Without Nathan, one is left to wonder if David would have ever repented and asked God for the restoration of the joy of his salvation.I agree we need more Nathans, and all of us need them, not just “ministers”. But who will tolerate them? My experience, and those of many of my friends, is that such Nathans are the most hated people in all Christianity. They are called negative, hateful, divisive, disrespectful, fearmongers, and a hundred other things. They are accused of ruining other people’s witness, or hurting the wounded, or giving a bad example of Christian love. Plainly telling the truth is about the only thing many Christians will actually call a ’sin’ anymore.
The kind of truth Nathan supplied David is in short supply for far too many ministers. Many ministers live in the midst of people who either are fearful of speaking the truth to them or are so abrasive with the truth that clergy easily ignore or minimize them.
Even this article refers to some who are too “abrasive”, but who decides what that is? To many believers, the slightest disagreement is “too abrasive”. Is the “Nathan” supposed to interview everyone before speaking, to find out each person’s personal tolerance level for being disagreed with? It is impossible not to offend people these days, and they demand not to be offended. (But of course, they are free to offend the offenders!)
Nathan got in David’s face, king though he was. Nathan was blunt and harsh and abrasive. And quite negative too. ;-) But David didn’t react as Christians do today; he didn’t whine about how Nathan hurt his feelings, or have Nathan executed for his impertinence, or stomp off and pout like Ahab (1 Kings 21:4), or tell him how unloving he was. Instead, David repented in bitter tears and begged God’s forgiveness (Psalm 51), admitting his guilt before God and making whatever restitution he could.
God could send a whole legion of Nathans to the churches, but where are the Davids?