JW comments in the previous post:
John the Baptist was very specific in his denunciation of Herod’s sin. He was continuing in a long prophetic line before him of calling evil evil. In terms of inviting hostility from non-believers, so what? Would you have counselled John the Baptist to back off his incest claims and denounce Herod in less specific terms?
The answer is a bit more complex. If you’re called to be a prophet or a forerunner like John the Baptist or say Hosea or Jonah you may have more specific instructions about what to say or do to leaders and towns from God.
John the Baptist was called to point out Herod’s sin. Hosea was called to marry a prostitute and then preach about Israel’s adultery with Gomer as an example. Jonah was instructed by God to directly go to Ninevah and tell them to repent of their specific sins. The disciples/apostles had this same charge as well. This is basically public large crowd evangelism.
From what I can tell this is the difference between a specific gift for evangelism as a part of the body of Christ as opposed to the general command from the Scriptures to share the gospel as believers.
As I said in the previous post, if you’re sharing the gospel in private company — and the street evangelism I mentioned is generally one on one as opposed to preaching on the streets — then it is almost always better to share the kindness and love of God as opposed to emphasizing the righteous and judgmental nature of God. Honestly, the success rates bear this out. I’ve seen more people come to Christ through the former than the latter.
We must also remember that Herod liked to listen to John, and had generally regarded him highly even though he called him out on his particular sin. It’s interesting that the Scripture talks about this because when we see Christians preaching about others sin we tend to see the label of “hate filled Christians” posted on them. Hence, John with gift for evangelism was preaching in such a way that he wasn’t regarded as a hate filled Christian except to someone who was entrenched in evil as Herodias it seems. This is important because we can see the story to say he did a specific things, but we also do not know the way in which John preached it specifically which is also important for context.
Thus, to answer the question no I would not counsel John the Baptist to back of incest claims if it’s clear that his calling is evangelism and it is to be from the greatest to the least in the country.
However, I don’t think that every Christian has gift and the calling that comes with it (as the Church is the body of Christ). As Paul states in Romans 2 talking to believers:
Romans 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, [a]everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God [b]rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, [c]when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Hence, I stand by the original conclusion as a general statement: to win people to God it’s better to take a different route by emphasizing love and kindness that has been proven to be more successful.
P.S. Like Donal life is a bit busy so I may not post much for another week or two until it clears up.