Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog
Gospel: St. Luke 11: 13
Even though Jesus tells us to be loving and merciful, as He is, He didn’t mince words in His criticism of the religious authorities and other corrupt people of the day. In yesterday’s Blog, I used an example of His outspokenness:
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
Another example appears in Luke 12:56-57:
56 “You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?
57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?”
Also in Luke 11:13:
13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Then there is that well-known passage:
12 And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
By contrast, many people today go out of their way and “bend over backwards” in order to appear tolerant and nonjudgmental. I believe that soft-pedaling the truth merely encourages those who bring, or excuse, violence and unrest upon this earth to dismiss these well-meaning people as weak, wishy-washy wimps. That doesn’t mean that one should ever sink to the level of those who live a worldly, destructive way of life. Nor should one engage in lying or yelling or swearing or violence of any kind; besides being un-Christian, that would be playing into the hands of the unrighteous.
I’m talking about having the courage to speak the truth; and if those who oppose Jesus Christ’s peace-making examples don’t accept the truth, that’s their problem. A passage found in Ezekiel of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), in which God speaks to the prophet, may be paraphrased and simplified this way: we are responsible for telling those who are caught up in wrongdoing that they are heading in the wrong direction. After they have been warned, it becomes their responsibility. Here is the passage:
18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 “Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.”
And speaking of courage, here is a quotation from Rachel Carson:
“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is – whether its victim is human or animal – we cannot expect things to be much better in this world…We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”
(Note: The scriptures used above are from the New American Standard Bible.)
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