What I wrote in my previous post often gets Christians of the charismatic persuasion upset. Why does this happen? In a word: pride.
We can see this pride in the Pharisees when Jesus spoke to them. A splendid example is the eighth chapter of John’s gospel. In verses three to nine, we can see the hostility and intellectual malice toward Jesus.
“Now the scribes and Pharisees came, with a woman who had been taken in the act of sinning against the married relation; And putting her forward, they said to him, ‘Master, this woman has been taken in the very act of sinning against the married relation. Now in the law Moses gave directions that such women were to be stoned; what do you say about it?’ They said this, testing him, so that they might have something against him. But Jesus, with his head bent down, made letters on the floor with his finger. But when they went on with their questions, he got up and said to them, ‘Let him among you who is without sin be the first to send a stone at her.’ And again, with bent head, he made letters on the floor. And when his words came to their ears, they went out one by one, starting with the oldest even to the last, because they were conscious of what was in their hearts: and Jesus was there by himself with the woman before him.”
Since the Pharisees failed intellectually to defeat Christ, they scoffed at his claims to be divine. In John 8:13, the Pharisees accused Jesus of giving false witness. They thought he was lying.
When Jesus said in verse twenty-one that he was going to a place where they couldn’t come, they mocked him by asking if he was going to kill himself. Their hatred was so strong that they couldn’t grasp what he really meant.
As Christ explained his relationship with his heavenly Father , the religious leaders who didn’t believe him became increasingly abusive. When Jesus told them that they were of their father the Devil in verse forty-four, Their argument became even hotter. Being called the sons of Satan was a huge insult to them, though it was true.
The final reaction to Christ’s truth was a desire in the Pharisees to kill him right on the spot. Verses fifty-six to fifty-nine showed how Christ’s use of God’s holy name, I AM, made the Pharisees lose their tempers. They wanted to stone him for blasphemy because he made himself equal to God Almighty.
This progression of rising rage on the part of religious people happens all the time to those of us who dare speak God’s truth. No matter how nicely we talk, people will still be offended by our words. Even Christians become filled with unholy wrath when their pet ideas are challenged. Rather than agreeing to disagree agreeably, religious people soon show their true selves in the light of God’s Word.
My next book, You Think You’re Going to Heaven? will certainly stir up anger but I expect that reaction. Pride is what took Satan down and it’ll take mere mortals down all the quicker. Even so, I feel compelled to warn readers not to make the wrong choice and go to hell.