As I have written elsewhere, Jesus was constantly using less than flattering language. He was time and time again using very strong, very harsh, very coarse, and very critical language. He simply did not hold back here. I recently did a count and found at least 65 occasions in the four gospels alone where Jesus let ‘em have it, dishing out very strong words of rebuke, of judgment, of chastisement. Bill Muehlenberg
Yet there is a host of good-hearted Christians around to ‘correct’ to ‘bring into tbalance’ any slightly corrective word spoken:
Jac-xxxxxxx: However, you have to hold this in balance with the times he was gentle, and as Paul says to Timothy, appeal to older men as your father, younger men as brothers, old women as mothers and younger woman as sisters. I’m definitely not saying that we shouldn’t speak the truth in fear of offending people, but rather in the most loving way possible, whether it be rebuking or a gentle correction
Perhaps for the majority definitely not, but for those who dare be bold, they must be careful not to swing all the way to the other side. Source:Facebook
Sorry Jac-xxxxxxx, but I must interject here.
Jesus was strong, harsh and blunt because the truth was so very important.
What you are saying is an attempt to bring a so-called ‘balance’ but from a point of view that is lacking in understanding of Scripture and is conforming to the Christian political correct bias.
What you say sounds all very nice in this age, as long as one does not inspect Scripture closely.
If you study the words of Jesus with a fresh set of eyes without the assumption that He was so ‘loving’ as the Church now teaches, you will find the ‘true’ Jesus, to be hard, even harsh, contrary, demanding, unyielding, insulting, etc….. Talking more about hell than any other subject.
Why? Because he knew that he carried the ‘truth of God’ the ONLY antidote for sin, death & hell, and it MUST NOT be compromised.
An unbiased reading of Scripture shows that Jesus offended people rather than made them feel so ‘loved’ and ‘accepted’.
He had little time for sugary niceness because he understood how terrible hell was.
So why in a time when the catch-cry is “BRING IT ON” are we so gutless that we cannot just stand for truth as Jesus and the apostles did, even unto death rather than falling over ourselves to ‘correct’ and ‘bring some balance’ to that very truth we are all supposed to be stating. So in one breath we say “BRING IT ON’ and in the next “Oh, you must be careful brother, you might offend someone, everything must be done in a spirit of love and acceptance.” Huh?
‘They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.”‘ Jer 8:11
But we won’t read our Bible without the rose-tinted glasses and find out lest we get free “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand….” It happened in Isaiah’s time, in Jesus’ time and in our time today.
No, let’s say things as they are – Church leaders and the Church in general, is gutless, and God expects so much more from us.
Jesus rarely taught of the love God has for people (don’t quote John 3:16, that was in a private conversation, hidden away at night) yet again and again he warns, challenges, offends to save even one, from eternal torment.
But for us, it’s the other way round – we play down the warnings, but again and again tell people God loves them and we want to protect them from Biblical warnings. We in all our wisdom protect people from the truth that saves. We misread the Bible and think we know better.
One of the most popular tools and phrases of Satan the demons forces today is “Oh but we must do it in love.”
And it works – it will stop most people in their tracks. What a boon for the enemy, they have most of us working for them when someone dares to speak the clear truth, just as the people in Jesus’ day did the very same thing.
Yes, God loves us, but not in the weak insipid way we have been conditioned to think.
Yes, God loves his Church, but he is sickened by much of it.
I do not mean to offend at all, but this is so serious and most of us feel compelled to ‘bring a balance’ to protect our biased idea of God’s love, and to comfort people in their blindness rather than alert them to the great danger. They mean well, but they do not understand – they know longer truly know who Jesus Christ or the Father are. It’s like there is ‘another Jesus’ in our midst.
We live more Buddhist than Christian – peace at all costs lest we upset someone and the people be displeased with us and the loss of karma.
A friend told me that a number of times that he does not think that quoting Scripture and challenging people on Facebook ‘is useful/helpful.’
All I can say to that is, that he (and most) do not understand the true KIngdom imperatives, or know the God they serve.’
Dare I say it and I must say it, to myself and to all “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I agree that on the public front the Church is pretty gutless, not seeking to throw its weight around on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, pornography etc. I think that part of the reason is that there is a fair bit of disagreement within the Church. There shouldn’t be if we were all to stick to biblical principles –but we don’t. The Church is being white-anted, attacked from the inside by secular thinking, the spirit of the age. What can we do about it? I think that the Church as we know it will change, and a New Jerusalem, a holy Jerusalem (Rev 21.10) a new Zion will emerge. Holiness will be its hallmark, and God will use it to savour the world. This however is God’s work, not ours. Our aim is to be holy ( separated unto God), and ‘to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your (our) God’ – Mic 6.8.
This doesn’t mean we sit down and do nothing. We must humbly be obedient to our God, and He will guide us into how to savour the world in justice and mercy (love). I don’t think it is profitable to aggressively tell other Christians that they are not aggressive enough. What will it gain? You will probably antagonise them and lose their friendship, and will not convince them. I think just speak to them gently and leave the rest up to God. If they are ‘set apart to God’ ie holy, and want to do His will, He will lead them. If not, He will find others who will want to, and He will use them to carry out His plans.
Hi Mr R,
‘…. I don’t think it is profitable to aggressively tell other Christians that the are not aggressive enough. What will it gain? You will probably antagonise them and lose their friendship, and will not convince them. I think just speak to them gently and leave the rest up to God. If they are ‘set apart to God’ ie holy, and want to do His will, He will lead them. If not, He will find others who will want to, and He will use them to carry out His plans.’
I do not advocate being aggressive or pushing others to be aggressive.
But I strongly advocate speaking the truth as Jesus did, despite the consequences you mention, just as Jesus also, was unconcerned for the minimal consequences compared with the horror’s of hell.
Surely you can see from Scripture that these are the very things that Jesus did :-
- antagonise them
- lose friendships
- not convince
Let me add to this list:-
Jesus is rarely seen ‘speaking gently and leaving the rest up to God, if ever.’
Surely this is a cop out on what we were told to do.
What will be gained?
People will be challenged, shaken out of complacency to actually
think and be motivated to search out and follow God more
This is why we are told to ‘warn each other as long as it is still called today.’ Heb 3:13.
I am not advocating something that is not Biblical, but on the other hand, you are.
To go softly, softly was not God’s way in the Old Testament nor Jesus’ way in the New Testament, it is rather the political correctness way that has done untold damage to the Church. This ‘ever gently’ approach is a modern conditioning that we are unaware of.
This ‘ever gently’ approach even denies logical human nature – we do not grow by ‘nice & gentle’ but by challenge and discipline, hence Prov. says ‘a slave will not learn by only words but needs physical discipline.’
When hell awaits many in the Church because of a loss of revelation and are caught up in the ways of the world, I must not go gently, gently, I must challenge so as to save even one, because the Bible shows that is a far better way. That, is a better expression of my love for God and others.
Do we really believe that Jesus is now softly, softly on error and sin, but later he will have a change of heart and throw billions of people into hell to suffer torment endlessly.
No sorry Mr R. I cannot agree with you at all on this one.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that your perspective is still set on some idealistic idea of love espoused by the world and Church, but not the Bible.
God will reveal His mind and ways to each of us as we pray and search Him out, and I pray that He teach me more accurately who He really is.
PS. Just a few Biblical examples apart from the harshest things Jesus said to the Pharisees, because most like to declare that Jesus was only strong with them.
And not just Jesus saying these things but others as well:
Harshness is at times necessary in the Kingdom of God, even if it is now considered to be ‘not of love’ and not something God would have any part in these days.
Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Mark 9:18 …I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?
Telling a strangers immoral secrets:
John 4:18 Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” Source:Biblehub
Luke 24:25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”
John 2:15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (This was not the religious leaders he drove out.)
Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Source:Biblehub
(Simply meaning that the message would upset people but you must do it.)
John 8:3-11. The women caught in adultery, he not only told her to ‘go, sin no more’ but he would not tell that poor hurt, humiliated lady, to ‘go sin and no more’ that’s totally insensitive. No, instead he would be giving her a big hug, telling her she is so special, and in front of everyone. And then he would be severely condemning those evil Jewish men for the gross and public humiliation they brought upon her.
Matthew 15:25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
Mark 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. Source:Biblehub
Not just Jesus:
Galatians 5:12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Philippians 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
1Cor 3:17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
Acts 13:10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good!
1COr 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Cor 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha.
1Tim 1:20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples of this. I turned them over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme God.
Tit 1: 12 One of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons.”
1 Tim 5:6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.
2Pet 2: 22 They make these proverbs come true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A
washed pig returns to the mud.” Source:Biblehub
1 John 3:10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
2John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; Source:Biblehub
James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Source:Biblehub
We really need to understand how vital the truth is to God, but because we have an over emphasis on ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ we have lost sight of it.