May 20, 2012

Responding To Defamation – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:03 am by sranderson0103

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (I Corinthians 4:11–13).

Bible-believing Christians today, especially creationists, have become the object of intense vilification by the news media and by self-appointed spokesmen for the scientific and educational establishments.

A dramatic example occurred just a few days ago. On May 15, Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University Children’s Center, delivered the commencement address at Emory University. Dr. Carson is an internationally renowned scientist (Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States).

http://www.icr.org/article/benjamin-carson-pediatric-neurosurgeon-with-gifted/

Since Emory is affiliated with the Methodist Church, many would expect a supportive attitude toward an eminent scientist, who has publically affirmed that he does not believe in evolution, but is a creationist.

Wrong!

Almost 500 Emory University faculty and students signed a letter, objecting to the fact that their commencement speaker has the audacity to point out flaws in the theory of evolution.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-carson-20120513,0,7835599.story

He spoke in spite of the objections and what a speech! He graciously but firmly denied the published misrepresentations and then delivered one of the most eloquent, powerful commencement speeches I have ever heard.

The natural reaction to slanderous accusations is to respond in kind. But this is not the reaction of one guided by the Spirit.

“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:21–23).

We not only have Christ’s example before us, but also His direct commandment to respond oppositely.

“Blessed are you when people  insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you” (Matthew 5:11-12 ,44).

The apostles endured far more insults and opprobrium for Christ’s sake than any of us shall ever have to suffer. Yet Paul, speaking for them all, could say:

“Being reviled, we bless; being defamed, we entreat, even though they call us the filth of the world!”

Christians should feel no need to “right the wrongs” inflicted upon them. They don’t have to since God said He would. Our real problem is believing God’s promises.

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

We should know that God’s vengeance is wiser, more just and absolutely dependable.

(With acknowledgement to the late Dr. Henry M. Morris)

 

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