How Responsible Are We When the World Rejects Our Message?

From John Piper: It is a humble impulse to feel that our weak effect on people is our own fault. And it may often be true. There are character traits in speakers that God uses to overcome resistance in hearers (Acts 11:24; Matthew 5:16). But we must not bear more than we should. Not all rejection of us and our message is our fault. The apostle John writes, The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1) John does not say: The reason the world does not know us is that we are hypocrites, or that our contextualization is inadequate. He says: If the world rejected Jesus, the perfect manifestation of love, then there are times it will reject us, precisely because our message and manner are getting close to Christ’s. Keep the humble reaction. But balance it with this truth, lest you despair and give up speaking.

Tim Challies on Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was in so many ways a product of this sick celebrity culture (that he helped create) that will never rest satisfied until it has both created and then destroyed the newest celebrity. We want our celebrities to start strong and finish weak, to begin with a bang and then fizzle, pop and sputter, all for our enjoyment and entertainment (Susan Boyle stands as the most recent example of this). Jackson gave us so much to talk about, so much to enjoy. More than any other celebrity he embodied the “vanities” of Ecclesiastes. He was at one time known for what he did so well and then was known for being a freak; he was at one time fantastically wealthy and then utterly broke; he was once loved and then despised. He had it all and yet, it seemed, he had nothing. All of it was meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (HT: Justin Taylor)