Friday, 25 July 2014

SPECIAL FEATURE:: The Non-Christians' Favorite Bible Verse By Rick McDaniel

The recent Phil Robertson Duck Dynasty controversy brought it
up again. Bill O'Reilly quoted it on Fox News; Don Lemon quoted
it on CNN. The favorite verse of the Bible referenced in the public sphere is Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, lest you be judged." The
Bible's most misinterpreted, misused and misunderstood
scripture verse is once again in the forefront of our public

What makes the verse so important is it teaches a crucial truth
about human relationships. If this verse is used incorrectly much
damage can occur and people can get unnecessarily hurt. Jesus
teaches a very important and helpful principle which is there is a crucial balance between harmful judgmentalism and necessary

Judgmentalism is when we condemn others. Jesus uses the
imagery of a speck of wood in your friend's eye versus a log in
your own eye (v. 3-5). The message is vivid, shocking and
ludicrous. Before you judge someone else for their small
imperfection make sure you first have dealt with your own big
imperfection. While condemning others we don't see our own
shortcomings. We can judge visible sins like adultery or
cheating but minimize less visible sins like envy or gossip. We
may even point out the faults of others to shift the focus from our own sin.

Judging and condemning are always easy to do but they are not
our job. It is hypocritical to see the sins of others but not our
own judgmental attitude. When we have such an attitude we
have forced out love. Judgmentalism invites retaliation and
hinders fellowship. Many times we may know only part of the
story and we certainly do not know a person's motives. The
non-Christian will bristle at a condemning attitude almost every
time. Love has won over many people, condemnation has won
over very few.

The opposite extreme of judgmentalism is naïve acceptance of
anything. Right after Jesus talks about specks and logs he talks
about dogs and pigs (v. 6). His point is animals can't discern
what is of value. The early church used this verse to teach
judgment in whether someone was in fact a true believer. There
is a place for necessary judging. Judging is the exercise of
critical thinking and it is needed on occasion. In fact Jesus said
in John 7:24, "Don't judge by appearances, judge by what is
right." Jesus is telling us we should express our opinion on right
and wrong, truth and lies, good and evil.

Judging is using wise discernment. Some quote Matthew 7:1 to
denounce anyone who would expose the sins, shortcomings or
error of others. If in the public realm a Christian leader speaks
out about moral behavior or even simply answers a media
question he or she may be charged with judging. It is ironic in
judging someone for judging, you are in fact judging him or her!

We are not to judge on appearances or hearsay. In order to
properly judge, correct or discipline all the facts must be
available and evaluated. With proper discernment we can make
appropriate judgments. We cannot fail to make essential
distinctions between right and wrong simply because we fear the
accusation of judging.

People make judgments every single day. The idea we should
not judge is simply unrealistic. The better question is what is the
standard for judging. For a Christ-follower the Bible is the
authority for right and wrong. We judge not based on our own
opinions but rather based on God's opinion.

Balance is always a challenge to achieve. Christ followers who
are condemning and judgmental have done great harm. There
are many who will not darken the door of a church or listen to a
message from a Christian leader because of the hurt they have
experienced. It does the cause of Christ no good if people feel
condemned by those who should love them. On the other hand
truth must be proclaimed. A Christ follower cannot be fearful to
speak about right and wrong. To be intimidated, to be
marginalized, to be silenced for speaking the truth can never be
tolerated. Properly interpreting Matthew 7:1, understanding its
balanced message and applying it consistently is needed in the
church, communities and culture.

source: christianpost

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