In 2 Corinthians as a whole and particularly in this passage we may be surprised by Paulâ€™s frankness and forthrightness. He speaks openly about his opponents and their criticism of him and is not afraid to defend himself. Does this mean the apostle is absorbed in self vindication? Isn't it better to ignore criticism and simply get on with the job? I am sure that Paul often ignored the criticism and slander of those who opposed him and simply entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. But where the integrity of his ministry and message came under attack by fake apostles who were leading the Corinthians astray from a pure devotion to Christ through a different gospel, Paul would not take it lying down. He stood up in all the meekness and boldness of Christ asserting the true authority he had been given by the Lord to build them up â€“ not fighting in a worldly way but using weapons which had divine power to demolish strongholds. In a day when people claim to be serving God by using the weapons of this world it is salutatory to be reminded that we live by a different trumpet call. Not the trumpet call of a â€˜meek and mild manneredâ€™ Christianity that is a caricature of the meekness and gentleness of Christ, as an excuse for not entering the field of engagement. Rather the trumpet call to wage war not as the world operates but with that true meekness of Christ which is at the same time a boldness that this world cannot withstand even if it succeeds in silencing the proclaimer. We have much to learn from this hardy warrior of the gospel!
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.