I’ve joked with people before…especially those far from God…
I’m a pastor, so you probably can’t trust me.
And we both laugh. Why?
Because of their experience with Christian leaders lying.
A few things from this passage…
1. Oaths are silly.
We don’t understand the temple or gold on the temple. Or the altar or the gift on the altar. Essentially, they made up rules about if you vow on one thing, it was binding. But if you vowed in the other thing, it wasn’t binding. You could say something without the intent of doing it.
Today, it more is about silly oaths that mean nothing. Things like, “Give me a stack of Bibles to swear on.” That’s junior high and shows our ability to lie.
Why not just say, “I said it, I’m good for it.”
2. We don’t want to be “that guy.”
So at times there is a tension. If I tell all the truth, I’ll be mean. But if I don’t, that’s not right either.
Now, we don’t want to be “that guy” who no one wants to be around. But we do need people to know that we give a fair assessment.
This is easier in relationship. I critique our teachers, and they’re free to critique me. And it is easier because we all have a good relationship. We know, even if the feedback is “negative” it is to get to a “positive” place.
How can you give “negative” feedback, but get them to a “positive ” place?
3. Christians are to give hope.
People have a hard time trusting others. For example, when was the last time you did a handshake deal? Mine was about our van over 2 years ago. He trusted the money was coming to us and we would pay. We trusted he wouldn’t sell the van out from underneath us. And we both remained true to our word!
Shouldn’t we give hope that people can be trusted today? What if Christians, instead of being seen as shady, were seen as true to our word? What would that do to the advancement of the gospel?
Losing My Religion is a sermon series about being free from religious superiority. Read along with us in Galatians and Matthew 23 with our Reading Plan. Today’s reading is from Matthew 23:16-22.