Monday, December 14, 2009

Mocking God

It’s often been said that you cannot please all the people all the time. That’s certainly true when it comes to preaching God’s word, especially on YouTube. Religious critics who see things in my videos they consider “unbiblical” will email remarks that at times are quite rude. 1 Corinthians 13 says that love “does not behave rudely” and “is ever ready to believe the best of every person.” The Lord is more pleased when we seek to unify the Body of Christ rather than faultfinding each other.

Whenever I receive a nasty email that makes no attempt to reason together, I usually just delete the writer’s comments. However, I’ve decided to respond to one particular email I received a couple weeks ago. Notice that the writer (who’s from the UK) doesn’t specify the things in my videos he doesn’t like…

“You are making a mockery of Jesus! What you have is not from God. But it is from the Devil. I would hate to be in your shoes. The research we have carried out over many years has exposed this as Voodoo.”

What exactly in my videos is “voodoo”? If this writer took the time to read my statement of faith (found on my website), he will clearly see that I’m a Bible-believing Christian. The dictionary defines voodoo as “a black religious cult practiced in the Caribbean and the southern U.S., combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites.” In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not black, I don’t come from the South, and I’ve never been Catholic. Therefore, I don’t believe this man’s comments are from God.

Let’s specifically address the accusation of mockery. The dictionary defines mock as “to treat somebody or something with scorn or contempt.” Every sincere Christian will not intentionally mock God. As Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Deuteronomy 28:37 talks about how His people will become an object of mockery if they don’t obey His commandments.

The Bible mentions other things we should avoid mocking…

“Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.’’ - Proverbs 14:9

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” - Proverbs 17:5

“The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.” - Proverbs 30:17

Christians should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for Proverbs 20:1
 says, “Wine is a mocker.” Alcohol is simply a counterfeit to something better that God has...the new wine of the Holy Spirit.

Ministers should always seek the Lord before taking on a building project that they initially don’t have enough money to complete. Luke 14:28-30 reads, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish?’”

If there’s anything Christians should mock, it’s false religion. Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:27; “And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.’”

Elijah’s protégé Elisha experienced mockery himself after his mentor was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. 2 Kings 2:23-24 reads, “Then he {Elijah] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!' So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths."

Jesus was frequently accused by the religious watchdogs of his day, the Pharisees. For example in Luke 11:15, Jesus drove a demon out of a mute boy and was criticized for doing the works of Satan. Jesus faced more mockery as He went to the cross…

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.” - Matthew 27:27-30

“Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.” - Luke 23:11

“The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.’” – Luke 23:36-37

Believers who first experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit were also mocked…

“So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘Whatever could this mean?’ Others mocking said, ‘They are full of new wine.’” - Acts 2:12-13

As you share the gospel with others, you may on occasion face mockery like the Apostle Paul did at the Areopagus, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter.’” (Acts 17:32) Whenever somebody mocks your faith, rejoice! The Lord calls you blessed.

“What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.” – Luke 6:22 (NLT)

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