Following Jesus isn’t easy. I guess there are those who would disagree, those who would look down on me for admitting that I struggle, but I do. When the world whispers in your ear, “This is what life should look like,” it is tough to embrace a totally different way of living. I don’t think I am alone when I say I look for people who are seen by the rest of the world as a big deal including social media influencers, pastors, political leaders, superstar musicians, athletes and actors that follow the same faith I do so that my faith in some way is validated.
Judgement based on biblical truth is still judgement isn’t it?
Christians don’t judge works so well that nonbelievers and believers alike use it to defend anyone that would call out behaviour including behaviour inconsistent with the Bible. It is bad enough that those who do not follow the Christian faith claim to understand it so well that they can correct those who do. It is even worse when those who do follow Christ use “don’t judge” to attack others who bring up the inconsistencies in the claims that their “faith validator” is a Christian based on their ongoing behaviour. I understand that judging someone unworthy of the gospel or beyond redemption is sinful. I agree that often we can observe an action or overhear a comment and make a decision that lacks context or understanding. I see the point being made that we can see someone as bad and not see ourselves as so much worse (speck vs beam Matthew 7:3) but surely this doesn’t negate the fact that wrong is wrong, truth is truth and saying so isn’t passing judgement but rather expressing the judgement already passed in God’s word.
If you say anything bad about my faith validator you are going against God.
Beyond the “don’t judge” attack many have become so attached to their faith validator that if you say anything about the behaviour of their faith validator they will insist that you are attacking “the Lord’s anointed.” They base it on statements made by King David in 1 Samuel 24:6, 24:10, 26:9, 26:11, 26:32. However, all refer to not physically harming. The original word in Hebrew is very specific and does not mean to touch or oppose the King of Israel.
Since it is impossible to physically harm the King of Israel because Israel no longer has a King; where does this idea come from about not touching the Lord’s anointed? Psalm 105:10-15 is the main verse used but it is a stretch. It talks about the Lord’s anointed ones (Israel Old Testament – All Christ followers New Testament) and says that His prophets should not be “harmed.” The office of prophet was much different in the Old Testament than the spiritual gift of prophesy in the New Testament but even if you were to attempt to stretch it to cover the pastors/prophets of today it would only forbid physical harm.
This is not a ‘get out of jail free card’ for those pastors who appoint themselves as prophets or “the Lord’s anointed.” They cannot avoid being called out for unbiblical behaviour or statements just because they quote these verses. Just because they say God told them something or because they preach it from their pulpit doesn’t make them untouchable. It also does not make political leaders the Lords’ anointed and untouchable, beyond questioning or uncorrectable just because they are the closest thing to a king that we have or because someone prophesied about them being the Lord’s anointed.
Obey those in authority over you which includes never saying anything negative?
I have a quick answer in the form of some questions to those whose faith validator is a political or religious leader. Were the apostles who were killed for continually preaching the truth even though they were told by those in authority not to, wrong? Was Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego all violators of this sacred command? Did Jesus Himself sin because He would not obey the religious leaders who were in authority over Him? I will let you answer for yourself, but I for one am glad that they did not need their faith validated by media influencers, pastors/religious leaders, political leaders, superstar musicians, athletes and actors.
Biblical truths lived out and unbiblical behaviour called out must become our faith validation.
In the world the culture has become the church because the people who are popular in the culture or the people that say what we want to hear become the people we follow and defend. Our faith is not influenced by those who preach the truth and live it but instead it is validated by those who are looked up to by the world and by us even if their behaviour contradicts the word of God. We try to create biblical reasons to defend our faith validators and condemn anyone who would say that they are not good examples of what it is to be a true Christ follower. We call them judgemental. We state they are going against the Lord’s anointed. We insist that people must not only obey but that they never call out unChrist-like behaviour of the person in authority.
The Father of Lies has deceived us into validating our faith by defending the ungodly. We do not need the social media influencers, pastors, political leaders, superstar musicians, athletes and actors to be Christ followers to validate our faith. Jesus gave up His life, this is the only validation we should need that we have it right when we follow Christ.
Warning about the times we live in.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV)