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28 April, 2008 / theexpositor

Expose or Proclaim?

I know God’s Word says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Yet how many of us do grow weary? Is the work we are involved in “doing good”?

The last seven years have been the most intense and focused years of my life. I have been blessed to see God do so many marvelous things. Yet, probably the greatest wonder is that He would choose to use me in any capacity, especially in the light of the fact that many times I am weary and have wished I could just give up.

Yes, there have been times when I questioned if what I was doing was indeed led of the Spirit. Many times I would “drop back and punt”, reevaluate what I was doing, an in even with the most sincere of motivations, examine myself and ask if what I doing was glorifying the Lord and His Gospel, or was it simply a misunderstood or misdirected effort that was not properly discerned.

As I read through the many websites and blogs, sadly what I find is a lot of effort being focused on “exposing”. I remember a conversation I had with a friend many years ago and we were talking about ministry. She told me, “I’m called to be an exposer!” “An exposer”, I asked. “Yes”, she replied, “I am called to find error and expose it”. I asked her, “What are you exposing the error to?”

She went to tell me that she felt called of the Lord to simply find false teachings or teachers and simply expose them to the world. I was trying to share with her that we must be called to do more that just call out, but to also call to the Truth.

Admit it or not, many of us focus a lot on what is wrong, without focusing much on what is right. Many spend a lot of time on the problems, without also proclaiming the solutions. Now please understand me, I believe we are to given a mandate in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints”, and the word contend has the meaning of fighting for something.

We are charged with the responsibility and honor to contend for the faith. But let me submit that when we expose the error, we should be even more committed and faithful to proclaim the Truth.

It is so easy for us to take an attitude of “he is wrong”, “this practice is error”, or “that is heresy”. Yes, if indeed there is heresy, we should make it known, but we should not stop there.

I humbly submit that may times, many of us, have become consumed with over-emphasizing the wrong, and under-emphasizing the right, and it is a very easy thing to get caught up in. For far too many it has become an obsession and I am convinced if not kept in the proper biblical perspective, it will overwhelm us and we will grow weary.

More importantly, we should ask ourselves, is our actions and words glorify us or the Lord? Are we really more concerned about bringing glory and honor to God and the Truth of His Word, or are we really interested in impressing ourselves or others with the fact that “we” found the problem.

The “ministry” of exposing has now become something of a specialty, with its own terminology, definitions, labels, websites, publications and spokesmen. This obsession has grown to the point where assumptions are declared and treated as fact, the intent of the heart of people, regardless of the fruit (or lack thereof) is discerned on the basis of style, taste or preference, and an “I’m right and your wrong, period” posture and attitude become the norm.

Perhaps the most telling evidence of this obsession with exposing is what I feel is a lack of mercy, compassion and humility. I know it seems paradoxical, and indeed the Lord stated as much, but we are called to call out with love and grace. Sadly though, many times we are like the priest and Levite in Luke 10, that rather than stopping help the robbed and injured man, we stepped to the other side of the road and kept walkin.

I don’t want to be like that. When I sensed God calling me to ministry at age 19, I wasn’t called to expose, I was called to preach the Word, and I am confident that Hebrews 4:11-16 is true,”

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

What are we to do? Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the Truth in Love, Hebrews 13:5 says we should be content, 1 Thessalonians 3:7, 8 says we should be diligent, the Lord Jesus says in Matthew we should love, and Romans 1 says we should not be ashamed of the Gospel because we are obligated to others, because we are indebted to the Lord, and we own them grace.

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5 Comments

  1. jeff short / Apr 28 2008 11 16

    mike, you are correct in that some people seem to only want to find fault and don’t know what to do if they can’t find something to complain about. it’s as if they get stuck in the mode of an old watch dog that can’t distinguish between friend or foe. i’m sure everyone knows of a dog who seems to have lost all ability to distinguish between a real threat and a false alarm. these dogs bark at everything and everyone. i think there are christians just like that; they seem to bark at everything and frankly much of it is a false alarm — although they do get it right from time to time, which keeps me listening to them and reading their blogs because of the times they do get it right. but as christians we are called to be more than watchdogs who bark, we are called to engage the world of lost sinners in love and teach them God’s Word and not just bark at them or others. i think you have a good balance in this. while most of the evangelical world is like the guard dog that never barks and lets the thieves and robbers in the house while wagging their tales behind them, others in the christian world always bark and aren’t very friendly to anyone, even family members! we, on the other hand, are called to discern the difference between good and bad, and affirm the good and reject the bad. that’s a difficult task in today’s confusing world, but i think you are on the right track. keep up the good work.

    sincerely,
    jeff short

  2. Dani / Apr 28 2008 11 45

    Beautifully written Mike! I very much agree with you and believe it is Biblical to “expose” but yet at the same time the scales should always weigh heavier on the proclaiming side!

    Yes! I concur with Jeff… keep up the good work!

  3. Diane R / Apr 28 2008 18 42

    I am an “exposer,” but not of people as much of movements. However, the Lord challenged me to go up a notch and not only expose movements but to recognize that they are asking legitimate questions that are not being answered, or being answered well by our current churches. So God challenged me to answer the questions legitimately and try to find out how to reach the postmdoern generation WITHOUT compromising the message. And in a generation that doesn’t accept one truth as being true (including many younger evangelicals) this ain’t an easy assignment….LOL.

  4. John Daly / May 2 2008 12 20

    My goal is to expose, expose, expose…my own sin. To find it, expose it, battle it, strive against it, forsake it, repent of it and give thanks to Him who gives me victory over it.

  5. theexpositor / May 2 2008 12 23

    AMEN AND AMEN!

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