Est. May 2008

18 January, 2017

Judgment at Churchemburg

The Christian Post: Pastor James MacDonald, the founding and senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area, started a three-week series, "This is What We Do," and in his first sermon on Sunday he urged the congregation to welcome others in the church without judgment.
Many people out there believe Christians are 'unloving' because they're 'judgmental'. But what do they mean by 'unloving', and what do they mean by 'judgmental'?

According to Pastor MacDonald, judgment is defined as a 'negative assessment of another person based upon a superficial sense of superiority.' That is a definition of judgment; here's another: 'the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing' and 'an opinion or estimate so formed'.'

Sadly, there are people within the church who judge to Pastor MacDonalds' definition. This has led to many churches adopting a false sense of love, wherein there is no judgment at all by anyone. They adopt Luke 6:37 as a primary focus, and completely forget, it seems, that we are to reprove and correct our brethren (2 Timothy 3:16), and the only way to do so is to judge their actions and behaviors as violating Scripture.

Because of these churches, judging righteously – judging by Scripture's standards and not our own – is seen as being 'unloving'. But judging righteously is, in my opinion, the highest form of love.

Example: Your friend is engaging in activities and behaviors which will lead to injury – most likely crippling – or death. If you love them, what do you do? Do you sit back and say, 'Well, I can't interfere, that wouldn't be loving'? Or do you try to stop them?

I'd like to imagine you chose Door #2.

Same thing goes for Christians – or at least should. We see unrepented sinful behavior as a bought-and-paid-for ticket straight to the eternal torments of hell ('forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing' behavior to Scripture); we decide to intervene (our 'opinion … so formed'); we act to stop them. Why? Because we love them and don't want them to suffer hell. We 'save others by snatching them out of the fire (Jude 23)', our 'snatching' coming in words of warning and judgment

This is what church ought to be about: warning of punishment for sins and offering the free gift of salvation through Christ. The church also has to warn that though God and Christ will accept you as you are, they will not leave you that way. God expects perfection; we are not perfect; He will make us perfect. He will remodel us into what He wants – this means He will drive out sinful desires, you will undergo a change – to the point where even friends will notice the difference. The remodel will continue from the moment Christ moves in to the moment you step beyond the pearly gates. It will hurt, for sure at the beginning, but that hurt is for your eternal benefit.

For wanting such for our brothers and sisters, and for warning them about their sins, we are called 'judgmental' and 'unloving'.

So be it.

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