As a Christian, I’m mostly at contingency with the enlightenment around me. As the multitude embraces a flourishing series of unbiblical behaviors and attitudes, we find myself apropos some-more and some-more outspoken in my opposition. I’m not alone; many other regressive Christians are also holding a mount for what the Bible teaches, quite when it comes to dignified behavior. Maybe that’s because we seem to hear Matthew 7:1 tossed around so frequently by those who wish Christians to still down:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”
Whenever we, as Christians, pronounce out against something in the culture, one of two labels is immediately employed in an bid to overpower us: we are possibly branded “intolerant” or “judgmental”. To make matters worse, the second tag is mostly trustworthy to the teaching of Jesus Himself. Are we Christians defying the difference of the Master when we pronounce against the behaviors, attitudes or worldviews endorsed by others? Did Jesus authority us to be silently nonjudgmental? This resourceful use of scripture by the antithesis is maybe the excellent instance of what we at Stand to Reason are addressing when we counsel people to “never review a Bible verse.” Matthew 7:1, when review in siege from the incomparable context of the Sermon on the Mount, may seem to authority a form of wordless acceptance and toleration advocated by the culture, but a closer hearing of the hymn reveals Jesus’ loyal intent. If Jesus was advocating some form of still tolerance, how do we explain the following statements?
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not chuck your pearls before swine, or they will raid them under their feet, and spin and rip you to pieces” (verse 6).
“Enter by the slight gate; for the embankment is far-reaching and the way is extended that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter by it. For the embankment is tiny and the way is slight that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (verses 13 and 14).
“Beware of the fake prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are voracious wolves” (verse 15).
“Not everybody who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the dominion of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in sky will enter. Many will contend to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not forecast in Your name, and in Your name expel out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then we will announce to them, ‘I never knew you; skip from Me, you who use lawlessness.’” (verses 21, 22 and 23).
Wow, Jesus seems vocally judgmental in these passages. Some people are dogs and swine, undeserved of the efforts. Some people are wrong about the trail they choose. Some people are fake prophets. Some people are loyal disciples and some are not. Jesus certain seems gentle making judgmental statements about people in these passages. How could Jesus contend such things when he began this partial of the oration by saying, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”? Maybe we should revisit the first verses of Matthew 7:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your customary of measure, it will be totalled to you. Why do you demeanour at the pinch that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the record that is in your own eye? Or how can you contend to your brother, ‘Let me take the pinch out of your eye,’ and behold, the record is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the record out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the pinch out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).
It turns out that Jesus is not prohibiting outspoken understanding in these passages, but is cautioning against a certain kind of uncivilised behavior: hypocritical judgmentalism. We are called to live differently so that we can effectively brand and residence unbiblical function in the culture. we can't be a practicing burglar and effectively counsel against thievery. we can't be an active adulterer and effectively disciple monogamy. I’m going to have to “first” stop and consider my own function (take out my own “log”) before we can “then” counsel others about their function (help them take the “speck” out of their eye). This is a “first / then” commandment. Both sides of the gauge are important; Jesus is autocratic two equally vicious actions. First, we must change the behavior; turn people of God who are above reproach. Second, we must actively rivet others about their behavior. Some ideas are good and some are bad. Some prophets are loyal and some are false. Some people are right, some people are wrong. We are called to make statements about such things after we eliminate pomposity in these areas of the own lives. We, as Christians, are called to (1) live righteously, and (2) pronounce out about unrighteousness. We are reduction likely to do this, however, if we concede people to misquote Jesus in an bid to overpower us.
J. Warner Wallaceis a Cold-Case Detective, Christian Case Maker, comparison associate at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the author of “Cold-Case Christianity,” “Cold-Case Christianity for Kids,” “God’s Crime Scene,” and “Forensic Faith.”
This essay first seemed at J. Warner’s ColdCaseChristianity.com website.