Category Archives: Judge

IF YOU THINK THINGS ARE BAD NOW…

If you think things are bad now, just wait, they will get worse.

Part of the fault (maybe even a major part) is ours.  We have pointed out what people shouldn’t do instead of being examples of what people should do.  In response we are accused of “judging”  Consequently, the labels “homophobe” and “bigot” are applied to us.

1 Corinthians 5:8-13 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges.

Warfare and political diplomacy can never accomplish the purposes of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

And what should we be doing?  The Scriptures are full of that information.  Meeting in our expensive edifices on Sunday is the least of it.

Find someone and some way to be an imitation of Jesus today.

How?  Blow the dust of your Bible and read the gospels, Acts and the letters.

When? Right now. The need is urgent.

Where? Your neighborhood, your community, your nation, the world.

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Filed under Bigotry, Christlikeness, church, Community, Culture Wars, Current Events, Evangelism, Good & Evil, Initiative, Jesus Christ, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, Missions/Evangelism, morality, Politics, Religion, Respect, Scripture

Guilty of Being Too Gracious

Trey Morgan

If you don’t subscribe to Trey Morgan’s blog, you ought to.  He is a very thoughtful writer and preacher.  He preaches in Childress, Texas and if you ask me, they are extremely fortunate to have him.  I had an article all ready to post when I read this and thought I must share it with all my readers. Take my advice and go to his blog site here and read his past and present postings.  You’ll be blessed.  I was especially touched by his latest: A $2.99 Hug.

When he asked me the question, I knew I’d heard that type of question before. It was one of those, “What if a person is doing…,” questions that ended with, “Will that person get to go to heaven or hell?”He was calling someone’s morality into question, and I could tell by how he asked, he wasn’t really asking the question because he wanted to know, but because he wanted to trap me with the question. It was the same thing the Pharisees did to Jesus on many occasions.

My answer was simple, “That’s totally up to God. He’s the one who makes the decisions on who goes to heaven and who doesn’t.”

I could tell my answer frustrated him. Redness was building from his neck up to his face. “I knew that’s what you’d say,” he said with a frustrated tone. “I don’t even know why I asked you. You’re too soft on people.”

I smiled and told him, “I’m sorry, but I got out of judging business long ago. Who gets in and who doesn’t is not not my place to decide. But”, I told him, “If I’m going to err on one side or the other, I’d rather err on the side of mercy.” He didn’t like that much either.

I left feeling good about my answer. I still feel the same way today.  I think Jesus was a perfect example when it came to being gracious to others. Remember how Jesus acted around those whose lives weren’t exactly to what God wanted? A prostitute, a wealthy exploiter, a Samaritan woman with several husbands, a woman caught in adultery – all people that Jesus would have had a problem with their lifestyle. Yet all found grace and mercy from Jesus instead of condemnation. No wonder Jesus gained the reputation as being a “friend of sinners.” Maybe we can learn a lot about how to treat people by watching Jesus in action.

When I stand before God someday, if I’m found guilty of anything, I want to be found guilty of being too gracious, too forgiving and too merciful. I feel I have a better chance with God that way than I do if I’m found too harsh, too judgmental and too unsympathetic.

“You’re too soft on people,” that guy said to me that day. Well if too soft means too merciful … then I pray I’m guilty as charged!

“So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.”   ~ James 2:13


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Filed under Attributes of God, Bigotry, Blogs & Blogging, Christlikeness, Condemnation, Encouragement, Eternal Life, Good & Evil, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, Preaching/Teaching

Osama bin Laden 1957-2011

I confess, I rejoiced to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden. I felt like “high-fiving” anyone within reach.  Then I began reading blogs from my fellow disciples and kinda feeling guilty, especially when they quoted Ezekiel 18:23[i] and 33:11[ii]. Then I started reading those passages in context and realized that the Holy Spirit was saying that the real pleasure would have resulted from his turning back from his evil ways and his death to the old man of sin.

I felt a little better when I read Psalm 58:10, 11 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; / He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. / And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; / Surely there is a God who judges on earth!”

There is no doubt Osama had to die.  He relinquished his right to life by taking the lives of thousands of innocents. But O how I wish we could have sought his heart as doggedly as we sought his head!  How wonderful to have given him life before his death! What a day of rejoicing that would have been! But like so many depraved murderers before him, he remained unrepentant for his heinous crimes. I’m glad he’s gone.

Congratulations to the incredibly brave team that took him out. I understand that many months of careful, exacting planning and training preceded the mission. That provoked the inevitable missionary reaction: Doesn’t it stand to reason that no less is required of us in the Kingdom as we seek the souls of the Islamic world? Where are our well-trained, equipped and courageous teams? Where is our strategy? Where is our passionate and urgent sense of cause?

The Muslims of the Middle East have long memories of so-called “Christian” violence and oppression. Hatred from those memories spawned Osama and his ilk. Many will willingly fill the vacuum of his leadership fueled by the same hatred.  The only way to stop the process is to permeate their culture with bombs of love and missiles of peace. Fortunately we serve a God defined by love who gave Himself as the Prince of Peace.

At long last, let’s give our Muslim friends reasons to love us instead of loathe us.


[i] Ezekiel 18:23“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?”

[ii] Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘ As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”

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Filed under Attributes of God, Christlikeness, Culture Wars, Current Events, Evangelism, Good & Evil, Holy Spirit, Islam, Jesus Christ, Judge, Kingdom Growth, Love, Middle East, Missions/Evangelism, Peace

Judgmentalism

I sometimes get criticized (judged) for being judgmental, do you?  This accusation usually arises when I have made a negative comment with which someone disagrees.  I submit, however, that we are ALL judgmental.  Last night, for example, I found a dead mouse in the pantry, no doubt a result of my efforts to poison him and his family who have taken up residence in my house.  I judge their presence to be harmful in several ways:

1.       They eat our stuff.  Little holes in the rice bag, nibbles in the butternut squash, obvious nipping at the bread we accidentally left out, etc.

2.       They are nasty little spreaders of various diseases.

3.       They scare the dickens out of the wife as they scurry about.

4.       They make noises in the voids in the walls and ceilings they inhabit.

5.       Their droppings are unsightly.

It is my judgment that they must go and my further judgment that traps and poisons are effective in this regard.

On the other hand, we also share living space with some little geckos.  I judge their presence to be good.  They eat various pests such as cockroaches, spiders and other unwanted critters while doing no harm otherwise. They can stay. So, am I being “judgmental” when I “judge” something to be right and good?

Furthermore, in this democracy, we cherish the freedom to express our opinions.  By definition an opinion is (for our purposes) “a belief or judgment (notice that word) that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty, a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.” Everyone has a right to their opinions. Is my opinion “judgmental” only when it happens to disagree with yours?

There is also a growing number of people who take “live and let live” to the nth degree.  For these folks, nothing is wrong unless it harms another person (not at all easy to determine). All is relative and there is no absolute truth. Your truth may not be my truth. You have a right to believe what you believe but keep it to yourself. Under these rules, it is improper to make judgment about good and bad, wise and foolish, right and wrong. These folks are highly intolerant of intolerance. They have a negative opinion of those who express their opinions.  Their truth is that there is no truth.  It is their judgment that judgment is…well…wrong.

I think what many folks mean by “judgment” is “condemnation.” I do not have the power or prerogative to condemn anyone for anything…that’s God’s business. There is a big difference between judging or discerning between right and wrong and pronouncing eternal damnation. Christians have access to criteria for making decisions about what is right and what is wrong in the teachings of Jesus and the apostles (messengers).  Using these standards and principles I can confidently say, “It is wrong to steal.” In fact, our whole society agrees having codified it into law.  But, if I dare to make that judgment, I had better be sure that I, myself, am not a thief. We must judge ourselves before we dare to pass judgment on others.  If I am honest enough for self-examination I will judge that it is wrong for me or anyone else to steal.

The other day at the coffee shop a man began making trouble for the young woman at the cash register.  He was loudly complaining because they refused to give him something for free. Becoming increasingly obnoxious, he kept at it, holding up the line and causing the staff a good deal of distress. Filled with negative judgmentalism, I got up from my table and began to interfere, politely suggesting that he basically shut up and shove off.  This emboldened the staff who threatened to call the police.  He did leave and I went back to my table and resumed writing and drinking my coffee.  As I left the shop, the manager profusely thanked me for my judgmental intervention.  It may have been foolhardy, but was it wrong?  You be the judge. Oops!

For those who would like to have a look at relevant Bible passages: John 7:24; Romans 2:1; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 5:12-13; James 4:10-12

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Filed under Condemnation, Culture Wars, Discernment, Good & Evil, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, morality, Persuasion