When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

28 June, 2015

"Judge Not": What Does This REALLY Mean?

"But there is one more thing that we should be said about this text, because it is often used against Christians (or anyone, really) who would say that there's a right and a wrong in the world. ... Or especially thinking about the Supreme Court decision on Friday, when we say that marriage is for family, a man and a woman bound up together until death, we hear that same response, the words of Jesus quoted back to us, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."  Or this question, "Who are you to judge my love?" 
Now I think it is a bit ironic this weekend that the 'judge not' folks are rejoicing in the judgment of five people called judges.  But when Jesus forbids judging, He does not intend to destroy the law.  He's not smashing the Ten Commandments, like Moses in the wilderness.  He's not declaring an end of right and wrong. 
And the answer, by the way, to the question, "Who are you to judge?" is: "I'm a human being."  It's the fundamental act of human society, of ethics, to judge the things that we love, the things that we want, and the things that we do, to see if they are good or if they are bad. ... Making a judgment about what I love and what I want is the fundamental act of humanity, and the more we forget this, then the more lawless and dangerous our culture will become. 
But look, when Jesus says "Judge not," what He is doing is reserving the final judgment for Himself.  Jesus knows that if we are the judge, there are only two judgments that are possible: either the prideful judgment of ourselves and each other, that we're all good, which is the dangerous delusion leading to hell--self-justification and self-righteousness; or the despairing judgment that we are sinners beyond the hope of redemption.  Those are the only two options when man is judge.  But when Jesus is judge, there is a third, and a correct, and blessed option.  He judges us guilty of our sin--all of them--but then, by His blood, by His death, by His resurrection, by His lovingkindness, and by His mercy, He judges us--He judges you--to be innocent, clean, guiltless, righteous, and holy.  So we judge not, because Jesus, who died and rose again, is our judge in mercy and kindness."

Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller

Full sermon audio can be found here--it is well worth the listen, as this was the end of the sermon.