"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Permanent Presence of Political Posturing Part 2

Over the next few blogs I am going to give a few reasons not to despair over political posturing. Here is the first.

1. Christ Is Preached: "And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance," Philippians 1:14-19 ESV

I will not give an expanded explanation of what is occurring in this text, except to say, there were those who were taking advantage of Paul's imprisonment to promote their own ministries. Our involuntary response would have been to anathematize these men: "They are heretics!" However, this prideful, political, anti-Paul posturing was serving a positive purpose: Christ was being preached.

So, rather than fighting political pygmies, Paul glories that Christ is preached. Even if with envy, rivalry, insincerity and pretense the preaching of Christ and the gospel is always a positive thing. It is better to endure the politician than to pause the preaching of Christ. We must trust that the Gospel is powerful enough to save in spite of the malice and motives of men. Paul is confident that even this will turn out for his deliverance.

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