Debate! Debate!

Mr. Roarke owned an island called “Fantasy Island.” People would big bucks to go to this island and have some sort of fantasy lived out. They would arrive in a plane and Mr. Roarke’s sidekick, little Tattoo, would yell out his famous line, “De plane! De plane!”

He would then jump on his go-cart or come running to the plane. Mr. Roarke would welcome the new guests and the show would begin.

I am tired of Tattoo. Metaphorically speaking of course.

This little guy has been at work around the community the Lord has put me and my wife in. Although I have heard this little voice instead,

“Debate! Debate!”

There has been a strong charge for people to pick a side on an issue. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Let’s be right about it. Someone else is wrong. Or maybe I’m wrong and I need to jump over the fence so I can be right.

The Lord has said something that I feel needs sharing. I hope you are able to receive it in a way the Lord desires for you. For I know there are many people who have been, and will continue to be, affected by this if we don’t realize what is happening.

What is happening?

What is happening is that the Lord is building His Church!

There are people all over the world who have seen a vision of Christ and desire to have Him as their leader, not a human.

There are people all over the world who have been encouraged by the words of saints that direct their attention to Christ as Life.

There are people all over the world who don’t know if its possible to truly be a part of a group of believers that function with Christ as their Head, but are willing to be available for His expression.

There are people all over the world who are looking for Christ, they are looking for encouragement as they seek who they are in Him, they are looking for other people who see Christ as they do so they can connect with the text they write on their Facebook wall, or Twitter page, or blog posts.

Who are these people?

These people are hungry. They are hungry for Christ. They are hungry for His Life. They are hungry for His expression on this earth. They are hungry for His discipleship. They are hungry for His movement.

These people have denied themselves. They have denied their desire to be leaders. They have denied their desire to let someone else do it. They have denied their desire to sit and listen. They have denied their desire to be right. They have denied their desire to desire themselves.

These people have groped for Christ. They have groped for communion with other believers. They have groped for visions and sightings of Christ that would label them as weird. They have groped for physical connections of the spirit. They have groped for His leading and His Way.

These people have embraced Christ. Forsaking all others, these people have wrapped their arms around any believer who sees Christ as Life, as all, as the reality of the vision of God. There has been an embrace to those who don’t know who they are in Christ yet, but an embrace nonetheless.

These people have become guardians. You see, this world is not our home. We have divine passports. We are ambassadors. We have a mission. This earth is a temporary location. Eternity is our home. Christ is our home. He is our mission and our destination. These people are guardians of this reality.

Fishing

Debate. It is healthy, right? Besides, in the US we are having our presidential election this year. There will be debates all over the place. Therefore, we must know what we know and how to get people to understand how we understand…right?

I caution those of us that need to be right. I caution those of us that need to be sure to “fix” other people’s perspectives. I caution those of us that demean, belittle, condescend, attack, abuse, accuse brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.

You may have taken “de-bait.”

The Bait is something that gets thrown out to attract. It is something shiny. Something tasty. Something with an attractive aroma. Something that seems to be.

But it isn’t.

There is a hook in this bait. The enemy is fishing for you my brother, my sister. The enemy would love to pull you away from our true focus, who is Christ.

If you see a brother or a sister and they are different than you in their expression of Christ, please celebrate the diversity of our Lord. If you point out their difference as right or wrong, you have taken “de-bait.”

Hooks hurt and continue to drag you away from your focus.

Christ.

Brothers and sisters, may we see our Divine siblings as Family, unified. Not divided on debate and issues. Because the only issue we have is anti-Christ.

This anti-Christ, Jesus speaks of.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? … you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:13-16, 20 NASB)

John 10 also has some strong encouragement for those of us that may be confused or having a difficult time discerning a brother or sister. For one of our own to snatch people up or scatter us (vs 12) …

That is a wolf.

To all of you wolves out there, take off your sheep skin. Quit faking. But we know you won’t. We know you have an agenda. We know you want to snatch us up and scatter us.

May the number of Christ be alive in this time. May we stand in Christ. May we guard against the enemies attacks. May we see only Him. May we disengage with debate and engage with speaking Christ.

For He Is All.

May the act in this video display our unity! For we are all in unison. We are all together. We are all for the same purpose. And we speak and move as one.

23 comments

  1. Jamal Jivanjee · August 28, 2012

    Absolutely essential article. Thank you.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Thanks for reading and commenting, brother. Our focus is Christ.

  2. lovegodloveeachother · August 28, 2012

    Blessed words.

  3. jimpuntney · August 28, 2012

    this is an example of “words fitly spoken”, thanks bro!

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Thanks for reading Jim, and for the encouragement. Praise the Lord for His voice.

  4. Cindy · August 28, 2012

    “I caution those of us that need to be right. I caution those of us that need to be sure to “fix” other people’s perspectives. I caution those of us that demean, belittle, condescend, attack, abuse, accuse brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.” YES! YES! YES! Change will not come through accusation or insult or arrogance.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Cindy, thanks for reading and for commenting. Your statement is spot on. With Christ as our focus, He molds us and changes us into His likeness. Man cannot accomplish this feat. Blessings to you.

  5. Trevor Honeycutt · August 28, 2012

    You may have taken “de-bait.” >>> You are SO clever!!! I grinned ear-to-ear when I read this.

    I read a good book by John Bevere once called “The Bait of Satan”. To juice the book down to one word; the “bait of Satan” is offense.

    The squabbling of debating is just the evidence of the enemy’s presence attempting to get saints – arguing unto offense unto coolness unto division unto death.

    Jesus Christ has prevailed and shall prevail, for in Him we are held together. And His love, patience, and kindness are the strings He’s using to weave a beautiful garment made of heavenly kevlar.

    Self-righteousness, perfectionism, arguing, debate, and accusation must leave the camps of the Lord. They are not welcome.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Good word, Trevor. Self-righteousness, perfectionism, arguing, debate, and accusation are not welcome for sure! We stand as one for Christ, against these foes. His Kevlar is an amazing outfit! Thanks for reading and commenting, bro.

  6. Vinny · August 28, 2012

    De Life De Life in Christ. Thats what I’m talkin bout! 🙂 It was a De light to read this Mark. I was raised in a church to fulfill His GREAT! Commission but I have learned since then that His GREAT! passion is US and that we may be one as He and the Father are one. Conversely I see how much He hates those things that separate and divide us.
    I believe How we go about oneAnothering in these matters is so much more important than any “issue” and can actually demonstrate His Love in a way not often seen today.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Vinny. One Anothering is key. Love you brother.

  7. Michael D'Artagnan Kesselring · August 28, 2012

    Seeing as I was born in 1991, I had to look up this Fantasy Island reference. (For any other not-so-chronologically inflated people who would like some context, here’s a link)

    ANYWAY, I appreciate this article very much, brother Mark. I have very much taken the bait many times and, as you said, it hurts! There is a healthy questioning that comes from a desire for the Lord and also a destructive questioning that comes from a desire to elevate yourself (or group) and minimize the work of Christ in another.
    This was a needed reminder to myself and fellow saints!

    In Christ,
    Mike

    Also, Tattoo the Midget seems more like a command than a person’s name, but that’s neither here nor there.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Thanks Michael. I have updated the post with your video link. Much appreciated. Context always helps! And I don’t disagree with your final assessment either! Much love to you brother.

  8. Frank Prescott · August 28, 2012

    This is a timely article. My wife and I were discussing along this line last night. I am encouraged and as I tag my email and text messages, I am “Pressing On ==> ==> ==>”.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Frank, thanks for reading. Glad you and your wife are encouraged. Press on my brother! The Lord is worth it.

  9. Dan Follette · August 28, 2012

    I was dealing with some questions just today. Thanks for helping confirm the answers that the Lord revealed to me. I am blessed to call you brother

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Hey Dan, I am blessed to call you brother as well. Praise the Lord for Family. The Lord is good, isn’t He!?

  10. Michael K. · August 29, 2012

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement Mark. Man – what a world of hurt that happens if we take our focus off our Lord! It is His life in us that produces the fruit of love. When we’re not living by that life – we’re not loving. May unity in Christ increase!

  11. michaelleeking · August 29, 2012

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement Mark. I find such sanity in other members of Christ proclaiming the importance of holding fast to the Head. We can slip so easily can’t we?

    • marklchampion · August 30, 2012

      You got it bro! The Lord is good. He is our source of Life! Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings.

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