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Grace Moments Devotions - July 11, 2016

  • 2016 Jul 11

July 11

Church People Can Be Cruel Too

Military personnel are trained in recognition of the enemy, and military intelligence strains every resource to identify the enemy’s location and movements. But every combat veteran knows the sad reality that great harm can also be done by people on our side, people wearing our uniforms. Sometimes it is called “friendly fire.” In the first Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War, for instance, uniforms of both Confederates and Union men were not of a consistent color, and gunners sometimes belatedly realized that they were blasting away at their own troops.

Sad to say, Christians can expect to face hostility not only from secular unbelievers, but from people within the organized church. Church people are human; while thinking that they are serving God they can be as wrong, misguided, and cruel as any unbeliever. Jesus warned his disciples to expect friendly fire: “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Matthew 10:17).

Jesus knew that sad reality from his own bitter experience. The most intense hatred he faced during his brief ministry was from the church leadership of his time: the Pharisees, priests, and legal scholars. It was they who arranged to arrest him and convict him of a capital crime in an illegal late-night kangaroo court.

Consider yourself warned. Now you know.

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