Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning were luminous souls who transitioned to heavenly places recently. Both men made remarkable contributions to the body of Christ.
One of the outstanding marks demonstrating that all of these men were making a profound impact on the Kingdom of God is the fact that all of them were slandered, misrepresented, lied about, and attacked by fellow “Christians.”
I talked about this problem recently in my defense of Rick Warren. But it bears repeating.
If you are doing something significant for the Lord, expect the worst kinds of sordid attacks to come your way. Not just from the world, but from so called “brethren.”
Jesus promised so much.
Remember the words I spoke to you: “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20
It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub [the head of devils], how much more the members of his household! Matthew 10:25
Woe to you when all men speak well of you . . . Luke 6:26
Consider what Jesus was referring to here. And Just imagine if the Internet existed during His day:
*He was accused of being an illegitimate child (John 8:41).
*He was accused of being a deceiver(John 7:12).
*He was accused of being mentally ill (John 10:20).
*He was accused of being demon possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20).
*He was accused of being Beelzebub [Satan] (Matt. 10:25).
*He was accused of being a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7)
*He was accused of being an enemy to the Law of Moses. (To put this in modern terms, His teachings and practices went against the Bible).
*He was accused of saying that he would destroy the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 14:58).
Jesus’ warning about what would happen to those who followed faithfully in His steps was exhibited in the life of Paul of Tarsus in living color. Here are the accusations leveled against Paul during his lifetime:
*He was accused of being a man pleaser and a coward (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4).
*He was accused of being a false apostle (Gal. 1:11-2:10; 2 Cor. 11:16-12:12).
*He was accused of being a flatterer (1 Thess. 2:5).
*He was slandered and his good was evil spoken of (1 Cor. 10:30).
*He was accused of being greedy (1 Thess. 2:5,9).
*He was accused of seeking glory from men (1 Thess. 2:6).
*He was accused of extorting God’s people (2 Cor. 2:17; 11:7-21).
*He was accused of being a deceiver and a crafty manipulator (2 Cor. 6:8; 12:16).
*He was given a bad report (reputation) by some (2 Cor. 6:8).
*He was the subject of insults (2 Cor. 12:10).
*He was accused of being a controller (2 Cor. 10:1-2, 9-11).
*He was accused of blasphemy (Acts 24:6).
*He was accused of being a “cult” leader (Acts 24:5).
*He was accused of being a criminal (Acts 16:20-21; 24:5; 2 Tim. 2:9).
Both Willard and Manning were true servants of the Master. Choice vessels in His hands. And each of them bore the marks of unjust persecution to prove it.
Now . . . they have rested from their labors and from the bitter agony of personal attacks at the hands of professing Christians.