I have had this passage highlighted in my Bible for years as a reminder of the responsibility I have to communicate honestly in this column—without "vanity" (smooth words) that "flatter . . . with a double heart" and, in so doing, manipulate toward gaining a financial advantage for ICR with regard to your assets. The Bible role, and the one I have attempted to maintain, is one of being among the "faithful" of verse 1, that is, to be one who builds up and supports your commitment to love and serve the Lord.
I am grateful that ICR's position is so very solid on this point! We try hard to communicate consistently and not manipulate—to let you know what the Lord is doing in such a way that your response is to consider your participation prayerfully rather than feel compelled by our emotional words. The world knows (and teaches Christians) that the road into a person's pocketbook is via his/her emotions. The Bible knows nothing of this. Unfortunately, many today, in the name of Christ, do as the Judaizers did in Galatians 4:17:
They zealously affect [court] you, but not well [not for good]; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect [be zealous for] them.
In this regard, it is sobering to remember that the Lord, through Jude, lumps all who adopt the tactic of gaining an advantage through manipulative words with those deceivers who have crept into the Church and for whom we are to be on guard. He sees them as being "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame . . ." (v.13), and (v.16) as men:
. . . walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. [Men who ". . . mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage." (NKJV)]
Please pray that we will continue to be faithful and, please, let us know if you see us straying!