Ought Not Is A Serious Matter

“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”(James 3:9-10)

The subtle force in James condemnation of praising God while cursing people is found in the words “ought not” – these things ought not to be so. This doesn’t seem so bad at first glance, but a quick lookup of the “ought not’s” in the New Testament reveals how seriously God takes the sin of our mouths.

 

The blasphemy of anti-christ

Mk 13:14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

 

The unloving hypocrisy of the pharisees

Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

 

The pagan ignorance of Athen’s philosophers

Ac 17:29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

 

The deathly hatred of the Jews towards Paul

Ac 25:24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.

 

The sinful act of homosexuality

Ro 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

 

The shameful tactics of false teachers

Tt 1:11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

 

Into this bag of serious sinful actions that ought not to happen, James lumps in the sin of praising God with the same mouth that curses men & women.

It ought not to be.

 

One comment

  1. I like the way you brought out the aspect of “unnaturalness” (as opposed to mere moral obligation to refrain from a practice or logical incoherence) inherent in the phrase “ought not”. “Ought not to be” has certain of the connotations of the word “abomination”. It’s not that the things which “ought not to be” *can’t* exist, nor that they are things which should just be avoided or refrained from: it is that they are things which exist but which are ugly, abominable perversions of God’s good order. Thanks for the good word, Tony.

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