MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

March 17, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Message is negative because we sin

— My letter to the editor has prompted several people to accuse me of being too negative and of being a pharisaical bigot. There are good reasons why my letters are largely negative.

First, because it is biblical. From Genesis 3 onward, God never praises humanity in general, though he sometimes praises his people. This is because humanity is “dead in trespasses and sins,” as Ephesians 2:1 declares. The only people God has any use for are his elect who he saves by his grace through Christ. All the rest of humanity are chaff for hell, as Matthew 3:12 says.

Look at the 10 commandments. The majority are negative commands. Study the messages of the prophets, the apostles, of Christ himself. All largely negative. This is because we are sinners and must be told so.

Second, because the times demand it. Again, I point to the prophets and Christ. Were they going around telling people, “smile, God loves you” and, “I’m OK, you’re OK?” Hardly. Their main message was always for people to repent before God of their sins. Should not God’s people nowadays be preaching the same message? Indeed, in this world that is daily sinking farther into false religion, fornication, theft, murder, sodomy, etc., the message is needed more than ever. Sadly, the majority of professed Christians and preachers are so busy telling the whole world God loves them, which is completely unscriptural that they are largely ignoring their duty of telling people they are sinners who must repent.

Do you want a positive message? I have the most positive you’ll hear. It is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. See 1 Timothy 1:15. But he only saves those who turn from their sins and trust him alone for salvation. If you reject this message, God has only negative words for you.

Finally, to you who accuse me of negativity and bigotry: You aren’t being positive or open-minded in your response to my letters, are you? Either start giving positive responses to my letters or put on your own Pharisee robes.

JOSHUA ASHWOOD

Fort Gibson

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