Monday, July 25, 2016

Judging Others - A View from Scripture - part 2

A Problem:  on one hand, scripture says "judge not" - Matt. 7:1-2 - most well known scripture in America.
On the other hand, many scriptures say "do judge" - are many examples --- 1 Cor. 6:1-3

Short Answer - On one hand, reject a hyper-critical faultfinding spirit (judgmentalism)
However, practice thinking, examining, weighing facts, form an opinion (concerning right and wrong)

Touchstone verse = John 7:24 - 'stop judging superficially, but make a right judgment'

Last sermon, asked the question, "what's the chief virtue of society today?"

TOLERANCE:  def. = sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practises differing from one's own.  (allowing)

However, today there is another term which is HUGE in our social construction.

RELATIVISM:  def. = the belief that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society or historical context and are not absolute.  (ie:  morals are constructed, changing and should not be held on to, and not be judged as absolute.)
This is the world view of our nation today!  That truth is fluid, moving, changing, and not static!

This has become accepted recently in history.  In 1900 the word relativism and its concept - mostly unknown!!

Further definitions:
Tolerance:  all views are equally tolerated
Relativism:  all views are equally valid (true)

Our concern in this series = Moral Relativism.

Question:  How does the Christian View differ? 

The Christian View says "Right and Wrong" (morals)...

#1.  EXIST - in eternity, is universal, not a fabrication or concept.  Morals exist apart from our assessment, opinion, fabrication.

#2.  UNCHANGING - they are eternal and universal - It IS!!
(our understanding of moral laws may change, but NOT the laws!)

#3.  ESTABLISHED BY GOD - not the Supreme Court, voting block, public opinion, etc..   Right and wrong are NOT arbitrary but align with reality.  Truth just exists!

#4.  REVEALED TO US - generally in nature, reason
                                      specifically through the Old Testament prophets, New Testament Apostles, the Son => God's WORD.  Blackstone:  'Laws exist.  It's up to us to discover them.'

#5.  REVEALED FOR US - Right = good which leads to better, blessings.
                                       Wrong = bad which leads to detriment, damage, destruction

#6.  TO PRACTICE - not merely argument, debate

IF this = your view..., then you are at odds with most Americans, most Christians
IF this = your view .., then your stance on judging others will differ dramatically from society.

The Christian view = I'm bound by the revealed will of God.  You can anticipate being mocked, ridiculed, persecuted for this view.

However, FIRST - 1 Cor. 11:31 - self-judgment according to God's Word.

From a Biblical perspective, Preparation for judging others?  (a Biblical, but dangerous realm)
A.  Accept Christ - as Savior and LORD
B.  Accept His Word - revealed will - there is NO criteria to judge without this.
C.  Examine yourself.

THEN, begin to pursue a "proper judgment" - John 7:24

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