Your responses are harsh and demeaning


I am writing this because I came across your website and read through a few of the responses to people's questions. While we are told to snatch others from the fire, the responses to these people are so harsh and demeaning, I don't at all see the reflection of Christ in them.

These people are lost and looking for help. Yes, honesty and the truth of the Scriptures are fantastic and necessary, but Christ didn't convict people by rubbing salt in the wound. He'd address the problems of others with compassion and gentle but sound guidance. I'd encourage the writer to reevaluate his heart. You can accomplish the task without being crude.


John the Baptist:

"You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matthew 3:7).


"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you" (Matthew 11:21-22).

"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart" (Matthew 12:34).

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?" (Matthew 23:29-33).


"I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves" (Galatians 5:12).

Different people require different approaches. The examples I listed are infrequent, but they are not non-existent as you had claimed. There isn't one perfect approach that will work will with all or even most people. You alluded to Jude, "And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh" (Jude 22-23). This demonstrates that you know this to be true.

I agree, I tend to be blunt. The style works particularly well with young people who tend to see sugar-coated answers as deception. It also shakes up people who think they know more than others. "Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes" (Proverbs 26:5).

I have no idea which answer upset you. I suspect that it wasn't necessarily the tone of the answer as the fact that you disagreed with the conclusion. Instead of addressing the issue, you decided it was easier to shoot the messenger so that you will not have to consider what was said.

If you would like to learn more, let me recommend: Jesus: Intolerant, Confrontational, and Exclusionary.


In response to this...

"I have no idea which answer upset you. I suspect that it wasn't necessarily the tone of the answer as the fact that you disagreed with the conclusion. Instead of addressing the issue, you decided it was easier to shoot the messenger so that you will not have to consider what was said"

That is not at all a correct assumption. I agree with using scripture to provide a correction. I actually agree with the majority of the message you are delivering. The delivery and tone is the issue.

Proverbs 15:1(KJV) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

Being gentle doesn't mean being ineffective or passive.


Thus, we are stuck at an impasse. In your opinion, you don't like the tone you perceive in a few answers; yet, you find the answers to be accurate in content. You still did not indicate which answers you thought were harsh, which doesn't allow me to explain the background of the answers or point out the nuances that you might have missed. You ignored the Scriptures I cited that show that there are times when a harsh-sounding answer is called for.

Yes, a harsh response to anger will generally stir up additional anger, but that is not proof that only soft answers are allowed. Let me give an example: Eli's sons were stealing from the sacrifices to God and committing adultery. Their father, Eli, gave them a gentle scolding: "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD'S people circulating. If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" (I Samuel 2:23-25). For this mild rebuke, Eli's entire family was destroyed. "Thus says the LORD, 'Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel? Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?' Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, 'I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the LORD declares, 'Far be it from Me -- for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house. You will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever" (I Samuel 2:27-32). Eli was not harsh enough when dealing with his sons' sins.

Learning the proper approach to different questions is difficult. I don't always hit the best approach. However, my duty is to present the teachings of God in a clear fashion that might just possibly cause a person to consider his errors and change his life. Whether a random reader likes the tone of the answer is not a factor in crafting a response.



After reviewing your emails, you seem to be very defensive and make a good bit of assumptions without actually knowing my opinion. I haven't ignored the scriptures you sent, nor am I going to split hairs with you over every response I read. I'm not interested in arguing.

My overall purpose in writing was, from one follower of Christ to another, to kindly offer a different perspective. I would've been happy to explain more in detail, however, you seem more interested in making assumptions and belittling me.

Yes, it is correct, my opinion is just one of many. I am, however, a child of God, and to me that gives my opinion value.

I'll pray for you.


"But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame" (I Peter 3:14-18).

This response is sad and mildly humorous. I disagreed with the person's expressed opinions and pointed out the flaws in the reasoning; yet, I'm being defensive. Well, yes, I am defending what the Bible teaches, but it is odd that someone, from the church of all places, thinks that discussing a contrary view is somehow wrong and belittling. I ran into this same ineffective argumentation just last week. There the person was convinced that reality was defined by personal feelings and when I pointed out that feelings were unreliable, I was accused of being defensive. It makes me wonder who came up with this idea because it really doesn't work in a discussion.

The simple reason that I mention the writer had ignored my points is the fact that they were not addressed in the reply. Even though there was an attempt to claim a conflicting passage, there was no attempt to resolve the apparent conflict between the passages I cited and the position taken by the writer.

Oh well. Perhaps others will learn.

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