Acts 9:29 “And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.”
After Paul’s conversion, he almost immediately began preaching. The Grecians of this day were Greeks, but also Jews who spoke Greek. Paul was also a Greek speaking Jew, so he was trying to reach those with a similar ethnic background.
He did this by speaking AGAINST their ways of life. He spoke out AGAINST his culture, which is one reason they decided they wanted to kill him.
There is a segment of modern Christians who would not support Paul in this. They would say that Paul should embrace love and co-exist with the cultural norms of the day. That is not, however, what Paul did.
Paul criticized his culture. He also would go on to criticize (constructively) several churches throughout his epistles. He began his ministry “disput[ing] against the Grecians,” and ended his ministry without softening his approach.
As he “finished [his] course” in 2 Tim. 4, he was still critical. “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
“He placed “reprove” and “rebuke” alongside “exhort.” I appreciate a good, godly rebuke. I embrace spiritual conviction and use it to be a better Christian.
Not every Christian is like Paul, but there is nothing wrong with being a Christian like Paul.
I pray that I can be as convicted as Paul, and that I and others would learn to better appreciate biblical criticism – not desire to slay the critic.