When our Lord spoke publicly he wasn’t concerned about who was in His audience. He let truth fly unfettered, no apologies, no disclaimers. Those having “ears to hear” caught His life-giving words. Those who hadn’t were offended and critical. That’s the way it was and the way it is. So be it.
Lord Jesus was not ‘seeker sensitive’; He was Father sensitive, speaking the words given Him by His Sender. Truth is in agreement with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit thoroughly anoints truth-words. The Three ministered truth in unison.
The crowds were a mixture, including Roman soldiers who were everywhere, nervous controllers hoping to entrap the uncredentialed Teacher, many in need of physical healing, the curious, the “poor in spirit”, both the meek and proud, the hungry and critical. He spoke truth to all because all deserve truth, even those who would reject it. An anointed word of truth is a “two-edged sword” that can cut down a misconception, the pet implement of our common enemy.
If nice people say only nice things, Lord Jesus wasn’t nice. If sensitive people say only what doesn’t offend, our precious Lord was most insensitive. He spoke truth – the good and the ugly. He called the “scribes and Pharisees” hypocrites because they were. He called Herod a fox because Herod was a fox.
Withholding spiritual truth can be immoral, but not always. To be silent is sometimes sin and sometimes wisdom. We have all been guilty of not saying what should be said, and saying what shouldn’t.
The evangelical way, it seems, is to offend no one, preserve the unity, be ‘christian’. If you don’t agree, insinuate you do. Discretion can be good, but too much of a good thing isn’t. It’s like a small scoop of ice cream smothered in delicious, gooey sauce, enough to cover a large cake. Too much is too much.
There is nothing wrong with, “I see it differently”, or “I have another perspective”. If he disagrees, don’t love him less. Never argue. Do not waste your insights on unreasonable people.
We owe them the truth, those who don’t have it. “Freely you have received, freely give.” Do not assume public preaching is for others only. Consider: Your prime example, the Lord Jesus, was a public speaker.
Our religious population, this most definitely including born-again evangelicals, needs serious alignment by someone courageous to speak truth in a forthright manner. Many have to be set free from their manipulators, stern and inflexible guardians of the way it is (See note.), so they can be free to choose “the way, the truth, and the life” as their life.
To fulfill their commission, to “fight the good fight of faith”, to “bear much fruit”, the saved must be saved from misconceptions. To withhold truth for the sake of some or for fear of controllers of the way it is, is immoral. To offend many for the sake of a few, even one, is just.
Note: The way it is is established tradition. The Way It Is is also a book (available free at www.larryjones.ca). The expression the way it is is used intermittently throughout Another 95, and is always italicized.