Summary: Purpose of Judgement is not to condemn people or cut us off from God but to bring us back to lead us to restoration.
Series on Truth – What is truth?
Relativism – rejection of absolute truth
– Truth is relative
Sincerity – even if belief contradicts another
is sincerity enough?
ILLUSTRATION: Attack on spy base
Three men have been found not guilty of breaking into and damaging the Waihopai spy base near Blenheim.
Adrian Leason, a teacher, Dominican friar Peter Murnane and farmer Sam Land were cleared of all charges after two hours of deliberations by a jury at the Wellington District Court late on Wednesday afternoon.
The trio had pleaded not guilty to burglary and wilful damage at the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) facility.
The prosecution said the trio cut their way through fences into the base, then slashed the plastic cover over a satellite dish with sickles.
Lawyers admitted the men attacked the base but said they were driven by a belief that the satellite caused human suffering and their actions to shut it down, if only temporarily, were lawful.
"That belief doesn’t have to be correct," one said.
[source: TVNZ website] http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/spy-base-accused-acted-in-self-defence-3398214
Problem with relativism
claims to be free from absolute truth
Relativists hold to the absolute truth of tolerance
contradiction within relativism
Absolute denial of absolutes
We have the absolute wrongness of intolerance!
QUESTION: What are some of your pet peeves? How do they affect your interactions with other people?
CONTEXT of 1 Cor. 5
Paul -- writing to church in Corinth
Serious division and morality
describes what true judgement is like
Recognises is ultimate judge
Purpose is not to condemn people
but to restore the offender
To right relationship w/ God and other people
Judgement is not to cut us off from God but to bring us back to him
lead us to restoration
READ: 1 Cor. 5
vv. 1-2 “does not occur even among pagans ...”\
not mean it never occurred – but it was infrequent\
was generally condemned as an evil practice
forbidden by Roman law and OT
Cor. Churches attitude -- boasted (cf. 1 Cor. 4:6)
view of their superior standing
Rather than decent Christian humility
saw Christian freedom as giving them license for almost any kind of conduct
Paul urges the church to hand over the offender to Satan
So that the sinful nature would be destroyed
Paul expresses hope that the offender’s “spirit [be] saved on the day of God’s judgement
How has the definition of tolerance changed over time?
Historically – defined as “putting up with beliefs one takes to be erroneous of false.” i.e. Most people tolerate Brussels sprouts or liver when served as guests, but no one tolerates what he enjoys (choc/ice cream)
Today – “accepting all views as true and not saying any are false.”
Forced to accept views that contradict one another
Properly understood: we respect people enough to permit them to hold their beliefs even if we profoundly disagree with them
We don’t accept that all views are true but we value what decisions people make in terms of their beliefs
Notice how people can say that we should accept all views as true until they talk to someone who doesn’t accept all views as true. Logic goes out the door and insults fly.
vv. 6-7 All religions cannot be true
some views are false – and we know them to be false
“... a little yeast changes consistency of dough ...”
so sin alters us
Yeast in the bible – often a metaphor for evil
prohibited during Passover as a reminder that God delivered the Israelites from Egypt
“... a new batch without yeast ...”
The church is not the old society patched up
called to be radically new (2 Cor. 5:17)
Jesus is our Passover (rescued us from sin/evil)
Paul is careful to say that we all deserve God’s judgement and he alone is judge (vv. 9-13)
At the same time – Paul suggests that we “cut out” the influence of sin from around us – before we fall further into sin
Jesus taught some similar – if your hand/eye causes you to sin “cut it off
Are judgements inevitable? Yes
Are we to judge? No – but not be so accommodating that we allow everything to go
Can we find help from Jesus? Yes – he came to rescue us from sin