“They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Isaiah 30:10-11).

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“They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” (Isaiah 30:10-11). Doesn’t seem like much has changed since Isaiah’s time. People still have a low threshold for what is unpleasing. But if we keep massaging our message to avoid offense, in the name of reaching people, then on behalf of whom are we reaching them? Not Jesus. Has Christian love became so shortsighted?

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34).

“Peter answered: ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin’” (Acts 8:20-23).

Jesus called the Pharisees “a brood of vipers”, and the apostle Peter told Simon Magus that his heart was “full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Jesus is God, and Peter was surely operating in the Holy Spirit. Yet today, Jesus and Peter would be the ones vilified, while the Pharisees and Simon the Sorcerer would be the ones indulged. Lest not we forget the innumerable “Don’t judge me” memes, which would undoubtedly follow suit, overflowing our social media newsfeeds. What a shame that our witness has been so diminished, and our credibility compromised, by abuses of in our past, that even Jesus Christ, himself, and the apostle Peter, would likely be tossed out of most churches onto the street. No wonder so many Christians today seem to only know a side of our Savior.

I am glad Jesus spoke up, that Peter and Paul spoke up, that Stephen spoke up, among many others. They caused civil unrest, were thrown in prison and even killed, and most undoubtedly, offended people; lots of people. Moved by love, theirs was an urgent mission of mercy, an eternal rescue operation, and for that the world hated them. So why do we think we should be any different? I’m going to close tonight with  something I wrote in a post earlier this evening Jeremiah Revisited: “A gentle rebuke can be a tremendous act of love, as well as a catalyst for repentance. Pacification, on the other hand, so as to avoid causing offense, can be an ugly act of hate, as well as quite a stumbling block.”

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