Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful for Friends that Make me Think and Help me with my Plank

I have got some feedback from friends that this sermon "The Time is Now" is a bit strong.  One has said that it is hypocritical for me to speak of such lofty things but not do what I say.  Another said that decent people hold the interpretation that the Bible says we are not to judge so I may be alienating them.  I am thankful for friends who are willing to ask me challenging questions and confront me if I have gone astray. 

That being said in this case I do not believe I am going beyond the text.  A nice person can say "BJ you are judging me," but the contradiction is that they are judging by making the statement.  There is a so called belief that judging is wrong and to be avoided.  However, if you apply that belief to anyone you contradict the value of non-judging.  The belief is self-contradictory.  In fact I would go so far to say that those that hold the banner of tolerance with the greatest of zeal are some of the most judgmental people I know! 

What is at stake is the very idea of truth.  If there is truth then we must use our God-given ability to discern to arrive at truth.  Along the way that will require us to make some judgments (more likely a lot of judgments).  Holding the belief that one can live life without judging is simply saying "there is no truth" in disguise (or at least that truth is not knowable).  I call this evil, not out of a spirit of self-righteousness, but rather a position that there is no truth or that truth is unknowable is completely out of step with what the Bible teaches.  It is evil because it contradicts the Bible.  A nice person can say something that contradicts the Bible, I can say something that contradicts the Bible.  Either way the statement is evil, even when the person making the statement is a nice person. 

I have to be on guard though.  Such powerful statements about judging can lead me to become prideful or have others perceive that I am being prideful.  I have to be careful of this.  Spiritual Pride is destructive as saying there is no truth.  I can be right technically, but wrong relationally. 

If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 (HCSB)

That is why I am working on my planks.  I recently added this picture on my computer desktop.   I put it there to remind me to check my own planks.  The eye in the plank makes me think of having a plank in my eye.  I figure if I am going to challenge others to live out authentic lives and put away evil in their lives then I ought to be doing that myself else I be a hypocrite.   I want to live out the truth of:

Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
Matthew 7:5 (HCSB)

Thank you to all of you who give me such wonderful feedback both on and off my blog.  I love each of you with the Love of Christ and hope that you would always feel that you can approach me with questions or concerns.  I also am open to the fact that even in this response I am off base.  If you believe that I am please let me know.  I will pray that God would help me get the plank out of my eye I that I may see clearly and help others.  What are your thoughts?

God Bless You All