Chapter 20: Not Slaves to the Carnal

12/16/1990

WATCH out for carnal dominance in meetings. You surely have noticed that words from one whose life is hidden in Christ are heart-rending — while the exact same words from a self‑willed, uncrucified life are like fingernails on a chalkboard. Can you relate to that? The words aren’t it. It has to do with “the spirit and the life.”

It comes in various forms:

Mr. (or Ms.) Loud,

Mr. Opinionated,

Mr. Talkative,

Mr. Whine,

Mr. Know‑it‑all, Mr. Criticize,

Mr. Scholar, Mr. Control,

Mr. Experience,

Mr. Mega‑Talent,

Mr. Insensitive,

Mr. Let’s-Sing-My-Favorite‑Song (I love to sing),

Mr. I-Can-Help-You‑Poor‑People-Out,

Mr. We’ve-Got-To-Be-Careful-Here,

…and a host of cousins and nephews.

Pray and fast. Be willing to speak about the difficulties, first (if at all possible) “to him and him alone.” Then take it to him with two or three witnesses who can help to clarify the issue, and then tell it to the church (Mat.18). Exercise caution here and don’t “break the bruised reed” or “embitter the child.”62 The man who Jesus described in the parable of the talents as the “one-talent man” was very carnal in his reaction: “I know that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown…so I was afraid and went out and hid your talent.” That was a carnal reaction. “I don’t have to put up with this stuff. I knew you would cheat me and that you’re a hard master. I just knew. Man, this stuff is no fun at all and pooey‑pooey on you!” Obviously, that’s a very carnal reaction.

When you take an immature and dominant brother or sister aside, the typical reaction will be:

“Who do you think you are? I don’t talk anymore than anyone else! If that’s the way everyone feels, I just won’t talk anymore! Okay?!”

You know what I mean? (In other words, “I’ll just bury my talent then!”)

“I knew it; I just knew it. Forget it. I try so hard and nobody appreciates anything I do.”

That’s the “one-talent reaction.” It’s carnal and you can’t win either way. What they do, they do out of carnality. When you correct them on it, they want to bury their talent. Jesus’ response to talent bury-ers is “you wicked and lazy servant. . . Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Don’t allow carnality, weakness and disorder to reign. It’s a challenge because usually carnality, weakness and disorder want to usurp the throne. It’s typically weaker brothers or weaker sisters in most religious groups who have the loudest voices, make the most waves, control things, and get their own way. Weakness, carnality and disorder can reign so easily, and we can’t let that happen. Carnality, disorder and chaos cannot rule and reign over our meetings. It is neither loving nor compassionate to let carnality run God’s Kingdom. On the other hand, do not let the one‑talent (carnal) man bury his talent and thus kill himself (or herself), either.

Have fun and I wish you well.

Footnotes

62 The booklet “The Apostle Paul’s Guide to Discipling Carnal Christians” contains useful related principles. Back

 

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