(UPDATE: Please don't read this post without reading Chris [deleted]'s comment below as well.)
I read the following over on [deleted]:
Christians are wasting precious time away by arguing with ungodly people over godly things. ...don't waste precious time arguing with those who mock and ridicule you for your faith. ...
So don't think that you are doing God a favor by arguing with them. God knows who belongs to Him; and He doesn't need us to push people into the truth through cunning argumentation. He can and will get the job done on His own; and the task won't be accomplished by force, but only by love! So don't argue with mockers! You may think that you are doing a good thing thereby, but you are actually being disobedient to Jesus Christ who said,
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matthew 7:6 NKJV)"
I didn't leave a comment. It was late. I may yet.
I CAME TO DIVIDE
I don't completely disagree with that post. There's plenty that's good in it. However, Jesus argued with them (the mockers). He went right in where they were, and he spoke in ways that was sure to raise an argument. He came not to bring peace but to divide. He came to expose. He came to make the contrast stark.
SWAYED BY ARGUMENTATION
Also, many people were and are genuinely swayed by the argumentation (I was and am), even though Jesus often makes extremely short work of it. There's nothing wrong with that. He is concise for those who bother to ask, seek, and knock. He's a riddle to those who don't have it in them, can't bring themselves to delve into it.
"CUNNING" IS LOADED
Furthermore, the term "cunning" is loaded.
HE DID IT: HE CAST THE PEARLS
As for the scripture about the swine, Jesus did it. It isn't for the faint at heart is the message. He cast the pearls, and they did turn and murder him for it. That's the context. He said they'd murder his followers too for doing it.
This is not the only sense-meaning or valid interpretation of the saying though. Jesus did speak in multiple contexts at the same time afterall. That's fundamental knowledge for Christianity, and I don't care if they murder me for it. They'd be making me a martyr for Christ. What an honor! I might sweat blood too, but it would still be an honor — strange thinking no doubt to the naysayers who don't really want to know but rather avoid the implications hoping they'll be let off for ignorance. They won't. They'll get their stripes.
If we follow the advice of Chris on [deleted], we'd be rebuking Jesus for arguing with them and being "cunning." What Jesus is not is deceptive, affected, or contrived. I'm positive Chris isn't saying that he is. We must be sure that we aren't allowing that usage (connotation) of the term cunning to do a psychological number on people.
WE MUST SPEAK TRUTH FOR THE SAKE OF THE MANY
If we don't call the liars on their lies about war and money and torture and all the rest of their abject sins, if we don't refute their distortions of scripture, many people will be left in the dark who would be otherwise spared, at least spared from the particular errors we manage to see and to expose and they to grasp.
There is a limit of course. One needs to feel the spirit as to where to stop. I take it that Chris means it that way to some degree.
He thinks we're closer to the "end" than we are. We are nearing (relatively speaking, of necessity) the end of an age. Historicism is at work, always. There is a progression. There is cause and effect.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
It is true that ends come as Jesus said, as a thief in the night. That's for those who aren't watching. However, for the rest of us (few there be that find it), we read the signs of the times as we read the weather.
The signs do not point to the end as being soon yet. Many things that must happen first have not happened. We aren't even close in the collective sense. Individuals though, that's a different matter.
One must always view scripture and prophecy on a microcosmic level while also viewing it on the macrocosmic level. Each individual life, each soul, has an end of sorts that is not irrelevant when discussing the "End Times" as the Fundamentalists and Dispensationalists and others mean by the term. Lives are called right in the middle of being selfish, greedy, violent, depraved or their opposites: Consistently unselfish, giving, sharing, pacifistic, harmless, beneficial, repentant, and atoning. For those lives, it is the "end." Life or death, light or darkness, goes on though in the hereafter. Exactly how it is, no person living in the flesh on this Earth can say. He or she can only approximate and somewhat surmise at best.
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That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)