Two Kinds Of Tears

Bill Burkett

The greater part of the people and ministers alike who make up the fundamental and holiness churches have hardened hearts and will not be reproved. This is our undoing. Because we have preserved the principles of separation as it may regard dress and lifestyle, our hearts would never receive a prophet if he should come to reprove of us of our sin and error. Why? Because John came with a message to the religious and sinner to repent and not with a good God message. He came with correction, harsh and tactless! The church today does not have the character or the humility to accept correction from God.

This has forced most pastors to leave off being strong teachers against sin and prayerlessness. The people will rise up and start a petition against him, split the church or usurp the authority of the pastor in a power struggle against him – but they will not be told how they are to live or that they have to change where they are living contrary to the Scripture. Then there are pastors who dominate their people and demand obedience to what they teach, but too often their teaching is, just that, “their teaching” of their personal convictions, many times without a solid Bible authority or precedent from the apostle’s teaching. These men teach a strict code of dress and a select list of convictions that he will get very nasty about if you disagree. But these men are also in-correctable. They will not say, I have received a new insight of truth on the this Scripture from a dear brother, and I ask God’s forgiveness for not teaching this wrong in the past. No! And should not a man of God change his teaching for the better as he grows in the knowledge of the Lord? Yes! This attitude of wrong attitudes toward truth has had its effect on the body of Christ. The people take on the spirit of their leader, and while they have high standards in their church, they have no holiness. We are cursed with holiness churches who teach standards but have no holiness. You can have standards without holiness, but you cannot have true holiness without standards.

Hardness toward corrective teaching and resentment toward instruction in righteousness is become the tolerated attitude of the modern holiness people today. We have become hard and will not receive correction. This attitude is strangling us spiritually. Many among us isolate themselves in their own little world of self righteousness. They have been deceived into believing they are impeccably right and don’t want anyone to tell them differently. It will be sad for these dear brethren in the judgment. Then they will see their error but it will be too late to make amends and recover the loss they have brought to the people they persuaded to follow them. These are they who get angry if you do not agree with them. They have no desire to fellowship you and discuss your teaching. They just bare their teeth and snarl at the mention of your name. But if we have been wrong in the administration of God’s Word and the ministry he has given us, it is His love calling us onto a better and straighter path. There are ministers who do not have the habit of falling before God in secret prayer in contrition and tears asking God with a weeping voice to “show me any error my heart entertains, oh Lord, and help me to have that fragrance of Jesus for others to behold. Please, please, show me the truth and reprove me, oh, Lord, that I may be a man after thine own heart.”

The soft spirit versus the broken spirit
There are some fine Christians who pray weeping and that is always good. But their tears are not from the brokenness over the same things God is burdened for. It is the soft spirit that weeps easily in God’s presence. But a weeping spirit that is not committed to righteousness can be lacking a proper reaction to sin and wickedness that is destroying the church, families and friendships.

The weep of feelings in prayer. Good but sentimental.
The weep of grief for sin in prayer. Excellent and righteous.

Do you have the weep for sin? Then you will receive the prophet.
Do you weep with a soft spirit and not for sin? You will not receive the prophet, nor admit to the truth and be corrected when confronted with wrong. You will tolerate wickedness in your friends.

The weeping of the broken spirit: The effect of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus wept over the spiritual blindness of Israel. And Jesus wept. John 11:35.

Peter wept bitterly when he denied the Lord. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 22:62.

The weeping of the soft spirit: The human spirit being effected.
But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, John 20:11. (Also Mark 5:38; 16:9-10; Luke 7:32; 8:52; John 20:11; Acts 20:37.)

Have you ever been falsely accused, or had incorrect information leaving a wrong impression on people about you? Just a little intentional misinformation concerning a date or a simple deletion of one small word in a sentence can leave a wrong impression. Then when you approach that person to make it right, they respond with; Oh, but, . . . and go off on something else refusing to answer with a clear yes or no the correct information you gave them. They hedge and stonewall like a politician. They do not want to know the truth, they want to damage your character. Weepers will not answer your questions, they keep asking their questions. These are not set on establishing the church in righteousness. They are weepers who prefer their friends over the truth. A man or woman who will not be truthful is not concerned as they should be for the purity of the church.

Remember: There are two kinds of tears at the altar;
The tears of commitment that weeps for the sin and wickedness in the church, a grief for disobedience, the weeping of a broken spirit that aches with God’s heart.

There is the weeping of the soft spirit given to worship. It is the weeping of the soft spirit.

It is also commendable but prone to weep only over something that troubles his own heart with little or no real concern for the sins committed in the church by his friends that trouble the heart of God.

The prophet weeps over the sin God hates, the sin that drew His Son out of the heaven’s and nailed His son on a Roman cross. The prophet has joined Christ in His mission to hate and destroy sin.

The prophet’s weeping is not a sobbing of the soft hearted, it is the wail and the groaning in the Spirit for those things which the Spirit groans.

When we weep in prayer it should also be for any sin or wickedness committed in the church. This deep concern for sin in the church, its imperfections, is the concern Christians who have Christ dwelling within them. Jesus forgave sin but He did not tolerate it! Read Matthew 23.

These weepers will not take a stand for righteousness but will defend their friends when they are wrong. We have to discern within ourselves, What am I broken about when I pray? In these cases when a wickedness has been committed, a wrong against God and Scriptures, they will stand for their friends and not defend the Lord’s work. This is one good reason the Scripture warns us that,

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:13

A broken spirit will defend righteousness.
A soft spirit will not defend righteousness.

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also {shall be} in their calamities. Psalm 141:5.

And this is not saying, Let my friends smite me. It says, Let the righteous smite me, men who have no sin in their life; men who have the respect of good men, and who have bravely remained true to the doctrine of the apostles. A righteous man is going to graciously tell you the truth when you come to him. He will speak in such a way not to injure you and lose your friendship, but nevertheless will speak the truth in love even if it means losing your favor. But when God’s Word is flagrantly violated by wicked acts before the church, let that evil deed be rebuked openly and met with a firmness equivalent to the spirit the sin was committed.


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