Before addressing this, maybe we should back up a little. In fact, maybe we ought to back up quite a bit.
The Bible teaches that God became a man. What a person believes about this claim - has no effect upon it. For centuries, God had worked with one particular culture, and chose to make His appearance there. "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came into His own things (Israel), and those who were His own did not receive Him" (Jn 1:10,11). Over those centuries, much had been revealed about His personality, priorities and goals. Israel should have welcomed Him, but, as a whole, they did not. We are told He had "no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him" (Isa 53:2). Most likely, His enemies hated His looks and mannerisms ... maybe even the pitch of His voice. They were determined to silence that voice. Eventually, they framed Him, and had Him executed.
At one point in His ministry, Jesus stated, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher" (Lk 6:40). Human nature has not changed. If given the opportunity, many will silence a voice they do not want to hear. For any Christian, a life that does not end like the Teacher's ... well, that pupil has been spared. That's fine with me. I have no desire to end this life on a Roman cross - or any contemporary equivalent.
In spite of this, over the millennia, Christians have shared their encounters with the living God in many ways. Political and technological advances have often granted new avenues for the expression of this witness. Whether it's the invention of a printing press, radio or television, or a government that grants religious freedoms to its citizenry ... great platforms have opened for a Christian's "voice." Let's look at a new one.
A few years ago, there was no such thing as the Internet ... or a Christian website. This medium is truly astounding. It is now possible for Christians to upload their work and influence people all over the world - without leaving the desk. And Christians who live in locations where they can exercise this "voice" have been granted inordinate favor. Such fortune is remarkable. Words cannot convey the magnitude of such an opportunity now available to an individual Christian. Personally, I am amazed God has placed such a "megaphone" at the end of fingertips attached to such faulty hands.
So, with this new medium, the Christian should expect new rules. New boundaries for new opportunities in a new time ... right? Well, you already know what's coming. All the old rules still apply. A Christian website is not "a free zone." And what are these rules? "Each man must watch how he builds on (the foundation). For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each man's work will become evident; for The Day will display it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work, which he has built upon (the foundation) survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss ...." (1Cor 3:10-15). Of course, any material about God that springs from a different foundation has absolutely no hope of prevailing before our Creator. It will be dismissed out of hand.
One primary determinant between fire and reward is the accuracy of the proclaimed knowledge. One's "interpretation," or "good intentions," or what "seems or feels right," will not prevail over bad information. God is not obligated to use your error, or mine, to expand His Kingdom. What an oxymoron. Error is destined for fire. It does not matter if it springs from simple ignorance - or malicious deception. Its origin is irrelevant.
It should also be understood that the Bible's most aggressive warnings are directed at those who represent the Creator. He wants to be represented accurately - and repeatedly warns anyone taking on this endeavor. "Let not many become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgement" (Ja 3:1). This is directed at brethren - who have been pardoned! So, what is in store for false teachers, prophets and others who herald a message different from the Bible? God is extremely intense about this ... far beyond my understanding. (See 2Pet 2:1-22 and Jude: 3-19 for starters.)
But along with accurate content, there is another bedrock consideration for "how" one should properly build upon the foundation. Let's talk about money. Before becoming a Christian, I always knew when I had come across some Christian television or radio program. Within minutes (or seconds) they would be asking for money - my money, your money, grandma's money, anybody's money, everybody's money. I instinctively knew many were charlatans, but as for the rest ... what kind of "god" needs his servants calling for the contents of my wallet? This turned me off ... and, with the flip of a switch, I turned them off. Fortunately, the Author of the Bible did not remain silent about my complaint on this matter.
For a variety of reasons, there came a point in my life when I decided I wanted to actually read the Bible for myself. To my amazement, I found an abundance of information about money ... and religious frauds. At the time of this writing, I have been a Christian for over thirty years. God has never charged me a penny for any of His information - or acts - on my behalf. And He never will. So, if I am claiming to represent Him to others, why would I? Of course, I have heard "why" for three decades ... but most "whys" are rationalizations - not reasons. "Freely you received, freely give" (Mt 10:8). Shouldn't the Christian seek out this option first?
So, let's look again at a Christian website and the Bible. By investing just a few dollars in their own work, Christians can share what God has shared with them ... all over the world ... for free. This is exciting ... and shocking. When I think of Christians past (and present), who have never been given such a "voice" ... it is clear this has nothing to do with fairness. But, even more shocking, when God Himself was here, did He give Himself a megaphone like this? The reality of such a platform ... for a pupil?
Do you have a Christian website? Make your site a treasure chest - filled with accurate information - that has no money barrier in front of that treasure. Whether we like it or not, every detail of our work will be scrutinized for content ... and procedure. Why "toil for fire" (Hab 2:13)? May God have mercy upon us all.
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