Short Meditations in John 7: 48. Justification
Jn 7:48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
And so the tirade against this hapless bunch of temple guards, sent out on an ill-fated task, continues. I suggested yesterday that the language we find in these verses is demeaning. It is the language the enemy uses to seek to put down God’s people, to weaken, disarm, disable and dismantle the Church and to eventually destroy it. Those are his goals.
It is a strategy that is as much used today as it was then. Intolerance of other people’s view is a major sin in Western society, except the end result of it is that ‘the world’ becomes intolerant of the Christian standpoint and Christian (godly) ethics. ‘Inclusive’ is a word that has become used to accept all sorts of unscriptural and ungodly (that deny God’s design for mankind and His world) behaviours and attitudes in today’s world. The world says we are intolerant if we say they fly in the face of the teaching of the Bible in respect of God’s design for mankind.
And so the modern equivalent of this ploy of the enemy in today’s verse will be, “Well other parts the church don’t believe your hard-hearted stance on these things,” or, “Well scientists and psychologists have said that your ‘God-stance’ on so many ethical issues today is outdated and intolerant,” or even, “Well even some of your top church men in the Anglican Church or the Roman Catholic Church have a more modern liberal interpretation of the verses you may quote, so are you saying you are greater than them?”
It’s the strategy of put-down, the strategy that seeks to demean and rubbish us. It’s a strategy that says, “We (they) are the caring, thinking people of the world who don’t hold on to outdated folk tales, or myths from the past. We’re the scientists, the modern people, the reasonable people, the sensible people, not those carried away in emotional tirades. How dare you stand up expecting to be believed in the face of our credentials?”
The answer to this sort of thing? Grace and wisdom. Grace that does not lose its temper, wisdom that speaks reasonably in ways that are rational, can be understood, not using religious jargon, but simple logical truth. Listen to tapes or CDs or videos of some of the giants of the kingdom who God is using to counter all this sort of thing. I hesitate to name names because God may raise up someone new tomorrow, but there are gifted men and women out there who know their stuff, who have the answers and can present the truths of the word of God in clear and understandable ways. You haven’t come across them yet? Go looking. Google ‘Christian apologetics’ and see what you come up with.