The Purpose for Pastor's Space
We will periodically post items here on current issues and events.
This is a constant refrain from people who don’t like to have any personal conduct addressed as ungodly.
It is also used by those who teach falsely, or defend those who do. The former group are always a fascination when they pay little attention to biblical matters of all kinds, but in this area they become bible thumpers and theologians in their own defense.
With that said, what does scripture actually say on the matter?
1Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged;
and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Sounds straight forward enough, but is it? There is always a danger in quoting select passages without looking at the larger section in context .
One question should be asked immediately for such an important matter: did Jesus elaborate on this further?
Does this mean we are to make judgement on nothing, ever, for any reason?
Matthew 7 continues with the thought behind these opening verses. Here are a few interesting passages to consider that Jesus said at the same time. Let’s remember, this is the closing chapter of the Sermon on the Mount. Here are some other passages in chapter 7 to consider.
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
I ask this: is a judgment needed to determine what constitutes a dog or a swine?
Or what is holy and how can we determine if we are being obedient to this without making a judgment?
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
What constitutes narrow as opposed to wide gate?
How do we identify who teaches in which direction without examination of content in the message?
What standard do we use to determine truth?
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
How much clearer could this be, honestly? How do we measure the prophet?
Do we look at words spoken and look for the accuracy of what was proclaimed?
Are we to assume Jesus meant there was a difference between sheep and wolves?
Should we judge the content of what makes them appear to be sheep, when in fact they are wolves.
Can this be done without judging any number of things said or done by them?
16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
By now the same questions don’t even need to be asked, do they? These verses should help us to better understand Jesus’ opening words.
We can judge fruit, but we don’t know the heart of those producing it. Are all of these wolves willingly deceiving people?
Jesus doesn’t say. They may be just as deceived as those they are deceiving.
We need to leave matters of the heart and intent to The Lord. As for us, we are fully capable and able to inspect and judge the fruit.
Now the most important part from here is to be sure we judge what we are supposed to, based on God’s Word and not our opinion.