Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Judge not lest ye be judged"

Let me preface this post by saying that I am fully aware of the hot water I will undoubtedly get myself into by saying what I'm going to say. It's nothing new to me. I seem to ruffle feathers every time I open my mouth.

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, this picture probably stirred up a bit of anger in you. It sure did in me. This is just a snippet of the many insults to Jesus, and His followers, I have witnessed on Pinterest. The idea that Jesus was in any way 'gay' because He hung out with 12 men is absolutely ridiculous and anyone who sides in that philosophy is trying to justify their own sinful lives. I see all kinds of 'pins' mocking Christians, calling us judgmental and quoting scripture to prove their point. Really, a non-believer quoting scripture to me makes about as much sense as me quoting WebMD to a medical doctor. I wouldn't know what in the world I was talking about. Unless I study the actual medical books and learn from actual doctors, I have nothing to offer the medical world. Here's the thing, in Matthew 7:1 when Jesus says, "Judge not, lest you be judged," He was speaking of Christians judging other Christians. Also, using only Matt 7:1 is entirely incomplete. This verse is not speaking to not judging at all -- it is speaking to not judging unfairly or any other cheap and selfish way. Here are a FEW examples of His desire for us to judge:

# 1Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints [the saved; Christians] will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
# Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
# John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
# Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness...
# Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...
# Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]...

Look at John 7:24. There, Jesus tells us to judge, but to do so righteously. Righteously means to use the Truth of the Word to discern sins and not by appearances only. In 1Cor. 6:2-3 Jesus authorizes us to judge. Judge we must else we could not discern good from bad, proper from improper, righteousness from evil. But judge behavior, not the individual; the deed not the doer; the choice not the chooser. The individual/doer/chooser is accountable for his/her deed/choice, but judge the deed/choice in your judgment. Jesus could see a king in a shepherd boy. And an Apostle in a murderer. So while we must judge one's behavior we must we try to nurture the goodness in an individual: to separate the deed from the doer. Yes, we do have the right and the authority to judge the behavior of others as long as we honor and obey His Word in doing so. That Jesus is the only one who can judge is speaking to judging whether someone is or is not saved. Neither you nor I nor anyone else who ever draws a breath (except Jesus) has the authority to say whether another has or has not been saved. Only Jesus can make that judgment since only He can give Salvation. Nor may we who discern poor behavior based on His Word think of ourselves as "better than" the one whose behavior we judge as poor.

The Bible provides quite enough knowledge and understanding to make each of us a righteous judge of behavior, even and especially our own if we r-e-a-d it and not just look at the words and use the total of what He says, not just the pieces that seem to fit an agenda or those that seem to fill our own bellies.

Anyway, back to Pinterest...
I love 'pinning' things but I must say that I have witnessed so much anger, and hatred about believers on Pinterest that I feel the need to mentally prepare myself before I sign on. It's very sad to me. A man was just sentenced to death in Iran for not renouncing his beliefs. Are you going to tell me that he's just not intelligent or is worried about not looking like a better person? Jesus freaks die every day for their beliefs. But we forget that our words, our jokes, our sarcasm get the ball rolling towards violence. If what you preach is 'tolerance' and 'acceptance' and there is nothing tolerant and accepting about you to those who base their beliefs and life standards on the Bible then you are nothing but a big, fat hypocrite, plain and simple.

Now, to address the question "Why does God let so many bad things happen?" It is a very good question. Most don't want to face the truth but HE didn't choose for this to happen, WE DID! Adam and Eve chose to turn against God and that is when sin entered in the world. From then on mankind's choices have hurt one another. When we sin it hurts us and others. It's hard to hear but I tell you the truth. It is because we turned our backs on God that there is pain in this world. Jesus came to make a way so we can be saved from the punishment of our sins. He took the death penalty in our place so if we trust in Him we can be saved when we die and face God. No matter how good you say you are by man's standards, by God's perfect standard if you have told one lie you're guilty and you broke the 10 commandments, that is God's law. We are all guilty ...

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