Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Q: Is it wrong for Christians to take a hard stand and confront others who abuse and
use them? Are they really showing grace and mercy to people who always take
advantage of them?

A: I realize Christians struggle with this issue because of how Christianity is
presented. First, we must only confront for the sake of the person and not because they
are rubbing us wrong. Remember the cross of Jesus was for our sake, not His.
Secondly, to find grace a person must be seeking mercy (Hebrews 4:16). You can’t
show mercy to those who are not seeking it, and as you know those who are using and
abusing Christianity are not seeking mercy as they try to ride high on unrealistic ideas of
Christianity or hide behind their worldly concept of love.
It is true that much of today’s presentation of Christianity is very lopsided. It is
usually all about love, showing grace to those who will eventually trample it under foot,
and constantly turning the opposite cheek to maintain a Christian front. In fact, if you fail
to keep up the front, you have plenty of unregenerated individuals to tell you that you’re
not being a very good Christian.
Our example of real Christianity is not some image the world has put on us to
control us, or standards that can be adjusted to fit those who use Christianity to try to
get believers to do it their way, or rigid unrealistic demands that make us look like
religious, unfeeling prigs; rather, our example is Jesus Christ. It is true Jesus turned His
cheek when being struck, was quiet when being mocked, and took untold abuse, but
this was because He was being led to Calvary where He paid the price of redemption
for our sins. It is true He became a sacrifice out of love, but the love was about
confronting, addressing, and dealing with sin that separates us from God. What He
showed us is that when souls are on the line, we must stand in the gap as He did on the
cross, when truth is being sacrificed or compromised, we must withstand it for it sets the
captive free, and when all is coming against us, we still must stand, holding the line of
righteousness in light of the promises awaiting us (John 3:16-21; 8:32;13:15; Romans
6:23; 8:27-29).
When Jesus walked this earth, He confronted people from His earthly family, to the
money changers, the religious and political leaders of His time, and even His disciples.
He confronted them in synagogues, at the temple, in the streets, when teaching the
masses, at places of judgment, and in some cases in private. He showed indignation
with the money changers, contempt toward the religious leaders who were leading
many astray, exposed the attitude of the masses that followed Him because He
provided physical bread knowing most were not interested in the spiritual bread that
would bring eternal life, and reproved his disciples for their unbelief (Matthew 8:22-27;
12:46-50; 23; 26:62-64; 27:11-19; Luke 4:15-30; John 2:12-17; 6:26-33, 53-69).
It is important to point out that if we fail to confront people in their sin, we become
partakers with them, losing our effectiveness before heaven to stand in the gap for
them. If we let them get away with doing wrong, then we enable them to live in
deception that ultimately will lead them to utter destruction. If a person uses our
Christianity against us when we are standing for what is right, they are basically
mocking our Christianity by putting us to a foolish test, and we will not have authority to
speak into their life if we do not, with meekness and firmness, push them back. If we
become doormats, they will use us up, cast us aside, and then like the swine that

trample under valuable gems in Matthew 7:6, will use our “tolerant” response against us
when out of necessity we dare confront them with truth (Proverbs 14:12; John 8:32; 1
Corinthians 5:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
As Christians, we must remember love does not rejoice in iniquity. Jesus called all
men to repentance, showed Himself to the seeking heart, offered forgiveness to those
asking for mercy, and grace to the humble (Luke 13:3, 5; 1 Corinthians 13:6; 1 Peter
5:5-6). The Lord would never remain quiet if a soul was on the line. Relationships are
important but not at the expense of a soul. Peace with others is precious but not at the
expense of truth, and getting along with others is priceless but not at the expense of our
testimony (Revelation 12:11).