As many of you regular readers are aware, here at Walk Worthy one of our passions is identifying, understanding and alerting the body of Christ to the schemes of the devil, and in so doing, to live a holy and righteous life in Jesus. Not talk only, but action day by day.
In this issue, I’ll attempt to describe seekers and stonewallers. Also, we’ll briefly probe the huge problem as I and others see it, and at the end propose solutions based on God’s holy Word. Let’s begin, shall we?
We can all seek God’s way of life at times, and we can all stonewall God’s way of life at times. The eternal issue of life and death is this: which of these two are we consistently practicing, or seeking to practice with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Where is our heart in all this? Are we really pleasing God is all respects? Or are we mainly talking a good game like the Pharisees and other hypocrites?
Are we, as rebuker, mainly a finger pointer first and foremost zealously calling attention to the other party’s speck in their eye? This rebuke against them may or may not be true if we won’t listen carefully, thoroughly, and honorably to their remonstrance and their possible proof that we, the rebuker, are wrong. Oh, no. Not me, you say. Oh? Never? Ever? 10% of the time? 80%? Could it even be that maybe we’re wrong most of the time in the way we go about trying to point out their beam?
Are we primarily seeking the true truth by getting the speck (or beam) out of our own eye first so we can see clearly to help the accused to get the beam out of their eye?
A seeker is a real treasure in God’s kingdom. He is mainly practicing the holy act of seeking the truth in all the diverse situations of his life. He’s actively involved daily, moment by moment, in seeking to bring all parties into being one in Christ. It’s his calling and passion, just like Jesus. If it’s the reason Jesus died, then he too puts 100% of his God-given resources into this most holy discipline.
Jesus prays, showing us we have God’s glory now when we’re seekers to be one. Amazing. The unity of the Spirit:
John 17:20-22 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
If we aren’t one, the pagan world doesn’t believe Jesus was sent. Is that where we are today?
Paul tries to correct one of his many church plants, the worldly, carnal Corinthians, from their party spirit, which will be leading them to hell itself:
1 Cor. 12:11-13 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Paul again reiterates the ancient theme of ethnic and spiritual reconciliation with another church plant:
Ephes. 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
There’s over 20,000 denominations in God’s kingdom we hear. It’s a stench in His nostrils to even consider He’s pleased at all with disunity we see. There’s one body. With no earthly name on it. Paul warns his charge to straighten up and fly right. Mere men of flesh practicing strife with jealously (vs. spiritual men) are not overcomers. Bad place to be with the Father at judgment time:
1 Cor. 3:1-4 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
So, then, seekers are those rare types that bring a smile to Jesus. They strive, probably too long and due to the influence of the Religion of Niceness, to be at peace with all men. But they eventual realize that the operative word from Paul is “if.” If you can…if…meaning it’s up to the other party (person or group) to do their part in being a part of the one body.
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
When the other party is a practicing stonewaller and refuses, and you’ve done what the Spirit says, and you’ve sought wise counsel that was offered, then that’s a horse of a different color. If they’re practicing stonewalling, then it’s not possible to be at peace, and you’re free from them, even with your broken heart. You’re new orders from our Commander in Chief are vastly different. We’ll explore those orders, those rules of God, at the very end.
One of the most widely accepted and “housebroken” of the devil’s schemes in the western body is being irreconcilable. This sinful, carnal, eternally damning habit is so widely practiced and ingrained that most of us consider it normal and customary. Those blind and deceived lost souls in His body called “tares,” and those who are being deceived by the activities of these “tares,” are normally both practicing stonewalling. Frightening. The Word of God accurately predicts their final destination: on their way to being lost and cast into the lake of fire.
How can we tell what stonewalling may look like and what are the mile markers to its full bloom in our own lives?
One way, it appears, is to explore the fact to discover if we’re seekers or stonewallers.
Please note: in my experience, the “how” of communication and honoring each other is the vertical pillar and more important that the horizontal “what” or the issue itself. If we can’t get the “how” right, the “what” will never be solved to be one body, and unified.
In your heart of hearts, are you primarily seeking the other parties understanding of truth first not caring who’s right or wrong as long as you all have the mind of Christ collectively? Or are you mainly scrutinizing the other party first, defending yourself at every turn, not actively listening to understand their position? And pointing out their flaw even in a completely different arena then what they brought up to you? Be honest. What illustrations can others bring to you to test your initial opinion? And don’t just gather “yes men” around you to get the answer you want. Better to get the true truth now than to show up and meet Jesus and be shocked at His response.
We’ve probably all heard the term ‘seeker and skeptic.’ But a skeptic may well be on his way to being a seeker needing more exposure and knowledge to dispel his skepticism. I personally was a skeptic but I did want the truth, and eventually turned into a seeker…
Now the Pharisees, those both in Jesus’ day and those fleshly religious leaders of today in both the institutional and house church, are not practicing seeking. For sure. And they’re not, in our opinion, skeptics. They’re only wanting to validate their fleshly opinion.
Or, even more seductive, they may have an occasional valid point but the way or method they use is so caustic, so arrogant, so debilitating to those around them, that their point is swallowed up by the sin of pride.
Jesus commands us when we encounter the stonewalling leader:
Matthew 23:3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.
But they’re still stonewallers at the end of the day. And when you’re on the lookout to proclaim the true truth, the stonewallers are not only cut from the Pharisee cloth, but also can be found virtually in every religious and social group and every family, whether saved or unsaved.
It’s a cultural phenomenon it appears. Based on the past 20 years of dealing in the market place, His church, the family, I’d put the number of stonewallers at 90%+. And the percentage is probably higher in the church. As with the divorce rate and other sins, a sickening fact appears that fleshly religion seeps in and many short circuit defaulting to the practice of stonewalling. It seems Satan works over time since he knows how effective this sin is in destroying God’s kingdom goals.
If you don’t believe me, read (George Barna’s partner) David Kinnaman’s book “Unchristian” for all the dirty details. See www.unchristian.com
What definitions and specific examples of stonewalling we can relate to?
You most likely know them well. You may see yourself in them. They’re everywhere today. For quite some time, I myself was totally unaware that I too was practicing the fine art of being a stonewaller. Thanks to Jesus and His Spirit for convicting my heart of this evil practice!
Some of their overall traits are as follows. Please let me know what else we can add to this in your opinion. We’ll start with a true seeker and contrast with the stonewallers:
A seeker is one who:
a) advocates their opinion rigorously and humbly while seeking honorable feedback and others opinions until stonewalled by others,
b) actively seeks new information that brings clarity and truthful unity,
c) lovingly admonishes-teaches others while first seeking to remove the log in their own eye in the area they’re speaking about, and
d) knows they stonewall on occasion and seek to limit it with the Spirit’s help!
A stonewaller is one who:
a) practices advocating their opinion only to get the other to agree,
b) refuses new information,
c) accuses other people of not listening if not agreed,
d) never thinks they practice stonewalling, and
e) attacks others who suggest they may indeed be doing this!
Practicing Christian stonewallers:
1. have their minds made up on cherished doctrines-opinions, often hiding behind “the Bible is clear,” and only seek to verify their opinions, while astonished they might be a stonewaller.
2. when presented with a Biblical communication model around Acts 15, they often refuse to apply it to their own method when they teach or admonish you.
3. consistently ignore or refuse to listen carefully and thoroughly to your opinion of doctrine and/or admonishment about them, while advocating-pushing their opinions only, coming back at you with things they dislike, while rolling over you in a dishonorable way.
4. they claim you’re “not listening” or you’re a “stonewaller,” (if you introduced them to that term) when you don’t-can’t agree with their opinion-accusation.
5. proclaim “the Bible is clear” regarding their opinion-accusation, while often demeaning any Hebrew-Greek word meanings and commentaries that would help, plus refusing to search together over time for the Lord’s mind using the Bible and other sources.
6. accuse you of hypocrisy (saying one thing and doing the opposite) while themselves often practice the same by refusing to consider even a speck in their own eye.
7. eventually make your concerns against them undiscussable when you try to bring them back to your initial point, and they see you’re not fully agreeing at this time.
8. make their undiscussability undiscussable when you point out they’re stonewalling tactics as they often redouble their attack on you, even as you have lovingly, rigorously, and effectively point these things out to them.
9. eventually, a) drop the issue but continue to snipe at you, or b) refuse to gather with you, or c) put you out, further splitting the church and often continuing with their group built around a main doctrine (or 2 or 10) and/or personality that practices at least several of the 7 characteristics of a cult.
Rejoice and be glad when this happens to you, beloved. Many of you reading this are going through the pain and sorrow of a “family” breakup right now, or have recently gone through it (again), or will be going through it (again) soon. Don’t give up on love…and don’t become hard, keep yourself vulnerable to love and risk loving again.
Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”
Did He say leap? Not feel like leaping? Go ahead and leap anyway! And shout for joy. Maybe God considers you’re worthy to suffer shame at the hands of stonewallers.
An old ploy of the devil is called “argument to the man” or attacking the character of the man without addressing the issue on the table. It’s also called shooting the messenger. It happened to Jesus all the time:
John 8:48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
Bogus. It’s hit and run. A red herring. Distraction. It’s the devil’s key strategy. Don’t fall for it. Keep going. You’ll probably have less problems with unbelievers than stonewalling believers if past history proves true once again.
I have a list of several hundred occasions of stonewalling I’ve seen of the last number of years. To be clear for those of you who might be thinking about church discipline procedures, these are not private Matthew 18 sins. Paul confronted Peter directly as recounted in Galatians 2. Sapphira was called short in Acts 5 and died shortly thereafter. And this verse should dispel any further doubt:
1 Tim. 5:19-20 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.
Here’s just the tip of the iceberg that I’ve personally encountered.
1. The Arrogant Head Buffalo
An elder-pastor type leaves a Pentecostal institutional church for the right reason that this specific church is teaching you go to hell if you don’t “tithe.” What tripe. He takes several families with himself and begins a new work in his home having zero experience in true simple church, placing himself as head buffalo of the group and fooling himself into thinking he isn’t running the show and practicing the same Pharisee methods as he just left. His only experience is home groups under the thumb of the mother church and other head buffaloes.
He teaches that non-tongue speakers are going to hell, and arrogantly refuses to look at any other opinions to his heresy, even those of other Pentecostal leaders, some with national prominence. People in the assemble jokingly call him “the bishop” but all know it’s true. When I arrive with my wife, he promises to “always be there for us.” Trying wrongly a new tactic of waiting and building a “25 ton bridge” relationship vs. immediately going to the Word with him, I observe how he manipulates the saints. He does have some fine moments but they’re far and few between.
After a few months of blatant heavy handedness with the group, I go privately to him and point out a better way in our opinion, pointing him to other brothers also that he can speak with nationally to confirm my concerns. He stonewalls at once, claiming “the Spirit told him,” sends a list of things he doesn’t like about me, refuses to meet to discuss my original concerns of his – now adding stonewalling to his other sins, eventually writing a cold email and demanding we never to show up again, and copying the other leaders who he appointed single handedly. Scary.
2. The No Rules Cheap Grace Leader
A long time “friend” and fellow elder who has issues with me over 10+ years on what constitutes obedient faith, refuses to meet with me to hear my position after I meet with him on at least 3 occasions to understand his position. He writes condescending emails to me and copies others but refuses to honorably meet to be reconciled or even return calls to set a time to meet.
He actually tells me God has no rules (or commands) and redefines what it means to be “free” in Jesus, refusing to acknowledge we’re free from sin but enslaved to God (Rom. 6). I once again ask to meet to celebrate our common faith in praise, seek God, and wait on Him. He stonewalls, writes a last scathing email, unsubscribes from our email list, and is not heard from again. It’s his-way-or-the-highway. With cheap grace.
3. The Dishonoring Grown Children
A man hard after Christ has a married daughter and son-in-law that are firmly ensconced in the American Gospel and the Religion of Niceness. When he’s suffering for his faith because of significant evangelism and sacrificial lifestyle, the children say he’s making poor decisions and under the discipline of God.
They spiritualize their refusal to meet and listen to him by blaming his “sin and immaturity” and confirm their decision with the counsel of others just like them in the huge church they attend. As the man attempts to meet and write to describe their destructive, carnal, amusement-filled lifestyle eternally affecting the man’s granddaughter, they stonewall and he is blown off and dismissed. Bridge out ahead.
4. Big Church Political Manipulation
A mega church “senior pastor” has another junior pastor call a key leader who has departed for another fledgling church and telling the saint he is no longer welcome in the ministry he began at the mega church because he now attends another “church.” The mega church stonewalls the saints request for reconsideration, and is divisive. Having another do your dirty work is a key trait of a stonewalling head buffalo who controls and manipulates the flock. It’s a terrifying thing to fall in the hands of the living God.
5. The Disrespectful Wife
A believing wife constantly accuses her husband of not being “nice” to her while he tries to bring illustrations that she’s caused much of the whole situation through her long time disrespect. She stonewalls, saying outright and arrogantly that she’s not doing so, refusing to act on the resources given her by the husband that can help the marriage, with others confirming his admonishment of her as they also have spoken into her life.
She aggressively tells him he needs to get the beam out of his eye, even though he first came to her on her practice of disrespect. How does he avoid this situation as the Word declares he must do? No counsel is available that has biblically handled situations like this that are rampant in His body. Sorrow in the Savior’s heart.
6. Written Disunity
Several church leaders are exhorted by myself to come to Florida for as long as it takes to seek God, praising Him that He’ll honor our unity in becoming one mind on the role of women in the church, an enormous unresolved issue worldwide. They all stonewall, either refusing or outright ignoring my offer, but continue to write books, emails, and blog posts defending their own position without honoring the other party, their brethren. Some even preach unity, but won’t take biblical steps to walk it out and make it a reality. Our women are held captive by the evil pride of divisiveness.
Sound too negative? Be careful we don’t fall into the New Age trap ascribing to the Religion Of Niceness. Here’s a piece we wrote sometime ago to help set the record straight: THE NEGATIVE OF ALWAYS BEING POSITIVE [MONDAY MANNA 140]
Look carefully at the words of the Holy Bible, their frequency and what they primarily concentrate upon…correction: “don’t do that, but do this…” and “if you do this, then bad things won’t happen to you.” If God is love, and He is, then Love is being like God. And doing what He does as a human filled with God’s Spirit. It’s not soft sentimentality.
Maybe ask God and wise counsel what your next step is with the stonewallers in your life, if you’re a seeker.
If you’re a seeker, bless you, and keep firm with the Father and His grace to stay clean and clear in this crucial area.
Do what you can do with the stonewaller, but then you can move on with God’s blessing. The principle God has set forth is crystal clear, although hardly any teacher has the guts to teach and preach it these days. They’re more concerned with being “nice” and making people feel good, not doing good.
2 Tim. 3:2-5 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable (or stonewallers), malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.
It must be vital, since Jesus had it recorded in every synoptic gospel:
Matthew 10:14 “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.
Mark 6:11 “Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.”
Luke 9:5 “And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
Notice His Word commands, “as you go out” not “IF you go out…” He full expects us to be on the way to the next encounter and to obey 100% of the time. His courage and boldness through immeasurable grace is given for us all who follow in His steps. That immeasurable grace is not, as most teach, given willy nilly to just anyone who proclaims kingdom citizenship and lives more like the devil himself. Talk is very cheap in God’s economy. But grace is abundant for practicing seekers:
Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This grace, in the context of the passage, is to not sin against our holy God. It’s a sin to fraternize with practicing stonewallers. We’re to get out of there. And then to let God work. Don’t be “nice.” Be obedient. (See NICE IS NOT THE POINT [AT THE BATTLE FRONT 34] and WAS JESUS MEAN? [AT THE BATTLE FRONT 33] to see a non-American perspective on true truth.)
Thomas Dubay, published through our good friend Jon Zens of Searching Together, has a classic piece for all to consider:
And our own little group spent a fair amount of time plumbing the depths of Acts 15 on how the first group of believers honorably and joyfully avoided the first possible church split:
But now the tough stuff…
If you’re a stonewaller, and please remember it’s my firm belief that over 90%+ of western Christians fall in that category, then you most likely need strong discipleship with a seeker, not a fellow stonewaller who models the same destructive behavior. Repent. Really repent. Beg and beseech God for a broken and contrite spirit that only He can heal up and then put you into fruitful service that brings further unity.
I can perhaps speak with you too about other resources available, my own journey and those few others I know that have been delivered from the spirit of pride and arrogance to humbly but boldly walk with Christ.
How important is it that you get this right?
Strife and contention. A party spirit. Disunity. Jealously. Every evil thing.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Disputes: selfish ambition, rivalries.
Dissentions: standing apart.
Did you hear that? Do you have ears to hear? The lake of fire.
And factions. Meaning heresy. What is the real meaning of heresy? It’s drawing people away unto yourselves.
hairesis; from Greek (haireomai); choice, opinion: factions(m)(2), heresies(1), sect(6). Sect of the hell bound, stonewalling Pharisees: Acts 5.17, 15.5; 26.5.
1 Cor. 11:19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Paul is dead serious here. Being sober in all things, and trying to be innocent of the blood of all men.
Of course, if you’re a stonewaller and still unpersuaded of your eternal peril, and who refuses to deal with your own heart, one place you may want to turn in God’s word is John.
You know He loves you. For God so loved the world…and all that in John 3.16.
But have you taken this fact into your soul recently just a few verses later?
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow (pressed) that leads to life, and there are few (small number) who find it. Matthew 7:14
And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 1 Peter 4:18
Do we still think it’s all automatic?
What will it be? Seeker or stonewaller?
Every grace today, beloved…
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
You may view our Archives here: MONDAY MANNA – ARCHIVES; Complete Archives; feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.