A New Direction

Street SignHaving been the head administrator for the last several months, I have been blessed to work with some truly wonderful brethren and to interact with a great many of our readers personally. Having been here for nearly two years, I believe that many of the articles we have written have truly been beneficial and God honoring. And I believe those articles have helped many readers to understand the holy nature of God better, causing them to glorify the Lord. With that being said, I have also had the opportunity to be moderator of the comments and the interactions we have with our readers. I have seen the reactions that some of the things we have written cause, not all of the reactions we have received have been pleasant, or even God honoring. In fact, there have often been times where things have gotten downright snarky.

Now, I have never been one who feels that Christians should cower in a corner and not stand up for the truth. I believe that we must stand and proclaim the only truth there is, the word of God. If we were to fail to proclaim the truth for fear of how we would be received, we would be sinning against God Himself. We must not, in fact cannot, compromise the truth of the gospel. However, in standing up for the truth, it is possible for us to be so caustic or arrogant in what we say that we can do just as much damage as we hope to defend against. I fear that in our efforts to defend the solid truths of the gospel, we as a blog, have crossed that line on more than one occasion. The result has been that we have engendered a spirit of divisiveness and even bitterness among ourselves and our readers. For this, I must sincerely apologize.

As Christians we are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel to a lost and dying world. And we are to do so with all the love and compassion we can possibly show. We are heralds of the true and living gospel, proclaiming salvation through Christ alone. We are also called to use our gifts to edify and strengthen the body of Christ. To build it up for good works that glorify our Savior. If we fail to obey these commands from our Lord, we are indeed in sin. Many times throughout the run of this blog, various authors have attempted to make the call for all of us to eliminate the sometimes caustic and arrogant attacks we level at each other. There have been pleas to speak the truth in love and compassion, both to the lost and the saved who frequent our pages. Yet, I continue to see the end result of that which we have posted. I have seen the arguing and spitefulness we have been responsible for. Thus, we have failed to heed our own call.

Now, in fairness to my gifted pool of contributors, I know that the proclamation and defense of the truth will always have its detractors. There will be no end of those who wish to argue and pervert the truth. Therefore, now matter how much love and compassion we write with, there will be those who seek to stir up strife for their own gain. It is not those who concern me. It is those with whom we are true brethren, those with whom we may disagree but are yet in the faith, that we have sometimes eviscerated with our words that I am compelled to apologize to, and ask forgiveness from. While none of us have ever set out to purposefully harm our brethren, our desire to defend the theologies we are passionate about has sometimes been misplaced. As lead administrator, it is my duty to keep this matter in check. I have failed in this and ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt.

One reason I believe that much of this is has occurred is that we are part of that blogosphere that is known as “discernment” ministry. We have long tried to warn believers that there are enemies in the camp. However, in our zeal to defend the bride of Christ, we have sometimes gone after even true brethren for even perceived minor wrongdoings. This has created that spirit of divisiveness and bitterness I mentioned above. While we are supposed to defend the truth of God’s word, we are also to evidence our faith by how we love the brethren. But we when have wrongly taken them to task, what we have actually shown is that we are very good at eating our own.

To that end, I want to say that as head administrator, I am changing the direction of DefCon. I want to take us out of the discernment arena and get us back into the gospel arena. Henceforth, our articles will focus on those things that teach and edify the body, rather than be a constant barrage of what is bad in Christendom. We will seek to teach and expound, building up the body to magnify God and do good works. We will write about how Christians should interact in this world from a gospel centered worldview, about the absolute need to be busy proclaiming the gospel, on things which educate them on areas of biblical parenting, relationships, etc. Along the way, it may be necessary to warn our readers against obvious goats in the camp. We will write about these assaults on the gospel, but no longer will it be our sole focus.

With this new direction will come new responsibilities for us as writers. We must keep our motivations and feelings in check. We must balance our passion for the truth with our need to love our brethren, and even our enemies. We must strive to honor God and His word above all else. I ask our readers to pray for us during this time of transition. Petition God that we would be honest, faithful and true to His word. That we would be a blessing to Him and not a curse. I also ask that you would stand with us, continue to read and comment on our articles. Be encouraging where we are getting it right, and call us, lovingly, into account when we blow it.

Defending Contending has been a blessing to a great many people over the years. As the broken and busted vessel that God has blessed to run it, I desire to see it be an even greater blessing in years to come. I thank you all for your continued prayers and support. May God bless us as we seek this new direction for His glory.

10 thoughts on “A New Direction

  1. themusicprofessorguy says:

    Agreed. Not that I haven’t appreciated so much of what you guys have done, but your change in direction (or re-direction) is warranted. Praise God for the discernment shown, and your continued ministry to those of us who read you faithfully.

    Soli Deo Gloria.

  2. Ben Blue says:

    After being in a bit of a dark place personally as of late this apology and redirection have brought a feeling of warmth and life to my soul! I am just glad to see the gospel centeredness and the care for lost souls infused in this. It was very refreshing.

  3. Christ never pulled any punches when He was teaching about the Gospel. He had no patience or tolerance for the religious leaders who were using the Law to control the people of God. He was always compassionate to those who were the outcast, those whom the world had cast aside, those who society had dismissed as of no value. Those who were the religiious leaders had no use for these outcasts. Living by their own versions of the law, with no mercy for those who were failing to observe it, these leaders placed huge burdens that were impossible to carry, demands that were impossible to perform, on these who were their constituents. WE, whom have been given a great insight of the Scriptures need to remember that unless someone has been given the gift of understanding by the Holy Spirit to see the truth and are enabled to live by it, they will not be able to perform that which Scripture tells us we need to do. We are given much, who have been awakened and enabled by the Spirit. We need to be compassionate like Jesus to those who do not understand, but to not allow without challenge those who assume the mantle of Spiritual leadership, to deviate from the simple Gospel Message of Christ. Burdening people is not Christ’s way. Freedom from works, to a Grace filled life, in Christ’s name, in the Holy Spirit’s power, is what Jesus came to proclaim. Let us live in it,

  4. Chris, thank you for this post and for your own words of encouragement to me. I truly appreciate your friendship as well as your heart for evangelism and the proclamation of the truth of Scripture. It is and has been my prayer for some time that DefCon would become a name that is synonymous with sharing and showing grace in a graceless world. Keep up the good work. Mark – TJM

  5. michael says:

    I must admit after the last post and now this I’m at a loss, but not for words! :)

    I commend to you most all of Isaiah 50. The last part doesn’t apply to you seeing you’re already washed in His blood and are saved, are being saved and at the end of your trail you will depart in His Grace and Peace saved. Having said that I will paste these words encouraging you to weigh the whole chapter:

    Why, when I came, was there no man; why, when I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering.” The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. (Isaiah 50:2-5 ESV)

  6. michael says:

    atg, I didn’t say I was at a loss for words. If anything I am full of them! :)

    I hasten to say that both with levity and seriously because I am informed by the Scripture the Kingdom of God is not in talk but in power! (1 Cor. 4:20)

  7. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Michael, I see what you mean. Why are you at a “loss?” I not following your point. Are you in agreement or disagreement?

    -atg

  8. michael says:

    ATG,

    I’m not sure what you are looking for in an answer? I am a new kid in these parts so I’m at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to give a qualified answer as others have; others presumably being those with a history as a part of this blog who would be more qualified rendering an opinion about whether or not the creators and contributing writers of this blog have fallen below Godly Biblical standards.

    So as far as I can contribute to this I’m at a loss.

    What this and the preceding article are pointing to sounds like they have a knowledge of things and a trajectory in mind that is more historical than mine and I am left accepting their characterization of their history producing blog fruit in here that meets Godly Biblical standards they are subjected to publishing articles for us readers of this blog.

    I haven’t been offended by any articles so far so if what is being said means articles in the future will be better than the past well I stand and so do other newcomers to this blog to be even more blessed!

    Geeeeeesh, not going to hide from that!

    Hope that clarifies my sense of this and thanks for asking for clarification:

    Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
    163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
    164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
    165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

    If you asked me if I have been stumbled by the articles I have read in here I’d have to say no.

  9. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Michael, I think you answered it. It sounded negative and I wasn’t sure why. I appreciate your thoughtful reply. :)

    -atg

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