When Peter – even well-intentioned – said something that was utterly opposed to the will of God, Jesus did not smile or wink at him, nor did he say “Let’s just agree to disagree”. No, he rebuked him in the strongest possible terms. The episode is found in Matthew 16:21-23:
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him Satan! That is how bad the words and ideas of Peter were. While plenty of evangellyfish today would censure Jesus for being so unloving and un-Christlike, Jesus of course was 100% correct. Whenever the will of Satan and not the will of God is being promoted, it must be resisted in the strongest possible manner.
And regrettably, often some of the most diabolical and utterly inane things are said by Christians. Indeed, they can even quote Scripture as they are doing so. They have such a warped view of biblical Christianity, and are so full of useless and mindless clichés that when they speak, it is as if they are speaking on behalf of the devil. Yes it gets that bad at times.
A perfect example of this occurred today on another site. I and others were discussing the utterly horrific and demonic activities going on in Planned Parenthood, with the harvesting and selling of baby parts for profit. I wrote that story up earlier today: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/15/planned-parenthoods-deadly-baby-trade/
I have shared much about this story in the past few hours. And I am still astonished at the fact that most Christians would not know about this, or worse yet, would not give a rip about this. We are so dead in our apathy and indifference that even something like this will hardly stir any believers out of their slumber.
There is a flood of evil happening in the world, yet most Western Christians are completely asleep at the wheel. One person asked me how such evil could be happening. I replied: ‘Let me tell you why: All this is happening because “Christians” are allowing this to happen. They are too busy having their “best life now”.’ So a Christian gal – even if well-meaning – came along and offered this set of unhelpful clichés:
All this is happening because God is allowing it to happen. All things come from the throne of God. God rules and nothing happens that He does not allow to happen. Our job as Christians is to pray and to express God in everything we do. Remember Job. God allowed Satan to take everything away from him and even caused him to have boils all over his body. But in the end when Job learned his lesson, the Lord gave him back all that he lost and more. Genesis 50:20 Satan means everything for evil, but God means it for good.
I told her that she should not confuse the proper biblical teaching on the sovereignty of God with a fatalistic complicity with evil. We are always to fight that which is evil. Yet she went on with more flowery fluff and sweet nothings:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His lovely face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Hebrews 12:2…Looking away unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
The Lord tells us to be peace makers, to build up the Church, To forgive others, to love as He loved us. To go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to love sinners, (not their sin). To be meek, to be humble, to be holy, to be perfect, to love our brothers and sisters, to overlook an offense, to die to the self, to pick up our cross, to follow Him. The entire Bible is the love relationship between God and man. He is not interested in what the world is doing. Let the dead bury their own dead. The Lord is building His Church, so He can return. All the things that are going on in the world are just the fulfillment of prophesy. The Lord tells us when you see these things happening look up for your redemption draws nigh. I am a lover and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I choose to spend my time and energy with those who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart, and who have been called into the fellow ship of the Son. If I spend all my time trying to fight against the evil that is going on in the world I would have no time for the Lord.
Wow, one can only surmise that the only exposure to Christianity she has had is something like the humanistic New Age mush and feel-good moralism of a Joel Osteen. She could never have gotten this sort of jumbled thinking from reading all of Scripture carefully and intelligently.
Just how utterly unhelpful and unbiblical was that response? Not only do we have more of the content-less and humanistic “lurve” talk, but she actually believes we should have nothing to do with what is happening in the world. Does she know nothing about the command of Christ to love our neighbours as ourselves?
She is evidently so busy “loving” Jesus that she has no time for actually being a real Christian in a real world to real people. “Babies being slaughtered and sold for their parts? What does that matter to me? I am far too busy loving on Jesus!” This despite the fact that we are commanded to rescue those being led to the slaughter (Proverbs 24:11) and rescue those who are appointed to destruction (Proverbs 31:8).
And this baloney about “it is all just the fulfilment of prophecy” is one of the lousiest and most anti-Christian copouts around. That and a dodgy understanding of God’s sovereignty. If a gang of rapists were brutally attacking her child, would she just glibly say that God is in control and all this was predicted long ago? If so, she is simply a fool, in biblical parlance.
And she makes the ridiculous claim that she cannot fight evil because she is too busy being with Jesus, whatever that means. Um, guess what? We are to do both, simultaneously. It is never a case of either-or, but both-and. Scripture tells us for example to “cling to that which is good and hate that which is evil” (Romans 12:9).
We are always to fight for righteousness while resisting evil. This gal is regrettably a major part of the problem here. Her lousy view would have allowed the murder of the Jews to continue under the Nazis. She would likely have condemned Wilberforce as he rightly fought the evil slave trade. Her useless fatalism and pietism is simply a cloak for her indifference to evil and her hardness of heart.
Sorry, but the opposite to love is not hate but indifference. Her utter indifference and disregard for the evil that is happening all around her tells us a lot about her and her “Christianity”. She can pretend all she likes she is too busy with Jesus, but in reality she is simply too busy with herself.
Sorry lady, but mixing truth with error, thereby causing more harm than good, is in fact to do the devil’s work. Remember, Satan was terrific at quoting Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Simply throwing a few verses around, out of context, and used in a way to suppress or challenge other clear biblical truths is never doing God’s work – it is doing the enemy’s work.
If this woman claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, yet can have such a cavalier and heartless attitude about something like the sale of baby parts for profit, then I have to question her Christianity. The genuine Christian grieves over what God grieves over. He hates what God hates and loves what God loves.
But to make brainless excuses for horrendous and diabolical evil – even spruced up with Christianese and mushy clichés – is not to speak on behalf of God or to reflect his heart to a needy world. The only fitting response to such utter rubbish would be the response of Jesus: “Get behind me, Satan!”