It is so fun to judge. When we hear of the things that make the leaders human, and the things that are exposed in the media, we gobble them up like morsels of fine food. Then, we make judgements about the ones for whom those comments are made. This has especially become the thing to do since the rise of the cancel culture. Politicians, actors, teachers, preachers, and coaches are among the casualties simply because the media targeted them.
The practice is neither new, nor is it any more proper than it was during Paul’s era. In Paul’s time, there were huge fights within the church over which leader should be followed. Should we be Paulean, Apollean, Petrean or Christian? If that in itself was not bad enough, as in all such conflicts, each group would dish out rumor and inuendo to discredit the leaders they did not favor. One can only imagine the talk about Paul the Persecutor, or Peter the denier. Apollus, the newbie or Christ the reactionary!
It is both sad and ridiculous. Humans are so quick to judge and to forget to keep the main thing the main thing. These men had literally traded their lives and futures to follow God’s call and change the world. They left homes and family to spread the Gospel, and to bring God’s message of redemption and restoration to both the Jewish and gentile worlds.
So, Paul, the lawyer and the scholar calls them out. He tells them to quit it. He reminds the Corinthians to focus on the message of restoration and redemption and stop focusing on who is the best or right. God sent them all to build His church. As followers, the Corinthians neither had the right or the standing to judge these men.
Well, zoom forward to our day. We are faced with the same issues. We are quick to judge our church leaders and pastors. We forget they are people as well. We see a tweet we disagree with or a post about something they may have said or done 20 years before and “Boom” we cancel them.
Paul’s message is still true! We need to quit judging these people and simply listen to what the Lord is saying through them. Rest assured, as humans they have all made mistakes. I have made many. The great news is Christ’s message of redemption is perfect. We must focus on Christ and the sacrifice and victory of resurrection. When we do, we can leave the cancel culture in the dust and become the encouragers and family God called us to be.
God Bless You
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.