Lately, a few unknown individuals have commented on the articles I’ve published through this website. Many of these comments have been posted with the intention of demonstrating how wrong I am in scrutinizing popular, secular thought through Biblical teaching.
Now, this is not an experience that is unique to me. It is a frequent occurrence for any Christian who lives and communicates Biblically to find himself confronted with a torrent of criticism from sinners of all stripes. More specifically, believers will share having to endure a certain type of reproach, one in which sinners use Biblical texts in an attempt to rebuff our message. This is the kind of criticism I’ve mostly had to respond to lately.
The reader can readily identify the typical remonstrative comments:
“Didn’t Jesus say not to judge lest you be judged?”
“Didn’t Jesus teach that he that has no sin shouldn’t throw stones?”
“You Christians are all hypocrites. You condemn but are guilty of everything you denounce.”
These pathetic rejoinders showcase a few important things: 1) sinners hypocritically presume to quote the Bible without having the slightest intention of following its doctrine, 2) sinners aren’t actually quoting the Bible, they are quoting what another unbeliever has claimed the Bible says, 3) sinners quote a decontextualized and perverted version of the Scriptures, one that approves of their sinful ways and finally, 4) when sinners seek to verbally chastise Christians, they wish to present themselves as people who are familiar with the Bible when the truth of the matter is that they’ve never even read nor own the book.
For these reasons and more I pity and even mock unbelievers who presume to appeal to the Scriptures in an attempt to silence the truth. Yet, I find it discomforting that many a fellow believer allows the tactic to dissuade them from communicating the Gospel message. Many are intimidated and ashamed when they are challenged with such hollow words instead of seeing it for what it is – verbal antagonism.
Instead of reacting with fear, it is imperative for the Christian to calmly analyze the content of the criticism and respond with a pointed message meant to counteract the lunacy and error.
For example, let’s take the aforementioned responses. As the reader will have already noted, they all communicate, in essence, the same idea: judging is evil and you, Christian, ought not judge me or any other person or situation. (This is ironic, considering that our debaters are judging our judgment and character.) Additionally, these phrases advance the false notion that Jesus taught that judgment is evil.
Imagine what our interlocutor’s reactions would be if we were to ask them to find for us where those texts are found in the Bible. How would they respond if one pointed out to them that Jesus stated that men must judge with “righteous judgment” and not according to appearances in John 7:24? How would they react if one were to rebuke them for quoting a text they do not know intimately, decontextualize, misrepresent (as is the case with Matthew 7:1-5, whose essential message is about the wickedness of sanctimony and unrighteous judgment) and wish to apply to us but do not obey themselves? What would occur if a sinner is confronted with the fact that, according to Matthew, the first word out of Jesus’ mouth during his terrestrial ministry were “Repent…”, a form of judgment, a convicting of a sinner’s sin and a message Jesus himself commands his followers to communicate? (Matthew 4:17; Mark 6:11-13)
I’ll tell you how they’ll respond: with silence or vilification. Actually, it’ll probably be more a case of the latter than the former. Still, this is what one must expect when following our Savior’s example. (Matthew 5:11-12) At the same time, many Christians are ill-prepared for this sort of assault because they aren’t familiar with the Biblical text which spiritually prepares them for this ambush. Also at fault are many churches who aren’t equipping the saints with a proper apologetic. Due to cowardice, these churches have complied with the silence demanded by sinners.
It behooves us to resist being intimidated by those who feel convicted by the Gospel. If Christians continue to succumb to the censorship desired by unbelievers, how will the message of salvation be heard and accepted if it is being suppressed by Christians themselves? How can we discern between right and wrong if we eschew proper judgment?