Friday, September 11, 2009

Jesus the Critic

The title might have got your attention I'd say! Most people don't hear Jesus being called a critic but he was by definition. These thoughts have been on my mind for quite some time now. My husband and I have talked them over and I've even had a conversation with my Pastor about some that I'm writing about in this post.

You may remember the post, "Misconceptions about WWJD" and how so many people perceive that what Jesus would do is never name-call, criticize, fault-find or raise his voice but yet he did all of those. What they don't understand and have failed to grasp by mere lack of thought - is that fact that there are two kinds of each of these things. One for the good and one for the bad.

First lets start by defining these terms:

Criticize - finding fault with, denouncing, evaluate
Fault-find - in essence, criticizing, pointing out wrongs in others
Complain - to express grief, pain or discontent; a formal accusation or charge

Now let's begin with the good side of these, or rather the ones Jesus himself portrayed.
  1. Standing up for the Truth
  2. Rebuking evil or wrong doing
  3. Pointing out the evil in another to warn others
In the conversation I had with my Pastor - I had brought up my blog. It isn't any secret I receive a lot of hate mail, distasteful comments and the such like on here. I just wanted to make sure I was not in any way doing something wrong. He commented that I'm taking a stand for the truth. I have never really viewed it quite that way. Yes, I knew this was something God wanted me to do because there was a need online for truth in Google searches lol, but to view it as me standing out in the midst of the world with my sword, standing for the truth of the Almighty God - encouraged me to not be discouraged! For whatsoever we do for the Lord is not in vain. It also helped me to forgive those that say things about me, gossip about me and call me all manner of things in what I share. I've even lost friends with what I've stood up for. However, I've truly been able to let it deflect off of me when I realized I am a partaker in Christ's sufferings.

When you stand up for the truth, whether its standing up for what the Bible says about truly being saved to all aspects of a holy life - you are sounding out against evil! Jesus stood many times for the truth, rebuked evil and pointed out the wrong/evil in others. In all essence of the words, he criticized the rulers of his day, found fault with them and complained about those who were using God's house for a house of merchandise! Yet, he did it all with Love (tough love) and to show others what is right. It was still compassion, still meekness, even though it was stern.

Stephen stood for the truth - even though it cut the hearers to the heart until they stoned him - he did not shut up for anyone!! I'm sure if Stephen had a blog, he would probably get virtually stoned as well lol. My own Pastor gets his inbox full of hate mail daily and his blog only opened him up to more of that but he still stands for the truth. Paul named names - Demas, for instance, and how he had forsaken him for the love of the world! Then don't forget Jesus' name-calling when he called Herod a fox. Yes - there is a time for everything!

We could go on and on about examples but I think you get the just. Now let's move on to the wrong side of the coin.

When someone criticizes God, find faults with righteous people living for God and seeks to tear down God's church - this is wrong! They seek to tear God, and all he stands for, down - they do the biddings of satan. They despise those that are good. They can't stand when a woman looks like her gender and vice versa for a man. They crave sin and lust continually and thus their heart is evil and they criticize, fault-find, murmer and complain sinfully. So for them, to come to a blog that holds the Bible and God as the sourcebook - it convicts them and they lash out with bitter criticisms and fault findings against God's Word and his standards for living.

We can go all the way back the days of Moses when the people murmured and complained about what God had given them for food. It just was never good enough. Un-thankful hearts motivated their complaints. Then in New Testament times we see the Pharisees finding fault with Jesus. Jesus had no fault! Yet, they watched his every move to try and find that one little thing that seemed to them to be enough to make something out of. Their fault finding was motivated by the spirit of satan to tear down the righteous.

So in summary, you can see the two sides of this coin. A lot of times I've heard people refer to another Pastor's exhortation to not criticize or find fault with others and they assume it pertains to all things. What they failed to realize is that Pastor himself does these two very things over the pulpit, yet he does them in the way that Jesus himself did - to provoke good works and rebuke sin! When he criticizes those that are doing wrong, those that have done evil in our midst and sometimes calls them out - it is for their good and Biblical. Just like Paul instructed. Paul even went as far to say turn them over to satan for their soul's sake!

Another Pastor was speaking tonight on not offending God or man. However, he was simply stating, not that we should never stand for God or anything righteous, as to not offend anyone, but rather not to offend in a way that is wrong. For if he had meant all offending is wrong, then we better stop preaching at people LOL. Stephen offended others so bad they stoned him, but you see.........he did the right offense, the one that stood for God and truth! There is a wrong offense and we know when we have done that - said a word out of turn that was inspired by bitterness or jealousy, etc.

If you are a true born-again believer, doth not the Bible say that those which love God's law "nothing shall offend them"? Psalm 119:165 So, if you are offended, what does that say about you? Most of the time, it is our pride that is offended. Other times, what we think is offense, is in actuality - conviction, because we know what we are doing is not right and we can't stand it when someone else hits that spot.

Someone was mentioning to me recently about how they endeavored to not hear anything negative. (I imagine they will be a cave dweller soon) They took the idea from a message Pastor preached about not letting negativity in your ears. However, did Pastor stop reading the news? No, he shares stories a lot of bad things that are happening. He was talking about those that want to just talk negative - to have a coke with the devil, so to speak. Who needs that in their ears all the time was what he referring to.

Misconceptions come from a weak walk with the Lord. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. God will lead you but if you don't spend time with Him, how will you know which way to go or what to do? You won't!

It's high time we start to look unto Jesus and let his life, here on earth teach us! For all the answers lie in the great Book; The Bible; God's Word!! It is truly an instruction book to life.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.


Jackie said...

Amen, sis! I enjoyed your post thoroughly! Thanks for sharing, God bless you~

Paulina said...

Great post and so true too. I often lose friends over my faith, but if we don't stand up for what we believe in, then what good are we? It shouldn't matter to us whether or not we offend someone with the truth. Why? Because it's the truth! And they as believers shouldn't be offended anyway like you said.

Candy said...

Couldnt agree more!
Its like when people constantly label Christians as "judgemental". People automatically think negative about it.
YET, judging the things that some people partake in and that some people do, is GOOD (like you said when done right of course). It makes people see there is a right and wrong. In todays society people especially lukewarm Christians are confused and have bended God's laws (commandments) to fit their lifestyle! Sadly. But if they are not informed, they may just get spit out of Gods mouth since He hates lukewarmness! People, even Christians, want other Christians to always be soft, gentle and let anything go. There is great danger in that.
Im personally sick to death and tired of some Christians (especially pastors) watering down sermons to please and not offend others.
Personally, I LIKE to get my toes stepped when my pastor preaches. I dont want my ears tickled. My and my families salvation and making it to Heaven is way too important so I want a pastor who is going to say it like it is inorder to help me.
The world can call me judgemental for all I care but Im not going to be soft and wishy washy over things I believe in the Bible.
I feel very strongly about this because Im extremely sick and tired of wishy-washness and lukewarmness in our churches. Its time Christians started being bold because if not sooner or later were going to have more and more rights taken away from us. Because nobody gives any heed to what Christians say or do anymore, no respect for us. Gays have more respect for their rights than what Christians have.
didnt mean to write a book here ;)

Christian Homekeeper said...

Thank you Jackie, Paulina and Candy for sharing your comments! :)

Paulina - Jesus said if you are ashamed of me or my words (the Bible) then he will be ashamed of you. It was clearly evident that we should have no shame in sharing the truth. The Bible goes on further to even talk about being bold for God. The very word 'bold' is a post in itself lol.

Candy - I was going to add judging but the post was already so long and I believe judging could take an entire post to talk on and share scripture. You are right about people just letting things go by - there needs to be more crying out against evil. Preachers should not be lacking this at all and I'm thankful to say that I have found a church were it is not lacking!


eringene said...

Thanks so much Bev! You are truely a shining light!

I found it rather strange that I am reading this topic again. I began this summer reading a book about persecution and over the months have read more and more about that and tribulations. Recently, my weekly womens Bible study began Revelations (I've just begun Chap 2) but the first thing I have gotten "stuck" on is how John was persecuted.

You think maybe God is trying to tell me something... Hehe!... Maybe I should say - "oh dear."

We are told in His word that we will suffer for Him - but remain faithful and receive a crown.

We should judge right from wrong/good from evil - and stand up for Truth. My problem (and I know I'm not alone) is that I love people but what comes out doesn't always sound loving. If we can point out wrong and offer hope at the same time, I think we (I) might could rebuke anybody and they'd go away feeling better.

Just keep on planting seeds, Bev, and remember that you encourage many (me again) to keep on keeping on in a hard world.

The world may rise against you, but the one who created it has got your back (and you have my prayers).

With much admiration,

Christian Homekeeper said...

Wow thank you for those kind words Erin! :)

Dealing with people face to face and writing a devotional on a blog are entirely different I have learned. In person, most people say I'm very nice and smiley and jovial - I am. If someone only knew the "writer" me, they might not realize that I don't go around spouting rebuke at people in my day to day life lol. Actually the only time I get into deep conversations or ones where I have to stand up for the truth in face to face situations is around my family/relatives or sometimes with those at church. Otherwise, my life is spent at home and I rarely have contact with the outside world - except shopping or the library and most of the time that is spent witnessing or inviting them to church, not necessarily defending the truth.

On the internet - its a whole different world.

Did that make any sense? I guess to sum it up.....I need to be more bold in my real life situations. I still battle with letting others run over me and take advantage of me in real life. Whereas the writer in me is very bold.

It truly is warming to the heart to hear your comments and others I've received over the years doing this blog. I'm glad that I can be that encouragement.


Nate said...

I would like to critically criticize your post on critics in a critical way of critiquing.

Good job.


Christian Homekeeper said...

You sneaky little rat! =0

Thanks honey, I love you too. :) ~Bev

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