You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all.
“Christianity is just a crutch.”
Has anyone ever summarily dismissed your faith with those words? To such a critic, Christianity is made foolish because the Christian has a vested interest in believing in God. But according to Matthew Henry, Christians are not the only ones bringing vested interests to the claims of Christ.
WALK WITH MATTHEW HENRY
“It is natural for men to jealously guard, whether right or wrong, the means by which they get their wealth. Many have, for this reason alone, set themselves against the gospel of Christ, because it calls men off from those crafts which are unlawful, however much wealth is to be obtained by them.
“There are those who will haggle for that which is most grossly absurd and unreasonable, and which carries along with it its own conviction of falsehood, if it has but human laws and worldly interests on its side.”
WALK CLOSER TO GOD
Is our critic’s criticism legitimate? In a word, no. A “vested interest” critic is wielding a two-edged sword. His decision not to believe is not without its motives. Since he rejects Christ because of his own vested interest, his criticism of us is hypocrisy.
“Be prepared to give an answer … for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). God commands us to “answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:5).