I’m not asking this facetiously:
1. IS POSITIVE.
Why is the number 1 rule “be positive?” Most of the prophets proclaimed cautionary sermons that could hardly be considered “positive.”
How does one decide if a message is positive? If it leads people out of a life of sin and toward Jesus? If it reaffirms their current choices and doesn’t cause them to be uncomfortable?
8. REINFORCING — NEVER CONTRADICTING — OUR CULTURAL VALUES.
Is this a stance that is mirrored in the Bible anywhere?
· Legally Jesus was required to pay taxes, but that’s not a cultural value — that’s a legal requirement. (Luke 20)
· Throughout the Bible we’re told to set ourselves apart. (1 Peter 2:9, 2 Corinthians 6:17, there’s legitimately a zillion verses on this topic.)
· Elijah, John the Baptist, Stephen are just a few righteous men who contradicted cultural values.
· Should Noah, Moses, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Jonah… JESUS have reinforced, rather than contradicted the cultural values of their time?
· Should the residents of Nineveh, Sodom & Gomorrah, and the Canaanites been placated?
· Was Paul wrong to call out Peter for shunning the uncircumcised? (Galatians 2)
· Should we get rid of the entire book of Titus, which shows that we’re in the world, not of the world?
15. LEAVES PEOPLE FEELING BETTER ABOUT THEMSELVES THAN WHEN THEY CAME IN.
Jesus consistently had people who didn’t “feel better about themselves” after His messages.
· I’m recalling a certain rich man… (When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. — Matthew 19:22)
· When Jesus refused to be made king by force of the people many disciples deserted Him. (John 6:60–70)
· When Jesus told the woman at the well that she had had 5 husbands, I’m sure she felt embarrassed rather than uplifted, (The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true. — John 4:18)
· as did the woman who was almost stoned for adultery, (“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” — John 8:11)
· as did Martha when she was scolded by Jesus for caring more about getting help with the cooking than listening to Jesus speak. (Luke 10:38–42)
· What about Jesus telling everyone that they were the children of Satan and rebellious? (Matthew 23)