This is a bit of self-gratification in that I do not want to be misunderstood, but I also want to be careful not to cause any Christian harm.
I do not much enjoy writing about the topic of God’s chastening, the “strange woman,” and so forth. It is a fearful thing because I know that with what judgment I judge, I will be judged. I am handling the Word of God and I am writing these things in His name. I do not take this lightly, so I’d rather over explain than err on the side of miscommunication and damage to others. So, I may have to write clarifications from time to time, such as this one.
In general, I do not think the topic of unfaithful Christians is most beneficial for those who believe sincerely, though these are things we should be mindful of so that we keep the ways of Jesus with patience no matter what comes our way, even if those of our own faith turn against us.
In any case, I prefer to focus on what is good among the household of the faith and build these things up. However, there is benefit in knowing where our errors lie, so that the right things can be built up.
I do not want any sincere Christian to doubt their salvation.
I do not want any sincere Christian to beat themselves up, begin to wonder if they are of the “strange woman” or otherwise fall into unproductive doubts. Many Christians are hard on themselves as it is. It is never my goal to cause such a person to be even harder on themselves, but rather, we should trust that our tendency to be hard on ourselves means that Jesus is with us and working on us. Trust in His mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Do not accuse yourself. That can be just as damaging as accusing others.
I think the purpose of writing about the “strange woman” is to encourage truthfulness among those who turn a blind eye to their sins or the sins of Christianity, and thereby they become tempted to despise others and are at risk of great deception.
I think the purpose is also to appeal to Christians who are very thinly attached to the faith because of the corruptions within the church. It is an unfortunate truth that many of our corruptions “offend these little ones” so that must be dealt with. There are also many mature and sincere Christians who feel cast out by mainstream Christianity. There are many who would be comforted to know that the issues they see are real and that Jesus cares and He is for them.
In all things, the caveat of mercy is paramount. Jesus is merciful to our problems within the household of the faith, even those who are of the “strange woman.” His mercy underpins all things, and no person can know for certain where that mercy will end. The scriptures say a lot of things about God’s judgment. For example, Jesus said that those who deny Him will be denied before the Father. Yet, Jesus forgave Peter.
Regardless of what we have done, we throw ourselves at His mercy. However, we need to know where our wrongs lay so that we can approach God for mercy in Jesus. To that end, the wrongs within the household of the faith must be said, heard, and repented of. That is another reason to write these things.
In any case, no mature Christian would abuse the blood of Jesus by taking mercy for granted, and those who do can learn to take His sacrifice more seriously.
Having received His mercy, let us push forward and strive to build up what is good, so thereby that which is unacceptable will be overshadowed.
Could some continue down the path of the “strange woman” and find mercy? I hope so, and I think if the struggle was honest in so much as that person knew of their nature and hated it, then I certainly think forgiveness is possible.
God is the judge. We do not know what is in the hearts of man or what work the Lord is doing in people. Sometimes we have to consider this: where would we be if Jesus never entered our life? Do we see change? Do we see some measure of “fruit?” If so, this is good, and we all have something we struggle with. We should give others this grace also.
It is also worth repeating that I have been all these negative “strange woman” things in some measure. I do not like exposing these things because I also expose myself. I also understand the possibility of giving our enemies fuel by exposing our faults to them.
However, they accuse us already. If we were to acknowledge these problems, then that takes their power of accusation away from them. If we were to acknowledge these problems, then we can find mercy and forgiveness so that we can escape the judgment of God—both in terms of chastisement by way of greater deception and in terms of the white throne judgment.
So, I write these things to that end, and though difficult, I think it is good. All things are working together for our good if we love Jesus sincerely.
Discussion is always encouraged. Please reach out with any thoughts, questions, concerns, and so forth. Hold me accountable. I should be held accountable.