Romans 2:24 – ‘For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.’
Paul handles so many topics in his introduction to the Romans. In just two chapters we have already discussed judgment, the righteousness of God, being judgmental, sin, not being good enough, and being without excuse, to name a few. Now Paul, seemingly is on another topic, as if he is just sharing what comes to mind as he dictates this letter to Tertius.
I believe this topic is a most important topic and trust I can share it without being judgmental myself. When I read the end of the verse, “as it is written”, I wanted to know where else in the Bible it is written that we can cause the Gentiles, or in our case, the world, to blaspheme God. I chose the most notable ones.
So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”2 Samuel 12:13-14 NKJV
How did David cause the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme against Him? Well, if you remember what happened, it’s easy to see. First of all, David looked upon the wife of Uriah and lusted after her. He took this a step further and had her brought to him so that he could have sex with her. She became pregnant and David tried to cover it, but when that didn’t work, he had her husband killed in battle. This thing that David did, he thought was a secret, but it wasn’t. Others knew about it and began talking about David. People are still talking about David. Christians and non-Christians, with disdain. God was so disappointed with David because his actions brought reproach on the name of God. You know how we do, “He’s suppose to be a Christian!” “If that’s how Christians act, I don’t want any part of that!” David thought that he could rewrite the narrative of the conception of Bathsheba’s baby by manipulating the situation, but God wasn’t pleased! The Name that David had once honored in all that he did, he is now accused, by God, as causing the Gentiles to blaspheme it!
Paul wrote in our key text that there are some things that we can do to cause the Gentiles, or the world, to blaspheme His name. Let me share this passage from the New Living Bible:
Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.Romans 2:21-24
Remember, Paul is addressing the Jews in Rome, but he could just as easily be talking to the church folk of today! He wants to know that since they are teachers and are teaching others, why aren’t they teaching themselves? Do we really do? Teach people about God and then ignore those teachings? All too often it is done! Then he brings up adultery, asking them, if they say it’s wrong to commit adultery, do they commit adultery? It’s so easy to point the finger, but when we do, there are four more pointing right back at us! But for those of us who say we are Christians, we know that the world is waiting to call us hypocrites and to criticize our Jesus! We are so proud, Paul declares, that we know the Law, or the Bible, but in our breaking of the Law, or not living according to God’s word, we dishonor God. And Paul takes it a step further by saying this type of half baked Christianity causes the world to blaspheme the name of God because of our shabby living!
It’s interesting to note that Paul was impressed with this church and wanted to visit them. However, the more I think about this letter to the Romans, the more I take a closer look at it, the more I feel Paul may have been impressed with their origins, and even their perseverance in the midst of tremendous persecution; but not the way they were living their lives for Jesus!
Peter takes this same theme up in his second letter.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.2 Peter 2:1-2
It’s really distressing to hear the news casters blaspheme Christianity and our leaders. Many of them are criticized even though they live godly lives, but just as many are criticized for their destructive ways causing the way of truth to be blasphemed. Are you going to get mad at me and stop following me if I call a spade a spade? Maybe! But I will do it anyway and trust God with the results.
Most news casters wouldn’t know a godly person if they met one. They judge godliness by their standards and not the standards of God. They want all Christian leaders to be like Mother Theresa and Billy Graham, and everybody else is not like Christ. In dealing with these worldly people, I understand this and agree it is fake news. The Church truly needs no validation from the world!
But some of this stuff isn’t fake news! It’s real news, and we call it fake news because we refuse to see the truth that is before us! Peter said that there would be false prophets and false teachers among us, and yet we have difficulty identifying these false individuals. One way we can identify them, Peter wrote, is that they will cause the way of God, Christianity, to be blasphemed among the world.
I have written on the prophets and how very much I respect them. I believe in modern prophets and I believe God can speak to His people through them. However, I have an issue with some of them today. It’s not that I necessarily think they are false, (don’t want to be judgmental), but I do believe they are causing the way of Christ to be blasphemed. Their refusal to acknowledge that they could be wrong about their prophesies, their political stance, or alliances, causes the world to blaspheme the gift of the prophet and abhor the prophetic word. I spend a lot of time praying about where we are as a Church and those in ministry.
This is a topic that burdens me, and I hope I have demonstrated some wisdom and love. I have had a burden of prayer for ministers, church leaders, and the Body of Christ for as long as I can remember. I am not writing this to be another negative Nancy in the crowd, and unlike the world, I have a vested interest in the Body Christ, and a great love! As Christians we have to deal with the difficult things in the word just as surely as we deal with the easy to swallow things. I trust God with the results! Wonderful Jesus!