So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” Acts 11: 2-3 (NIV) When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18 (NIV)
Have you heard people say, what I do is my business and I don’t have to answer to anyone? I’ve heard many different variations of this same statement lately and when I came across Acts 11, for some reason, everything seemed to click.
I’m not sure about people’s personal lives, but when we come to Christianity, lately I’ve been feeling like there’s a movement going on where there’s a subtle air of censorship (if I may even call it that). In Acts 11, we see Peter arrive in Jerusalem where he finds himself in a situation where he’s having to explain himself to the believers there. You see, here, we have a situation where the other believers have heard some things about Peter; what he did in his travels, and they’ve brought up these things to and against him. First hand, for me, there were a number of things I picked up from this passage:
- There’s no point holding on to misunderstanding. Speak it out and let the issue be cleared
- There will be times where your actions will have to be justified; alas, thus is the crux of responsibility
- We are all stakeholders of the faith
However, #3 is what we’ll be talking about today. Now, Peter could have come in and said, I don’t have to answer to any of you; why not go back to your informers and interrogate them as to what they heard. But he didn’t. And many may read this and question why Peter even gave an explanation in the first place, but this boils down to my statement; we are all stakeholders.
There are things that we do as believers, as people in authority that don’t just affect us. Any thing we do ‘in the name of God’ should be open to questioning from other believers. Every single person who genuinely claims to be a Christian has a right to defend their faith and question when ideas and actions go against the foundations of such said faith. Nowadays I worry that there’s an individualistic mindset where one can’t be questioned in the church but this shouldn’t be the case. As long as a person’s actions has the possibility of affecting the wider church body, and believers, such actions should be liable to questioning. And as we saw with Peter, the ‘defendant’ in question should be ready to jsutify their position/actions to the believers asking (the stakeholders).
I hope this has made sense. Perhaps this would have been a topic better explained verbally but I hope you’ve all gained something from it. Whilst it’s hard to have covered all angles, I still pray that you’re blessed by this.
Let me know your thoughts below.