Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cautious Critiques

It is strange to me at times what the Lord impresses on me to meditate on and express in my writings.

This one is out of the clear blue sky.

We always need to be careful in our criticisms. It isn't that they are forbidden- that isn't the problem. But we are to be careful.

2 Corinthians 6: 3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,

Whenever we take the time and energy to voice criticism, we are potentially creating an unnecessary diversion to the really important issue.... "Where are we in relation to God's only Son?".

When I think of favorite targets within the Christian world... I worry if we shoot them too often without much thought to the necessity of such a message.

An example of this is the common... 'anti-religion' argument that we often speak so freely in the defense of the gospel. I have heard many godly, well-meaning, believers make the 'Jesus is better that religion' speech. I well know and agree with their intent. Haven't we all said - "Knowing Jesus isn't a ritual or religion... it is a relationship".

But before we shout these things among the rooftops... we should take caution to measure the unintended fruit or impact of our message.

As I wrote back in 2014: "I have spent all of my professional years in service of Christian Institutions. I consider it a great honor, privilege, and challenge to do so. There ARE MANY benefits and good that Christian Institutions do and the stability of an institution is a great benefit to a society that suffers the corrosive effects of sin."

I wince many times at the anti-religion talk because the Bible speaks of a pure and undefiled religion... in James 1:27

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Now, isn't it interesting how the Bible strikes the cord of criticism. This verse is devastating when compared to religion based on pretense , but it does so by putting it parallel to Truth.

Using Scripture is a much better way to communicate the concepts with the understanding that it is used in its proper context.

I also encourage us to be careful with Christian quotes- even though I love them and use them.

If we aren't careful we fall in love with the witty quip to the exclusion of Scripture.

I often find this out the hard way.

Years ago, I was trying to make a similar point and attributed a quote to Augustine- "The Church is a whore, but She is my mother." 

Witty... a concept that might can preach...BUT, as far as my research can tell... Augustine never said it.

Instead, I could make a sounder point by doing an exposition on the 7 letters to the churches in Revelation.

So- be mindful and careful..... hopeful and clear... truthful and accurate as possible.

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