Sunday, June 3, 2007

Who Are We To Question?

Luke 6: 37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

39 He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

41 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

O.K., some of you actually read this small piece of text above which is in fact the word of God. Fewer of you understand it. I myself struggle with this on a daily basis. Not understanding it, but practicing it.

See, the problem here is not judging others because we are called to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to keep order in the faith. Paul, in fact the entire fifth chapter of 1 Corinthians is very clear on this topic, tells us we should not hesitate in judging our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. He even goes so far as to hold those accountable for not passing judgment. The sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians goes so far as to say we as believers should hold our own courts instead of taking Christian disputes to the pagan magistrates.

Where this unravels for me is not in the letter of the law, so to speak, but the spirit of the law. I cannot argue with Jesus. Who can? He is very clear that we will be held to the same letter as we hold others. The unraveling begins when I find myself silently judging those around me for sins they commit that if I have not yet, by the grace of God, participated in, may struggle with or even find myself contemplating from time to time. Then, in the event that I have to actually follow through with a real world judgment on someone, the question remains how severe a penalty can I pronounce?

In keeping with the letter of the edict Paul has given us in 1 Corinthians we are called absolutely without question to hold our comrades to bear. Yet, in keeping with the spirit of this edict, dictated by Christ himself, we are unequivocally required to show mercy where at all possible.

So judge, yes. Although the power in our legislation needs to be taken into serious consideration and prayer.

Oh, and always remember that we as Christians have no authority to pass spiritual judgment on anyone not of the faith. If they don't follow the Way, we can't force them to keep the Way.

It is ultimately by love that we show the Way.

1 comment:

Dena said...

You are funny - are you judging me? hehehehe!

I have notice not IF but WHEN I make fun of someone - when Carrie lost the keys to her car - I lost MINE for 3 months - so now I pass no jusgement on the little stuff- It always bites me in the katukus!

Kane lost his cell - I laughed and lost mine - you get the hint!