Answer Questions with Questions
In the big church, we know the way things have been done is not the right way. The question I have is, do we expose the darkness or do we just continue praying and build relationships with the ones that we know? We made friends with two couples from this place who seem to care.
Do we just leave it the way it is because we know for sure that this is not the way or what He calls His church? Do you walk away from exposing it because you’re involved in relationships with a few that do talk about Jesus? What do you do? I’m thinking I know the Truth about what is happening. It’s disappointing and a little frustrating that the people we know who want to follow Jesus are sitting there, but they don’t see what’s going on or the attitudes that seem off.
These guys may have something else they want to say, but any place you want to name that’s attendance-based is going to have things like that or worse behind the scenes. Of the two options you mentioned, if it were me, I’d just build relationships with the ones you know.
Maybe they will start asking questions like, “Hey, I see this situation going on and we’re not sure what to do?” Or they say, “I see that something isn’t right…” If they start noticing things, then answer their question with a question. Make them figure it out on their own. Something in your heart will feel really dirty if you start pointing things out.
You’re not even a part of it anymore, right?
I think you’ll feel dirty and you’ll soil your Spirit if you start saying things about the place. They’ll not respect you for it even if you’re right. I think you’re better to just answer a question with a question, and help them see whatever they’re going to see. If they don’t want to see it, they’re not going to see it anyway. If they do care, they’ll come to see it on their own. And because they discovered it themselves, it will be their own conviction. If you come out and just tell them what’s wrong, then you owe them. You have to find a solution for them and provide something for them.
We never talk people out of things or into anything else. We encourage them to stay and work it and try to solve the problems they see. If they can’t stay and they come out on their own, then that’s their business between them and God. At that point we don’t owe them anything. If somehow we’ve pointed out everything that’s wrong about this, that, or the other—even if what we’re saying is true—then we owe them because we’re the ones that are supposed to provide the answers. And that’s not necessarily what God wants either.
So, it’s better that they reach their own convictions. If they say, “What about this thing I noticed?”
You can say, “Well, if what you’re saying is true, what should you do about it?”
“Well, we’re asking what you think we should do.”
“Oh, we’re just here to love you. It’s really between you and God, but whatever you do, don’t compromise.”
Those are general truths you can say, but you’re not telling them what to do. You’re speaking of principles and letting them figure out the practicals. At the end of a lifetime, if you’ve helped a thousand people understand Truth, and they’ve made their own decisions about what to do about it, then God can build His house the way He wants to. It’ll happen without us feeling dirty because we got our fingers all over it.
You all are welcome to add something to what I’ve said, but that’s my gut feeling. Very seldom will I point things out to somebody about the thing they are involved in, even if I know about the problems. I will ask them to be alert and wise and act with conviction if they see something, but I don’t want to spoon-feed them. Just because I see it doesn’t mean they will.
You can still share who you are and the Truth that you’ve learned and raise vision like we talked about at lunch. We can raise vision and help people see how the church should be. We can show what Jesus has in mind and what the Scriptures say. That’s what we’re going to do in relationships. If you’re still interacting with them, the goal isn’t to point things out but to raise their vision.