Matt. 3:5-10; Lk. 3:7 What did John the Baptist say to these Pharisees and Sadducees that were coming for baptism, while crowds were standing around?
Would you have thought it wrong for a spiritual leader (a prophet of God, Matt. 11:7-11) to say such things, and why?
Matt. 13:2, 10, 14-15 What did Jesus say to His disciples about the Jews whom He had just spoken to (and that was a prophecy of Isaiah’s)?
Are you surprised that Jesus would speak negatively about people behind their backs, and why?
Does it matter to whom He is sharing these negative thoughts?
Matt. 15:7-14 What did Jesus say to these Pharisees and scribes (Matt. 15:1) in at least the presence of His disciples (and possibly the multitude), Matt. 15:7-9?
Were Jesus’ disciples a bit taken aback by what Jesus said (Matt. 15:12), and how could you tell?
What was Jesus’ response to His disciples’ question as to whether He knew that He had offended the Pharisees (Matt. 15:14)?
How do you feel about Jesus offending these religious leaders with such negative remarks, and why?
How would you feel about being the one to make those remarks to such religious leaders, and why?
Matt. 16:1-12 What was Jesus’ response to a request from the Pharisees and Sadducees for Him to show them a sign from heaven (Matt. 16:4)?
What did Jesus tell His disciples to beware of (Matt. 16:6, 12)?
Have you ever been warned to watch out for the teachings of some religious leaders?
How did you feel about the person who warned you to watch out, and why?
Have you ever warned anyone to beware of some religious leader’s teaching?
Matt. 19:16-24 What did Jesus tell His disciples, after the rich young person left grieving (Matt. 19:23)?
Does it appear like Jesus is speaking negatively about rich people (Matt. 19:24)?
Matt. 23:1-35 What negative things does Jesus say to both the multitudes and His disciples about the Pharisees and scribes?
(Matt. 23:13-15, 23, 25, 29)
(Matt. 23:16-17, 19, 24, 26)
Are you shocked at Jesus’ long and repeated negative name calling toward these Pharisees and scribes in front of all these people, and why?
Have you ever done anything like this to pagan or carnal, religious leaders?
Do you know of anyone who has?
If so, how did you feel about their doing this, and why?
Mk. 6:17-20; Matt. 14:3-4; Lk. 3:19
What did John the Baptist (a righteous and holy man) say to Herod the tetrarch, and apparently to others since Matthew, Mark, and Luke all wrote about it?
Have you ever reproved (told was wrong) a politician for his/her wickedness?
Or, have you ever spoken to others about the wickedness of certain politicians?
Lk. 20:45-47 What did Jesus tell His disciples about the scribes while all the people were listening?
By this time, are you aware of whom Jesus normally speaks negatively about and to whom He shares this information?
About whom and to whom?
Mk. 8:32-33 What did Jesus do and say to Peter in the presence of the other disciples?
Have you ever spoken negatively to one of your disciples (if you have a trainee) or to anyone in a Christian group that you led while in the presence of your other trainees or group members?
How did you feel about doing so, and why?
Jn. 6:70-71 What did Jesus say about one of His twelve disciples to all His other disciples/trainees?
What else did Jesus say that one of His disciples would do (Jn. 13:21)?
To whom did Jesus specifically tell who it would be that would betray Him (Jn. 13:25-26)?
Was it right to speak negatively about Judas like this to John?
Lk. 13:31-32 What did Jesus call the political leader, Herod, in front of the Pharisees (and probably His disciples too)?
Are you surprised that Jesus would say this about a political leader?
Have you ever done something similar to this?
Acts 4:23 What did Peter and John report to the other Christians about the chief priests and the elders?
By mentioning what the priests and elders said (which were negative things about Peter and John), do you think this was speaking negatively about the priests and elders?
Acts 5:1-11 What did Peter say to Ananias and Sapphira (who were probably believers, Acts 4:32) that caused fear to come upon all who heard about it, including the whole church?
Have you ever shared the consequences of the sins of certain church people you have dealt with to the people of your church or with whom you work?
Acts 7:51-53 What did Stephen say about these Council members (Jewish religious leaders) in front of all of them?
Have you ever said anything negative about a group of religious leaders right to their faces?
If so, why?
Acts 13:6-12 What did Saul/Paul (who was filled with/controlled by God the Holy Spirit, Acts 13:9) call Elymas, the Jewish false prophet and magician, in front of Paulus, the proconsul and Barnabas (Acts 13:10)?
Have you ever done or said anything like this to someone who was opposing your witness to another person, and why?
Acts 15:36-40 What did Paul say to Barnabas about Barnabas’ cousin, John Mark (Acts 15:38)?
Have you ever spoken negatively about another Christian’s weaknesses or lack of fitness to be a part of your ministry, to a fellow-worker of yours?
1 Tim. 1:18-20 What does Paul say to Timothy about Hymenaeus and Alexander?
Does sharing negative information about one or more persons to another person or group of people (and yet having it be right to do) have anything to do with the fact that one spiritual leader is communicating these things to another spiritual leader in order to instruct, train, and warn this leader in his ministry?
Can motives in sharing negative information about someone to another spiritual leader make a leader’s sharing this negative information right or wrong, and why (Prov. 16:2; 1 Cor. 16:14)?
2 Tim. 1:15 What does Paul tell Timothy about Phygelus and Hermogenes?
Have you ever told one of your disciples/trainees about those who have turned away from working with you in the Lord’s work?
If so, why did you share this?
Or, what benefit would there be in sharing that kind of negative information?
2 Tim. 2:15-18 What does Paul tell Timothy about Hymenaeus and Philetus?
Have you ever informed your trainees or the people that you minister with of the negative things of other religious, church people, or so-called Christians in order to train, educate, or warn them?
2 Tim. 4:9-11 What does Paul tell Timothy about Demas?
Why did Paul write this?
Have you ever talked negatively about another so-called Christian because you wanted to communicate a need that you had for more help, or for some other biblical reason?
2 Tim. 4:14-15 What did Paul tell Timothy about Alexander the coppersmith, and why?
Do you share negative information about those who oppose you and your Christian witness in order to warn other Christians to be careful of this opponent?
3 Jn. 1:5-11 What does John tell Gaius about Diotrephes (3 Jn. 1:9-10)?
Why does John mention this to Gaius (3 Jn. 1:5, 8, 11)?
Have you ever talked about the negative qualities of a church person so that the church leaders that you are training won’t copy those bad traits or sins, but will copy the good ones and even confront those church leaders who are in error, though it needs to be done through appropriate means?
Jas. 4:11 What are we not to do?
[James is not saying here that we should avoid all judgment about the character and abilities of others, or to eliminate constructive criticism, but rather to cease from criticism of others just because their outlook is different from our own (This does not include dealing with false teaching or Christians living in sin.).].
Do you speak against other Christians because you are jealous or prideful, or because they do things differently than you (but which are biblically within bounds), or because you are concerned about keeping purity of doctrine and living?
Jas. 5:9 What are we not to do?
[The context, Jas. 5:7-8, 10, is dealing with Christians being patient with undesirable circumstances or oppression under which they suffer because of other Christians.].
Do you grumble and blame others when things don’t go the way you would like?
What should you do, and why?
When is it right or permissible to judge, criticize, or use harsh words?
- When as a spiritual leader either you or your disciples/trainees are challenged by religious leaders about not keeping man-made religious traditions – Matt. 15:1-14. The purpose is to teach your disciples/trainees or people, who are being led astray from what is true or right, about religious, hypocritical leaders and their error.
- When your disciple/trainee is used as a mouthpiece for Satan because his mind is not on God’s interests, but on man’s — Matt. 16:23. The purpose is to teach your disciples/trainees how to resist Satan-influenced disciples and their demonic words.
- When your disciples/trainees over-react either too hastily or too harshly — Luke 9:55. The purpose is to teach your disciples/trainees to not react too hastily or untimely.
- When exposing religious hypocrites — Matt. 23:1-35. The purpose is to warn and teach your disciples (trainees) and/or spiritually naïve people about religious hypocrisy, error, and pride.
- When your disciple/trainee is committing sin (e.g., jealousy, pride, etc.) — John 21:22. The purpose is to confront sin and not let it go unchecked for the sake of that person.
- When evaluating the qualifications of a Christian worker for a responsibility and discussing it among those spiritual leaders in charge of the task — Acts 15:36-38. The purpose is to put only those who are qualified for a responsibility in that position.
- When as a spiritual leader you are guiding the church (Christian group) in disciplining a person, who claims to be a Christian, who is living in sin — 1 Cor. 5:1-5. The purpose is to keep the Christian group pure and awaken the sinning Christian by exhorting the Christian group or church to disassociate from the sinning Christian until such time as the sinning Christian repents of his sin.
- When warning, instructing, teaching, and/or encouraging your disciple/trainee to keep the faith – 1 Tim. 1:18-20. The purpose is to motivate your disciple/trainee to keep the faith by sharing a negative example.
- When informing another spiritual leader about the status of affairs in your ministry and the people you deal with, just in case they too might have to deal with any of these same people – 2 Tim. 1:15; 4:10. The purpose is to warn the other spiritual leader of potential problems that he might encounter should problem-people from your ministry come to this other spiritual leader’s ministry.
- When instructing your disciple/trainee, who is a spiritual leader, what to do and what not to do in dealing with apostates — 2 Tim. 2:16-18. The purpose is to warn and instruct your disciple/trainee, who is a spiritual leader, of situations he may have to deal with or problem-people with whom he may have to deal.
- When exposing or talking about a corrupt political leader – Lk. 13:31-32.