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.

Jesus Christ
Mt 12:3"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 accursed children.

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.
Rom 12:2  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
at odds with Biblical 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 day.

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


Jul 29,2015