Summary: Sermon 15 in a study in the Sermon on the Mount
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Humorist Will Rogers was known for his down home country manner and his witty political satire.
As I came to these opening verses of Matthew chapter 7 a famous Will Rogers quote came to mind that I thought would be a fitting illustration of the first point I think needs to be made here; first let me share a few Will Rogers quotes with you that I found when I went to web site www.brainyquote.com to research Mr. Rogers.
“About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.”
“Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.”
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, "How is the president?"
“We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.”
There is a house in Claremore, Oklahoma that Will Rogers purchased in 1911 and is now a memorial and museum to him. At the entrance to that museum is a statue of Rogers and at the base you’d find the words that he is best known for. “I never met a man I didn’t like”.
When he actually uttered that phrase the full of it was, “I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn’t like”.
Now my intention is not to make any statement about Will Rogers himself as concerning his truthfulness, his level of intelligence or his power of observation.
But I would have to say that if he meant to convey in literal terms that in all his life he never met an unlikable man then he would have to have led an extremely sheltered existence; because common sense and a normative level of observation will quickly remind any thinking person that there are just a lot of unlikable people out there and many of them make a career of earning the right to be disliked.
In fact it was only days before setting to this sermon that I was in a public place and once more Osama Bin Laden’s name had hit the morning news. When the pretty lady on CNN began broadcasting this particular news item a man near me said to his friend, ‘Now there’s a guy Will Rogers never met”.
I think that it is most probable that Rogers made the statement in an effort to bring to his hearers a sense of community and mutual respect during a time when our nation was going through some very difficult trials.
The only other possible explanation, which I do not think is the case, would be that he was an early proponent of the modern day bent toward political correctness and tolerance that has become a religion of its own.
Now I don’t have to go on a rant here about all the idiocy we see and hear in regards to the preaching of tolerance and acceptance of people different than we and religions different than ours and social philosophies that are not like our own.
Ultimately, and the sense in which this spirit affects us most as Christians, the ‘hands across the water’ people end up saying something like, ‘there are many ways to God and your way is as good as my way; all roads lead eventually to Heaven’, and so forth. What we need to understand is that the purpose behind that sort of approach is that if I believe all religions are fundamentally right and in the end we will all find our way to Heaven and God no matter the means and methods and doctrines we choose to adopt, then I am entirely disarmed in regards to having anything critical to say at all about your religion or philosophy.
Yours is right, mine is right, so if I contradict your religious creeds or practices I am intolerant and judgmental.