Posts Tagged ‘rebuke’
Kevin DeYoung writes:
There are two kinds of Christians: those who like to rebuke and do it often and those who are scared to rebuke and never do it. The irony is both kinds of Christians are prone to sin. Those who enjoy giving a good rebuke are usually the least qualified to give one, while those who would rather do almost anything else are often the very people who would serve the body best with their correction.
We live in a strange day. With email, blogs, and social media, rebuking has never been easier. And yet in a culture of hurt feelings and thin skin, rebuking has never been more suspect.
So which is it? Do Christians rebuke too much or too little? Well, of course, that depends. Some Christians are limp noodles. Others are trigger happy. One-size advice does not fit all. We need wisdom.
I am not sure for whom this advice from J. C. Ryle is more terrifying – the gospel minister himself, or those whom he serves:
We see, in the third place, how boldly a faithful minister of God ought to rebuke sin. John the Baptist spoke plainly to Herod about the wickedness of his life. He did not excuse himself under the plea that it was imprudent, or impolitic, or untimely, or useless to speak out. He did not say smooth things, and palliate the king’s ungodliness by using soft words to describe his offence. He told his royal hearer the plain truth, regardless of all consequences, – “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Here is a pattern that all ministers ought to follow. Publicly and privately, from the pulpit and in private visits, they ought to rebuke all open sin, and deliver a faithful warning to all who are living in it. It may give offence. It may entail immense unpopularity. With all this they have nothing to do. Duties are theirs. Results are God’s.
No doubt it requires great grace and courage to do this. No doubt a reprover, like John the Baptist, must go to work wisely and lovingly in carrying out his master’s commission, and rebuking the wicked. But it is a matter in which his character for faithfulness and charity are manifestly at stake. If he believes a man is injuring his soul, he ought surely to tell him so. If he loves him truly and tenderly, he ought not to let him ruin himself unwarned. Great as the present offence may be, in the long run the faithful reprover will generally be respected. “He that rebukes a man, afterwards shall find more favor than he that flatters him with his tongue.” (Prov. 28:23.)