It’s a great thing social media didn’t exist when the Apostle Paul was preaching. I bet a whole lot of people would have been offended.
Can you imagine a preacher saying “you’re stupid!” in a blog post, and yet, Paul told they Galatians just that, twice. Or what if the pastor of a church started a Facebook poll “I want to test your love for God by comparing what you give at church to other churches” I’m pretty sure the deacons would have a talk with that pastor. Guess who did such a thing, yep you guessed it, Paul in 2Corinthians 8:7-8.
Paul was not afraid to speak his mind. Look at what he said about someone who tried to convince the government not to get mixed-up with this Jesus movement: “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?” (Acts 13:9–10). Or what if you heard him say ‘God will certainly strike you – you whitewashed wall! . . .’ (Acts 23)
Oh Paul, that’s not very kind. You can’t say that! Don’t be confrontational. Surely no one would call someone a harsh name like “you brood of vipers!” No, that wasn’t Paul, that was Jesus, twice (Matt 12 & 23) and His cousin John (Matthew 3).
Wow, are we overly sensitive today or what? I remember seeing Christian symbols on the wall in the rooms beside a Greek gymnasium as an indication that a church met there, by the gymnasium, where men exercised without clothing. Or how about the ancient practice of keeping men out of synagogues who’ve not been circumcised… let that sink in. How would they know? Boy, you think the door greeters at church make you uncomfortable when they want to give you a hug.
Maybe one of the good things about the next President is that perhaps he can help us get over our over-sensitivity. We get offended by too much too easy. If we lived in the first century world, we’d be truly shocked at life. Many of us live in a bubble. Let’s pop that bubble.
Just be glad you’re not friends with Paul on Facebook. “I wish those… would emasculate themselves!” (Gal 5:12). Oh Paul, that’s not very nice, that’s why I love you. 🙂