Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pigs & Pearls - What's An Evangelical To Do?

"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

Normally I don't like taking a Bible verse out of context. If I use a bible verse in my blog I read the context it's given in, and if the entire context doesn't match the point I'm trying to make, I reject that verse and look for another. And I never use a partial verse. Doing that you can justify almost anything, my favorite is using the first few words in Luke 13:24 to say that Jesus warned us against using handicapped stalls in public restrooms. (get it?). However Matthew 7:6 is kind of a stand alone verse, totally unrelated to the verses before it (judging and planks in your eye) and the verses to follow (seek and you will find...)

The meaning of this verse is pretty evident, Jesus is saying that we shouldn't be wasting 'the good stuff' on someone that won't appreciate it. I can only imagine but I'm guessing that a pearl in a desert society is a very rare and valuable thing, so pearls is definitely 'the good stuff'. Pigs and dogs? Why pigs and dogs? Pigs are delicious and dogs are loyal, but that's here in this time and place. In a Jewish society pigs are unclean and the middle east dogs are a pest. Fido and Porky are not only unloved in biblical times but are held up as an example of how not to live. 

2 Peter 2:22 is a fine example of what people thought of pigs (and dogs) at the time - creatures who wouldn't recognize something awesome if you gave it to them gift wrapped. Dogs will return to their vomit and pigs will go wallow in the mud, so Jesus is telling us don't give 'the good stuff' to someone that won't appreciate it. And being the Son of God, to Jesus the good stuff can only be the Word of God. So is He saying not to share the gospel with non-Christians? I've actually heard this verse being used to say exactly that. So why would Jesus be telling us not to spread the Gospel?

I don't think he told us that exactly. Jesus knew that there are a lot of people that will not listen to the gospel, their minds are clouded to the word of God due to the noetic effects of sin, This is why He taught in parables
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. (Matthew 13:10-11)
To many Jesus was a circus act, in His wake were a swath of blind who could see, leaping lame people, dumb singing the praises of God, cleansed lepers, deaf people now with 20/20 hearing, and on two occasions a free meal. He was good entertainment to them, but they didn't understand, and yet He didn't stop teaching. That's Jesus, son of God. We humans aren't as capable or as loving as Jesus, we'd go completely out of our mind if we were trying to teach a huge crowd of people that refused to listen. To us He said 
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ... 14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. (Matthew 10:7,14)
He said "Preach the word, and if they reject you, so be it, don't sweat it, just go away." He did not say "Don't waste your time." He said "Give it a try and let God sort it out" 

I've also heard people say "Why even bother, God will save the elect, we're just wasting our time" and the best response to this I've ever heard was "Think of an abortionist, how many lives would you save if he/she came to know Jesus just 1 year sooner because of you."

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