Summary: When we judge others we reveal a lot about our relationships with Christ and our heart in general.
Can You Believe What They Did? – Judging
This week I was reading an article about a meeting that occurred during a seminar among some leading professors at some of our leading universities. During an open forum one professor reported that at his school the most damaging charge one student can lodge against another is that the person is being judgmental. He was very upset in the fact that for the past few years they had not been able to have one decent argument going in any class. He said, "As soon as somebody takes a stand on any issue, no matter the level of importance someone else will say that they are being judgmental. And that’s it. End of discussion, everyone is intimidated! No one wants to be Political incorrect.
Many of the professors agreed with his sentiments. It seems that in this time of Political Correctness we have all lost the ability to take a stand on anything. And I believe that this has even affected the church in epidemic proportions.
I want to let you know today that I don’t believe that our Lord and Messiah is very politically correct.
Christian respect does not commit us to a spectator viewpoint. Political Correctness doesn’t mean that we cannot make a judgment about what goes on around us. And Political Correctness doesn’t require us to approve of what other people believe and do.
In the church we often walk a fine line between making judgments and not being judgmental. We still read in our Scriptures:
Matthew 7:1 Judge not.
And then in John 7:24 we read, “Judge with right judgment.”
Today as we continue to look at Heart disease I want to look at the Subject of making judgments. I want us all to see that when we make judgments about people we really reveal a lot about our relationships with Christ and our heart in general.
First I want to look at two types of Judgments that we who follow Christ are called to make.
First I believe we need to judge our beliefs.
In the context of John 7 we can see that people were struggling with the claims that Jesus was making about Himself. He was claiming to be the Son of God the Messiah sent to save man, and they were having a hard time believing that someone who was from God didn’t hold to the same traditions and laws that they held to.
In essence they were having some of the same struggles trying to make God fit their rigid belief system that some of us do today.
In verses 22 and 23 Jesus shows them their error in the fact that they are willing to break the Sabbath law to keep the law of Circumcision. So there must be some things that are more important that there man made laws. That’s how we get to verse 24.
Listen to how Peterson translates it: Don’t be nitpickers; use your head—and heart! — to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right.”
When we see it in context, the call to judge means something entirely different. Jesus is telling us to test our beliefs and our traditions to see if there are in line with God, and His will for our lives.
I believe that this is exactly what Paul is talking about in His letter to the Church in Thessalonica when he writes in 1 Thessalonians 5: 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
Why do we meet on the first day of the week? Why do we partake of the Lords Supper? Why do we sing A Cappella? Why do we baptize? Why do we have Elders and Deacons? Why, Why, Why?
It is not wrong to question, Jesus calls us to judge our beliefs and see if they are in line with the will of God.
Secondly I believe that it is God’s desire for those who are mature in the church to judge or recognize the sin in a brother’s life and lovingly restore them.
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Now I want you to look at what Paul is saying here. He says restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Some others translate it, spirit of meekness, gently and humbly, or forgivingly restore him. That is a far cry from the way that others have recognize the sin in my life.
More often that not I have been bird-dogged, you know where someone has already decided that they didn’t like me or what I said and they took every opportunity to expose the sin in my life. Not in a spirit of gentleness but through bulletin articles, and closed-door meetings, and letters to area brethren.