Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The most popular and loved Bible verse

  The best known and loved Bible verse used to be John 3:16, but in recent years it has been replaced with one that is quoted and loved far more than that one is anymore. The verse? Matthew 7:1: "Judge not, that you be not judged."

 This was a popular verse during this election:

Donald Trump cheated on his wives and bragged about it. "Judge not!"

Donald Trump owns strip clubs. "Judge not!"

Hillary Clinton caused a massive breach of security with her emails. "Judge not....oh wait, it is OK to judge her...."

  This verse has been used as an attempt to shut down anyone from saying anything is wrong. Homosexuality a sin? "Judge not!" Christians shouldn't get tattoos. "Judge not!" Ironically, just quoting a Bible verse gets you labeled as judging..... I have been there.

 But is this response correct and Biblical? And a better question, is it being quoted in the correct context?

 There are a couple of passages that should be considered. First, Matthew 18:15-17

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Later in the chapter, it says true disciples of Jesus will be known by their fruits.

  And 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 consider this: If it is judging to even point out sin in someone, or say something is a sin, how on earth can we do what Jesus says to do in Matthew, and what Paul says in Galatians? If our brother sins against us, or is taken in any sin, we are to go to him.....uh, isn't that kind of going against today's "judge not!" cry?

  I believe that the famous "judge not" passage has a totally different meaning than so many people are giving it today. I believe, and the Bible supports this idea, that it means not to judge unfairly or hypocritically, and then the warning is given that we will be judged in the same way we judge.

  Too often today, this "judge not!" is used as a defense. People don't want their sins pointed out, or sins in others that they are OK with. I am in a Christian Bloggers Group that I am a moderator of. For a while, until the topic was temporarily banned, there were several pro-gay liberal Christians on there that were condemning anyone who dared say homosexuality is a sin. That phrase got thrown around a lot, even when someone quoted verses from the Bible about it. You see, they were OK with that sin and didn't want it called a sin, so anyone who dared say it is a sin according to the Bible, was judging.

 In the political scene, people who support Donald Trump didn't want his faults pointed out. Part of it may be they secretly felt guilty for supporting him, and there are most likely other reasons.... but regardless of the reasons, they like to chirp "Judge not" and "all have sinned" any time Trump's faults are pointed out. Ironically, they are OK with Hillary's being pointed out.....

 We do need to be careful not to have a "better than thou" attitude with judging, and also not to say people are sinning for things not in black and white. A couple of examples: alcohol and tattoos. Both are things I don't believe I should do as a Christian, and are things I don't believe Christians should do. Do I believe a Christian is sinning if he does either? No...there is no specific verse in the Bible calling either a sin, other than drunkenness.... so for me to say someone can't be a Christian who has tattoos or drinks some bubbly would be judging wrongly on my part.

 But when it comes to sin, if a person is engaged in sin and unrepentant, the Bible says they are not Christians.. and he says it is up to us to approach them in love and restore them. Unfortunately, most of us aren't too good at the restoring in love. The pointing out the fault...... we can get into that. Sadly, the majority of us don't love our Christian brothers and sisters enough to carry out what the Bible says about these situations.....something proven by this election.

 If our knee jerk reaction is to say "judge not", maybe we need to do some praying and introspection. If we are using this as a defense, maybe we are doing wrong in the area we are not wanting judged in. And maybe I am off-base, but if someone is chirping "judge not!" so quickly and often, there may very well be a serious issue in their heart and life.

 We should be careful not to judge people unfairly or hypocritically, but if the Bible says something is sin..... it is sin, and it is not judging to say it is sin.

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