Christian Confrontation

Chester Droog

READ : Galatians 2:11-24

Peter’s actions were not consistent with his theology. He didn’t “walk the talk.” He agreed with Paul that there was one gospel for both Jew and Gentile, for everyone. He demonstrated his conversion to this gospel by joining in a meal with non-Jewish believers. However, when the false teachers came to town, he withdrew from the Gentiles and joined the exclusive fellowship of the Jews, leaving the impression that some of the “do’s and don’ts” of the Jewish traditions were still important for salvation.

Peter began to “draw back.” The words literally mean to “take in sail.” Paul likened Peter to a sailor who, having once opened his sail to catch every breeze, deliberately hauls it in and thus stops his forward movement. For this inconsistency Paul confronts Peter and charges him with hypocrisy and failed leadership. Paul stood his ground in the face of the powerful Jewish presence.

Christian confrontation is necessary when foundational truths are seriously compromised. At times we need to confront fellow believers concerning attitudes or habits inconsistent with being a Christian. This confrontation does not always seem to have positive results. But it remains our obligation.

PRAYER

Holy Spirit of God, give me the courage to confront fellow believers in Christ with tough love when they are wrong. In Jesus’ name. Amen.