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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why I Don't Judge You

Although my natural self often desires to point out the flaws in others, I trust God is changing me. I do have a critical mind. I tend to think things through, sometimes over-think things. I will often come to different conclusions and will naturally believe I have found a better way.

But I choose not to Judge you.  Here are a few reasons why:

I would have to judge myself

I currently believe different things than I did say 10 or 20 years ago.  I do some things now that I didn't do before, and I did things before that I don't do today.   I don't really want to judge my former self for being wrong, and I hope my former self doesn't judge my current self - although he probably would.

I am not a very good judge

Although I think I'm pretty smart, I am smart enough to know I do not have it all figured out.  At times I think the more I learn about God, the less I know with 100% certainty. If I were to judge others, I am not sure if I would be correct 80% of the time, 50% of the time, or less.

Jesus seemed to judge those who judged others

The Pharisees and experts of religious law were the rule keepers and enforcers of that day.  They frequently judged others by the rules and standards they held to.  The harshest words Jesus spoke were against these men. There may be a lesson for us here.

The Bible says do not judge

Matt 7:1-5, Rom 14:1-8, Luke 6:37-38, 1 Cor 4:4-5

Blasphemy against Holy Spirit

The way I read Mark 3:22-30, Matt 12:25-30  and Luke 11:17, it can be risky if we mistakenly judge someone who God is working through.  Click here for more on these blasphemy verses.

Jesus will Judge

I trust Jesus will do a good enough job judging. (James 5:9, Acts 10:42, 2 Corinthians 5:10, John 5:22)

What Judging can I do?

1 Corinthians 5 gives some room for some judging of others. This was an unusual situation where a believer was doing something shameful in the eyes of both the gentile world and the community, and the community of believers seemed to be proud of it.   I'm not sure if this passage should be applied when we disagree over doctrines, and I'm not sure if it should be applied whenever someone does something wrong. There may be situations where believers are in close fellowship with someone they shouldn't be with, and this may apply. But I think we need to be careful not to take this approach of judging others whenever we disagree with someone's beliefs or practices (see reasons given above).

I believe there is also a sense where we are to judge things for ourselves.  I will naturally judge a practice to be harmful or beneficial, or a belief to be right or wrong.  I may even speak (or blog) about what I believe.  I may try to teach others with the hopes that they see things the way I see them.

Is there a fine line here? 

Is it possible to believe something, and speak what you believe without judging others?

I think the fine line is humility. Recognizing along the way that we are each given the freedom to think and live as individuals, all equal under a sovereign Lord and judge above.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Playdough Scripture 1 John 4


I haven't done one of these for awhile.  I hope you find this playdough version as offensive as I do.  It does sound wrong when put together this way.   Yes God is described as both loving and as the judge.  We are commanded to do one and commanded not to do the other. Unfortunately we sometimes get confused about which one we are supposed to do.

1 John 4 (Playdough Version)

7 Dear friends, let us love judge one another, because love judging is from God, and everyone who loves judges has been fathered by God and knows God. 8 The person who does not love judge does not know God, because God is love judgemental. 9 By this the love judgements of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. 10 This is love judging: not that we have loved judged God, but that he loved judged us and sent his Son to be the mercy seat offering for our sins.

11 Dear friends, if God so loved judged us, then we also ought to love judge one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love judge one another, God resides in us, and his love judging is perfected in us.

...

16 And we have come to know and to believe the love judgemental nature that God has in us. God is love judgmental, and the one who resides in love judging others resides in God, and God resides in him. 17 By this love judging is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love judging, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love judging. 19 We love judge because he loved judged us first.

20 If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love judge his fellow Christian too.