"Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye." Luke 6:42 This verse is a repeat of the same words in Matthew. Jesus never spoke any clearer or emphatically.
I have been a fundamental, independent, Bible believing Baptist for some 54 years and I plan to wind up my stay on this planet as such. In that half century I have observed the actions of my fellow Baptists in addition to many others of other persuasions. It is truth that emphasis is a fluid; inflammable, and spontaneous. I mean by that, there always seems to be something that has to be emphasized by Christians and most of the time is influenced by a follow the crowd syndrome. Sadly some of the things that become emphasized are a lot shallower than doctrine or Biblical standards. A Church, led by a Pastor or a segment of a fellowship, led by a single Church sometimes can be drawn into emphasizing something that actually has no relevance to the cause of Jesus Christ. Oh! I know, they will contrive some means by which they will claim Jesus, Paul or Peter practiced the emphasized fad. They will yank a verse or phrase out of their Bible and out of its context to use as scriptural proof of their persuasion.
I believe the main problem with this form of Christian practice is that it becomes the norm, and all adherents must abide by its rules or become shunned or outcasts when in actuality it has no relation to the life in Christ Jesus. When this mentality permeates a Church, convention or fellowship then the emphasis abandons its scriptural course and focuses on that which is destructive to the cause of Christ.
Now before I go any further, I must verify again that I am a fundamental, independent, Bible believing Baptist. I believe there is only one authentic English Bible, I believe in the local Church and I believe Christians ought to live Godly, separated Christian lives. I believe doctrinal error must be exposed.
Anyone who finds himself or herself in a position of rule and his or her rule is threatened at any extent, will invariably make new rules to bolster existing rules. They will increase the penalty against rule breakers and they will usually wind up making rules that they themselves do not have to keep. (Congress)
People who are drawn into these 'emphasizing channels' need to be awakened to their blindness and just think for a moment. "God so loved the world that he gave us a plan to make our lives so perfect and flawless that the angels would be impressed." No that is not John 3:16, Yes, that is not in the Bible. I was merely condensing the 'emphasis' motivations. How many of us as true believers in Jesus Christ and His Holy Word, get off track by emphasizing our policing of what other Christians are doing instead of reaching the lost world with the message of the Gospel. You know what? I can actually remember when I would have said, "I would never say that!" It is true, we must never tolerate wickedness, apostasy or doctrinal error. Biblical standards must never be compromised. But our emphasis must be focused upon the things that Jesus emphasized for us to be and do. We are the light of the world!!!!! We are to preach that all have sinned, that sinners will spend eternity in Hell, that Jesus died for sinners, that God loves sinners, that God will forgive any sinner who confesses that sin to God himself and receives Jesus as personal saviour. By the way, when did you receive Jesus personally? Is He living His eternal life within you?
What is the emphasis of your life today. What if you were with Paul the Apostle in his first journey? Sometimes we begin to emphasize things that ultimately will cause division and loss of potential and even loss of valuable companions. ~sm