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Is it right to criticize a man of God?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Richie, Feb 14, 2008.

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Is it right to criticize a man of God?

  1. No

    23 vote(s)
    46.9%
  2. Yes

    26 vote(s)
    53.1%

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  1. Richie

    Richie New Member

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    Dear Friends,

    Sometimes when I see some preachers criticizing another man of God, I feel so uneasy and so disturbed to digest it.

    The question that I have before you is, "Is it right to criticize another man of God?" Could somebody guide me in this matter about Criticizing another man of God, using bible verses.

    But personally I feel that it is wrong to criticize another man of God, because if you criticize, it shows that your not really united (or it shows lack of real love). We should be united under the power of the Holy Spirit, because we are one Body, "The Body of Christ.". Moreover if you don't have love, it is of no use being a Christian.

    God bless you.
     
    #1 Richie, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  2. rlowe

    rlowe New Member

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    :embarasse Sorry I cannot at this time give scriptures to back below due to PC problems. :coocoo:

    "Is it right to criticize another man of God?"

    Best of my understanding:
    Criticize no, but privately, lovingly, gently correct, yes.
    -
     
  3. ladylovesJesus

    ladylovesJesus Moderator
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    The greatest commandment Jesus gave us is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and all your mind and to Love your neighbour as yourself. Deut.6.5

    Matt.18.15
    A Brother Who Sins Against You

    15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    No preacher should criticize another man, who are we to do that? God alone knows the hearts of man.

    2 Tim3.16

    16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

    God bless

    LLJ :love: :rainbow: :rose:
     
    #3 ladylovesJesus, Feb 14, 2008
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  4. Richie

    Richie New Member

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    Dear Sister LadylovesJesus,

    Thank you so much for your reply.



    God bless you.
     
    #4 Richie, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2008
  5. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy New Member

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    It depends on the circumstance. I do think it's right to rebuke a man if he does something stupid, or else he will keep on doing it, but doing all your rebuking over the pulpit just shows immaturity on the preacher's part. There are situations in which rebukes have to be made over the pulpit though. Just look at when Paul rebuked Peter for being two-faced with the Jews and the gentiles, that was a public rebuke in front of all of Peter's peers.
     
  6. Chad

    Chad Administrator
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    The Bible is actually very clear on this subject.

    Matthew 18:15-19

    15(A) "If your brother sins against you,(B) go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have(C) gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established(D) by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them,(E) tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church,(F) let him be to you as(G) a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you,(H) whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you(I) agree on earth about anything they ask,(J) it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

    Portion from gotquestions.org article


    1. Develop the proper heart attitude - Meek (Galatians 6:1); Humble (James 4:10); Forgiving (Ephesians 4:31,32); Patient (James 1:19,20).

    2. Evaluate your part in the conflict - Matthew 7:1-5 (removing the log from your own eye first is necessary before helping others).

    3. Go to the individual (not to others) to voice your concern - Matthew 18:15. This is best done in love (Ephesians 4:15) and not to just get something off your chest. Accusing the person tends to encourage a defensiveness. Therefore, attack the problem rather than the person. This gives the person a better opportunity to clarify the situation or to seek forgiveness for the offense.

    4. If the first attempt does not accomplish the needed results, continue with another person or persons that can help with mediation (Matthew 18:16). Remember that your goal is not to win an argument; it is to win your fellow believer to reconciliation. Therefore, choose people who can help you resolve the conflict.

    Conflict is best handled when individuals prayerfully and humbly focus on loving others, with the intent of restoring relationships. Most issues of conflict should be manageable if the above biblical principles are followed.

    ***

    criticize
    1. To find fault with: criticized the decision as unrealistic.
    2. To judge the merits and faults of; analyze and evaluate.
    rebuke
    1. To criticize or reprove sharply; reprimand.
    2. To check or repress.
    Keep in mind that no one is perfect. A man of GOD does not lose his credibility as a man of GOD if He sins, but repents sincerely.
     
  7. Mr. Armenian

    Mr. Armenian New Member

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    Is it right for us to CRITISIZE anyone, yet alone a man of God?

    Who are we to judge?
     
  8. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    1Corinthians 5:9-13
    9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian* yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don’t even eat with such people.
    12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”*
     
  9. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    Maybe a better question is what makes a man of God? Is it merely his claim or confession or is it his character or maybe God's confession and the HolySpirit's witness? Then is it wrong to examine a persons character and their teaching and if there is error especially in the teaching is it wrong to warn others?

    Jim Jones claimed to be a man of God, so did Jim Baker what of all the catholic priests who sexually abused young boys.?
     
    #9 jiggyfly, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  10. stephen

    stephen Moderator
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    We have to use a little gumption when critically observing preachers of the gospel.
    The greatest vocation in life is to preach, witness, "gossip the gospel" was a term used by Billy Graham. We should all be involved in this preaching, this "gossiping of the gospel".

    All who are involved, if only in a small way will understand how difficult the task can be. It is fraught with ridicule and the criticism of folks, who seem to think we are on the make. But such ridicule etc. is outweighed with the joy known when someone wants to know more, and is led to know Jesus.

    You cannot criticize a 'man of God' at the drop of a hat. We are human, and prone to error. If I see folks being blessed, getting saved, I look at them perhaps more than the preacher. Have they received a real experience with the Lord?

    Preachers having thousands of followers and supporters, didnt reach such prominence by singing Hallelujah.

    The 'ministry' of the hireling is short lived. Those who have followed a hireling bear no condemnation.

    God is righteous
     
  11. Chad

    Chad Administrator
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    Brother Stephen, I am blown away by your response. You hit the nail on the head and I think your response is anointed by the Holy Spirit. It made perfect sense in every way. People love to criticize others (Christians criticizing famous evangelists such as Osteen). However, I'd like to know. What have they (the critics) done to serve GOD and help expand His kingdom? What experience do they have to speak judgments against others?

    Like you said, they criticize at a drop of a hat. Hypocrisy at its best in most cases.
     
  12. Maureen

    Maureen New Member

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    Jiggfly
    I just watched the other week the programme on Jim Jones, wasn't he the one who had all those followers then too them to an island on Gahana, and they committed mass suicide, all 909 of them?
    That was awful, it was all about himself, not Jesus, the people followed him, he had brain washed them.

    sorry to side track.
    I used to attend a church were much 'critisim' was done from the pulpit, I didn't like it, I didn't go to church to hear that it was the word of God preached was why I went, in the end the Holy Spirit spoke to me, and lead me away. What a joy it was then to hear the pure word of God, preached.
     
  13. Singlemom

    Singlemom New Member

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    I want to understand

    I will not vote on this just yet.

    I do have a question and a bit of thoughts on this.

    In Romans16:17, it says the following

    17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

    Who in your opinion is the God talking about here?

    To presume to know what exactly is in Joel Osteen's heart is wrong,

    BUT Is it wrong to test Joel Osteen's fruit?


    Are the people who produced the original controversial video about Mr. Osteen judgmental, or are they inspecting the fruit?

    I also find this acknowledgment and warning

    33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

    We alone are accountable to God.......so is Joel Osteen...........

    I tell you, My Pastor says, that "Joel Osteen is the poster boy for Christianity."

    So, I will tell you, I listen to whomever I listen to, and my natural instinct now, is to examine what they say in light of the scriptureBecause God told me to test the spirits to see whether they are from God.

    But this one thing I know, as Jesus told his disciples when they told him that someone was either casting out demons in His name and they tried to stop them and Jesus responded, to not stop them. (could not find verse. If you know it........then please share it.

    And again, when the Apostle Paul said the following:

    15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    I do not listen to Joel Osteen, because he is not my type of pastor, I like the serious ones (whatever that means to me, don't try to add to it)

    But if he preaches and some come to Christ through his ministry..........and he is preaching Christ..........well, God be praised, and I will rejoice if any come to Christ through what he preached.

    okay.........here is my ten cents anyway.

    Cody, I really like the way that you think. I see where you are coming from.
     
    #13 Singlemom, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  14. Singlemom

    Singlemom New Member

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    I did have more Bible verses, they seemed to be getting eaten up the longer my text became????


    But I don't think that we are to criticize.......but how about test their fruit?

    What exactly makes one a man of God?

    Do you mean Pastor, specifically? and do we treat them different than the lay wise godly man, who is a Christian and is aged and seasoned and eating meat, not milk?
     
    #14 Singlemom, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  15. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy New Member

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    Joel Osteen, "Smiley", gets critisized often because he preaches the gospel of prosperity. Have any of you ever heard this guy preach? Obviously not, he does not preach the gospel.

    LARRY KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
    JOEL OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong.

    Straight from the horses mouth. Let's expose false teachers instead of defending them to the death here people.
     
  16. Chad

    Chad Administrator
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    Try quoting his entire response instead of picking what you want. That's called honesty and decency. I've watched Osteen's show many times, so don't assume I'm lacking knowledge. You obviously have no idea what your saying when you assume people here have not watched him at all. If they did or did not, how on earth do you even have the audacity to assume such a thing? Do you have proof? No. Just a cheap shot in the dark assumption.

    The real quote:

    Entire transcript for proof: CNN.com - Transcripts

    He's being honest. He said he believes what the Bible says. He's talking with Larry King, well known for being a cornering interrogator. Clearly, you do not know this now do you? He very likely made Osteen a little uncomfortable. I see all his guests that way. In response to Osteen's response, he explained what he means. You took his wording out of context. You even only quoted the first sentence. The man said the right thing. He mentioned his visit to India as an example. He's talking about their sincerity. The people are lost, so they are not "wrong" in the sense they purposely reject Christ. That is clearly what Osteen is speaking about. They may be lost, but they sincerely believe in GOD.

    They are deceived if they do not believe in the real Jesus, as the real GOD. Does them being deceived and lost make them "wrong"? No! Osteen is being careful in speaking out of love, yet Scripturally sound. He is not swaying around, but being careful to speak what is gentle and loving while truthful. What if he came out with a response such as "if you reject Christ you'll burn in hell forever"? Guess what? This is true, BUT this is not the proper approach to preaching to the lost souls. There is a right time for the right words. This is why we need the Holy Spirit to guide us.

    Anyway, stick to the topic. Perhaps if Christians spent more time looking at Jesus, welcoming the Holy Spirit to guide them and praying for others instead of pointing fingers, things just might be better than they are.
     
  17. judgement

    judgement New Member

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    i pray this helps

    "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!" says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: "You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

    How does He attend to them?

    And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. (Jeremiah 23:40)
    What is He talking about? Hell (Daniel 12:2). Read through Jeremiah 23:9-40 and Ezekiel 13:1-8 and you should see God is severely against those who speak falsely in His name. God is seriously opposed to false teachers (see also 2 Peter 2:3-9; Jude 5-7,11). Therefore, it is absolutely ludicrous not to expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

    Some false teacher might say, "We preach the Word of God to our people. It is up to them to figure out who the false teachers are." That is ludicrous! Are we to preach the Word and turn right around and not obey it? God says, "expose" them (Eph. 5:11). "Beware" of them (Matthew 7:15). "Note" them (Romans 16:17).
    C. Men of God

    Paul

    Paul had the Spirit of God in him, and he seriously opposed those who would lead someone astray. In Acts 13:6-12 Paul opposes Elymas. In Philippians 3:1-2 this warning is given:
    Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!

    Paul is speaking here of human beings, and he calls them "dogs" and "the mutilation." The mutilation is a very not-so-smooth non-flattering way to talk about the Jews (Philippians 3:3). Paul is not fond of people who would lead believers astray! In Galatians Paul's words for those who propagated circumcision to those believers in Galatia are as follows:

    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
    I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! (Galatians 5:12)
    In Acts 20:25-31 Paul exemplifies the kind of shepherd he was and the concerns that were continually upon his heart.

    For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:29-31)

    What about naming names? Did Paul name names? Yes indeed! Paul saw no problem specifically exposing people in his day. In 2 Timothy 4:14 Paul names Alexander the coppersmith. He not only gives his name and gives the trade he was in, but prays that God would judge him for what he did!

    Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. (2 Timothy 4:14)

    In 1 Timothy 1:18-20 Paul names Hymenaeus and Alexander. In 2 Timothy 1:15 Paul names Phygellus and Hermogenes. In 2 Timothy 2:17-19 Paul names Hymenaeus and Phyletus. In 2 Timothy 3:8 Paul names Jannes and Jambres; although they were dead, he still names them. In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul names Demas, mentions that he had forsaken him, and notes how he "loved this present world" pointing out that the man was hell bound (1 John 2:15). In Galatians 2:11-21 Paul even publicly confronts Peter, who was not a false teacher, and calls him to account for his hypocrisy.

    Christians are told to "note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." (Romans 16:17) Paul practiced what he preached.

    Jesus

    God in the flesh (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16) opposed and warned about the false teachers of His day.

    ." Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6-12)
    Jesus wasn't talking about an obscure group that didn't exist. He spoke of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were in the right religion of the day, Judaism (Romans 3:1-2; John 4:22). The disciples knew about these two groups of religious leaders. He notes them and warns the disciples of the "doctrine [teaching] of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

    Besides warning about the teaching, Jesus even mentions other matters than just their teaching.

    Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the Scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation." (Mark 12:38-40)

    In Matthew 23:13-33 Jesus graphically opposes the false teachers of His day. He calls them "snakes." Another perfect example of serious opposition and exposure of those who propagate lies in the name of God is found in Luke 11:37-54. Here, over the dinner table, Jesus rebukes them right to their face.

    And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you. But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them." Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, "Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also." And He said, "Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.

    Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered." And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. (Luke 11:37-54)
    Jesus is in serious, to-the-face, hard core opposition to those who lead people astray. Jesus says, "Woe" to them. What is the woe? Here is the woe.

    But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (Matthew 18:6-7)
    Christ is talking about believers (Matthew 18:3) who are caused to stumble. That's exactly what false teachers do; they cause the little ones to stumble (2 Peter 2:18). That woe is still effective today as Jesus' words are still true.

    The false teachers of today typically give the false appearance (Matthew 23:28) that they are opposed to those who speak falsehood. They will speak of false teachers in general. They'll say, "Watch out for the false prophets." They will in general say "Watch out for false teachers" and they typically play it safe. "Watch out for Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, or some false religion like Islam." But they fail to expose those who are "among" "God's people," who have "crept in unnoticed" (Jude 4). What we have just seen through a lot of these Scriptures is not only general warning, but specific exposure and opposition to specific people and specific groups. These are named and identified and even to their face opposed. There is not behind-closed doors kind of stuff going on here. This is out in the open, in the face, serious, hard-core opposition.

    So, when you see a man who is silent about the wolves of our day, it is because he's a hireling. He's in it for the money. Thus, he is a false teacher himself and does not care about the sheep (John 10:12-13). This one identifying mark condemns him. That is all you need to know about a man. The Holy Spirit is in opposition to him.

    VI. COVETOUSNESS

    2 Peter 2:3 states, speaking of false teachers, "by covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words." In the second part of verse fourteen of 2 Peter 2 it says, "They have a heart trained in covetous practices . . . ." This is core to false teachers. They are covetous. This is where their heart resides, in covetousness. This is something that is hard to prove to those who are blind (i.e. those who do not walk in truth, 2 Corinthians 4:4). Nonetheless, it is an identifying mark for those who have eyes to see. [You may also want to read the article on Debt.]
    1 Peter 5:1-2 says,
    The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

    What is contrasted to dishonest gain? Eagerness. When false teachers sell their teachings, tapes, books, etc., for profit, are they being eager about getting it out there? What are they being eager for? They're being eager for money. It is "dishonest gain" to put a price tag on the word of God and profit from it. Some churches have seminars or classes in which they charge for their teaching. Seminaries and Bible Colleges epitomize dishonest gain. Class after class requires dollar after dollar in order to be taught, supposedly, the word of God.
    For many, "godliness" is for the rich! Paul said,
    For we are not, as so many, [It was already a prevalent practice in Paul's day.] peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17).

    In other words, "I want your money and I want it NOW!" When men start talking about how they need your money, you can know they want your money and they are covetous (2 Peter 2:3).

    For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
    No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)

    VII. WELL SPOKEN OF

    Jesus said,
    Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
    The Majority Text of Greek manuscripts has no "all". The NKJV footnotes this. According to the Majority Text it reads, "Woe to you when men speak well of you . . . ."
    Jesus likens anyone who is "well spoken of" to the false prophets of old. This is not to say that this verse does not apply if there is a teacher who has someone speak against them in some form or fashion. In the past, false prophets had people speak against them. Elijah spoke against the false prophets of his day (1 Kings 18:27-40). Micaiah spoke against the false prophets of his day (1Kings 22:23f). Jeremiah spoke against the false prophets of his day (e.g. Jeremiah 23 & 28). In Luke 6:26 Christ wasn't saying that if everybody speaks well of you and no one speaks against you, then woe to you. Christ is saying "Woe" to those who, like the false prophets of old, give people what they want to hear (Isaiah 30:8-10; Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:10) and are therefore well spoken of.

    If you understand that people are wicked (Psalm 14:1-3), then you should understand Jesus' words in Luke 6:26. The masses are wicked, and they desire evil teachers (2 Timothy 4:3-4). As it was in the days of Isaiah, so it is today.
    Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord; who say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." (Isaiah 30:8-11)

    Israel, in this example, was very blatant in their rejection of God. Those who pretend submission to God are also those who desire "smooth things" and "deceits" (2 Timothy 3:4; 4:3; Titus 1:16). Therefore, the haters of God, both the pretenders of submission and the not so stealthy, speak well of those teachers who give them what they want to hear.

    If they are well spoken of within the "Christian" community (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4), as the false prophets of old were well spoken of within the Jewish community (Luke 6:26), they fit the mold of a false teacher. The "Christian" community have "itching ears" (2 Timothy 4:3), and false teachers accommodate this desire by scratching their ears with great sounding sermons.

    For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. (2 Peter 2:18)

    False teachers scratch ears, speak great swelling words, and they speak smooth words.
    Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)False teachers flatter, as the end of verse eighteen says, and you could note also Jude 16.
    ...they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
    When a teacher spends most of his time talking about love, God's grace, etc., all the "nice" stuff, these indeed are "smooth words" (Romans 16:18). This is so missed by people, it's amazing. False teachers don't come along and say, "I'm a false teacher." They don't come with horns on their head and a red suit. They don't come and say, "I'm here to deceive you. Watch out!" Note what Jesus said in Matthew 23:27-28.

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees [Scribes, by the way, were the "scholars" of the day.], hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

    It's amazing how people are taken in by the outward appearance of godliness. If a man puts on a good appearance of looking righteous, people are hoodwinked. They just don't see through the facade. 2 Peter 2:1 says they "secretly bring in destructive heresies" and Jude 4 says they creep in "unnoticed." People don't notice. They creep in. It's not so blazingly obvious. But one thing is obvious. If you have a case where a man is well spoken of, that condemns him. According to Luke 6:26 that condemns him. "Woe to you when men speak well of you." (Luke 6:26, Majority Text)

    An example of being "well spoken of" can be found in John MacArthur's book Successful Christian Parenting (copyright 1998). On the inside back dust jacket this boast is written.
    John MacArthur is the pastor/teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California. He is one of the most popular Bible expositors and Bible conference speakers in the country.

    One of the ways this "well spoken of" is manifested is by the sheer popularity of the false teacher. The "Christian" masses (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2) speak well of false teachers, just as the "Jewish" masses spoke well of the false prophets of old (Luke 6:26).

    Another graphic example of this is Billy Graham. Graham is "Hailed as the world's preacher" and "one of the world's most beloved and respected leaders" (Just As I Am, copyright 1997, inside back dust jacket). If he were a man of God, he would be hated, not loved. Jesus said,
    If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)
    Jesus says, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own." When you see a man loved by the world, you can know for certain that he is of the world, thus of the Devil (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 11:15).

    A man of God is not going to be well spoken of, especially in our evil days (Ephesians 5:16) where false Christianity abounds (2 Timothy 3:1-5 & 4:3; Luke 18:8). The false teachers are the "well spoken of" ones, and because of them the true man of God is blasphemed.

    And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2 Peter 2:2)

    Finally,
    HOW DO FALSE TEACHERS DENY THE LORD?

    2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4 say that false teachers deny the Lord. How do they do this? It should be obvious that they are not going to come right out and say, "Don't believe in Christ." or "Jesus isn't Lord." or something to that effect. Jude 4 says they have "crept in unnoticed" and 2 Peter 2:1 says they "secretly" bring in destructive heresies. Titus 1:16 has the answer to how they deny the Lord who bought them.

    They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

    CONCLUSION

    Paul says at the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight . . ." (2 Timothy 4:7). Besides fighting this sinful flesh that we're in, what's the "good fight?" Contending (fighting) for the faith is the good fight (Jude 3). Paul wrote,
    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

    Casting down falsehood and lies is part of the war. It is good, extremely good, to contend for the faith (Jude 3), to fight the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7), to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and to expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). It is good to expose false teachers. Those who are caught in lies and in the darkness of this age hate this exposure (John 3:19-20), because they do not love the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6)
     
    #17 judgement, Feb 15, 2008
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  18. Richie

    Richie New Member

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    Oh come on now! Why did you raise this matter? It is very easy to look down upon somebody, but it is very hard to understand the reason why it happened.

    The main reason why I decided to start this thread is not to criticize and point out at somebody else. I decided to start this thread because many of us fall down spiritually and talk about matters that are really not necessary. Such kind of discussions about other people (particularly preachers) will eventually lead us into a bad habit of gossip and ultimately we will go astray.

    One thing we should remember, if a person dies, he/she is not answerable to you or me, he/she is answerable to God Almighty.

    Let us focus on spiritual growth rather than talking about and criticizing other preachers. It is a very bad habit to criticize.

    God bless you.
     
    #18 Richie, Feb 15, 2008
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  19. Richie

    Richie New Member

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    Dear Brother Chad,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I like the way you use the scriptures to relate to this matter.

    It is indeed very easy to criticize and find faults in others especially preachers. Infact if we do that we are doing Satan's work, because the goal of Satan is to cause distraction as the gospel is being preached. Do or die, Satan some how wants the gospel not to be preached.

    While we criticize somebody (especially a man of God) we forget about this scripture:

    James 4:11-12:

    Verse 11: Don’t speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God’s law. But you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey it.

    Verse 12: God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. Who are you to Judge one another?


    Thanks to everybody who has posted in this thread.

    God bless you.
     
  20. Richie

    Richie New Member

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    Brother Stephen,

    Thank you so much for your reply. It is very true indeed. Infact some people look eagerly to find faults in preachers. Rather than focusing on growing spiritually in the word of God, they focus on the preachers and try to find faults. Whether there is a fault or not, if they get a chance, they magnify it beyond measure and make it a big issue, ultimately to cause distraction and damage.

    God bless you.
     
    #20 Richie, Feb 15, 2008
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