Monday, September 26, 2011

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

Recovering Grace is worth the read on their Judging 101.

I have greatly grieved with this person since reading this article, and also for mankind as I read this account.   We all judge others in some way, but to think of blatantly teaching children to hypocritically and legalistically judge others is off the icky scale.

I've witnessed certain people who have their own legalistic rules as they routinely judged everyone else.   For me, it laid the ugliness of this sin out in front of me where I was sickened by it.  

My greatest shortcoming was not confronting them during the time we knew them.   My only feeble effort was trying desperately to change the subject each time or to leave the room.   I have certainly learned from those experiences.

Thank you, LORD.

Unjust judging, like any sin we feed, will lead each of us into deeper sinning.   When we begin to judge others by our own standards we are way out of line--God's line.   One of the next steps to unjust judging will be separation and shunning  of the beloved...

from Standards that Divide Believers:

The early church encountered similar standard-related strife. In Galatians 2:11-21, Paul opposed Peter to his face because he had bought into the wrong “standard.” Peter believed that both Jews and Gentiles were equal in Christ, but in a moment of weakness, he was swayed by the Judaizers in separating themselves from their fellow brothers in Christ who did not share the same “high standards” of circumcision and dietary laws as they did. The Judaizers knew that this method of ranking Christian commitment and shunning believers who didn’t measure up to their own standards was both powerful and effective, and they were able to use it to sway many to their side. Paul warned, “Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.” [4]
This type of alienation is unbiblical at best. Any form of shunning fellow believers with “lower standards” flies in the very face of the gospel, which makes all equal before God through faith in Christ. Philip Graham Ryken puts it this way, “We must have fellowship with anyone and everyone who is in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. If we refuse to have fellowship with them, then our actions deny the gospel. We are making a distinction that God himself does not make. We are adding some qualification to the only thing God requires, which is faith in Jesus Christ.” [5]
Scripture calls us to unity within the body of Christ, not to unnecessary divisions based on human commands and teachings. There is never any justification for alienating other believers based on lower standards.  As believers, we are called to love each other and work for the peace of the church. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” [6]

I have always been disturbed that the church is its own worst enemy.   Those who claim the precious name of Jesus can be the meanest, cruelest people out there.  In the Name of Christ they can cut each other down worse than any pagan ever could.  All while singing hymns...
 “So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.  For judgement will be merciless to the one who has shown no mercy;   mercy triumphs over judgement.”
James 2:12-13

Let each of us take a good, hard look at ourselves often.   If we are working on ridding ourselves of our own sins, then we will not have the idle time to find unrighteous things to do.   And while we are at it, let us put on the beautiful robes of mercy to glorify our God, the author of mercy.

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