Us Versus Them
Western Culture increasingly alleges an embracing of "diversity",
though just the opposite is true. Rather Western culture increasingly
denies the boundaries of diversity and judges those who point out
such boundaries. And example of this is gay marriage - a denial of the
gender distinction God designed for marriage. In many Western countries
the rhetoric the Bible uses would be categorized as "hate speech"
invoking legal action, such as in the UK where a preacher spoke against
Islam and was subsequently arrested, or in Canada where it's illegal to
preach what the Bible says concerning homosexuality.
Consequently many Christians not only marginalize what the Bible says,
coddling the world's viewpoint, but criticize those who use rhetoric
which may be categories as hostile. So the question comes up as to "What would Jesus and his apostles say"? To answer that question let's consider what Jesus and his apostles actually did say.
Mt 12:34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
Mt 23:33 "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?"
Lu 3:7 Then he said to the multitudes
that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you
to flee from the wrath to come?"
John 8:43-44 "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil,
and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from
the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no
truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources,
for he is a liar and the father of it."
John the Baptist
Mt 3:7 But when he saw many of the
Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood
of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
Jesus' Apostle Paul
Titus 1:12,13 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true.
1Cor 15:32-34 If I fought wild beasts in
Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are
not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." Do not be
misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." Come back to your senses
as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of
God— I say this to your shame.
Acts 13:10 "O full of all deceit and all
fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you
not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?"
Jesus' Apostle Peter
2Pe 2:12-14 But these, like natural
brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things
they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it
pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes,
carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,
having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing
unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are
Jesus' Apostle John
1John 4:5,6 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world,
and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he
who is not of God does not hear us.
1John 3:13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
1John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the
children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a
child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Jesus' brother Jude
Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of
whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute
beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and
the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given
themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are
set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
The World as an Enemy
Jas 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (So much for "friendship evangelism"!)
John 17:14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."
1John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
1John 2:15,16 Do not love the world
or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the
Father is not in him. For all that is in the world——the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life——is not of the Father
but is of the world.
1Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of
God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through
the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God.
The Gospel Message is Hostile
Furthermore the gospel message itself is hostile to the world. It calls sin for what it is. "Do
you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do
not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor
the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the
kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10 It speaks of hell fire. Mt 7:19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Mt 18:9 "It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." Mt 25:41 Then
He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you
cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his
angels'" And it demands devotion to Christ even above family. Mt 10:37 "He
who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who
loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
Popular Institutional Christianity
Jesus and his apostles speak good deal about false teachers and false
brethren. In fact throughout history popular institutional Christianity
with its various sections from Catholic, Orthodox and Reformed, has
seldom represented Biblical Christianity. If Jesus or his apostles were
to use the kind of hostile rhetoric they used in the Bible they would
likely be excommunicated from historic Institutional Christianity, just
as Jesus was crucified by the religious institutional leaders of his
at odds with Biblical Christianity
Throughout their ministry the apostles had to deal with heretics,
apostates, false brethren such as the "circumcision" who had infiltrated
the church at Jerusalem. "This matter arose
because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the
freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves." Gal 2:4 Yet these cults evolved to become "mainstream" Christianity, as I have pointed out elsewhere. (See the Theology Menu)
2Peter 2:1 "There will be false teachers
among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying
the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction."
Institutional apostates generally can be spotted in that they do not
allow their doctrine to be subject to scrutiny in light of scripture,
which is why their apostasy endures. This in contrast to the Bible which
commands believers to not be deceived. Their argument is that they are
right because they are popular - a worldly viewpoint.
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources