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J Vernon McGee (1904-1988) was a pastor, author and radio show host.

He received his Bachelors in Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary and went on to earn a Masters and a Doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS), which eventually merged with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America to form the present day PCUSA in 1983.

McGee served at four PCUS churches in the southern United States before he and his family moved to Pasadena, California, where he took a position at the Lincoln Avenue Presbyterian Church.

In 1949, he was appointed pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles, California. There he became an independent Evangelical pastor.

The church is now in Glendale, California because of earthquake damage to the original building, which had to be razed. The Church of the Open Door is best known for its ‘Jesus Saves’ neon sign which is now on top of the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

McGee retired from the Church of the Open Door in 1970. In 1967, he had begun a radio programme called Thru the Bible. After retirement, he continued the broadcasts, which cover every book of the Bible.

He was also a well known public speaker. During that time, McGee was suffering from cancer. That said, his death in 1988 was brought on by a heart problem, thought to have been resolved in 1965.

Today, his ministry continues and broadcasts of Thru the Bible can be heard around the world in more than 100 languages. In North America, over 800 radio stations broadcast it and, elsewhere, one can enjoy the programme via radio, shortwave, and the Thru the Bible ministries website.

Without further ado, let us move on to McGee’s application of Matthew 7:6 in real life.

Here is the verse (ESV):

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Some may find the KJV more familiar:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Now for McKee’s anecdote. This is helpful for reprobates who have turned their lives around with the help of divine grace and the Holy Spirit. Their problem comes from mockers who remember their past (emphasis mine):

I remember a Tennessee legislator friend of mine who was a heavy drinker. He was wonderfully converted and is a choice servant of God today. The other members of the legislature knew how he drank. Then they heard he “got religion,” as they called it. One day this fellow took his seat in the legislature, and his fellow-members looked him over. Finally, someone rose, addressed the chairman of the meeting and said, “I make a motion that we hear a sermon from Deacon So-and-So.” Everyone laughed. But my friend was equal to the occasion. He got to his feet and said, “I’m sorry, I do not have anything to say. My Lord told me not to cast my pearls before swine.” He sat down, and they never ridiculed him anymore. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary:  Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

A good answer to remember should the occasion arise!

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