Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The proverbs above clearly mention the danger of dealing with mockers.
How do you deal with them if they happened to be part of the church and at the same time mock God by continued disobedience, covertly and blatantly?
Well, the church’s usual tendency is righteous indignation, which is quite easy. Yes, it’s easy to just go through the rules and declare the mocker’s disqualification.
However, this easy solution would probably result in losing the chance for redemption and restoration of the mocker, whom I believe deserves the compassion of Christ.
Follow Matthew 18:15-17?
This is the standard Jesus Christ set, which in my pastoral experience proved very helpful.
However, I see this as applicable to church who have been established already and the members have known and committed themselves to follow these rules.
What if you’re just starting a church and those attending are “babes in Christ” and in fact, they’ve just started appreciating their new found relationship with the Lord?
Also, if you’re in a multicultural congregation, one needs to find out the socio-cultural dynamics of ethnic groups in dealing with such situation.
So, how did Manuka Honey figure in the controversy and helped?
When I encountered the situation, I prayed for God’s wisdom.
Then I recalled when we visited Comvita at Te Puke last December 2013.
We were fascinated by Manuka Honey, especially seeing the live honeycomb with live bees being exhibited.
Since the honey production looks sophisticated I thought there was a special way to harvest the honey other than the traditional method.
So I asked the guide how the honey is harvested. She replied that they smoke the hive to drive the bees and then get the honey.
Gaining from this age-old wisdom, I found myself resolved to “smoke” the mockers in the church with the Word of God.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
God’s Word works effectively! Amen!
PHOTO CREDIT: Jade Mark Jarbadan