If What I Said is Wrong

Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) had just been betrayed by one of his closest companions, Judas, who turned him over to the authorities to be arrested and to be put on trial, as though he was guilty of committing a crime. And so Judas came with a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees, who then arrested Jesus and took him away. In the midst of all this, Peter fulfilled Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial of Jesus, by denying his Lord three times.

John 18:19-24 ESV

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Right before I even knew what this passage was going to be, the Lord brought to mind a poem he had given me to write in 2018 titled, “Cards on the Table.” Basically the premise of the poem is to let people know in advance what I believe the Scriptures teach on various subjects so that there are no surprises when they realize that, although they may agree with me in some areas, they don’t in others. For there are several areas of beliefs which can be “hot button” issues for some people.

But then a conversation with myself began being produced in my mind on this subject. And then I was beginning to sense this is what I was to write on next. And then the next Scripture passage in my list was this one, and it solidified for me that this is the subject I need to write about. And so this is probably not going to follow the story of Jesus’ arrest and trial, exactly, but this writing is going to talk about how we, as Christ’s followers, may be up against some of the same types of persecution as Jesus faced, merely because we are open and unashamed about what we believe to be the truth.

Okay, so when Jesus was questioned about his disciples and his teaching, he responded by stating that he had spoken openly to the world. There were no hidden messages. And he had spoken in the synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together, so he wasn’t doing this in secret, causing an uprising or anything. And then he said these words, which are really at the heart of the matter that I believe the Lord wants me to address here.

He said, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrongs; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?”

So, I began teaching the Scriptures when I was age sixteen, and over the course of my life (73 years), I have probably taught the Scriptures some 50 years. And then 18 years ago the Lord called me to just journal, basically, what he was teaching me from his word each day and to put these writings on the internet. So that is what I have been doing for over 18 years. Yet, at the beginning, it wasn’t me teaching the Scriptures as much as it was just me hearing from the Lord what he wanted to teach me. But eventually it became more of me writing devotions, then songs, then poems, and now doing video talks, too. And this isn’t all about me, so please bear with me.

The point of this is that I am not a novice when it comes to the Scriptures, although I am no expert, either. So, I did not reach these conclusions about these various beliefs without years of searching the Scriptures and praying and seeking God’s face and listening to the Holy Spirit, and without lots of research and looking up other similar Scriptures, and making certain I was teaching in context, and not just off the top of my head. But I am still a human being, so I can’t say that I never fail in making certain that I am teaching in context, although I certainly try.

So, let’s get to the heart of the matter. I write on the internet, and I post these writings on various sites, and so I do get responses from people sometimes, although not many, but that’s okay. Some responses are encouraging, others may be challenging, but respectful, but then there are those who get ugly and falsely accuse and make up lies and just sound off against me, but I am really okay with (undisturbed by) all of that, for most of these people I don’t know anyway.

The thing that gets me is when people I know – some who I have known many years, even as long as 50 years, who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and some who even post Scriptures and/or devotions – it gets me when they would rather just cut me out of their lives rather than have a discussion when they disagree with me over something I have posted or over a response I have given to something that they posted. So, basically they just choose to “strike me” rather than to bear witness to me about what they believe I have wrong. And yet they claim to be Christians.

Now I have used my experience as an example here, but this is commonplace, and it is not just about me. I find that so many professing Christians, if you say something they disagree with, would rather just delete you from their lives than to have a discussion with you about it. And I understand that it is not good to get into arguments, and I agree with that, but we aren’t ever going to learn the truth about anything if we put on blinders and if we refuse to hear anything that might challenge what we have always been taught. Aren’t we supposed to encourage and exhort and teach one another?

Now I am not saying that we have to agree all the time, or that we have to listen to what is pure garbage, but we ought, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to have reasonable conversations about these things, unless they are things that don’t matter for eternity. And this is especially true since deception is so widespread and so many people these days are being willfully deceived into believing the lies and into rejecting the truth. And I definitely know that this plays into this.

It just pains me when my fellow Christians decide that it is better to cut me out of their lives rather than to talk with me about what it is that they don’t agree with.

And, in reality, as we go back to the story of Jesus and his arrest and mock trial and his death on that cross, that is exactly what they did to him. They didn’t like what he taught, and so rather than talk with him about it, and rather than considering if he might be telling them the truth, they just cut him out of their lives, too. And so they put him to death. They felt that was the solution to not have to listen to what he said. And that really is what Christian persecution is all about, silencing voices you don’t want to hear.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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5 thoughts on “If What I Said is Wrong

  1. I hear what you are saying, Sue, and you are not alone. There are always some, who would rather just disassociate themselves from you, rather than acknowledge a difference of opinion about a particular subject, and continue on in fellowship. There is a small variety of subjects with a small number of individuals, whom I personally have experienced this with also. Most times it is their decision, but to be honest, I have at times agreed with them, because we have too many differences of opinion on a wider scope of issues, and one senses an attitude of hostility below the surface at the other end. Every situation is unique from my experience and there are usually a number of factors involved, versus just one, but sometimes there is just one. The question I ask myself is am I being a hinderance to their walk with God, over an issue that can and sometimes is seen from a different perspective, that is not critical with their walk with God? If it is critical and we adamantly disagree, then it is best to part ways. If it is not critical, but there is still a strong disagreement, then I try to cut them a little slack because I am mindful that we are not all at the same level of understanding at the same time, in our individual walks. Not to mention, I myself have had to rethink my position on a given subject, a good number of times over the years. Seeking God’s will on any interaction between two people is a prudent and necessary step to take and heeding the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit is a must. Sometimes it is not necessary to be acknowledged as right. Sometimes there are bigger goals in play. There can be a lot of different variables just below the surface with a disagreement and nobody can sort that out better than God. And I have found that my personal attitude can also be critical and sometimes it is my delivery or objection that needs to be toned down. I could give you some examples but this would turn into a small book. Each is different and each needs to be weighed carefully in prayer. If my conscience is clear in that I have done everything God has asked me to do, in a manner that brings honour to God, and we still part ways, I’m thinking that is all that God asks me to do. He is the Shepherd, I am His sheep. And I’ve already established a long time ago that His perspective is much better than mine. As much as is possible, be at peace with all people. Sometimes working towards that peace means we part ways. Sometimes we salvage and keep together that which unnecessarily could have divided us. I’ve learned by experience that God’s ways of dealing with disagreements are always better than mine. So sometimes I just get out of the way and He mends it. Being humble and gentle are two of His biggies. It’s amazing what He can and will do when we exhibit those attributes to another and then leave it with Him. My two cents. God’s blessings to you and yours dear sister, as always. Love in Christ – Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bruce, for sharing all of that with me. Nonetheless, this isn’t a situation where there has been a discussion and a disagreement. This is a situation where there has been a statement made by me, usually just quoting a Scripture in response to what that other person posted, and then the other person responds by unfriending and blocking me without a word spoken, with no explanation. And that was the situation with Jesus in this passage of Scripture. He made a statement that was rejected, and so he asked the question, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” And he got no response to his question other than to be sent off to the high priest and then to be hung on a cross to die.

      So, the point here was really about Christians who just cut other Christians out of their lives when they disagree with them without any discussion or explanation as to why we are being cut out of that person’s life. We can assume they didn’t like something we said, but in my case, a lot of times I am just sharing Scriptures, usually about the gospel message, and usually in response to social media memes which are teaching lies about the gospel. So there is no discussion. They just “strike me” and I have no chance to have a discussion as to why.

      And Christians shouldn’t do this to other Christians, but that is exactly what they did to Jesus, and that is the point of this devotion, that we will be treated like he was. And that is unfortunate that one believer will just strike another believer out of his life with no explanation and no discussion and no chance to try to come to any kind of agreement at all. And the whole purpose is to silence the other person, just like they did with Jesus, only they got a surprise when Jesus didn’t stay dead and when his message continued through his followers.


      • I understand, and in a situation like that, there isn’t much you can do at all, except turn it over to the Lord. That’s happened to me too in the past and will probably happen again. What fellow Christians should do, and actually do, is not always one and the same. It happens but fortunately, not too often. Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

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