O Adonai, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
King David had a lot to say about others saying inaccurate things about him. The psalms are filled with emotional outcries to his LORD, admitting his faults and begging for mercy and protection.
I'm so thankful that we have his words, as I feel as he did so long ago. Haven't we all?
I have to be honest, the current situation looks pretty bleak. I have been accused, by those I thought of as friends, of judging harshly their use of Scripture as a weapon. It has been suggested that I must have hidden sin in my life, and that is prompting my defensive return attack. I have been buffeted with arguments that one should be able to use the inspired words to rebuke, reproach, even club fellow believers into submission to their views. I respectfully and ardently disagree, and would even go so far to suggest that self-righteousness is not in the character of a true believer.
As it is with these types of situations, the longer it goes on, the worse and bigger it becomes.
I admit that I cannot quote Scripture as well as I should. I fully concede that I am not perfect and have weaknesses and transgressions to confess regularly to my LORD. However, I know this for certain; the Word of our LORD is to be spoken in love. It is a double-edged sword to be used wisely and prudently. To do otherwise is immature, unproductive and divisive. Period.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
So, how or when does one use Scripture as a sword? First of all, the best one to wield it is the Holy Spirit. I believe it is effective when used in battle, as part of our armor against the enemy of our soul. It is to be prudently used by teachers, exercising wisdom in how it is applied - remember, they are held to a much higher standard than the rest of us due to their influence. There are rare situations where leaders and shepherds must appropriately correct due to sinful behavior, and this is right and good. But I ultimately believe that using Scripture to correct is the job of the One who knows the hearts of men, and I have to mention that He is never sarcastic or patronizing (at least, not in my experience).
I am deeply saddened by the circumstance in which I am standing. Oh yeah, I have cried out to the LORD, complaining bitterly at the judgment, falling to my knees in agony at the loss of friendship, fellowship and safety. I sense the enemy entering in causing dissension, dividing us into factions. It is obvious to me now that my definitions of friendship, loyalty and love are much different than that of those who I thought were friends. Regrettably, I am watching as this enemy has distracted leaders, twisted intentions, brought in those that are dishonest and secretive to sow chaos, blinded the ignorant and reveled in the pain that is being caused as a result. I want to cry out in warning, but I cannot.
There had to be cracks and openings in order for the enemy to get in at all. Weakness of character, pride and the arrogance of leaning on our own understanding are the pathways to darkness and mistrust, leaving the door wide open for evil to blow in like smoke, twisting and swirling through our midst.
However, I know that the LORD uses all situations to His glory to those who love Him. And He is in this one, as well. He has surrounded me with protection and support. He has prompted people to pray for me and others, that we may be strong against the attack. He has brought people together to share their hurt and help carry the burden. He has given visions to some and discernment to others to apprise them of the situation. He has given me words of defense; simply "the LORD is my defense". He has instructed me to be still and watch - and that is what I will do. I am convinced He will have His way.
I will say it again, I am not perfect. I never claimed I was. But this is what I know; the King of the Universe wants us to love and care for those around us in kindness and be a people eager to do good deeds. I pray that somehow, some way, we can find our way back to this truth.
Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.