Article of the Month
"WE and THEY",
"US and THEM"
Sometimes, in our present imperfect state of reasoning,
we long for the ideal and, therefore, cannot deal
with the real.
It is not bad that we should wish for a
situation in which no one is critical of anyone else — a
situation in which criticism is both unnecessary and
But the fact is, the world (at the moment) is not like
to be critical or discerning implies that there is
something wrong with us.
But that does not mean that we should be
irritatingly critical with the intent of harming others.
It seems that people often think that when we say
something unflattering about other cultures or beliefs,
that there is something wrong with us.
But we, as disciples of Christ, know that our
criticism sometimes is timely and correct.
After all, did not Jesus, the Apostles, and even
God, Himself hurl criticisms at behaviors and concepts
contrary to the truths they, themselves, possessed and
Indeed, they did!
However, and this is IMPORTANT, the criticisms were
never meant to hurt the individuals who were being
Indeed, the criticisms were meant, in either the short
term or long term, TO BE HELPFUL.
The suppression of truth and the suppression of
the criticism of bad behavior is philosophically,
religiously, socially, politically, and personally an
Should it be considered in poor taste to criticize that
part of Islam which wants to dominate the world — to
subject everyone to ITS concepts of right and wrong?
Should it be considered in poor taste to
criticize those who behead and burn alive those whom
they consider to be infidels?
Of course not!
If their god is, indeed, god (which he
isn’t), is he not able to impose his order of things
by his own power, rather than by the terrorism of
If not, who would ever want to worship him?
Islam, of course, is the current focus of world
But can we not be equally critical of a Christendom
which tried the same tactics in the Inquisition?
Can we not be critical of Naziism and Communism,
which inflicted unbelievable horrors upon their
Can we not even be critical of lesser wrongs by
governments and religions which claim higher principles?
Indeed, we can.
BUT — and this again is important — CRITICISM FOR
THE POINT OF CRITICISM is not the place of a
A Christian must criticize Biblical doctrinal error; but
criticism and crusades against the practices of others
is not our place now.
The promised Kingdom will SOLVE all of these
Our current concern is to conform OURSELVES to the
standards of Scripture by which we are being
developed and judged.
Both in and out of the fellowship of true Christians, it
probably will become more and more difficult to state
truths which may be critical of the beliefs of others.
If we make a clear and Scriptural defense of a
concept which we believe to be true, many may look at us
with contempt, virtually saying, “You miserably narrow
do you dare to say something critical about the sincere
beliefs of others?”
This will be unfortunate because it is tantamount to
saying, “You idiot!
Do you really believe that you have
truth over what others possess?”
In essence, having the concept that something
like absolute truth EVEN EXISTS is becoming to be viewed
as the equivalent of being a poor, uneducated, and
unsympathetic fool. But
the Kingdom will take care of this problem.
OUR GOD is able in love, mercy, and
generosity, to bring all the world around to His
He will not terrorize; He will bless!
And “all the families of the earth” will
voluntarily, and with great joy, be blessed by the
It may well have escaped the notice of many Christians
that God’s messages to the seven historical periods of
the Church (Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3) regularly
DISTINGUISH between the faithful and the apostate simply
by using words like “you” versus “them.”
Toward the Ephesus period of Church history (A.D.
33-70), for example, it states, “I know YOUR deeds…and
YOU found THEM to be false.”
In the message to Smyrna (A.D. 70-313), it says, “I know
YOUR tribulation…and the blasphemy by THOSE who…are a
synagogue of Satan.”
To Pergamum (A.D. 313-1160), the contrast is “YOU hold
fast My name…but…you have there SOME who hold the
teaching of Balaam.”
(Revelation 2:13, 14)
In the Thyatira period (A.D. 1160-1371), there is the
favored group, “I know…YOUR love…,” and the unfavored
group, “I will cast HER…and THOSE…into great
(Revelation 2:19, 22)
We will not continue the list.
But the objective in consulting these chapters is
to see that Jesus DISTINGUISHES clearly and CRITICIZES
soundly those who are his versus those whose doctrine
and behavior are erroneous.
IT IS NOT a Christian concept that we be without
discernment or its expression.
(See Romans 16:17-20.)
It is curious that those who might criticize us for
being critical ARE CRITICIZING us!
Is there not a little of hypocrisy involved in
While admonishing that we make no difference
among men, their beliefs, and their cultures, these
critics DO make a difference toward us.
This, of course, is the point of this month’s
live in a world which HAS NO ANSWERS.
It has no consistencies; it has few standards
other than the trends of the moment.
There ARE no solutions now, but there
will be once the prayed-for Kingdom arrives.
Meanwhile, faithful Christians will witness to
TRUTHS for those who WISH TO HEAR.
But we will not EXPECT conversions, solutions, or
even reasoned responses.
Nor will we harm those who see matters
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