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Robin
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The Boy Wonder
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Of course, Pilgrim, Chestnutmare, we are all completely agreed. When I fail the Lord, I am grieved because He is grieved. I feel guilt and sorrow and welcome His correction and restoration, especially when it comes through people who love me and offer correction gently and in a spirit of humility.

There was no consternation in my heart when I wrote my previous post, only sadness for the way that God is dishonored when His people manipulate one another. I'm not talking about correction, instruction, and discipline. I was writing about motivation by means other than reliance upon God to supply willing hearts to do His work, not reliance upon our own inventions to get people to do what we think they should.

I'm sorry if my post was unclear. Certainly when we fail and fall into error and sin, the Lord's correction and loving discipline is precious to those who love Him, and a source of resentment to those who don't.

From glory to glory,
Robin

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Robin,

Yes, I understood you to be focusing upon the psychological manipulation used by some (many?) in our day. As I stated, my response was with the intent that someone might not take it otherwise and think that there is no "guilt" when a Christian sins. grin

Of course, the Lord often uses means to confront a child of God who sins, e.g., Nathan with David (2Sam 12:1-10), the preaching of the Word (2Tim 3:16,17), a true friend who pricks the heart with loving, albeit sometimes firm probing and confrontation (cf. Ps 141:5; Prov 27:6).


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simul iustus et peccator

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Would you consider it "psychological manipulation" if a Church brought in a missionary from Africa to show the Church what is being done there and how they can get involved?
Personally speaking, although I think the leaders of the Church need to be careful that this is not done; I like it when such events like this happen. It shows how some of the Lord's money is being spent and it gives first hand knowledge of the missionaries we support and how we can get involved.

Tom

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Tom,

On its face, I don't find any fault with having a missionary bring a report of the work that is being done in the place of service. However, I have seen too many, I guess, that show films or photos which are obviously meant to evoke the emotions, e.g., pictures of starving children, extreme poverty, filthy children clinging to the missionaries, etc. We all know there are poor and needy in this world, as our Lord told us (Matt 26:11). And we should try and relieve their pitiful situation as we are able (Lk 18:22; Gal 2:20). But the main purpose of sending a missionary out into the world, whether that place is Uganda, Siberia, New York City or your own home town, is to preach the Gospel that all men may repent of their sins and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith that they may be reconciled to God. More often than not, in my personal experience, missionaries have forsaken the true Gospel for something far different that will in the end allow them to show the "fruit of their labor" which will keep the money flowing in. Some will say how entire tribes have been converted and come to Jesus. But all too often, I fear, true conversions are rare if they have occurred at all.

So yes... I encourage missionaries to come and report of their work. And I want to know what is the Gospel they are preaching, if they are preaching at all. I want to know what they are teaching the people they are living amongst. And yes, I am interested in the temporal needs of the people as well. But what good is it if a child's belly is full but its destiny is eternal damnation? scratchchin


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Agreed smile

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But there's a difference between "psychological manipulation" and conviction by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there's a track record of not always being able to tell the two apart, both in conversion and in sanctification.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Originally Posted by MarieP
But there's a difference between "psychological manipulation" and conviction by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there's a track record of not always being able to tell the two apart, both in conversion and in sanctification.
Marie,

Where do you think the "error in judgment" falls? Do you think it is on the side of presuming the genuineness of the conversion/sanctification (conviction of the Holy Spirit)? Or, do you think it is on the side of skepticism relegating things to "psychological manipulation? scratchchin


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Good question....both are bad.

I would say that the former error is the most prevalent in the church at large today. Instead of looking at fruit over the long-run in people's lives, they look at temporary results and numbers of "decisions made for Christ." Just because you walked an aisle or prayed a prayer doesn't make you a true disciple. Just because you gave a check at a missions dinner doesn't mean you gave sacrificially or from the heart as God desires.

On the other hand, if I heard that, at a good, Gospel believing church, 20 people came to the pastor after the sermon and said they were convicted of their sin during the sermon and received Christ as Savior and Lord, then I would rejoice in that. I would pray that their faith would be quickly shown in the bearing of much fruit, but also I would realize that some Christians grow in maturity faster than others. If there was a sermon on the importance of prayer and then prayer meeting the next week is doubled in size, wouldn't it be charity to believe that my brethren really were convicted and not manipulated?

I could make the second scenario more interesting by saying "20 lost people started asking 'What must I do to be saved?' before the pastor stopped preaching" Of course, the average non-Reformed church would say, "Just walk down the aisle." Not that I've ever seen anyone ever do that in a service before...


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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yep My thinking is along the same lines as what you have stated. BigThumbUp


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