Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't be judgemental Jon

I'm needing to remind myself these days of my own view about Judgmental Christians. I'm recognizing how often I am disagreeing with all sorts of people (both near and far, in the present and throughout history). And this is inevitable, and probably good. People who agree with everyone must have their brain turned off (oh - there I go judging again). The challenge is, when I disagree can I do it with love and respect. And when I'm disagreeing with a brother in Christ, can I do it in a way that does not harm my fellowship with him/her, and acknowledge our shared love for the same Jesus.

Can I disagree without judging?

So I'm reading these verses a few more times today:
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. "(Matt 7:1-5 NIV)

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."(Rom 14:1-8)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:37-38 NIV)

“It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Cor 4:4-5 NIV)


Anonymous said...

Good thoughts Jon - there has to be room for disagreement within the body (like in any family). We should have the freedom to disagree and then carry on in gracious communion with those who have experienced the new birth/salvation - which needs to be the main common denominator.

There is a role for judging within the body as well... any thoughts on our role, calling, need for judging (1 Cor. 5; 1 Cor. 6; Mat. 7)?

Jonathan said...

Thanks Steve,

Here's my thoughts I put together in a previous post on when judgments are needed.


Should we never make judgments?

* We obviously need judges in our law systems to make judgments.
* As a parent I feel it is my duty to make judgments on the behavior of my children.
* In the workforce those in leadership roles must make judgments over those that are under their authority.
* If someone is in a close relationship that seeks to keep each other accountable, it is safe to say that some judgments will be needed.
* In a community of believers, those in leadership roles will at times need to make judgments.
* I am responsible for judging what I believe to be truth, I can not let someone else decide what I believe.

Based on the above scriptures I believe we need to be very cautious before making any firm judgments about others. We need to seek God to determine what situations he has placed us in positions of authority to be judges of others. There are certain situations where God has placed each of us in positions of authority, and in those places it is our responsibility to make fair and Godly judgments. If we are uncertain that God has placed us in a position of authority over someone else, we should leave judging of that person to God.

Jerald said...

In your post, Romans 14:8 is what should be remembered. When Christ is central, all other things seem to dim. Our love for each other should be such that we can steer one away from trouble but not in judgment of right or wrong.

Here is something that could be discussed for a while in the American church. When Jesus prayed John 17:20-23 He gave us a mandate to be on His page and on our knees to the Father for the unity of the body. When that comes about, it prepares His bride for the coming of the Groom.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Jerald, appreciate your comments.