Dec 16, 2005

God Upholds The Weak

Making snap judgments about people who didn't agree with MY particular Bible interpretation was once deeply embedded into my Christian thought. I mean ..... how could I be wrong! I honestly believed that I was a member of the Lord's only recognized body on earth; the Church of Christ, and it was only logical that since there was only one true church, and you were not a member of that body, you was not a Christian....after all, how could some one in the Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic church be saved, they didn't follow the New Testament pattern, and on top of that wore the wrong "church" name.
"Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;" ---Romans 14:10 (ESV)
It never fails to baffle me how I could read Romans 14:10 without seeing how judgmental I had become. Of course I didn't think I was being judgmental at the time, because my judgment wasn't geared to a brother, or at least I didn't think so.
"Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand." ---Romans 14:4 (ESV)
The Lord knows who is a member of His body, and certainly doesn't need any help from me, or anyone else to enlighten Him. What's truly amazing is the fact that He can uphold us and make us stand before Him.

We should not be worried how others judge us; the Lord knows us, loves us, and promises to uphold us. In our weakest moments, He is there ready to pick us up, dust us off, and return us to an upright position. This promise is for all His children, not just a few who believe they have attained perfection, and would dare pass judgment on their brothers and sisters.


JP said...

Good post Larry, My sentiments exactly, I was guilty of such finger pointing as well. Allow God to be the judge of another. Although I do believe, doctrinally, with many denominational theology, I rejoice that we all have something in common, we all love and follow the same Lord Jesus Christ.

Larry said...

Thanks for your comments.

Still miss your blog; hope your schedule in the future leaves time to tinker around with this blog thing!

I feel awful concerning my former legalistic mindset, but at least with the help of Al Maxey, and a few other people I once considered (judged) to be in error, my view of what it means to be a child of God has changed radically.

Change is always possible, even for an old goat like myself. :)

jettybetty said...

I was so judgmental for much of my life--I was just embarassing. How thankful I am for God's grace and long-suffering!

At least in my case, I didn't consider myself to be doing the judging (even though I know better now)--it was just that I read the Bible correctly and the Bible could do the judging.

Most of my extended family still believes this way--except now they are letting the *Bible* judge me. I can tell you now from getting this wrath at the other end--I do feel very judged and I don't understand how it could be God honoring.

Hoots Musings said...

LVM...your blog is good.

I used to be a Pharisee I try to be tolerant of them.

I cannot step into God's shoes as they don't fit and He is the judge and jury.

I am happy we can live and walk in God's grace!

Larry said...

My extended family thinks I'm an out-and-out change agent. To me this is a compliment; Jesus was the greatest change agent the world has ever known, so when they judge me I thank them for the compliment.

It's just great to be under God's grace, and I will not turn back to any group who self-righteously proclaims everyone who differs with them as lost.

Larry said...

It's difficult to tolerate those with a "better than thou" attitude. I only wish someone many years ago had
confronted me in a loving manner so I could have recognized my Pharisaical attitude before I got old and crusty; probably wouldn't have listened!

I hope it's not judgmental to disagree and comment on the legalistic tribe of the COC; my hope is that someone caught in that system will take a closer look at what the Bible actually teaches, and discover they have many brothers and sisters in other groups, and they are not the sole beneficiary of God's love and grace.

Walking freely in God's grace far surpasses any self-righteousness we may have once possessed.

Brian Burkett said...

mmmm... good stuff Larry. What's terrible for me is that I've totally left the "CofC" (still have many friends though), and yet I still find myself passing judgment on God's servants... all the time.

I've been having to take a lot of planks out of my own eye, if you know what I mean...

Thanks for a great post.

Larry said...

It's difficult to be associated with a church and have major disagreements with their basic mind set.

I moved recently and so far it seems like the little (65 members) COC I am a part of appears to be free of a lot of the traditional excess baggage that many COC groups overload their members.

We have five excellent loving elders for this small group that lead by example, and I feel fortunate to find this body of Christians.

I hope I'm not judgmental by posting about the legalistic slant of many of the COC groups I tried to fit in with, but these groups are dangerous (in my opinion,) and many members of these groups have no idea they have brothers and sisters outside their little conclave.

LEM'S Politics said...

No one is perfect brother, you are right about making snap judgment, all judgement shoud be made thoughtfuly but you are not the first to make a snap judgment then repent of it.
Exodus 32:10: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11: And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12: Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13: Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14: And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Larry said...

We certainly have to be careful not to be judgmental. Yet we judge people every day and that's not necessarily wrong.

Since God will judge us with the same judgment we show others, it is important to be merciful and loving even when we differ dramatically with those we see as being wrong.

Being judgmental is often an opinion we pronounce after making a judgment about someone. Perhaps at times we need to keep our opinions to ourselves, or at least be extremely careful before we pronounce any earth shattering wrong in one of God's creations.