I was reading in the Spalding and Magan collection this morning and came across this statement on page 25.
When the enemy begins to work, we need not allow our feelings to control, and resort to strange fire. We need not become combative. By doing this, we may thus betray the cause at the very point where victory is ours. If we let go our hold of Jesus, and trust in ourselves, it may take months, or perhaps years, to counteract that one wrong move. Unless we are converted, and become as little children, we shall never see the kingdom of God. SpM Page 25
How many of us have felt a warm flush come to our face when our belief in the Father and His Son are challenged? How many times have we shot back a sharp remark when someone who believes in the Trinity scoffs, mocks or infers that we are rebellious towards the church for holding this position. What about the many forums on the web, where argumentive strange fire has pervaded the whole conversation; mind against mind, will against will in an effort to prove the other person is wrong.
Does this not damage the work of uplifting the Lord Jesus, the most meek, gentle and gracious person that ever walked upon this earth? As we read above, a single harsh comment can take months and even years to undo. Let us pray for the loving spirit of Jesus, so when the enemy begins to excite the prejudice of those who have not studied our postion, it will not provoke us to bring down strange fire upon them in "righteous indiganation"
It is for these reasons that I choose not to engage fellow Adventists on facebook or other forums that hold an opposing view. The chances for strange fire coming down upon the conversation is too great. I want to be able to sit with my brother and put my arm around him as I appeal to him to consider the lovely Jesus as the Son of the living God. I want to listen carefully to his concerns and meekly present to him what I have found, praying all the while that the Spirit of our Father will convict them without one harsh word coming from my lips.
So I appeal to all my brothers and sisters, let us avoid entering into discussions where a spirit of combat is manifest. Let us pray for opportunities to display the loving character of Christ in all our words and actions.
During the Sabbath hours, may we plead for more of the heavenly fire that fell upon the disciples and be better placed to detect and avoid the strange fire of sharp words.