how to tell a sheep from a pig


“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6 ESV)

I seldom write two-part posts, and I hope this one is not just a function of my self-imposed limitations. But after I wrote recently that sometimes we have to decide who the pigs are, a couple of people asked me how we do that.

First, let me say there is no politically correct way to do this. Jesus himself called some people dogs and pigs, not the kind of judgment normally valued in our tolerant and indulgent age.

But I don’t think he was just referring to the Pharisees. Or at least not all of them. In fact, he was not referring to any class of people; black or white, male or female, gay or straight—there is no categorical intention.

He is concerned with our hearts. And the pigs of which he speaks are individuals with a particular kind of heart—the kind that tramples on your pearls and turns to attack you. A fundamentalist can do that. So can a militant atheist. All of us can.

He turns his attention in this text to ungrateful children, broad gates, and false prophets, all indicative of those who hold that which is holy and precious in contempt.   But they often go farther than that—they actively and aggressively attack that which is holy and precious.

Such militant irreverence makes us pigs, by Christ’s own words. Not contempt for our views—but contempt for our God. Such blasphemy, he says elsewhere, will not be forgiven.

Nor should it be.

(250 words)

[Seen any piggish behavior recently?  Write about it in the comments.]

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