An Unjustified Influence?

Do not Judge

They are some of the most oft-cited words of Jesus, and also the most misunderstood – “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). How appropriate you might think for a society that has as one of its core values, non-judgementalism.

Dogs and Pigs?

downloadThere are only two problems with that perspective. Firstly, our society is not non-judgemental. In fact in the name of non-judgementalism our society judges like there is no judgement day to come!   Secondly people don’t read the words of Jesus that follow on from that. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”    Dogs? Pigs? Whatever happened to the non-judgemental Jesus? !

Holy and Precious

What Christ is teaching here (in the light of the temple) is that holy and precious things are not to be given to those who treat them like dirt.   God and his gifts are not to be open to abuse and to mockery.   It is for that reason that reluctantly I have had to start banning some people on my twitter and Facebook feeds – but the constant spewing out of anti-Christian and anti-Christ hatred was just getting too much.   I don’t mind, indeed I would encourage, people who have questions or who disagree….but it’s the irrational hatred, mockery, know it all smugness and vitriolic abuse against Christ, his Word and his people, which has become too much.

I thought this kind of thing would die down, but if I believe what the bible says, then why should I expect it to – especially if what we are saying has an influence?

An Unintended Compliment

In that regard I received an unexpected and unintentional compliment this week. Someone who calls himself ‘Fife Atheist’ (have you ever noticed how often the most vitriolic people online like to hide behind anonymous handles?) tweeted the following:

“If David didn’t have the unjustified influence that he has managed to appropriate then I wouldn’t bother. But the man has influence and disseminates terrible ideas. I will continue to challenge his ideas with or without your approval.”

He then went on to add:

“My initial reply was to David Robertson. A man who demonstrates bigotry and discrimination. He has an unjustified influence in Scottish society. He should be challenge at every opportunity as his ideas are dangerous.”

What a great complement! He thinks that I have an influence on Scottish society! If only that were true, as it is something that I have been working for all my life! I want to influence Scottish society to return to its Christian roots by turning to Christ. Often it feels like we are getting nowhere – but then this atheist explains why he has to stalk and attack me at every opportunity – because there is an influence. May it only be a beginning!

The Calvinist Illuminati

The tweet is also revealing because of the accusations it makes. I have ‘appropriated’ influence. How? I don’t have money or political power. I don’t have rich and influential friends, or a network of people secretly working away. The Tartan Taliban and Calvinist Illuminati are figments of the fevered secular humanist imagination. Indeed the vast majority of the rich and powerful (what we call ‘civic Scotland’) hate what I stand for and do what they can to squash it. If there is any influence at all (which frankly I doubt) it is simply the power of the pen, the influence of ideas, the rationality of facts and above all the truth and power of the Gospel.

Dangerous Doctrines

What about the terrible ideas?   I believe and preach with all my heart what Christ teaches. The unity and equality of all human beings (using equality in the real and deep sense not the shallow, superficial one of our culture); the glory and beauty of Christ; the love of God; the possibility of forgiveness, redemption and eternal life; all human beings created in the image of God, and good news for the poor. In what way are these to be considered terrible ideas? I’ll admit that they are dangerous ideas, because they directly challenge the hedonism, greed, injustice, selfishness, inequality and self-glorification of our society. They are dangerous for all of us – but especially for the powerful and the wealthy.

Discrimination and Bigotry

But what about the discrimination and bigotry?   These are of course just names that people use, often to justify their own discrimination and bigotry. Indeed those who continue to attack me for expressing Christian teaching are giving perfect examples of the dictionary definition of bigotry – “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.”   As for ‘discrimination’ – in one sense I admit I am guilty of that. I do discriminate. Between good and evil. Between right and wrong. Between justice and injustice. Between beauty and ugliness. In that sense Jesus’s words about not casting your pearls before swine, is urging us to discriminate.  Which is way I am going to use my judgement and stop allowing people to spew out abuse and hated on my own social media.

Furthermore I will continue to discriminate in favour of the poor and of the voiceless and the marginalised. I will continue to discriminate between the glory and beauty of Christ, and the shame and ugliness of a cultural elite who reject Him.

Salt and Light

download-2As for influence?  Jesus told us to be salt and light. Paul and his companions were accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ because they taught about another king – Jesus. My hope and prayer is that Scottish society as a whole will be turned and healed from its miserable and deadly disease. But even if that does not happen I know that many ‘burning sticks will be snatched from the fire” (Zechariah 3:2), that Satan will be rebuked, and that Christ will continue to build his church.

Matt. 7:7        “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

For an example of this ‘dangerous influence’  – I Don’t Dumb Down God – Astonishing Article in the Daily Mail

 

5 thoughts on “An Unjustified Influence?

  1. Hi David,

    I remember Dick Lucas preaching on Herod and John the Baptist as recorded by Mark (over 40 years ago so it obviously made an impression). His final point was that Christ, after his arrest was taken before Herod (Luke 23), who “for a long time had been wanting to see him” and who “plied him with many questions”. But despite the fact that Jesus had extraordinarily profound conversations with various people and groups in those last hours, before Herod he was completely silent!

    The reason was that in his dealings with John Herod had completely rejected God’s word to him through John. Consequently there was nothing left for even the Son of God to say to him – he had made his choices. So they ended up ridiculing and mocking Jesus.

    We know that God is patient…. not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet 3,9); but scripture also teaches, “Today when you hear his word do not harden your heart”.

    As far as these people who so vilely abuse you for speaking the truth, well they too have made their choice, hardened their hearts, and have amply demonstrated it by their reaction to you of ridicule and mocking.

    So I think that you are completely right to stay silent and “block” them. You have done your part by speaking the Word to them, so their blood is on their own hands. Or, to change the biblical metaphor, “Shake the dust off your feet” (Matt 10,14)

    Kind regards and enjoy “Down Under”

  2. You should come off Twitter, David. It’s a madhouse full of cranks, crackpots and morons. It doesn’t do your mental or physical health any good and serves no useful purpose in the world.

    I came off Twitter months ago, do not miss it and would never go back to it. I only stay on Facebook for family reasons. Social media will, hopefully, be seen as a crazy aberration of our times as people eventually come to see the sickness it causes in people.

    Real people are much nicer and more convivial even when you disagree with them.

    God bless.

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