A Scolding

D L Henderson
5 min readFeb 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

A very dear friend of mind once scolded me for using the Facebook platform to proselytize. First, the definition:

1: to induce someone to convert to one’s faith

2: to recruit someone to join one’s party, institution, or cause — https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proselytize.

Well, my first thought was, “Isn’t that what everybody is doing on Facebook, and all the other social platforms?!?” My second thought was “How else am I supposed to reach out to people living near and far away, even on the other side of the world?”

Besides, after I thought about it a bit more, my third response evolved and I proposed that everybody is trying to sell something online — whether happy thoughts or metaphysical ideas, or what to do, where to go, and even how to think about a variety of subjects and causes, from animal adoptions, to life after death, to political controversies.

I wondered, “What makes my usual subject of God, Jesus, and the Bible so off putting and offensive?”

After all, I am not trying to trip people up. Quite the opposite.

This quote might illustrate the problem: It’s written in Romans 9:30–33: “Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the Law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, ‘I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.’

So, maybe I’m not explaining it correctly? Maybe the subject is too personal? Maybe this stumbling stone stubs a person’s toe’s? Maybe it’s a personally painful subject? But it just might be even more complicated…

Maybe the offense is the rock itself… but maybe it is also the messengers…

With all the trash that has piled up over the centuries and all the evil that has been done in the name of Christianity, I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to hear anything about God, Jesus, and the Bible. I’ll admit, it has become quite the stench to many, myself included. So, I’ve been trying to clean the place up, not shovel more crap into the pile!. But consider this: it is people’s actions that are stinking up the place. That is what turns people off, and therefore, they should be held responsible, certainly not God, nor Jesus, nor the Bible!

By the way, it is a stench in God’s nostrils, too. In Isaiah 65 is an example, “These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away.” (verse 5, NLT)

Notwithstanding, any subject matter may have lousy messengers and the messengers themselves might be lousy practitioners or hypocrites.

Yet, shooting the messenger might not be such a good idea…

It’s a shame that Jesus’ name is maligned so, because “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” That is the core message.

Of course, many have no idea that they need saving.

Yet, we all have done harm. It is significant that there are people who do harm to others while claiming the Name of Jesus — but it is especially horrendous when individuals standing in the pulpits who not only overlook terrible crimes within their own denominational churches, but who too often commit those crimes themselves.

Yet, the Bible tells us we should look in our own backyards… There’s a lot of work to do there first.

People have forgotten one of the Ten Commandments, but nevertheless, be assured that it is still there. As it is said in the Amplified Bible: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the LORD will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].” So, it’s not just using His name as a swear word or a curse word, claiming to be a Christian without being born again can fit the bill.

There will be a reckoning for them — for all of us.

Well, no matter, what I am trying to accomplish is to “sell” people on the idea to look past the weeds, cut them down, and throw them into a compost heap. Look past the mass of weeds of opinions. It is not God who is to blame. It is people. And, we don’t have to answer to people. We all will have to answer to God — born again or not.

There will be a reckoning for everyone.

Finally, selling implies that the seller receives barter or payment of some sort in return. What do I get in return? Nothing material I can assure you. The pleasure of knowing you will receive life to the full in the here and now, and that I will have the pleasure of meeting you again in eternity. That’s what I get. In Luke 15:7, Jesus said, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” and in John 10:19 He said that He came that we “may have life, and have it in all its fullness.”

Look to Jesus instead of looking at people, “for we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin.” — Hebrews 4:15.

Cut through all the undergrowth and you will discover that Jesus cares and Jesus comforts.

There will be a reckoning, and no one can stop that “train barreling down the tracks.”

This “sale” will not be like the one’s on TV. There will be an end to this “sale’s promotion,” and absolutely, no more offers will follow. The doors will be closed permanently.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between