If you are in the public eye in any way, no matter how small, you are going to receive a lot of rebukes by those whom consider themselves to be God’s own mouthpieces and prophets. Thanks to the Pentecostal and Charismatic abuses of the words Prophet and Watchmen, we have a lot of people running about in their own authority who claim divine sanction to speak whatever pops into their minds. Of course, we have two options when we are thus attacked – we can react or just disengage. Generally, the right choice is to disengage because self-proclaimed truth speakers usually have a well-trained audience who will eat up their every word and who generally do not know the Scriptures well enough to know if the rebuke was appropriate – and oftentimes they are simply too angry and self-righteous to care because hey, listening to someone get slammed is fun when you are angry.
Newsflash: God doesn’t inspire people to use scripture out of context. Shocking, I know, and perhaps offensive to those who enjoy rebuking people more than studying scripture.
When someone uses scripture to attack you – do yourself a favor and study out the context in depth; in this way, the rebuke becomes a win-win situation. If they are right then you have learned something about yourself and about the Scriptures, but if they were wrong then you can discount them as a prophet or watchman.
A few days ago I got this eye-roller, a woman who loudly proclaims that she is hated for speaking truth came onto my facebook page and quoted the “Woe to you, Pharisees and Scribes…” line – and she called me a Scribe in a rather insulting way. But as soon as she did it, I had to smile. Why? – because I knew it wasn’t a rebuke from God but from her own imaginations. God wouldn’t call me a Scribe because He knows exactly what a Scribe was in the first century when those verses were written – and I don’t qualify, at all.
Scribes were the Biblical experts in the first century when those “woes” were spoken by Messiah in Matthew 23. These guys were amazing – they had the five books of Moses memorized by heart, and large portions of the prophets as well. They were the teachers of the people and the interpreters of the Law who were in charge of judging between people in legal disputes over the Torah Law. These were men of established authority who were, frankly, creating new laws with their rulings on minor points of the law (straining gnats) – laws which today are recorded in the Talmud. The intention of the Scribal position was to teach the Torah and the Prophets to the people, and this was a good and noble thing – but things had gotten out of control with the burdensome extra-biblical regulations that were respected and kept by the Pharisees.
Well, looking at that, I found that I really didn’t qualify – I am certainly no expert of the Torah or the Prophets; I do not have them memorized by heart. I do not possess the authority to make legal rulings for the Body, and I do not follow the Oral Law as recorded in the Talmud. What I do is teach the historical context of the Scriptures – passing on what I learn. I try very diligently to show what is and is not there in order to separate people from the additional traditions of the Scribes.
Perhaps she thought that Scribes were just writers – could be. In any case, the nature of her rebuke proved that it came from her own heart, her own judgment, and was not of the Spirit Who knows Biblical context better than anyone on earth. So the self-proclaimed “preacher of truth” wasn’t actually preaching the truth, and therefore I can disregard her in the same way that I disregard the accusations of people who misuse “Freely you received now freely give,” those who call people who they don’t like “UNCLEAN” despite Biblical prohibitions against it, and those who use the word Pharisee as an insult. There will always be self-proclaimed experts, prophets, watchmen and teachers – but by their fruits you will know them (not just by how interesting and convincing they are). Perhaps I will write about the Pharisee insult next, that is a funny one to explain. For that matter, I also need to cover the prohibition against calling any man unclean. Now that the Book is done, I have time to write about fun things for a while. If you have any others that you would like to see me tackle, please let me know and I will try to get to them as time permits.
In any event, rebukes are always an opportunity for both education and the exposure of false prophets, teachers and watchmen. Make yourself a list and feel free to ignore the people who misuse scripture in rebukes. And feel free to post this link in response to their unrighteous, unbiblical rebukes.