Saturday, January 30, 2016

Judging Knot

It was a Sunday night bible study a number of years ago when I was discussing the necessity of a local church practicing church discipline. A church member raised his hand and, when acknowledged, said to me "Read Matthew 7:1!"

I was a little taken back and in the moment couldn't collect my thoughts enough to know what he was talking about. So, I turned to Matthew 7 and read the 1st verse. He wasn't finished:

"Read it again."

So, I read it again. And then he proceeded to accuse me of judging. When I asked if he was judging me for judging, he wasn't very pleased. As a side note my 3 year old son was sitting next to my wife and asked "why's that man being mean to daddy?"

It certainly was one of the more uncomfortable situations in which I've been involved in ministry. 

Fast forward to January 2015. 

On Facebook there was a professing Christian promoting the movie 50 Shades of Grey. Being a public forum in which many people I care about are friends with this person, I felt compelled to comment on why Believers ought to have nothing to do with filth like 50 Shades. 

Can you guess what the overwhelming majority of responses were?

"We can't judge!" "Jesus says in Matthew 7:1 'Judge not!'"

This is what I consider the judging knot. 

Between the idolatry of autonomy, poor hermeneutics, love of sin, and the mixing in of self righteousness, you get a knotted mess when it comes to understanding the proper application of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:1-6. 

For these reasons, and more, I am looking forward to addressing this subject tomorrow as we continue our journey through the Sermon on the Mount. 

While Jesus did mean for His followers to avoid a hypercritical and hypocritical spirit of judgmentalism, He does not intend for us to never confront sin and to practice poor discernment in the church. Hopefully I'll post some more notes and the audio of the sermon next week. 

Until then let us remember a basic rule of biblical interpretation: context is king. May your Lord's Day gathering bring glory to the King and edification to your church...

UPDATE: You can listen to this sermon by clicking here: Judging Judgmentalism 

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