Being a righteous person and being perceived as a righteous person are not always synonymous. Being righteous sometimes causes people to perceive you as wicked. And being perceived as righteous sometimes requires a person to do wicked things to maintain that perception. The difference is in the secret motive of a person’s heart. Take the Christ for example – the only perfect Person ever. Misunderstood, rejected, crucified and killed. Righteous.
A Friend: What wicked thing can be done with a Christian motivation?
Me : Is the word Christian an adjective or a noun?
A Friend: It sounds like an “end justifies the means” argument. Is it?
Me: Could be, I guess. I’m not familiar with that way of looking at it.
I’m most interested in allowing myself and my perception of Christianity to be plumbed to the depths, hoping to be corrected. I’m hoping to come to a progressively greater measure of truth, freedom, and obedience.
I guess the spirit of what I said to begin with could be exemplified in Matthew 12 …
“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the [b]consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.”
I don’t think what Jesus did here was “Christian”. Most people would of rebuked Him, seriously . And most people would have been wrong, and Jesus was obviously right.
In my understanding, walking with God can lead you into seats of power and influence honored and endeared by many men, and it can lead you into a life where you are rejected and scorned. That’s not up to us. What is up to us is if we desire God’s complete companionship in either one of those scenarios (or a million others). Salvation is tied to Jesus being made LORD of our lives. And to choose our own way is thee definition of Satanism.
Jesus told us we would be persecuted and rejected, but that He would be with us. We in America aren’t fans of that kind of language and teaching. But what we think doesn’t matter …“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” So if we walk with God and allow ourselves to be known He will lead us down great and crazy adventures. That may or may not be perceived as “right”, but God will defend us either now or later.
Hope this clears things up, my friend.
A Friend: I can see that sometimes being righteous requires you to do things that others BELIEVE are wicked. But not to do things that truly ARE wicked. Does that make sense?
Me : That does. The righteous, regardless of how they are perceived is not necessarily performing wickedness even when others are estimating it as such.
On the other hand, In my status I was describing two totaling different types of people. 1. The truly righteous, and 2. those who desire to be perceived as righteous, but are in reality are wicked.
IE Those religious leaders who were held in high regard by the greater community in Jesus’ day. Jesus called them “Brood of vipers” and “sons of satan” who mocked, scorned, and murdered Him. These men loved their position as religious authority so much that they killed what they perceived as their competitor, against all the laws that they were seeking to uphold. In the name of the God they were trying to stand for was right before their eyes and didn’t recognize Him.
I interacted with a person yesterday who wanted to be perceived as righteous, so as to gain influence with me. He lied and up-played his life with God, which to some may seem like a casual white lie I see that as indicative of the vilest forms of wickedness. For if a man can lie about his standing with God it proves that he does not truly believe that God is indeed God.
A Friend: Well we have to remember that no one is truly righteous. We may do righteous things at times, but all of us are fallen. There are those, like the ones Jesus was talking about, who pretend to be righteous while not living in a Godly or Christ-like way. Most of us are just sinners who do the best we can and are blessed with salvation in spite of our own wickedness.
Me: We also have to remember that there are teachers that we’ve lifted up to tickle our ears, who are inspired by doctrines of devils to teach us that grace is a license for lasciviousness. We are called to be righteous as He is righteous. To live Holy lives, set aside for God by the blood of Christ. Dead to self, not loving our own lives, but following Him in death.
We should feel trapped by our sin, so that we might rely completely rely on the Christ for life and for Salvation. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. But what Paul calls one of the greatest mysteries; Christ IN us is the hope of glory.
Because He lives in us.