Summary: Avoid critical judgmentalism while embracing careful judgment.

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Judge Not

Matthew 7:1-6

Rev. Brian Bill

May 20-21, 2017

I came across some surefire ways to get someone to quote the Bible.

• Share your belief in biblical creationism and dare to call evolution just a theory.

• Speak up by declaring that because life begins at conception, abortion is murder. BTW, I’m pumped about the Baby Bottles for Life Project – please pick up a bottle or two and fill it with change for Pregnancy Resources. Also, I’m thrilled to learn that the largest provider of abortion is closing four clinics in Iowa, one right here in Bettendorf!

• Show that another religion or worldview is in error. I met with a high school senior recently who wrote a paper on the errors of Islam. I can’t imagine how much courage this took.

• Share with your friends that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

• State that the Bible forbids the practice of premarital sex, extramarital sex and homosexuality.

• Stand up and say that marriage is between one man and one woman for life.

Sydney McMeekan is in the 8th grade and participated in a school debate this week where she stood up for biblical marriage. I asked her to put her experience into words. Here’s what she wrote: “Before my debate I was feeling very nervous because I felt that people were going to judge me…I walked into that classroom knowing that no matter who voted for me, I had the only person I needed already on my side. When the debate began I was beyond scared. The reality of this set in as I realized that almost all of the students were supporters of gay marriage…After my debate was done and I said all I could, I felt proud for standing up for what I believed in. I knew God was on my side through it all, and through prayer I got through it.”

If you’re still standing after making these Scriptural statements, stick around and you’ll often hear a specific Scripture quoted, even by those who know no other verse: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” This verse is often used against Christians as a way to intimidate us from speaking the truth.

J.D. Greear, in a sermon on this passage, says that our culture holds to two unshakable assumptions:

• Religion is private

• Morality is relative

There are different kinds of people when it comes to our topic today:

• There are those who say, “whatever.” This person believes anything goes and therefore one should never speak up for what is right or wrong.

• There are others who whack everyone. It’s like these people are playing “Whack-a-Mole” at Chuck E. Cheese, just waiting for a sinner to pop up so they can whack away.

I believe there is a third category– those who follow the Word of God. The problem is that very few are actually in this category.

Some years ago, researchers with the Barna Organization asked Americans Christians for their views on issues like lying, cheating, the nature of God, and sin. They found that while more than seven out of 10 Americans call themselves Christians, just one out of every 10 were able to answer basic questions about the Bible and the faith. Tragically, only 10% of Americans have a biblical worldview.

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