HONEST SINNERS AND PHONY CHRISTIANS
By Paul Proctor
December 20, 2006
I don't know about you but I'd rather be around an honest sinner than a phony Christian any day. I don't like faux anything. I have almost no tolerance for liars in general and even less for lying Christians. And much to the chagrin of my critics, I unashamedly accept the fact that my writings echo that, week in and week out. Lies are not compassionate - they are cowardly, crooked and void of any confidence in God and have been at the heart of every wicked act since Eve took of the forbidden fruit.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a lady in Australia who, after thanking me for my latest article on Rick Warren - a piece in which I pointed out his "penchant for duplicity and doubletalk" - chided me for my "condemning words:"
"Paul, don't you see that your 'tongue' has an unchristian sting? I can accept that you want to have your opinion to be heard on top of the truthful warnings you express in your letters. But why, oh why, do you use condemning words such as 'escapades, infatuated flock, wily ways, wink and wiggle tactics, calamitous, fake humility, egocentric nature, penchant for duplicity and doubletalk, shameless and self-absorbed behavior'�I do like your letters and they are important but I want to share them with others also. Some of my friends, though interested in your reports of dangers, are put off by your throwing of condemning words."
Well, I responded with the following:
"Did Jesus' words have an 'unchristian sting,' as well?
The point is this: Jesus had zero tolerance for liars and phonies Himself - and His language reflected that. In fact, His harshest words were always directed toward the devoutly disingenuous - religious rogues and professional pretenders who empowered and esteemed themselves by misleading the masses and keeping them in the dark and out of the Kingdom of God for the bounty and benefits of an earthy kingdom over which they, in some degree, reigned.
"Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully�" - Jeremiah 48:10
If I've learned anything over the years about our fallen nature, it's that truth is almost always considered harsh to the unrepentant, regardless of the words that are used to convey it. I dare say the impenitent are more afraid of truth than anything in this life; and more often than not, will accuse their accuser as a diversionary tactic by charging them with being "unloving" and "unchristian," when in reality, they mean intolerant.
You see, after the dialectic church successfully redefined "love" as "tolerance," it became evil to criticize any brother or sister in Christ for their sinful behavior - especially an errant pastor, preacher or church leader - which is precisely why the church is in the sorry state it's in. But as I've said many times before, telling someone the truth is the most loving thing you can do for them, even when they end up scolding you, shunning you, slandering you and turning others against you for doing so. That's why sinners nailed Jesus to a cross, stoned Stephen to death and beheaded John the Baptist - for telling the truth.
Sadly, few Christians today would dare risk their ministry, career, finances, family or friendships, much less their lives, to tell the truth. In fact, I would go so far as to say pastors and preachers are among the worst. Of course many will talk among themselves about another errant clergy member, but typically in private and always off the record. It's like they were required to swear a secret oath back in Seminary to never challenge or criticize a fellow minister publicly for his erroneous teachings or shameful conduct. Instead of making our pulpits profound places of proclamation and poignancy, pastors hide behind them now in a perceived piety that makes the word "Christian" appear synonymous with coward.
"Speaking the truth in love," from Ephesians 4:15, means your remarks are fair and accurate with a dedicated desire to not only warn the unwary of danger and deception but also to see repentance and righteousness from its perpetrators. In spite of the disgraceful example being set by many of those pastoring churches today, love does not answer evil with false flattery and flowery fluff in hopes of being rewarded later with cooperation and camaraderie. (Results & Relationship)
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."- Proverbs 27:6
Unfortunately, the church has been beguiled into believing that withholding the truth is "love," which is why the vast majority of faith-based news agencies, magazines, articles and editorials, both in print and online, are much like today's seeker sermons - little more than cotton candy commentary designed to keep Christians congenially compliant to the corrupt collective by unseen hands that steer society's religious rudder toward a one world religion of peace and unity. (Results & Relationships)
Oh, they delight in chiding the non-compliant for their brazen behavior from the safety of the high-minded herd, especially when it garners them praise and profits from followers; but rarely will today's laodicean leaders or laymen risk anything dear to them by stepping out of the "Christian" crowd to rebuke one of their own for blatant and unrepentant sin, because peace and unity always trumps truth in the business of ministry. You see, it's not about purity anymore - it's about progress and personalities. (Results & Relationships)
And so I conclude another year and another column citing the same quotes I ended my response to the lady from Australia with, in hopes that all of us - sinners on both sides of God's grace - will be more honest in the coming year about ourselves and others and less phony about our faith in Jesus Christ:
"One cannot be the 'salt of the earth' without occasionally stinging the open sores of sin."
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." - Matthew 5:13
� 2006 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�
point is this: Jesus had zero tolerance for liars and phonies Himself
- and His language reflected that. In fact, His harshest words were always
directed toward the devoutly disingenuous - religious rogues and professional
pretenders who empowered and esteemed themselves by misleading the masses...