Judge Not

In the recent UnChristian study, the top three perceptions of Christians were…

Antihomosexual: Christians show contempt for gays and lesbians.
Hypocritical: Christians say one thing but live something entirely different.
Judgmental: Christians are prideful and quick to find faults in others.

It’s interesting that these are many of the same attitudes that Jesus dealt with concerning the Pharisees and religious teachers of his day.

On many occasions he deals with this mindset and in one particular instance gives them and his followers the hard teaching of Matthew 7:1-5. (click to read)

You see Jesus is currently dealing with a group of people who are coming out of the Old Testament system that demands a superior righteousness to enter the kingdom. And what he is trying to show them is that when we demand perfection of others, or require it for ourselves,…it breeds judgmentalism.

What is judgmentalism fueled by according to scripture? We find it is self-righteousness, pride, and arrogance….the misguided inner motivation to make our own life look better by comparing it to the lives of others.

So, take this test and watch the following video clip from the documentary Small Town Gay Bar

Now, you probably saw this is an example of what Jesus was exactly speaking against in Matthew 7:1-5. You saw Pastor Phelps going beyond the Romans 1:26 claim that homosexual behavior is sin, but actually judging (a better word being “condemning”) the people for acting in such a manner.

Is it judging of us to say that Pastor Phelps is breaking the command of this passage? No. (The making of a “judgment call” or discerning right from wrong is not the form of judging Jesus is addressing here…the arrogant, judging of condemning someone is the issue, as that is God’s job, not ours!)

Now, while watching the video did you at all feel yourself not only discerning whether his words and attitude where right or wrong (being discerning), but that you were actually better than him? Did you see Pastor Phelps as someone lower than you or even loved less by God than you?

Do you see how easily we can all slip into the subtle beginnings of judgmentalism? Another one of Jesus’ teachings showing us that we can’t follow any of these spiritual paths by our own power…pointing us towards further submission and calling for a Holy Spirit mutiny to overthrow our human spirits.

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~ by Dave Smith on April 23, 2008.

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