Saturday, 19 October 2013

Judging and Being Christian

If you are on my Facebook you would know that I’m that type of person who’s anti-judging and perhaps this sends out a wrong implication to the Christians on my Facebook. My intention though is not to make myself look better by making it seem as if all Christians are judgmental (excluding me), it’s simply to expose the other side of Christianity, i.e. the Jesus side of the story, to my unsaved Facebook friends. I do admit this is a sensitive issue, and I’m no expert at it but I want to discuss the issue with judging and Christianity based on what I have learned from my Bible and personal experience. 

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. ~Matthew7:1

It is okay to judge only when you know that you are living a perfect life with no flaws, because according to verse two of the chapter above, “in the same way that you judge others, you will be judged.” So if you enjoy being judged and having people making you feel bad about your mistakes, it is only inevitable that you will do that to them as well. However, if that is what your Christianity is all about, what good does it do for society, or even yet, for you? Pastor At said in one of his sermons that, “As Christians, we have become so sin conscious that we forget the essence of the gospel.” And the gospel is…good news! Liberty unto the captives, healing to the diseased, love to the broken hearted and recovering of site to the blind. When you receive Christ as your personal Savior it is not your business now to go around exposing the sins of others. Paul puts it so clearly in 1Corinthians4:3-4, “I care very little if I’m judged by you or by any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself. My conscious is clear but that does NOT make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” Paul knew that there were people who judged him because of his transformation, people who knew his past and people who probably knew his weaknesses. People might see you from afar and think that you’re a perfect being judged by how you boldly preach the gospel, but those closest to you know your weaknesses and mistakes. Paul said, “I care very little if I’m judged by you…” We should also have the same attitude simply because we know that God understands us more than anyone does. The matter of the fact is, even after you become born again you are bound to commit mistakes that are different from others. If you are content with people degrading your Christianity because of your mistakes, then go ahead and do the same to others. 

There is only one Law giver and one Judge, who is able to save and to destroy. Who art thou that judgest another? ~James4:12

The problem here is that we don’t know what the definition of the word “judge” is. According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary the word judge means, “A person in a court who has the authority to decide how criminals should be punished.” Therefore, when you judge another person you’re in essence saying that you have the authority to decide the penalty of their sin? Will it be fair if human beings were given authority to penalize you for your own mistakes? No, but why are you doing that to other people? We were all born in a world of sin but when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts he takes us on a purification process that will certainly be accompanied by many mistakes. So, when you get born again today and you go around commanding people to stop fornicating because they will go to hell, do you know their struggles? Are you part of their journey?

Some Christians might read this and get a bit excited and make an excuse to continue living in sin. Some might get angry and say I am not preaching the right gospel. Well, let’s see what Paul said in 1Corinthians5:12. “What business is it of mine to judge outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? (This takes me back to what I said earlier on: “it’s okay to judge”). God will judge those outside.” You see, Paul did not condemn judging but he didn’t impose it either. He was just insinuating that a Christian cannot claim to be saved and in the church yet is still participating actively in sin. There are people who have given their lives to God and genuinely want to leave their life of sin and these are the people who should be helped and not judged. On the contrary, there are those who wear their church uniform, are very active in church organizations, and make others who don’t go to church or aren’t Christians feel bad, yet they commit willful sin day after day. It is not our business to judge them, but they are bringing it upon themselves. Paul said, “Expel the wicked man among you.”

You judge by human standards, I judge NO one. ~John8:15

Now, Paul was just an ordinary human being who got saved like most of us and he immediately began fulfilling his purpose of being called to preach the gospel. I’m not saying this out of dis-respect but he was just like you and I, you know, had weaknesses and all, but here is Jesus. Paul says “cast the wicked man away from you”, yet Jesus who is God says, “I judge no man”. Meaning, Jesus loves even the hypocrite. He has compassion even on those who are hateful, hard-hearted, still living in fornication and all. (But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew9:36). “God doesn’t judge people; it is you who judges them. He doesn’t get tired of people; it is you who gets tired and impatient. He doesn’t stop loving people; it is you who stops loving them!” Pastor At 

Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye and you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ~ Matthew7:3&5

I was chilling with my housemates one evening (you know I love my housemates) and they were doing the same old stuff, smoking, drinking, laughing and etc. One of my housemates is pregnant and she was also drinking and smoking. I thought, “How could she ever do this! Harm a baby like that!!” The devil reminded me, “Well, you didn’t just harm a baby, you aborted it!” You killed a baby and you have the audacity to judge a smoker? There is something humbling about remembering where God took you from that will cause you not to judge others.  You see, when you judge others the same measure you use will be used against you too. You will then live your whole life in guilt when Jesus has already forgiven you and shown you His great compassion, because you are constantly looking at other people’s mistakes that reflect the kind of person you once were. 

If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. ~ John12:47

Pastor At said that we have become so sin conscious that we miss the essence of the gospel. We are so conscious about people’s mistakes and what they are doing or not doing right, that we miss the essence of the gospel. We point out other people’s mistakes and we call it being “bold” for God, yet Jesus says that he doesn’t judge? Instead of reflecting on flaws and imperfections why not reflect on God’s goodness. His goodness that caused Him to die for you in order to reconcile you back to Him, to free you from bondage's of sin and the consequences thereof. I know you hear this all the time and it has become somewhat a cliche, but Jesus is not like human beings. He loves you. In the past when you were struggling in sin and all that people did was bring you down, He loved you. In the present, even when you look down on those who are now in the same place as you were before, he continues to love you. In the future you will look back at the journey and realize how he has loved you. Share that loves with others. 

 If you want to conquer sin, you have to be established in the love of God.~Pastor At Boshoff

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