(Mat 10:16) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
This is a verse that I have heard several times over for many years, and yet it is so contrary to what we as Christians teach and practice. As an Baptist, I have been taught and even practiced myself that we should take a militant stand against others that would pervert and twist the Word of God, ones that would teach another way to heaven, other than the truth.
Lt. Col. Ronald C. Speirs, E Co. 101st ABN (WWII) is quoted for saying, “…a soldier is suppose to function; without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends on it.”
This is too often the mentality that we have and even teach others to have by our actions and words. However, in Matthew 10, Christ is sending out the disciples to preach to the Jews and warns them of the men in which they will come in contact. But the answer of Jesus is simply to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves! I understand that we are to “mark and avoid” them that teach contrary to sound doctrine (Rom 16:17), but how many times do we take it upon ourselves to be dogmatic and legalistic toward them in addition?
Our command is to GO, TEACH, BAPTIZE, and TEACH; this is our Great Commission, this is our focus! If we are to be effective in reaching the world, and showing them that Jesus LOVES them and wants to save them, then we cannot be the average, arrogant, and hateful people as we are so often defined. I pray that I, myself might be defined as loving, compassionate, and as having a desire to show someone to Jesus. “Lord, lead me to someone, that I may share the Gospel with today.”