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Monday, February 20, 2006

Who is the Self-Righteous? He who doesn't preach.

I've had some interesting conversations lately with those who believe their actions alone are enough to please God when it comes to evangelism. As I was trying to explain to one guy that I believed action and speech must cooperate together, I got clever responses back to me like: "I thought my actions do the speaking" or "I'm more worried about my own sin to point out the sins of others."

But my favorite response came from one who challenged me that it is quite self-righteous to think that I could challenge someone about their beliefs. I don't know if the guy had read my blog before and new that the self-righteous card would get my ire up, but it worked.

Are we being self-righteous when we preach the gospel?

1. Are you kidding me? How can one be self-righteous while proclaiming that your only righteousness is found in Christ?
2. Doesn't proper evangelism call the listener to see their personal sin, but at the same time, can't I do that as a fellow sinner?
3. Isn't it more self-righteous to believe your life is so clearly displaying the gospel that it is unnecessary to preach the message? If I say I don't need to preach, that means I'm living perfectly? No, I preach the gospel because I know my sins prevent me from being the perfect display of the gospel. In fact, part of my gospel presentation is that I don't have any righteousness of my own.

I feel bad for Francis of Assisi. If he had known that "Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words" would be so badly abused, I think he would have held those words in.

Let me also again encourage you to very cautiously throw out the title of "self-righteous" upon someone. Self-righteousness (believing that you have your own merit to earn God's favor) condemns people to hell. If find it ironic that those who condemn the gospel preacher for not being sensitive to others, is in reality telling that preacher he's heading to hell.

Keep preaching the gospel! For it is God's Word alone that tells us we are not righteous on our own!


  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    How do you think Christians should understand the statement, "you earn the right to be heard"?

    Cause that's today's reality.

    People don't care how much you know (even if it's the Gospel) until they know how much you care (they'll know we are Christians by our love!)


  • At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yes, you can be self-righteous when preaching the gospel; it's an attitude--displayed by people who believe they are right all the time and that others are clueless. Just saying the right words doesn't assure a pure motive.

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Well said, Anonymous!

  • At 9:07 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Don't worry about it too much. If you want to preach the gospel go for it. Philippians 1 tells us that we should be happy whenever the gospel is actually preached, even if the person doing it is trying to be a jerk.


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