I am constantly being corrected by people with the Bible who don't even believe in the Bible, or the whole Bible for that matter. They know a couple of well rehersed phrases which only amounts to a drop in a 55 gal drum. The one that is so prevalent today is. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Most people interpret this to mean, "Don't tell me I am doing anything wrong. Keep your opinoins to yourself." That is not at all what Jesus meant by this. We are once again limited by not an incorrect translation, but and incomplete one, as all English translations will be. The word "judge" used in that Matthew 7:1 passage is 'krino', here is how Stong's defines it:
2919. krino, kree'-no; prop. to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication: to try, condemn, punish :- avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call into question, sentence to, think.
The difference here is the same as that between a policemen and a judge( interesting that that is the word we use to discribe that possision). A policemen observes you commiting, what appears to be, a crime, detains you, and then brings you before the judge who determines your guilt, severity, and sentencing. The police officer has no right to punish you (though some may feel like they are being punished just in the act of being arrested, but that is a whole nother discussion). He can rebuke you though; give you a verbal warning.
This is what we are called to do, rebuke. Luke 17:3 states, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." This word is straight forward in Strong's. It basically means to give a tongue lashing. There are rules that we have established among ourselves that maybe based on God's law, we have also set up what we find are appropriate punishments. But we don't have a law for all of God's. We don't punish, anymore, for adultry, disrepect to elders, witchcraft, homosexuality, or many others. But that doesn't mean they are anymore acceptable.
When you and I stand before the judgement throne we will not be able to hide behind the Cain defense, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Yes, yes you are. And if you have to look iin the eyes of someone who is being condemned and they ask, "Why didn't you say something then?" What will you tell them?
Now this has to be balanced out. It is not our job to go around pointing out everyone's faults. Don't forget that log in your eye. Nor is it our job to rail on someone until we guilt them into righteousness. Some secretly believe in this method but it only garners obedience while the pressure is on. And God will be judging the motivations of the heart. If you did wrong with good intentions there is mercy for that. Likewise, if you do good with evil intentions there is condemnation for that.
Now back to that log in the eye business. People of this don't-judge-me mentality love to quote that passage, but they always stop short of the, "first remove the log out of your own eye SO THAT you can help your brother remove the speck from his eye." We are comanded to help our brothers remove their specks. Also, not a good idea for people of the same 'speck' to help each other lest they become co-dependant. It is real easy to start telling all of your ex-co-offenders how wrong they are once you see the light, but you might not be out of the woods yet. Don't be the pot calling the kettle black. Make sure your eye is speckless, washed, and the redness and swelling have gone down before you start trying to poke your finger in your buddies eye through your still half blind eye. But, by all means, get your eye clean, because your buddy is walking around blind and he will fall into the pit if you don't help him. And then what?
Feel free to comment or ask questions!
Feel free to comment or ask questions!