Brother Jed and Persecution
The last few days at A&M have been quite a religious rollercoaster, due to a man named Brother "Jed" who came and began to preach his worldview. This man was a false prophet, but claimed to be preaching the true word of God, which said that those who sin are condemned to Hell. Brother Jed and his wife used 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 to justify their beliefs: "(9)Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (10)nor theives nor the greedy nor drunkards nor sladerers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Yet what frustrates me is how they lifted this verse out of context, for the following verse says: "(11)And this is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." It is so upsetting to see someone led so far astray by the influence of Satan, so much thay they blatantly ignore the biggest part of the Gospel, that Christ died for our sins so that we may be washed clean!
But as several of my friends helped me to realize, Brother Jed's spreading of false truths had much good come as a result. There were numerous true followers of our Lord Jesus there that helped to show the true love of God. There were people sharing with athiests and agnostics the Gospel, and I have heard of several who accepted Christ right there! There were people praying for one another and showing God's power to them all. And this one man had managed to get, literally, the entire campus talking about him , and thereby talking about Jesus. Praise God that He can take a person being led by Satan, who intended to lead us all astray, and turn it back to glorify Him!
But this man's condemnation led me to think about persecution and judgement of others from a Biblical context; specifically what did Jesus do in the face of persection? Well I did some digging and came up with a passage that illustrates this perfectly. In Matthew 12, starting in verse 22, the Pharasees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by Satan, to which Jesus responds in a long rant explaining otherwise. But he does not respond with anger and argue; rather his words sound very calm and collected, and he responds only by explaining the error in the Pharasees' thinking. But he does not ever accuse them, as we are so likely to do! Think for a moment, when someone questions your judgement or calls you out, your first reaction is not to analyze what they said and find fault in their arguement, but to respond hastily with something to turn the arguement back on them.
When the Pharasees claim that Jesus drives out demons by Beelzebub, Jesus' first response is neither to blatantly claim otherwise nor turn the argument around, but to explain to them in a way they can understand that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Only once he has made his point solid that he drives out demons by the finger of God does he ask them, rhetorically, "by whom do you drive them out?" Even here he does not turn the question around, but rather he asks this simply to get the Pharasees thinking in the right frame of mind.
So next time someone questions something you have done, dont be petty like the Pharasees, be humble like Jesus. Don't argue or try to cast blame, but graciously accept the question as a moment of time which you can use to explain your line of reasoning in a civil manner. Plus, if someone is calling you out like that, they are probably expecting an angry response, so by not getting angry you have already made them seem foolish.