COUNSEL: Matters That Divide
September 13, 2002

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Dear Readers:

Recent days have brought many issues before Watchmen-Prophets-Assembly: many issues that tend to divide people, and cause them to have a quickened pulse, a more rapid heart beat and heightened blood pressure. Usually, when these issues are discussed face to face, it is difficult for people to regulate the steam that issues from their ears while they approach boil over. Thankfully, we at WPA have been spared from the damage that is caused by discussions and debates like these, where people speak before any self-control is exercised.

During these last several days, I have noted that personally, there has been great temptation to give in to division in my own household as well.

Indeed, several prophets have revealed that a floodtide of demons have been released recently against the church, particularly in America.

There is a flaw in my nature that expects people to "get it", particularly those who are close to me. When they do not "get it", I sometimes get impatient. Sometimes, I fail to remember that it took several years for the Lord to bring me to a settled place in my beliefs regarding certain difficult areas of the faith. Then, I expect others to understand everything clearly in a day or two? It ain't happening!

And then, I have an understanding of something that I call the Matterhorn principle. That great mountain looks like four different mountains when viewed from the North, South, East or West. I find that I can apply the Matterhorn principle in my dealings with a prophet whom I respect, like Bob Neumann, or Alex Puyol. The three of us can see a Kingdom principle like we would see the Matterhorn from a different direction. I sometimes forget to apply it when dealing with my wife and children, or with a prophet whom I do not know.

Think about the vitriolic discussions you have overheard, or been involved in, where the following questions are discussed:

Can a woman be a pastor or overseer of a church?
Should women still wear head coverings where they pray or prophesy?
Should the prophets of today submit to existing church governments?
Will America be blessed and prospered, or brought down in a day?
Are we guilty of murmuring and divisive talk when we find fault with existing church government?
Is tithing a law for the Christian?
Is speaking in tongues for today?
Is baptizing an infant scriptural?
Are we saved because God elects it so, or by our own free will?
Will we see modern day apostles?

There we have only ten, and there are many more. I guarantee you that there are many different views on these issues that are present among the members of Watchmen-Prophets-Assembly.

The members of WPA have done a good job recently. Many have probably been doing their very best to hold in their disagreements with certain things that have been written. Good job!

However, sometimes, something must be said. It might be wrong to say nothing in God's sight. How do you know?

What should we do when we read something and our blood begins to boil? This is my method, and I hope it helps you:
1) I do not use the reply feature that is available by email to Yahoo groups. It is too quick. Short tempers can flare. Words can fly off the key pad, and a whole, complete thought is not expressed. The reply feature is directed to one particular post and one particular member. It can be highly offensive if used wrongly. Used correctly, it can be personally encouraging. In the case of WPA, this type of post will certainly be rejected by me, the moderator, and you might get upset at me too for doing that.

2) I'll write a complete article of reply, dealing with a complete subject or Kingdom principle. I won't post it yet.

3) I'll edit that article of reply for any accusations or inflammatory phrases. I'll scripturally defend the point I am trying to make. I will refer to the item, in another post, where I believe another view is possible, helpful and perhaps more correct.

4) If I am still hot, with blood boiling, I will let my article sit overnight, and edit it in the following morning after I have had time to come into the Lord's presence. I'll bring that thing that bothered me before the Lord, and see what He has to say. Then, I will edit it again to make sure that my article is well reasoned and thought out, scripturally defended and free of personal attack. I want to make sure that I have affirmed the PERSON in Christ, even if I have disagreed with what they have said. I want to be sure that I have not attacked the person.

5) Finally, before I am ready to post something that could produce an inflammation in spite of my best efforts, I will pray. Ideally, I should pray for myself, that I have guidance, and for others who will read it, that they will not be wounded. I will then lift my hands, to see whether God's anointing and presence are upon me. I will examine my spirit, to see if I am at peace.

6) It is a time-honored phrase: We should not raise our voices, but buttress our arguments!

I hope these guidelines help us to hold on to our unity of the faith in Christ Jesus, where the Lord commands the blessing in our midst.

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Stephen L. Bening

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