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Scripture Reading: Luke 12:49-53

The Problem with Confrontation



1.  People do not like confrontation.

2.  Some confrontation should be avoided, yet other forms must be accepted, Prov. 26:17; 26:4-5.

  a.  Remain silent (when we should speak).

  b.  Remain passive (when we should be active, even militant).

  c.  Remain timid (when we should be bold), 2 Tim. 1:7.

3.  Contending for the faith and for souls requires confrontation, Matt. 16:21-23; Acts 4:29; Gal. 2:14; Jude 3.

4.  Many brethren are offended by the “fire” truth kindles, Lk. 12:49-53. The gospel is a militant message, Eph. 6:17.

5.  “’Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace” is the siren call that leads to the toleration of sin and to compromise that causes destruction, Jer. 6:14-17.



  A.  Perhaps because We have Minimized Sin, 1 Jno. 3:4.

     1.  Some do not perceive an urgent need to confront sinners, since...   

        a.  In their minds, sin has been defined out of existence, or

        b.  Sin is rationalized as someone else’s problem, cf. Jude 22-23.

     2.    Truth has been made “relative” and “situational”, not accepted as absolute, Jude 3-4. Therefore, differences do not matter (2 Jno. 9).

        -He is “in error, but it's not that bad.” And after all, he is my friend.

  B.    Perhaps because We are Afraid of Men, Matt. 10:27-33.

     1.    Taking a stand for truth demands taking a risk. Evil people will oppose us.

     2.    Speak out, 10:27; Confess Christ, 10:32; Fear is denial, 10:28, 31, 33.

  C.      Perhaps because the Sacrifice it takes is a Bridge too Far, Matt. 10:34-39. (“set...against” – to alienate from)

     1.    Family becomes more important than Jesus, 10:35-37.

     2.    Comfort becomes more important than enduring trials, 10:38.

     3.    Life now becomes more important than eternal life, 10:39.

  D.   Perhaps because being Separated from the Sinner(s) is a Price too High to Pay, Jas. 4:4. (2 Cor. 6:17)

     1.    Some say of false teachers and brethren in error: “I’m not going to draw a line of fellowship.” (God has drawn the line. Will we honor it?)

     2.    The sinful effects of this attitude are seen in Corinth, 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 6.

     3.    Withdrawing is not practiced by many churches, 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15.

  E.    Perhaps because being Called “Self-Righteous” is a Charge We are Unwilling to Endure, Gal. 4:19.  (“bigot,” “hater”, etc.)

     1.    When elders must correct in love, and they are falsely accused of being “self-righteous” or overbearing, “lording over” brethren, 1 Pet. 5:2-3.

     2.    When the preacher compares false doctrines and practices to the Scriptures, identifying the error and its promoters, he is accused of negative “name calling,” 2 Tim. 4:2.

     3.    When Christians speak God’s judgments and are called “judgmental bigots,” Jno. 7:24; 12:48.

  F.    Perhaps because Our Faith is Small, Matt. 14:27-33.

     1.    When controversy over truth comes, we doubt God’s power and truth’s way, Rom. 1:16.

     2.    Must have confidence that God’s way is right, and it will succeed, Isa. 55:8-11.



1.  Confrontation for its own sake reflects earthly wisdom, and is condemned, Jas. 3:14-16.

2.  Confrontation for the sake of truth and lost souls is demanded of God’s people, Acts 20:27.




By: Joe R. Price

Posted: August 10, 2016