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Too Nice?

I am a firm believer in the principle that a good teacher should be as invisible (i.e. unobtrusive) as possible, even if physically standing before a class, thereby neither outshining or overshadowing (either way, stealing the light) what he or she has been given to teach. It's a simple matter of effectiveness - avoid creating stumbling blocks as much as humanly possible. The best teacher in the world would make themselves the worst teacher in the world if either he or she, because of an obnoxious manner, caused people to turn and walk away from the Gospel with their hands over their ears, or because of an ego problem caused people to look more to just another sinful human for their salvation than to the Word of God. Don't ever presume to have the right to stand between God and any of His children, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5 KJV)

But can someone be "too nice," as a lady from up in the Iron Range of northern Minnesota (a few later Daily Bible Study lessons were written, in part, based on what I learned from her - and despite my asking, she wished to remain anonymous to those 3 or 4 studies) told me about some of the early lessons that I wrote for Daily Bible Study? Yes, they can. The Biblical truth must be taught wholly (a word that rhymes with holy, perhaps for a reason) and plainly because the truth stops being the truth if it is compromised or adulterated by too much concern for diplomacy. You simply can't please everyone. A friend in Nevada emphasized that point when he once told me about Daily Bible Study, "I was getting worried about you, you hadn't gored any oxen lately."

The Line Between "as a nurse cherisheth her children" and "ye generation of vipers!"

The Holy Bible actually provides a "teacher's guide," a teacher's code of conduct, that may be summed up by:

Holy Bible

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (James 3:17-18 KJV)

"But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children" (1 Thessalonians 2:4-7 KJV)

The "as a nurse cherisheth her children" principles described above apply to those who are sincerely seeking to learn the truth, not to those who are looking to oppose it. Using the examples of John the Baptist (see John's Last Days), Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), all were gentle teachers for those who were honestly seeking the truth, but all also forcefully responded to the "vipers" in a way that was appropriate. The line between "as a nurse cherisheth her children" and "ye generation of vipers!" was determined not by the teacher, but the attitude of those that they encountered, such as these examples in which John the Baptist and Jesus Christ (in that order) were confronted by "vipers":

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." (Matthew 3:7-10 KJV)

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:29,33 KJV)

Fact Finder: How has the word "apology" changed from what it originally meant?
See An Apology Is Nothing To Be Sorry About

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