Pastor’s Pen by Pastor D. L. Barnett

There are many controversies among believers today. It seems that everywhere one turns, offence and defense abound. Argument and opinion have taken the driver’s seat; while the Word and the Spirit have been put in the back seat – and some have even strapped them in the restraints of the car seat. Why is this contention among God’s people?

It boils down to four reasons: The Gospel, The Christian Life, The End Times, and Scoffers following their own minds. Maybe you’re asking yourself, as I have, how could any true Christian quarrel over the Gospel, or living the Christian life, the promises of prophecy in the End Times or and Scoffers following their own minds?

It starts in the heart and mind! Presumption of heart condition and preconceived notions in mindset, apart from deep Bible study and diligence in prayer, is put in place of the truth – that is “my truth” has been exchanged for The Truth of God and His Word. It is parroted theology, closed eyes and deaf ears, and an unwillingness to get outside one’s own interpretations.

In Scriptural fact, let me share the following passages that states what was just read above:

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet. 1:19-21)

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet. 3:3-4)

 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor. 15:1-4)

 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.  (Zec. 7:11)  

 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matt. 13:15) 

As one can see, or at least I hope so, the Biblical evidence is overwhelming that even people, who claim to be God’s people, stop up their ears, close their eyes, scoff and get their spiritual priorities out of order.

Since, the first issue of concern I raised was the controversy among believers, here are a few recent realities, events, happenings and discussions that have been circling the Christian news cycle, that are causing disunity – based on what our personal views are about them; and dare I say not looking to the whole counsel of God, but on what parts we prefer:

– The upcoming eclipse in April 2024

– The war in Israel and Gaza

– The apostacy of Christians

– The breakdown of Christian families

– The rise of paganism in society

– The red heifers and animal sacrifice

– The firing of Candace Owens from Daily Wire

– The funding of Ukraine by the U.S.

– The inflation and shrinkflation in the world economy

– The number of natural disasters increasing

– The agendas of powers, principalities, rulers of the world

– The amount of deception in the media

– The rise of violence and persecution of Christians

– The difficulty of the times in which we live

– The technology, A.I. and the 4th Industrial Revolution

– The Green Movement and Climate Change

– The undermining of national governments

– And yes, vaccines are still an issue

These are just a few (though that is a lot)…. And in Christian circles, people are arguing over whether we really are in the end times, whether or not the signs of the times are actually prophetic, whether or not one should just preach the Gospel and not touch on Bible prophecy, some even focus so much on the 1/3rd of prophetic future found in the Bible that the other 2/3rd’s are ignored.

I would like to try and help us get a grip and quit griping about one another, and stop. Be still. Not letting“bitter roots” grow (See Hebrews 12). Check ourselves at the door of the Word of God. Listen to what “The Spirit” is saying to the Church today (See Revelation 2-3).

Biblically speaking on issue of disagreements –  they are bound to rise, as Paul said – led by the Holy Spirit, “For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” (1 Cor. 11:18-19); God has called us to unity in the one Lord, one baptism, one faith and one Spirit. (See Eph. 4)

Again, I have said it beforeI refuse to ignore the warnings, the signs, the necessity to watch, guard and stand in our age!!

As Jesus Himself said, “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:25-36)

There is a rebuke that Jesus gave that tells us hypocrites pay attention to the weather but not the time in which we live – along with not seeing the spiritual climate of this age and signs of the times.

He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? (Luke 12:54-56) 

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (Matt. 16:2-3)

 So, why am I sharing all this…. We are not immune to controversy. I am hoping and praying that the controversies we discuss and are a part of, are God honoring, Biblically grounded and Spirit led. I am asking and anticipating that God will convict each of us, in the area of controversy we each are prone or drawn to, to consider if we place to much emphasis on one and not enough on the other. Let’s let “man sharpen man as iron sharpens iron” (See Pro. 27:17). Let’s set our “self” aside and seek the LORD, study His Word, heed His Spirit. Then, as the issues fade in the light of the Scriptures, offence and argument will dissipate and The Truth will prevail. After all, are we not all on the same journey with Jesus? Isn’t what He says on these matters more important than any man’s opinion about it? One day, we will see the LORD, we will know that He is right, and we will understand where we were wrong.

Therefore, I close with this:

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Cor. 1:10)

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:16-17) 

 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. (2 Cor. 13:8)

By Jesus’ Grace,

In Brotherly Love,

For the Truth,



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