mike. I just could not express my thoughts. Look at your own comment and the last one (Mike's one). You needed pretty much "paper" for explaining it. I tried to be short, but You and Mike did it better and I say Amen on it. I am honest - I too think so. And I am strict. I have talked with my leaders when I have seen that things are not as they should have been. We can't compromise with the Word.
Neither I said that Samuel Lee or Sarah Barry were our enemys. I just said what Jesus said and tried to emphasize the attitude toward others what God is waiting from us.
What I thought about that "critisizm" was that often christians fall into it and stay there, rather than seeking the Lord. In our neighbourhood there is a strongly charismatic church. It's pastor is young but very very strong character (I would say, a little bit like SL). And people who leave that church, are so wounded in their hearts. I deal with them. I know the pain they have for I have been under such dictatorship. I know what it means when your respected leaders have painted you a picture that God is a brutal dictator who has no mercy, no grace.
(Let me describe you the picture of God what I had in the days of UBF. My brother was marrying. But at the same weekend there was a celebration in the Latvian (neigbour country) UBF chapter. They had bought a building in Riga and opened it publicly. From Moscow and other CIS countries shepherds came and we had to go too. I knew the date and I knew that my brother marries at the same time. And I knew what would happen if I tell my choice. So kept it secret until the friday. Next day was wedding and we had to leave to Riga. So I decided to disobey to my shepherd and for me this was disobeying to God himself. And I disobeyed. I did not go to Riga. The next day we had to drive from one town to another for 34 km to get to the wedding. And I was so, so afraid, that God causes a car accident, brakes my legs or something more serious to teach me obedience.
Is it really God of the Bible? I had that picture of Him.) Now the problem is that many of these people who have left that particular church physically years ago, are in their thoughts still there. Whenever you meet them, they complain, critisize the pastor and his actions. And they argue with him in their thoughts too. The result is that they never forget, never forgive and because of this never grow. And this is sad.
I read Nick's comment too and it's really disgusting what UBF leaders have done. I did not know that. It's disgusting. SL has gone and he must pay for that. But what's our task? To forgive, says Jesus. Yes, we are not agree with what they are still doing. We say NO to it, but in our hearts we must forgive the injustice we have received. Otherwise we can't grow.
When I run away, I just sought Jesus, lived with him, grew in healthy environment, tried to forget, tried to forgive (many, many times) and Jesus came and healed me. I did not feel pain any more when thinkig of UBF. And what was more amazing, I started to love these people whom I had hated for the pain they had caused me. Was it me? No. But Jesus in me. He condemns their (and our) sins but He loves them (and us). He won't compromise with His will, but still he loves them. It was amazing for me, but I loved them again!
And there's another aspect about that "criticism" what I thought when writing my previous comment. Another illustration to explain it. Some years ago while serving in the pentecostal church we were all so busy that we had staff meeting just once in one-two months. And do you know what happened when we met? We argued. Everybody had lived his own life, thought their own thoughts, found their own answers and solutions... And when we had to discuss about the problems, we all had different opinions. So every time we met we spent some 2-3 hours just to find out some basement to build on. Not very good use of time. But at least we were one minded when we left each other. So we decided to meet very regularily. And when coming together we already were one minded and the time was blessed.
The same is here in forum. We rarely know each other. We have grown up in different environments, in differnt denominations, listened different sermons and read different books. All these things affect our life. We just read some lines and then make a decision: this guy is correct or this guy is wrong. But look, if you tell someone something, then the next things could be very different:
1. What you wanted to say
2. What you actually said
3. What the other person heard
4. What the other person wanted to hear.
5. Then there are these words you thought but did not say.
In estonian local forums christians are sometimes so critical. They don't look for good things, they just seek errors and faults (in fact critisism is the desease of estonians. We critisize everybody everywhere. And there is a saying that estonian's best food is another estonian. So pray for us)
So what I wanted to say, was that whatever the UBF leaders have done, if we can correct, correct. If we can't, pray God's mercy on them. But in our hearts we need to forgive them.
And I am happy, that Chris and Mike could put in words what I wasn't able to. And the Bible says that whenever christians come together (even in the forums) then everybody has something (to give, to share...) which is blessing for others. If God has given something to You, Chris (or to You Mike) then not only for You, but also for me. But to me He gives it through You.
And so we build up the body of Christ.
God bless you.