“…you despicable reprobate.”

This is a partial quote from a comment I made on a social media page under a photo of a triumphant hunter gloating over a killed magnificent elephant.   Wanton animal cruelty and desecration of God’s creation provoke intense emotions (in me anyway) however, even as I wrote that comment I sensed it was my flesh arising, not the Spirit of God within.

While this was still stirring in my heart, I read today David Ettinger’s post, The Gold Standard of Christian Behavior .  His focus points to the angry and provocative political comments posted by many believers in social media.  Through scriptural reference David rightly contends that it is unbiblical and ungodly, challenging readers:

“What possible good does such behavior accomplish in sharing the love of Christ with a lost and dying world? …Does posting hateful political messages…do anything for the cause of Christ?  Would an unbeliever really want to hear what you would have to say about Jesus?”

What would I say if I passed by such a ‘hunter’?  Can I, at all, change my focus from his prideful killing and imagine his eternal fate before the Creator?  Or, more to the point, can I look at my own past sinful deeds and call myself a ‘despicable reprobate’?

There are so many reasons to justify emotional fervor but only one reason for believers to resist – the word of God calls us much higher.  Investing our heart into political, social, environmental, animal welfare causes etc will always lead us into a fleshly battle where we’re fighting those lost in darkness.  It’s no threat at all to the works of Satan and sadly, no gain at all for the Kingdom of God!

Is there any place for righteous anger?

In Living As Jesus Lived, Zac Poonen presents the divine attributes of Jesus as our only standard – His purpose, His holiness, His power, His love.  In Christ’s holiness is also “His zeal for the purity of God’s house.”     Brother Zac further expounds:

“The Bible commands us to be angry without sinning. (Eph 4:26).  When the Roman soldiers beat Jesus and whipped Him in Pilate’s hall, He patiently bore it all.  He was never once angry where it concerned His own person.  Such anger would have been sin.  But where it concerned the purity of God’s house, it was different.  There, to refrain from anger would have been sin.”  (emphasis Zac Poonen)

The  apostle Paul expressed such zeal as he founded the first churches:

“But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.  What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  “Expel the wicked man from among you”.”    (I Corinthians 5:11-12)

To our discredit, much of our ‘righteousness’ as believers comes from judging unbelievers – we’re not as bad as those ‘despicable reprobates’.  But our claim to follow Christ mandates aspiring to a higher, separated standard.  Judging those in the world, who live in darkness, ‘captivated by sin’ is futile and ungodly.  But upholding God’s standards within the Body of Christ is mandated – we are His ‘ambassadors’, representing a holy God before a dark world.

How can we refrain from judging ‘despicable reprobates’ in the world?  How can we have the boldness to uphold God’s standards in the church?  Only God can ignite a grief in our heart for the lost and unlovable.  And only the Lord can raise up a godly zeal and impassion us toward holiness in the Body that claims to be His in this world.

Help me Lord, to walk in your ways!

Addendum:  I’ve received some verbal comments from some who are familiar with these ‘trophy hunters’.  They rightfully assert that the acts desecrating God’s creation is ‘despicable’.   I agree.  And, I would add, we are never called to redefine or diminish sin.  But, I clarified, when we judge the sinner, there’s no room to warn him that “the wages of sin is death”.   We can preach the Gospel and call people to repent, pray that the Holy Spirit brings them to “godly sorrow that leads to repentance”, but the gavel at the end belongs to the Judge.

 

 

17 thoughts on ““…you despicable reprobate.”

  1. I just experienced righteous anger when a woman possessed with a spirit of divination walked in the church for us to listen to her so she could tell us the truth!

    But amen to that prayer!

  2. I don’t blame you. I wasn’t even aware elephants could be hunted, when there are so many other abundant species if hunting is your thing (such as deer to control the population). I would have felt much the same way.

    Interestingly enough, I just watched a video about “love the sinner, hate the sin” and it pointed to Jude 1:22-23. I would recommend that verse because it seems relevant to your post! Take care 🙂

  3. To start with, I must commend your sincerity and boldness to ink these words.

    This unholy anger reminds me of my own sin.
    I’ll share my story:

    Yesterday when power was restored, I charged my phone in a certain class. Minutes later, the teacher in charge of that class arrived, unplugged my phone and plugged hers.

    I found my phone lying on her table. I was furious because there were other sockets. She could have found another space for me or plug hers somewhere else. I didn’t find it funny.

    For the records, the staff room I sit is under construction.

    Though she was wrong, I shouldn’t have uttered a word in resentment.

    Jesus would have acted better.

    Jesus was indeed all you’ve mentioned and more.

    I trust the Holy Spirit to help us to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.

    Amen to your prayers, Ma’am.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tremendous insights that all believers need to consider, Lisa Beth. Because we are trapped in the flesh, more times than not our first reactions will be fleshly rather than spiritual. But as you wrote at the end, “Only God can ignite a grief in our heart for the lost and unlovable. And only the Lord can raise up a godly zeal and impassion us toward holiness in the Body that claims to be His in this world.”

    So long as we toil on this sinful earth, may we seeking to follow God’s higher call!

  5. Powerful post, Lisa.
    We cannot forget where God has brought us from. Apart from Christ, I am a despicable reprobate. So-called “Trophy Hunting” is a disgusting display of excess.

    • Always so good to hear from you Bill! Thanks for encouraging words. The Lord’s showing me that we can speak with passion if our heart is to warn, not condemn, someone in sin.
      God bless you my brother and lovely Mary…Happy Mothers Day to her!! 🌹🌹🌹

  6. I’m very impressed that you have used your own comment here to inspire and encourage us to these very important thoughts. It’s hard for us to look at ourselves and find things we can do better. Amazing write up here. One we all need. Very well done!

  7. Sometimes it is difficult not get angry when we see those cruelties on social media. Jesus was very angry when He whipped the money changers from the temple. Thank you for the lesson and prayer to help us control our temper. God bless you.

    • Hi Beverley, I definatly agree. While it may seem to split hairs, when I just declare someone a “despicable reprobate” it is not the same as expressing righteous anger with a charge, “You have made My house a den of thieves!” Jesus didn’t ‘post’ angry opinions but boldly addressed the offenders.
      It is right to be angry at wanton destruction, but what is my motive when acting upon or speaking about it?
      The godly motive, I believe, is to hope that shame that leads the offender to godly sorrow and repentance.
      Thanks Beverley, appreciate your comments! 🌷🌷🌷

    • I definatly agree. We need to call sin as it is but the motives of the heart have to be right. John the Baptist and Jesus called some folks “a brood of vipers”, and sons of the devil – it was a righteous indictment for offenders, and to their face!
      Good to hear from you Lee. God bless you, your wife, and Byron of course!

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