“For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.” 2 Corinthians 11:20. Each time I read that scripture my mind goes immediately on the state of the church today and how people in the church today will tolerate all kinds of foolishness no matter the cost. Each part of what Paul said there is EXACTLY what is happening to day.
“Tolerating the foolish gladly”. Yup, sounds pretty accurate. All a person needs is a title and the ability to act like a carnival barker and promise people that it’s their “year of increase” “Money cometh” etc etc, people will put up with it, because of a covetous heart, both from the speaker and those in the audience.
“You tolerate it if anyone enslaves you” Yup, that’s happening. Many do not realize it, but they’re being placed under a yoke of bondage, enslavement, when they return to the law through this tithing and sabbath keeping, both of which are a part of the Laws given to Moses on Mnt Sinai (which is the Old Covenant). Jesus Christ came and established the New Covenant which we are under if we are truly walking by faith and abiding in Jesus Christ. Paul said, “ Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:1-4. If a person keeps as much as one part of the law he must keep all the rest of it or else he has broken all of it. Christ came and freed us from that burden by fulfilling the law Himself. Paul warns through using circumcision as an example, that if a person returns to the law trying to be justified by the law, they have fallen from grace and are estranged from Christ. This is why Paul urges us to stand fast in the liberty (freedom) we NOW have in Christ Jesus. Not freedom to sin, but freedom to serve one another in the love of God. Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Peter 2:16.
“If anyone devours you, takes advantage of you” Where is this happening more than through the teaching that God requires us to tithe our money and MANY other destructive doctrines infiltrating the church. Many today in the church will listen to and put up with a person who refused to come to their church unless a large fee was paid, but those who do not peddle the word of God because they know, “freely you have received , freely give”, when they come preaching the true word of God, they are usually reproached by many and thrown out of gatherings.
“Anyone exalts, himself” How much self exaltation do we see going on today where so many have given themselves titles, Apostle, Bishop, Deacon, Minister, Elder, Prophet, but do not display the qualities Paul listed these people should have? So many have been ordained by man and think you can’t correct them because they have a doctorate that says they’re a minster. I have sat in churches and know of a few men who have pulpit ambitions, their only purpose of showing up is to wiggle their way into some position in the church.
“Anyone hits you in the face” Many can probably attest to witnessing people being literally hit in the face by so called people who claim to be “anointing” members or “healing” them or “casting out demons”. Some of us have even seen people kicked and pushed down. In spite of this unbiblical uncalled for behavior, many still put up with it.
All of these things Paul said to the Corinthians that they put up with gladly since they’re “wise”. He said wise to show their attitude, they declared in their own hearts what is right, but a truly wise person does not put up with the things he listed which proves they are not wise at all. Sadly, today it’s EXACTLY the same. Many put up will all of these things and much much more thinking they’re wise. Many need to wake up and walk in the truth before it’s to late.