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GreyDestiny

What do you interpret this verse as meaning?

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Matthew 7:6

"Do not give to dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

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2 hours ago, GreyDestiny said:

Matthew 7:6

"Do not give to dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

This is the last verse in a paragraph beginning in verse 1.

Jesus is teaching not to be so hard-hearted as to judge people's relationship with God with a measuring stick that even YOU won't pass.  He says not to be hypocritical and demand that others straighten up when we have and our sinful issues that we ignore.

He is chastising the believer for not being humble and loving towards others who may not believe.

THEN, on the other hand, believers cannot be door mats.  "That which is holy" and "pearls" are the gospel giving to the non-believer. The dogs and the pigs are those non-believers who only hate and tear down.   We must acknowledge that sometimes a non-believer is only there to mock, ridicule, blaspheme, and tear down the gospel.  We are to understand where the dividing line is.

King Solomon gave two proverbs about that.  "Do NOT answer a fool according to his folly......"  and "Do answer a fool according to his folly...."

Believers MUST let go to sinful judging of others [not judging in general but judging that produces no fruit] and to lovingly present the gospel.  They must also know when to walk away.

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When I was a Methodist pastor, I used to visit Rose, a sweet lady with a devastating disease that attacked her immune system and placed her in need of a "medical dog" (Toedoe).  When I visited Rose, I fed Toedoe little doggy treats and she and I became intimate pals.  But one Sunday Toedoe was very disappointed in me.  Rose came forward to receive Communion with Toedoe riding on top of her wheelchair.  When I served Rose Communion, Toedoe looked at me expectantly.  What I failed to realize is that our Communion wafers were the same size and shape as the doggy treats I'd feed her.  When I didn't give her "a doggy treat" like I seemed to have given her mistress, Toedoe whimpered and groaned in disillusionment!  I was sorry to disappoint his sweet little dog and thought to myself, "Maybe I should put a doggy treat on the Communion tray of wafers.  But then the Lord put Jesus' saying into my mind, "Don't give what is holy to the dogs."  I was reminded that Jesus has a sense of humor and recognized that Jesus didn't have expectant dogs like Toedoe in mind when He said that.

A few weeks later, Rose came forward after the service for prayer, but was preceded by Dorla.  As I was laying hands on Dorla and praying for her, Toedoe (sitting atop Rose's wheelchair as usual) began barking furiously at me!  Toedoe was jealous for Rose's sake and had no concept of "Wait your turn."  Toedoe remembered that during my pastoral visits Rose would stop crying and would brighten up when I laid hands on her and prayed for her.  On one occasion, when Rose continued weeping as I was praying, Toedoe gave me a stern look and groaned as if to say, "It's your job to cheer up my mistress--and today you failed!"  I apologized to Dorla (who just laughed) and layed hands on Rose instead and Toedoe expressed her approval. 

Back to Matthew 7:6, the earliest interpretation is found in the Didache (The Teaching of the 12 Apostles), which was written during the NT era.  The Didache takes Jesus' saying to mean, "Don't serve Communion to unbaptized supplicants."  I doubt that this was its original meaning.  "Dogs" was Jewish slang for Gentiles.  I think what Jesus originally meant was this: Don't share essential spiritual teachings with Gentiles who are not ready to hear it and will only ridicule your teaching.

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:thumbs_up: First off, good topic GreyDestiny!

Over the course of my life, I have often applied this scripture to not discussing sacred things with unbelievers. Especially those who you know to be so hostile to God that they will only respond in a blasphemous way. There is nothing to be gained in this other than hearing His precious Name taken in vain. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14 This being said, we must still share the gospel. But if someone is continually resistant we have to shake the dust off our feet and move on to those whose hearts are open.

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On 5/20/2018 at 11:08 AM, GreyDestiny said:

Matthew 7:6

"Do not give to dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

There are times to NOT witness your faith. I witness to open atheists fairly often, for example, but some of the ones on Internet forums are absolute horrors. Typing out a thousand-word reply to their questions is a (demonic) waste of time.

In a similar vein, where you see public preaching, you'll see atheists who loudly take on five Christians trying to witness to them all at once. These five could be instead sharing with five open persons.

Our witness is beautiful, try to limit it to more open people, unless God calls you specifically to bashing down the door of a given hard heart.

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