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Learning to respond in a godly manner with conviction.

From my observation here on TheNET we tend to make several mistakes that if avoided could go along way to preserving peace and edifying the body. It is easy to add “amen” to a post that you agree with, but how do you deal with a post that you don’t agree with?

What are some of the steps that we can take to respond in a godly manner with conviction? I am going to list some pointers from my perspective and encourage comments and further input to be added.

- We should not ever respond to a post we disagree with immediately (Note below for exceptions).
- We need to reread the post several times seeking the whole of its content and not focus in on one sentence or statement initially.
- We need to pray about the content of the post seeking discernment.
- We need to examine it in the light of Scripture.
- We need to pose questions to the author about their post, rather than assume and accuse.
- If, after time, rereading, prayer, Scriptural analysis, and posing questions we find the post in error, we need to address the issue(s) directly substantiating your position with Scripture.
- Never attack the character of the poster. (If you defend your position scripturally you do not have to digress to attacking the poster).
- If attacked, brush it off and stay on topic. Scripture will always win the battle, not your verbal assault or defense of self. You can defend Scripture and turn the other cheek at the same time.
- Be teachable. You might actually have this one wrong. If you do, accept it, acknowledge it and embrace the truth. None of us have it all perfectly right (If you do, stay away from me, I will corrupt you … little humor please :-)
- Lastly, not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will see it the same way as you or me on every issue. There are a variety of views on numerous topics. You may be passionate about that particular topic and so will others who may see it differently. This does not mean we are not brothers, for it is at the cross we find our identity, not in the dogma of doctrines or preferences that are open to various interpretations. What are some examples? Mode of baptism, spiritual gifts, evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, end time views, Calvinist or Armenian, denominations or not, the list goes on.

Having said the above I must say that there are times we will respond instantly and harshly. There are times wolves come here in sheep’s clothing. There are people who come here and attack the central doctrines of the Christian faith. They will be met swiftly and rebuked. A good (under)shepherd will protect the sheep from ravenous wolves and must.

One must ask oneself what their purpose is. Am I seeking to edify and help others grow while I am seeking to grow, or am I seeking to be right? Iron sharpens iron and in the process of those two pieces of iron sharpening each other there will be friction and heat, but in the end they benefit each other …. Think about that.
(These principles actually go beyond TheNET and apply to our daily lives and dealing with others who do not quite see eye-to-eye with us.)

Lord Bless,

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GODLY wisdom again has prevailed thourgh a man seeking after GOD. May HE continue to use you for the uplifting of HIS people.Bless you always.

Mmmm...Great Counsel!

All of your questions are answered in the posting. If you reread it and do not see the answers let me know and I will address the questions point by point.

Do you see iron sharpening iron as a negative thing or as the Bible presents it as a positive thing? Just curious.

Lord Bless,
AMEN! :)
nice post :)
God bless!

I guess I have never seen this forum. I first got involved in AAG when there was a heavy discussion going on about Christians obeying the Law. There was some pretty good passionate discussion. That was my introduction to this kind of ministry. That was my first time to engage in Christian conversation on the internet. I had never been in a chat room or anything of the sort. I guess I did get into a conversation on Facebook once during this last election over the topic of abortion. It got to going pretty good as well.

The guidelines you have here are very good. I have been guilty of dealing some blows and for that I am sorry. No Christian should ever desire to offend another one of His sheep. Since then I have been dealt a couple good blows and know the feeling of having been offended. I know that is not the purpose of AAG. I am very grateful to AAG. I think this forum needs to be put up from time to time. Had someone not chosen to respond to it recently I would have never seen it. I wish I could start all over but I know I can't. I pray that we all respond accordingly in love and grace to one another.

Great advice!

Now, having said that, I will say that I really enjoy a good passionate discussion especially on my favorite subject, God's wonderful grace. Some people are more passionate about end times, etc. but the topic of God's grace is the one that gets my adrenalin flowing.

I have tried to get my wife to get on here but have not been successful. She does read some of the posts but she is one of those wise, silent types. She is the one that keeps my nose going straight. She is the one that straightens me out when I get going in the wrong direction. I am so grateful to God for all of His people. I pray for His Kingdom.

Life, sometimes, can be a struggle. The Lord causes or allows (depending on your perspective) different things to come into our lives to work on those areas that need improvement. It is very good that people have a place to come to find help when they are struggling. It is a privilege to be able to help minister to those from time to time. It is wonderful to know there is a place you can go when you need prayer. Churches have gaps. This ministry does an excellent job of filling in some of those gaps.

Who knows, maybe someday this kind of activity will be outlawed. Freedom of speech is a wonderful gift given us from our forefathers. There are those among us that would like to squelch this freedom. I pray that we will always be free. May God bless America. But, now, I have new friends from other parts of the world. I am thinking more globally than I used to. I pray God's blessing on their countries as well. I especially pray that they will have the freedom to speak boldly the things of Christ. And if they don't have that freedom, that God will grant them the grace to speak to others about Christ anyway. I pray that is not inciting others to riot but I do know that is how this whole thing got started in the first place. It is difficult for us to imagine here in America about someone being persecuted for speaking to others about our glorious Lord.


God Bless.
Hey Roy,

Thanks for the positive input. There is nothing wrong with a passionate debate. There are just some lines that we should not cross while debating a topic. One of the key lines is that we must stay on topic and not get into character assasination, which has been one of the reasons several over the years have been banned.

BTW, there is another version of this on the forum page called "Read This First ..." that Greg put up after I started this one.

Lord Bless,
TheNET Coordinator

I like this.  I wish this was being followed in the discussions on the other site where I've had interaction.

Thanks and plan on referring back to this
from time to time.

An impressive account of how to respond the Godly way. It is bound to perturb the environment but at the end they will benefit each other. Constructive criticism with Christ as the anchor of all that matters at the end. Thanks for the advise and hints.

All His promises are yes and amen. God is so good!!!

I’m really thankful for this posting. I’m trying to get my mom convicted so she will turn to Jesus and it is a little bit tough.


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