Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Judge Me

Okay, is it just me or is this people's favorite saying in regards to Christianity: "Don't judge me."? Or: "Jesus said 'whoever is without sin cast the first stone.'" BUT, what did Jesus say after that? He told the woman to "go and sin no more." Sin destroys. Sin also misrepresents Christ. That is who we represent as Christians. I know there are many passages about not judging others. When you search for the word judge in the new testament there are many verses that come up telling us to not judge. HOWEVER, there are so many verses about the atrocity of those calling themselves Christians who are acting like the world. Jesus said a tree can be judged by it's fruit. Those who say they are followers of Christ can be judged by their actions.

Paul said in 1 Cor.5 "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

Is it just me or does that sound judgmental? Paul instructs the church to expel such wicked people! We are not to even eat with them. I believe we are to be this severe because sin is serious and people need to take it seriously. By continuing to hang out with people and allow them in the fellowship we are in a sense condoning their sin. It says in verse twelve that we are not to judge those outside the church (those who don't call themselves Christians). God will judge them. BUT, those who say they are representing Christ will be judged by their fruits and as brothers and sisters we are called to judge them. This is also important because Christ said that many would come to Him calling Him Lord that He would not allow into heaven because He "never knew them." Wouldn't it be loving to confront someone living sinfully and ask them (as Paul does in numerous letters) to examine their faith and make sure they truly know Christ?!

The most loving thing we can do is hold our brothers and sisters accountable. For example, I dated a non-believer at one weak point in my life. No body confronted me except one person. She said to me: "Katie, I don't care about anything else involving this guy. If he doesn't love and fear the Lord he is not for you." I was so angry at her at the time. But after I finally broke up with him (it was only a month that we were together but it seemed like forever because I was being disobedient) I was SO THANKFUL to this friend. She was the only one who loved me enough to give God's perspective on my sin.

Why do we hate confrontation so much? Why do we hate to be rebuked or corrected? It is pride. I don't like people telling me I am wrong because I am prideful. I can't think of a time where someone has confronted me on something and they weren't right. As Christians we grow much more from constructive criticism then we do from compliments. Compliments usually just build up our flesh.

It is important that we "judge" those within the church. The world is already judging us. They see an unholy, unloving, hypocritical church and it is our duty as those within the church to confront one another, IN LOVE, so that we may grow and win a dying world to Christ! If you don't want to be judged, don't say you are a follower of Christ...