I am studying the Book of James. Lots of Christians like John’s gospel and epistles best, full as they are of love, love, love. I like James’s writing because it is less mystical, more pragmatic. Boiled down, James’s message to believers is this: Get your 💩 together. Refreshing clarity for a world drowning in relativism.
Today, I dug into James’s admonitions on the unbridled tongue and what a lack of verbal grace and control reveals about the state of our faith: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
Worthless. Ouch. (See what I mean about James?)
I think James would have had equally stern words for Christians who participate in the 24/7 linguistic laceration that goes on over at Twitter. What does it say about our personal faith journey, and Christianity in general, when we enthusiastically deride others?
Here’s Matthew Henry, my favorite theologian, on the subject: “When we hear people ready to speak of the faults of others, or to censure them as holding scandalous errors, or to lessen the wisdom and piety of those about them, that they themselves may seem the wiser and better, this is a sign that they have but a vain religion.”
As Christians, we would like to excuse ourselves by claiming that in such tumultuous times as these, we need to fight fire with fire. Henry had something to say about that, too: “It is a strong sign of a vain religion to be carried away with the evil of the times.”
The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it. The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.