Scolding Pastors

Matthew 3:1-12:

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


Can any of us imagine going up to one of our Pastors or Religious Leaders and calling them a “brood of vipers”, asking them who “warned” them to “flee from the coming wrath”, or reminding them that if they “don’t bear good fruit” they will be “thrown into the fire”?  I’m not sure any of us would have the courage to do that – but, this is exactly what we’re called to do as the Church Militant.  The Church Militant are the Believers who aren’t yet in Heaven – when we will become the Church Triumphant.  As the Church Militant, we’re Pilgrims progressing towards our Home in Eternity.  We are to be “militant” and “vigilant” in our Faith in Jesus to keep us safe from the wiles of the devil who prowls about this world seeking to kill and devour Souls.  Sometimes, our Pastors (and/or Religious Leaders) preach something that is “outside” of the Gospel – or not from a Biblical perspective.  This shouldn’t shock us as we’re all humans born in original sin living in “enemy territory” as we try to accomplish the mission (plan) that God has set for each of us.  All of us are imperfect in this world – we’re made in the image of God, but we won’t be fully Blessed through the Holy Spirit until we’re Divinely-reunited with God in Heaven.  And, we shouldn’t just be “militant” with our own Faiths – we’re actually called to be so with others around us (including the Religious).  The Prophet Ezekiel warned us in Ezekiel 3:18 that if we, “say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and [we] give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at [our] hand[s].”  Sure, calling-out others got most of the Prophets killed – including John the Baptist, most of the early Apostles, St. Paul, and even Jesus Christ.  But – ALL OF THEM are now part of the Church Triumphant living in Eternity together Praying for all of us here on earth.  So, even when it’s very hard or painful to do so, let’s do our best to love others enough to correct them if they are straying from God’s Word and Commandments.  Sure, we all have at least a little blood on our hands, but “less is more” when it comes to bloody hands and our Eternity with God.  Let’s Pray for the courage to be God’s Witnesses in this fallen world – we’re all running out of time…

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