Summary: Short sermon on how and how not to judge
Judging The Judgement Of Judging
People love to judge.
Popularity of Talk-TV, Court-Tv, height of OJ trial, President Clinton’s trials.
Even those who hold the opinion of, "You have your beliefs, and I have mine." make judgements upon those who form strong judgments by calling them biased, closed minded, ignorant.
We make judgements of taste, character, moral judgements, ethical judgments
One of the most difficult areas of religion is the area of judgment
This one area has caused more controversy and conflict both in and in association with the church:
East made judgment against the West,
West made judgment against the East,
The Church split: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox
West viewed Arabs as ‘infidels’,
Arabs viewed West as ‘infidels’,
Holy Wars, Inquisition
Reformers made judgments against the Church,
Church made judgements against the Reformers,
Those who sing hymns -vs- those who sing choruses
Conservative -vs- liberal
Moral judgements on those outside the church
-sex outside or apart from marriage
-teens doing all three of the previous
People love to judge-not just Christians
Examples used because we are in the church and familiar with these judgements
I. Judging Can Be Reciprocating
A. Judge Not
Misused greatly when we are told to make no judgements
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
But what about:
*Friend in adulterous relationship
Teenager sexually active
Co-worker who uses drugs
A business partner who steels
*I steel cookies from the cookie jar while my wife is asleep.
B. Judgements Must Be Made In Life
Ephesians 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. (RSV)
A compass/map -necessary for sea travel
Country song, "You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything. You’ve got to be your own man, not a puppet on a string."
Cults look for youth who are in a state of uncertainty in their beliefs
-personal experience with Herikrishner (sp?)
C. Judgements Must Be Given From The Proper Perspective
1. No one is worthy enough to make judgments based upon one’s own morality.
Romans 3:10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; (RSV)
We are all on the same playing field. I’m no Billy Graham, or Mother Theresa. Even they didn’t trust upon their own morality as a guide for others.
Job 4:17-19 ‘Can mortal man be righteous before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error; how much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth. (RSV)
2. God’s morality/ righteousness is the only viable standard by which to judge
John 5:30 "I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (RSV)
John 8:16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me. (RSV)
3. God’s morality is not a weapon to cut people down
"I’m not judging, I’m just telling it like it is."
We take God’s standard in our imperfect life=our morals exert our morals upon others.
II. Wrong Judging Leaves Us Vulnerable
When we lord ourselves we make ourselves vulnerable-we set ourselves up for failure.
We expose our morals in such a way as to weaken them
The sub-standard areas (carnal areas/ our righteousness in place of God’s) prove to be weak spots which enable those against God to attack these areas and defeat our moral values.
Do not kill
Backbiting an enemy is OK
Do not commit adultery
Flirting is OK
Do not steal
Embellishing the bill to a customer is OK
Do not lie
Modifying the truth for self interests is OK
*These areas will be attacked, thereby weakening the whole
Don’t take this moral standard God is giving you and allow others/ enemies of God to pervert/ corrupt it by juxtaposing your own weak standards into it.
III. True Judging Is A Matter Of The Heart
A. Search For The Truth
1. Ask, Seek, Knock
-misused by people wanting things
-proper context is in judgement
-search for the truth –X-files
*Don’t judge people without the facts
John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment." (RSV)
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. (RSV)
*Gentleness, not condemnation