Arminian Today

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Making Peace But Walking Away

I pointed out in a previous post that Hebrews 12:14 calls us to pursue peace with all.  I wanted to talk briefly about whether there comes a time to just walk away from a person.  I am not speaking here of a mocker during evangelism but a person you consider a brother or sister in the Lord.  Should you ever just agree to disagree and walk away?

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”  Notice that Paul adds the condition here to peace and that is: if possible.  Sometimes peace seems to be impossible.  Let me give you an example from my own life.

I once had a dear friend in college.  He and I would meet every Tuesday for lunch.  We both were youth pastors at the time.  He was at a Baptist church and I was at an Assemblies of God church.  We would meet to just talk.  We had good laughs and often encouraged each other in the Lord.  After college he took a youth pastor job in Greensboro, NC.  I drove up to see him in the spring of 1998.  While there, we begin to discuss a situation in his ministry where a young girl was living in sexual sin.  I told him that he needed to call her to repent.  He asked me why and I told him that this girl was living in sin and was clearly needing him to rebuke her and call her to holiness.  He disagreed and argued that a believer is secure in their salvation no matter what they do.  Why call people to repent, he argued, when God doesn’t see their sin in the first place?  They are forever saved and forever holy before God because of Jesus or so he reasoned. We spent the next five hours talking about eternal security and holiness and true salvation.  In the end I told him that he misunderstood the holiness of God and he told me that I misunderstood the love of God.  The next morning I got up, told him goodbye and drove home.

Later this man left his wife and two children for a woman in the church whom he had had an adulterous relationship with for several years.  His antinomianism was his downfall.  I don’t rejoice in that.  I simply point it out.  I pray often for him to repent but sadly, the last I heard, he was still living in sin and far from God.

I tried to make peace with him but to no avail.  I tried to reason with him.  I tried to look at Scripture.  I still pray for him from time to time.  I want to see this man live for Jesus.  He once burned with a zeal for Christ but sadly he allowed poor teachings to lead him astray.  In this case, he learned his views from antinomian Bob George.

Sometimes you have to just walk away.  Pursue peace but then walk away.  I see noting in the Bible that suggests that we have to be friends with all people.  Just pursue peace as much as it depends on you.  I didn’t enjoy dividing from my friend.  I was sad that he had adopted views that led to shallow preaching and shallow living.  I am still sad that he has turned away from Christ.  This is not a debate over eternal security.  This is simply a desire in my heart to see my old friend love Jesus.  Perhaps he was never saved to begin with but either way, I want him to repent.  I don’t want him to go to hell.

Peace is not easy to obtain and while I made peace with him that night, I chose to walk away.  Making peace and remaining faithful friends are not the same.

My point is simple: as much as you can, pursue peace, but sometimes you have to just walk away.  Don’t allow bitterness to work in you (Hebrews 12:15).  Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).  How much more should we then pray for those whom we considered friends whom we disagreed and had to walk away?

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/21/2013 at 10:37 AM

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