While scrolling through “suggested videos” on YouTube, I’m noticing more and more titles of Christians making videos about other Christian leaders, people, movies, and worship music. They’re not encouraging these people’s efforts but criticizing them. Their click-bait includes titles that are inviting and intriguing, enticing you to divulge in their video. I’ve watched a few lately and by the end, I felt sad. I see Christian influencers harshly putting down other Christians claiming they’re sinful, professing false doctrine, singing questionable lyrics, and even simply not creative enough, in their opinion. Is this how the body of Christ should respond, and what is the motive behind this?
I hesitantly write this blog this week, as this area is not clearly black and white. I have read the scriptures such as Matthew 7:15, “watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” There are several scriptures of warnings of false teachings or prophets, but the scripture usually starts with beware or watch out. This seems to address people individually. These scriptures do not give us authority to post our opinions and highlight flaws in other Christians, especially the people we’ve never met. God has given us an order and a way to solve conflict and address issues and I don’t think this is what He had in mind.
Are there things we need to be warned about? Yes, but I also believe with all my heart that God is not a God of confusion and in every single believer, God has given us the gift of wisdom and with wisdom comes, discernment. I believe that we cannot be like sheep led this direction and another direction without looking upward and inward first. I have sat through podcasts, sermons, listened to certain worship songs and felt at times, that some things do not resonate with me. This causes me to look up scriptures myself, ask God for wisdom and trust the Lord to guide me through His word and His Spirit. But just because one teacher might say something a little off, does not mean they are a sheep in wolves clothing. Are we all not flesh and spirit, and even in leadership, are mistakes inexcusable? Psalm 37:24 says, “Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.”
While thinking on this subject I can’t help but think of Peter. An apostle of Christ who seemed like a perfect example of one whose successes followed repeated failures. He was one who spoke before thinking, cut off one’s ear in an action of haste and violence. One of his greater faults was denying Jesus not once, but three times. After this, he went on to be an integral leader in the early church of Jerusalem. He was called to carry the good news of Christ beyond the borders of Israel and walked the truth of the upside-down Kingdom. In today’s society, we would probably see a few articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos about this Peter. In fact, we could even be warned that this is a man that clearly denies Jesus and we should not follow his ways or his teachings. Yet, God knew everything Peter would do and still called him into leadership and as His very own disciple, forgiving him, and leading him into his greater calling.
Peter encouraged freedom, not through accusation or humiliation, but by resisting evil the same way Jesus taught us to do. Peter was also an advocate for the church and not a divider, always drawing our attention to the real enemy that this prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Let us all be alert and discerning. Let us be rooted and grounded in the Bible, knowing His word in and out. Let us not become great critics of others, but great encouragers bringing truth through love and grace. Let us be bold in our beliefs without having pharisee tendencies. Before making another critical comment, video or thought, think to yourself, “is my purpose to see people repent and come back to spiritual wholeness” and “is my motivation for unity and restoration?” When we see Christian titles of warnings are we being drawn to Jesus and Christianity, or left more frightened, confused, and divided. Let us pray for our leaders, our worshipers, and our brothers and sisters, standing together with one common purpose in mind, to lead others to life in Jesus.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. James 3:1
5 thoughts on “The Warning”
Gooood word for today. Especially about Peter focusing on the real enemy. Think about the forces in our culture attacking our children, families and Godly traditions for marriage. Rise up like David and like Gideon and save our nation, not fight each other.
Amen, Uncle Jerry!!
Good stuff EM, Gal 6: 1-10
Excellent article Emily. Really encouraging as the devil is our enemy. None of us is perfect and we need a Savior Jesus, He is the perfect one. I’m really encouraged and challenged by your devotions. Blessings!
Thank you, Pat! You have been so faithful for the 30 plus years I’ve known you! Keep fighting the good fight for the Kingdom! You are so loved.