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2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
Flattery is a sin
Honest commendation is not flattery. The one is simply a declaration of approval or esteem; the other is false praise. Commendation (when a worthy motive prompts it) is reasonable and scriptural.
Paul, although no flatterer (1 Thes. ii. 5). was not backward in bestowing praise were it was due (1 Thes.i. 7, Phil. iv. 14-16, 1 Cor. xi. 2; Col. i. 7; Ephes. vi. 21). To withhold commendation when it is called for is not brotherly. The commendation of honest truth-loving men need never be feared.
To systematically refrain from praising is wrong: it deprives those who are struggling on in the difficult path of right of that which would prove a comfort and an encouragement. Praise and rebuke should go hand in hand. To make it a rule to administer the one and suppress the other borders upon unfaithful dealing.
Our model-Christ-was equally ready with each. He addressed words of commendation to Mary and of rebuke to Martha (Luke x. 42). He praised the Ephesian ecclesia and reproved it in the same epistle (Rev. ii. 2-5). Let us strive to be like-minded.
"The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright."
Bro A Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1887
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is Yahweh over us?
The democratic feeling is very strong in human nature. It is the feeling expressed in the words
Practically it takes the form of patriotism, and makes a man rejoice in being part and parcel of the institutions of the land, and in having the right to exercise the "sacred duty" of defending the soil. More mildly, it makes a man pride himself in the use of the franchise which he calls a "birthright;" and leads him to join with alacrity in the various movements that politicians set agoing for the cure of the world on the democratic basis.
Now it is impossible that these sentiments can exist in a breast where the truth reigns supreme. The divine law will extinguish practical politics. It will fill a man with distaste for Gentilism in every shape and form, and substitute the love of God's kingdom, and God's affairs. The politics pertaining to the commonwealth of Israel will become his politics.
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Nov 1868