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Of Pearls and Pigs

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    Of Pearls and Pigs

    In Matthew 7:6 Jesus said, "Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." The words dogs and pigs portray that which is vicious and unclean. The terms seem appropriate ways to describe the enemies of the gospel.

    Jesus here instructs His followers that in their relationships with enemies of the gospel, they were to be cautious, recognizing that these enemies may turn on them and even kill them. The spiritual information we give to others should always be in accordance with their capacity to receive it. Perhaps one reason Jesus exhorted the disciples to purchase a sword to take with them was that they could be attacked by enemies of the gospel (Luke 22:36).

    The bottom line, then, is this: We must be cautious in what we say and not throw our pearls of wisdom before those who have little or no spiritual capacity to receive them. We must be cautious not to treat the sacred as if it were profane. We should be careful not to pass on holy revelation to unholy people who will have nothing but disdain for the things of Christ (compare with Luke 10:10-11).

    Even Jesus put this maxim into practice. He gave no answer to Herod Antipas when Herod "questioned him at some length" (Luke 23:9).

    Pearl of Wisdom: Be cautious about passing on the sacred to the profane people.


    #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    Now I'm really curious about your standard for judging. You quoted Matthew chapter 7, perhaps you can elaborate on that in another thread?[And while at it maybe you can start one on theft?
    Jesus clearly wasn't recommending the abolition of the criminal justice system, and he also wasn't saying that an organisation cannot lay down entry conditions for its members, or, if he was, he was directly contradicted by St Paul, but his words in Matt 7.1, and the following verses seem fairly unambiguous to me. Thee only person we have a right to judge is ourselves.
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post
      Thee only person we have a right to judge is ourselves.
      Then how will we know whether a person is a dog or swine?
      • Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

        #4
        Originally posted by William View Post

        Then how will we know whether a person is a dog or swine?
        • Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

        God bless,
        William
        By whether or not they listen to what you are saying or ridicule what you are saying. You are being told not to waste your breath when your words are just being thrown back at you.
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post

          By whether or not they listen to what you are saying or ridicule what you are saying. You are being told not to waist your breath when your words are just being thrown back at you.
          How will you know whether they are listening to you or ridiculing you? And who are you to judge them by consequently withholding your words from them?

          You obviously are suggesting that a person needs to discern an other's behavior and make a moral judgment about them. So the question then is, did Jesus contradict himself and teach us to judge unrighteously? That is, Jesus referred to these people as dogs and pigs. And it seems by your statement that you are following such teaching by adhering to Scripture and using it as a basis to discern and judge. Only you're opposing the teaching - which is contradictory to the Lord's precepts.

          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by William View Post
            How will you know whether they are listening to you or ridiculing you?
            A reference to the flying spaghetti monster, or something similar, should give you a clue.


            And who are you to judge them by consequently withholding your words from them?
            It was Jesus who made that judgment.


            You obviously are suggesting that a person needs to discern an other's behavior and make a moral judgment about them.
            Discern behaviour I will buy, but where does moral judgment come into it? "Right, it is hellfire for you," is God's business, not mine.Do you think Jesus contradicts himself within the space of a few verses?
            Comment>

              #7
              Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post

              A reference to the flying spaghetti monster, or something similar, should give you a clue.




              It was Jesus who made that judgment.




              Discern behaviour I will buy, but where does moral judgment come into it.
              By ceasing communication or acting upon your discernment according to right application of the Law you commit moral judgment. The only criteria for moral judgment is the Law of God. By hypocrisy, the standard of judgment is right (using scripture as you have) but a person's responses to the Law are wrong. A correct moral judgment respects the requirement of the Law in application to conduct.

              To clarify, I ask you a simple question derived from Matthew 7:6 and appeal to your moral judgment, would you agree that the stiff-necked or stubborn enemies of the gospel are unworthy to have it preached to them?

              Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post
              Right, it is hellfire for you," is God's business, not mine.Do you think Jesus contradicts himself within the space of a few verses?
              Now this is putting words in our mouths and suggesting that we are Judging another by determining whether they are destined for hell or heaven. God is the final arbitrator over a man's destiny. Even a righteous Judge may judge and condemn someone by sentencing them to the death penalty based on a moral judgment, but it is traditional to appeal to God by asking for mercy upon their soul.

              God bless,
              William
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by William View Post

                By ceasing communication or acting upon your discernment according to right application of the Law you commit moral judgment.
                I decide that I get tired of wasting my breath. It just so happens that Jesus's words give me permission to act accordingly.


                To clarify, I ask you a simple question derived from Matthew 7:6 and appeal to your moral judgment, would you agree that the stiff-necked or stubborn enemies of the gospel are unworthy to have it preached to them?
                They decide that they don't want to listen. That is all that needs to be said. As I recall, in Acts Paul said to the crowd that they considered themselves unworthy of eternal life; not that he considered them unworthy.
                Comment>

                  #9
                  There are times when the person you're talking to isn't especially listening, but there might be someone else in earshot who Is.

                  Kind of like when a parent is trying to talk with a teenager -- they might think their words are not getting through, but they are. People Are listening and sometimes they want to see just how consistent We are.

                  Try to keep the lines of communication Open.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    The Transgender post has been split, and posts were moved here. To review the original topic: Transgender - Christforums

                    I'd also like to contribute a commentary from John Calvin on Matthew 7:6:

                    Give not that which is holy It is unnecessary to repeat oftener, that Matthew gives us here detached sentences, which ought not to be viewed as a continued discourse. The present instruction is not at all connected with what came immediately before, but is entirely separate from it. Christ reminds the Apostles, and, through them, all the teachers of the Gospel, to reserve the treasure of heavenly wisdom for the children of God alone, and not to expose it to unworthy and profane despisers of his word.

                    But here a question arises: for he afterwards commanded to preach the Gospel to every creature, Mark 16:15 and Paul says, that the preaching of it is a deadly savor to wicked men, 2 Co 2:16 and nothing is more certain than that it is every day held out to unbelievers, by the command of God, for a testimony, that they may be rendered the more inexcusable. I reply: As the ministers of the Gospel, and those who are called to the office of teaching, cannot distinguish between the children of God and swine, it is their duty to present the doctrine of salvation indiscriminately to all. Though many may appear to them, at first, to be hardened and unyielding, yet charity forbids that such persons should be immediately pronounced to be desperate. It ought to be understood, that dogs and swine are names given not to every kind of debauched men, or to those who are destitute of the fear of God and of true godliness, but to those who, by clear evidences, have manifested a hardened contempt of God, so that their disease appears to be incurable. In another passage, Christ places the dogs in contrast with the elect people of God and the household of faith, It is not proper to take the children’s bread, and give it to dogs, Matthew 15:27. But by dogs and swine he means here those who are so thoroughly imbued with a wicked contempt of God, that they refuse to accept any remedy.

                    Hence it is evident, how grievously the words of Christ are tortured by those who think that he limits the doctrine of the Gospel to those only who are teachable and well-prepared. For what will be the consequence, if nobody is invited by pious teachers, until by his obedience he has anticipated the grace of God? On the contrary, we are all by nature unholy, and prone to rebellion. The remedy of salvation must be refused to none, till they have rejected it so basely when offered to them, as to make it evident that they are reprobate and self-condemned, ( αὐτοκατάκριτοι ,) as Paul says of heretics, Titus 3:11.

                    There are two reasons, why Christ forbade that the Gospel should be offered to lost despisers. It is an open profanation of the mysteries of God to expose them to the taunts of wicked men. Another reason is, that Christ intended to comfort his disciples, that they might not cease to bestow their labors on the elect of God in teaching the Gospel, though they saw it wantonly rejected by wicked and ungodly men. His meaning is lest this inestimable treasure should be held in little estimation, swine and dogs must not be permitted to approach it. There are two designations which Christ bestows on the doctrine of salvation: he calls it holy, and compares it to pearls. Hence we learn how highly we ought to esteem this doctrine.

                    Lest these trample them under their feet Christ appears to distinguish between the swine and the dogs: attributing brutal stupidity to the swine, and rage to the dogs And certainly, experience shows, that there are two such classes of despisers of God. Whatever is taught in Scripture, for instance, about the corrupt nature of man, free justification, and eternal election, is turned by many into an encouragement to sloth and to carnal indulgence. Such persons are fitly and justly pronounced to be swine Others, again, tear the pure doctrine, and its ministers, with sacrilegious reproaches, as if they threw away all desire to do well, all fear of God, and all care for their salvation. Although he employs both names to describe the incurable opponents of the Word of God, yet, by a twofold comparison, he points out briefly in what respect the one differs from the other.
                    God bless,
                    William
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                      There are times when the person you're talking to isn't especially listening, but there might be someone else in earshot who Is.

                      Kind of like when a parent is trying to talk with a teenager -- they might think their words are not getting through, but they are. People Are listening and sometimes they want to see just how consistent We are.

                      Try to keep the lines of communication Open.
                      Both you and I know of somebody called Herminator we grew tired of.

                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post

                        Both you and I know of somebody called Herminator we grew tired of.
                        Is he related to Herman Newtics, and do you know him?

                        God bless,
                        William

                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Originally posted by William View Post
                          Pearl of Wisdom: Be cautious about passing on the sacred to the profane people.
                          It would appear that in this day and age too many Christians lack discernment, and fail to monitor their communications. You are absolutely right in bringing this to the attention of all. The Holy Spirit will teach genuine believers as to who are the "dogs" and the "swine", and that there comes a time when no response is the best response. This should also be applicable to Christian forums, where we see endless arguments which are totally counterproductive.

                          Comment>
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