“For we are not like many others who profit from the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2: 17a).
Pastor rebuked the Corinthians with such harsh words, not because Pastor hated them, but because Pastor loved them so much. It is not easy to combine rebuke with love. In our lives, especially to our children, it’s very difficult to combine those two things. Because what we often see reprimands is a sign of hatred and never sees a rebuke as a sign of love. Pastor sparked his feelings with expressive sentences, “I am worried, I shed tears, I was angry, I rebuked you.” All this is not because Pastor wants to grieve their hearts, not a sign of Pastor hating them, but instead Pastor loves them with an outward love ordinary.
As the Lord’s Church, dare we do a ‘self-critic’ to our church? How should we as the Church live and prove to this world that the Church God wants? We love the Church. We long for the Church of God to grow. That is because we need to give a reprimand, even if the rebuke is harsh. You may rebuke other brothers and sisters, even if it is necessary to give that warning to me as a servant of God, not because we hate him but because we love and we want him to grow.
Not everyone who uses the label and the Christian name is really a model for the Lord’s Church. Pastor in 2 Corinthians 2:17 speaks loudly and angrily and sadly. He saw that certain people were the cause of trouble in the Corinthian church and he was compelled to name them and rebuke their improper motivations. This is not easy because in a quantity the quantity of people who are not true is always far more than the right person. Pastor Chris says, “Don’t joke with sacred things. Pastors occupy sacred place. You must know what to joke with and what not to joke with”. Many people like it, Pastor says.
General overseer of Believers Love World (Christ Embassy International), Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has issued a message of caution to comedians regarding using pastors as elements of jokes.
We must be introspective. Is our Church also trapped and fallen into an insincere and dishonest Church, and we long to be a good Church of God. If we witness many other Church ministries that “trade Christ” like this, let us rebuke. We scold not because we hate them. We are rebuked because we do not want others to ultimately insult the Church of God.
There are two kinds of criticism that can come to you and me. The one, the criticism that comes because the person really hates us. Secondly, rebuke and harsh criticism come to us because that person loves us so much. In the Reformation era, John Knox admonished the queen of England who wanted to remarry. The queen was furious, so hateful and wanted to kill John Knox. But John Knox insists he rebukes the queen out of love. Finally a few days later the queen realizes that John Knox is a truly God’s servant. Others do not dare and be silent; only John Knox dare to rebuke him.