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Which of These Three Christians DoesMore Spiritual Harm
Jun 19, 2022 14:35:29   #
AuntiE Loc: 46th Least Free State
 
https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2022/06/19/which-of-these-three-christians-does-more-spiritual-harm-n2608947?

Which of These Three Christians Does More Spiritual Harm?
Michael Brown

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Allow me to introduce you to three, contemporary professing Christians, each of whom represents a composite picture rather than a specific individual. The first we will call Famous, Nice, and Toothless. The second we will call Orthodox and Angry. The third we will call Progressive and Woke. Which of them does more spiritual harm?

Our first composite Christian, “Famous, Nice, and Toothless,” is well-known and greatly-loved, with a massive online following. More importantly, he is not ashamed of his faith. He seems to be a genuinely nice person. He invests lots of money in Christian causes. And he has not been associated with scandalous behavior.

At the same time, he never seems to swim against the tide of a sinning society to the point that shows solidarity with LGBTQ+ causes, thereby confusing his many followers, especially the young people who adore him. And he never seems to speak of human guilt before God and the need to repent.

Our second composite Christian, “Orthodox and Angry,” is theologically sharp, full of scriptural knowledge, and orthodox to the tee. He never waters down his message, never yields to critics, and never backs down from controversy. He is, quite simply, fearless.

At the same time, he is often mean-spirited, confusing human anger with the burden of the Lord. And he is quite self-righteous, never seeming to have sins of his own to confess or acknowledge. It is always the others who are guilty.

Our third composite Christian, “Progressive and Woke,” would not be recognized as a Christian by “Orthodox and Angry,” while even “Famous, Nice, and Toothless” would question some of his beliefs. Yet he is passionate about his faith, he is constantly quoting Jesus and the prophets, and he seems to care genuinely about people who are hurting and downtrodden. He brings a strong challenge to the status quo.

At the same time, he does not clearly proclaim Jesus alone as Lord, and it seems that he is in lock step agreement with whatever is trending in leftwing politics and culture. He even uses the Bible to defend abortion.

Which of these three men does more harm?

Famous, Nice, and Toothless has so much going for him and in many ways he is truly Christian. Yet because his platform is so large and his message so shallow, his followers can easily become inoculated to the full demands of the gospel. How many real disciples is he producing for the kingdom? How many will prove true?

Orthodox and Angry can be commended for being unashamed of the Bible and unashamed of the Lord. But because he claims divine backing for his often fleshly words, he makes God look bad, wielding the Bible more like a weapon than a word of life. Where is the brokenness and compassion? And in the end, how many people does he drive away from Jesus, even while being doctrinally and culturally right?

Progressive and Woke does raise a lot of penetrating critiques against church as usual, disturbing our spiritual routines and revealing our hypocrisy. Yet because he has reinterpreted the Bible through the lens of a dangerous leftist progressivism, his message is devoid of saving power. He preaches a political Jesus more than the one who came to bring us into right relationship with God.

Which of these three Christians does more damage? Or, more importantly, which one sounds more like you? Or like me? Which one of these reveals our own blind spots?

When asked by a scholar in biblical law what must be done to inherit eternal life, Jesus pointed him back to what was written in the Torah. What is written there, He asked? The man replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

The Lord replied, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But the conversation did not end there, since this lawyer was trying to test Jesus rather than learn from Him. He also wanted to justify himself, asking the Lord, “And who is my neighbor?”

Put in today’s terms, if I’m a religious Jew living in Israel, is a member of Hamas my neighbor? Must I love him as myself? If I’m a conservative Christian living in America, is a gay activist my neighbor? Must I really show him that kind of sacrificial love? And on and on the list goes.

But Jesus didn’t answer the man’s question the way that he asked it. Instead, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. This outsider proved to be a better neighbor to a robbed and beaten Jewish man than did this victim’s fellow-Jewish, religious leaders.

Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then the surprising exhortation from the Lord: “You go, and do likewise.” (See Luke 10:25-37.)

In other words, don’t debate which person is your neighbor and who it is you are to love as yourself, looking for excuses from performing this sacred obligation. Instead, go and be a neighbor.

In the same way, as we debate which of these three Christians is doing more harm, we do well to look in the mirror, ask God to help us to be as critical of ourselves as we are of others, and determine to do and be leaders and believers who do more good than harm.

Finding fault with others is all too easy, especially when they are prominent and public. Improving ourselves and living up to the high calling of God is a whole other story.

Reply
Jun 19, 2022 15:24:17   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
AuntiE wrote:
https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2022/06/19/which-of-these-three-christians-does-more-spiritual-harm-n2608947?

Which of These Three Christians Does More Spiritual Harm?
Michael Brown

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Allow me to introduce you to three, contemporary professing Christians, each of whom represents a composite picture rather than a specific individual. The first we will call Famous, Nice, and Toothless. The second we will call Orthodox and Angry. The third we will call Progressive and Woke. Which of them does more spiritual harm?

Our first composite Christian, “Famous, Nice, and Toothless,” is well-known and greatly-loved, with a massive online following. More importantly, he is not ashamed of his faith. He seems to be a genuinely nice person. He invests lots of money in Christian causes. And he has not been associated with scandalous behavior.

At the same time, he never seems to swim against the tide of a sinning society to the point that shows solidarity with LGBTQ+ causes, thereby confusing his many followers, especially the young people who adore him. And he never seems to speak of human guilt before God and the need to repent.

Our second composite Christian, “Orthodox and Angry,” is theologically sharp, full of scriptural knowledge, and orthodox to the tee. He never waters down his message, never yields to critics, and never backs down from controversy. He is, quite simply, fearless.

At the same time, he is often mean-spirited, confusing human anger with the burden of the Lord. And he is quite self-righteous, never seeming to have sins of his own to confess or acknowledge. It is always the others who are guilty.

Our third composite Christian, “Progressive and Woke,” would not be recognized as a Christian by “Orthodox and Angry,” while even “Famous, Nice, and Toothless” would question some of his beliefs. Yet he is passionate about his faith, he is constantly quoting Jesus and the prophets, and he seems to care genuinely about people who are hurting and downtrodden. He brings a strong challenge to the status quo.

At the same time, he does not clearly proclaim Jesus alone as Lord, and it seems that he is in lock step agreement with whatever is trending in leftwing politics and culture. He even uses the Bible to defend abortion.

Which of these three men does more harm?

Famous, Nice, and Toothless has so much going for him and in many ways he is truly Christian. Yet because his platform is so large and his message so shallow, his followers can easily become inoculated to the full demands of the gospel. How many real disciples is he producing for the kingdom? How many will prove true?

Orthodox and Angry can be commended for being unashamed of the Bible and unashamed of the Lord. But because he claims divine backing for his often fleshly words, he makes God look bad, wielding the Bible more like a weapon than a word of life. Where is the brokenness and compassion? And in the end, how many people does he drive away from Jesus, even while being doctrinally and culturally right?

Progressive and Woke does raise a lot of penetrating critiques against church as usual, disturbing our spiritual routines and revealing our hypocrisy. Yet because he has reinterpreted the Bible through the lens of a dangerous leftist progressivism, his message is devoid of saving power. He preaches a political Jesus more than the one who came to bring us into right relationship with God.

Which of these three Christians does more damage? Or, more importantly, which one sounds more like you? Or like me? Which one of these reveals our own blind spots?

When asked by a scholar in biblical law what must be done to inherit eternal life, Jesus pointed him back to what was written in the Torah. What is written there, He asked? The man replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

The Lord replied, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But the conversation did not end there, since this lawyer was trying to test Jesus rather than learn from Him. He also wanted to justify himself, asking the Lord, “And who is my neighbor?”

Put in today’s terms, if I’m a religious Jew living in Israel, is a member of Hamas my neighbor? Must I love him as myself? If I’m a conservative Christian living in America, is a gay activist my neighbor? Must I really show him that kind of sacrificial love? And on and on the list goes.

But Jesus didn’t answer the man’s question the way that he asked it. Instead, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. This outsider proved to be a better neighbor to a robbed and beaten Jewish man than did this victim’s fellow-Jewish, religious leaders.

Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then the surprising exhortation from the Lord: “You go, and do likewise.” (See Luke 10:25-37.)

In other words, don’t debate which person is your neighbor and who it is you are to love as yourself, looking for excuses from performing this sacred obligation. Instead, go and be a neighbor.

In the same way, as we debate which of these three Christians is doing more harm, we do well to look in the mirror, ask God to help us to be as critical of ourselves as we are of others, and determine to do and be leaders and believers who do more good than harm.

Finding fault with others is all too easy, especially when they are prominent and public. Improving ourselves and living up to the high calling of God is a whole other story.
https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2022/... (show quote)


========================


Reply
Jun 20, 2022 07:17:10   #
Rose42
 
AuntiE wrote:
…Finding fault with others is all too easy, especially when they are prominent and public. Improving ourselves and living up to the high calling of God is a whole other story.


Great reminder for us all!

Reply
 
 
Jun 20, 2022 22:52:45   #
Zemirah Loc: Sojourner En Route...
 
Tragically, perhaps, for their own souls, many of this nation's contemporary prominent Christian leaders, whatever their flavor, are choosing to prioritize that which pleases our toxic society over that which blesses God’s own heart.

In their quest to achieve popular relevancy, they have deserted the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fleeing the intense public ridicule and private embarrassment of resorting to God's Holy Word, and in so doing, they have forsaken God's only provision against sin, rendering themselves spiritually ineffective and publicly irrelevant.

Dr. Brown speaks of "spiritual harm without articulating who it is these three are spiritually harming... The sovereign Lord?, the nation's Christians?, their unsaved fellow countrymen? Surely, those seeking God's Salvation.

They damage themselves. God is watching.

Throughout Holy Scripture, The Creator God of the Universe has declared Himself Sovereign:

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently shall find me." (Proverbs 8:17)

"Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.
I declare the end and the result from the beginning, and ancient times from what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and all of My plan I will accomplish. My entire will shall be done." (Isaiah 46:9-10).



AuntiE wrote:
https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2022/06/19/which-of-these-three-christians-does-more-spiritual-harm-n2608947?

Which of These Three Christians Does More Spiritual Harm?
Michael Brown

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Allow me to introduce you to three, contemporary professing Christians, each of whom represents a composite picture rather than a specific individual. The first we will call Famous, Nice, and Toothless. The second we will call Orthodox and Angry. The third we will call Progressive and Woke. Which of them does more spiritual harm?

Our first composite Christian, “Famous, Nice, and Toothless,” is well-known and greatly-loved, with a massive online following. More importantly, he is not ashamed of his faith. He seems to be a genuinely nice person. He invests lots of money in Christian causes. And he has not been associated with scandalous behavior.

At the same time, he never seems to swim against the tide of a sinning society to the point that shows solidarity with LGBTQ+ causes, thereby confusing his many followers, especially the young people who adore him. And he never seems to speak of human guilt before God and the need to repent.

Our second composite Christian, “Orthodox and Angry,” is theologically sharp, full of scriptural knowledge, and orthodox to the tee. He never waters down his message, never yields to critics, and never backs down from controversy. He is, quite simply, fearless.

At the same time, he is often mean-spirited, confusing human anger with the burden of the Lord. And he is quite self-righteous, never seeming to have sins of his own to confess or acknowledge. It is always the others who are guilty.

Our third composite Christian, “Progressive and Woke,” would not be recognized as a Christian by “Orthodox and Angry,” while even “Famous, Nice, and Toothless” would question some of his beliefs. Yet he is passionate about his faith, he is constantly quoting Jesus and the prophets, and he seems to care genuinely about people who are hurting and downtrodden. He brings a strong challenge to the status quo.

At the same time, he does not clearly proclaim Jesus alone as Lord, and it seems that he is in lock step agreement with whatever is trending in leftwing politics and culture. He even uses the Bible to defend abortion.

Which of these three men does more harm?

Famous, Nice, and Toothless has so much going for him and in many ways he is truly Christian. Yet because his platform is so large and his message so shallow, his followers can easily become inoculated to the full demands of the gospel. How many real disciples is he producing for the kingdom? How many will prove true?

Orthodox and Angry can be commended for being unashamed of the Bible and unashamed of the Lord. But because he claims divine backing for his often fleshly words, he makes God look bad, wielding the Bible more like a weapon than a word of life. Where is the brokenness and compassion? And in the end, how many people does he drive away from Jesus, even while being doctrinally and culturally right?

Progressive and Woke does raise a lot of penetrating critiques against church as usual, disturbing our spiritual routines and revealing our hypocrisy. Yet because he has reinterpreted the Bible through the lens of a dangerous leftist progressivism, his message is devoid of saving power. He preaches a political Jesus more than the one who came to bring us into right relationship with God.

Which of these three Christians does more damage? Or, more importantly, which one sounds more like you? Or like me? Which one of these reveals our own blind spots?

When asked by a scholar in biblical law what must be done to inherit eternal life, Jesus pointed him back to what was written in the Torah. What is written there, He asked? The man replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

The Lord replied, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But the conversation did not end there, since this lawyer was trying to test Jesus rather than learn from Him. He also wanted to justify himself, asking the Lord, “And who is my neighbor?”

Put in today’s terms, if I’m a religious Jew living in Israel, is a member of Hamas my neighbor? Must I love him as myself? If I’m a conservative Christian living in America, is a gay activist my neighbor? Must I really show him that kind of sacrificial love? And on and on the list goes.

But Jesus didn’t answer the man’s question the way that he asked it. Instead, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. This outsider proved to be a better neighbor to a robbed and beaten Jewish man than did this victim’s fellow-Jewish, religious leaders.

Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then the surprising exhortation from the Lord: “You go, and do likewise.” (See Luke 10:25-37.)

In other words, don’t debate which person is your neighbor and who it is you are to love as yourself, looking for excuses from performing this sacred obligation. Instead, go and be a neighbor.

In the same way, as we debate which of these three Christians is doing more harm, we do well to look in the mirror, ask God to help us to be as critical of ourselves as we are of others, and determine to do and be leaders and believers who do more good than harm.

Finding fault with others is all too easy, especially when they are prominent and public. Improving ourselves and living up to the high calling of God is a whole other story.
https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2022/... (show quote)

Reply
Jun 25, 2022 01:02:04   #
Marty 2020 Loc: Almost Heaven
 
It’s not that easy to decide.
Psalms 139:21 says it is allowed to hate those who hate the Lord.
I hate the woke bunch and the liars in government

Reply
Jun 25, 2022 02:07:33   #
Zemirah Loc: Sojourner En Route...
 
Marty 2020 wrote:
It’s not that easy to decide.
Psalms 139:21 says it is allowed to hate those who hate the Lord.
I hate the woke bunch and the liars in government


Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David, written at a time when he was a warrior on the battlefield, engaged in actual physical hand-to-hand combat.

There is always a fine line between hating the sin, but not the sinner.

Speaking of spiritual warfare, Jesus said in Luke 6:35, "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Ephesians 4:30-31 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice."

Reply
Jun 25, 2022 09:54:34   #
Marty 2020 Loc: Almost Heaven
 
Zemirah wrote:
Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David, written at a time when he was a warrior on the battlefield, engaged in actual physical hand-to-hand combat.

There is always a fine line between hating the sin, but not the sinner.

Speaking of spiritual warfare, Jesus said in Luke 6:35, "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Ephesians 4:30-31 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice."
Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David, written at a time w... (show quote)

Good advice.
Thanks

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