Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When Swine Attack: A Primer on Media Swine-bite

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn and attack you.”  Matthew 7:6

There are more than a few differing worldviews in the United States, and they may be categorized in many ways. One broad and accurate way to view them is that they are either godly or godless. These two simple categories have been relevant to faithful people for a very long time.

“It was about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him’.”  Jude :14, 15

It is unlikely that sincere protests of “But I wanted to be godly,” or “But I am confident that I am godly,” will carry much weight with our Creator on the Day of Judgment. Human sincerity and confidence do not trump God’s own opinion. God is judge, and the judge decides what qualifies as ‘godly’ and ‘ungodly’.

Therefore, religious people who fall short of holy worship of the Lord Jesus Christ are justly in the category of ‘ungodly’. This includes not only those who are atheist, but those of many groups who will consider themselves ‘godly’. God makes those distinctions, not us. My intent in drawing this distinction is not to justify myself or to cast aspersions on others. My intent is to take any beam or speck out of my own eye and to encourage those who see and hear spiritually to take a moment to do the same.

To get to the point, how do godly people interact with ungodly media? Reporters and social media pundits (great and small), gather information (sometimes by interview and sometimes by ambush), report only what they want to report, the way they want to spin it, and publish their opinion as if they are the judge of reality. Often times they do so for money or personal publicity. There is no way to stop ungodly attacks in a sinful world. Swine will attack, and we have been warned.

What annoys me to the point of blogging about it; is that a lot of people demand that Christians in prominent leadership roles take every possible opportunity to condemn sinful behavior publicly, in bold terms, through interactions with godless media people that cannot possibly fail to attack the Christian. When ‘Christian’ critics join the swine in the attack on other Christians, as if it is their business, then I think we should be appalled.

Spiritual wounds are real, and swine-bite causes the same damage whether it comes from the ungodly or the godly who are sinning. To join in the swine feeding frenzy in the name of Christ is appalling.

Perhaps some reminders could be useful. Unless people are born of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5) they cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God. They don’t see it and they don’t care. It is the most disastrous of all possible expressions of ignorance and apathy. It is also incredibly shallow for Christians to disregard this reality. Why should the ungodly care about what God has said?

“The natural person (ungodly) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” Romans 8:7

How then, can a Christian believe what God has said, and then give objective credence to the ungodly media when they write about Christian things? Do we want to be dominated by the world, or be free of it? Do we want to think for ourselves or have a mob mentality sweep us up on the path of grumbling and complaining (Jude :16, Philippians 2:14, 15)?

But some may conclude that they are God’s own bold warriors, needing to take a loud moral stand where the influential Christian leaders and influential Christian organizations have, in the warrior's own sincere opinion, failed to be faithful. The result can be public condemnation of Christian people, misrepresented by godless media (or sinning fellow Christians), and all in the name of Christ?!! Condemning Westboro-esque tactics, it is still possible to be at a lesser degree on the same sliding scale.

Does this passage matter? “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’.” Matthew 25:40

Did our Lord take every opportunity to condemn cultural sin in bold confrontation?

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24, 25

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should speak their own words boldly to the ungodly world that cannot understand; that will (!) conclude that they are fools, and then the warrior can bear their own consequences. Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should live their own idealistic theories about improving a godless culture through a condemnation that their godless culture cannot accept, and will not accept. Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should keep their fangs and tusks off of the lives of fellow Christians.

Perhaps Christians ought to face their own appointments with opposition or persecution and not help the godless to throw the godly under the lions.

Lead people to Christ individually, for each is born again, one at a time. Our Lord wants our participation in reconciliation. Recognize the spiritual kingdom that is (John 18:36, 37), and stop thinking we can dominate an evil culture. Jesus, Himself, will dominate the world in His own time. And He doesn’t need our help for that.