Judgment and love Dilemma

There is a theological tension.
A tension within God during the OT covenant times!
We see in the Prophetic writings, an inner turmoil of God.
You see, God is compelled by his nature, both to judge sin and to save his beloved people.
It is an illogicality in theology!

God desires judgment with an intention to save!
He has an agony of decision, we see this in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other prophets.
His own nature he demands judgment yet he will not judge because his is holy. He is love.

The resolution of this is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Where the Judge is judged.

Amen

“I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man.”—Hosea 11:9.

Hos 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hos 6:7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant– they were unfaithful to me there.

Matthew 9:12-14: “But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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The Christian of Grace

Post 5 of 6 in a series about Judgmental Christians.

We looked at how we can reach out in love and respect in the last post.

The key word for today is: Grace.

Think about it are we more concerned about being RIGHT than we are about being RIGHTEOUS?

I hope NOT. When we are like this we are very legalistic…we are like the Pharisees. We forget the true goals of the faith because we are too concerned over something silly.

When we truly understand the Gospel and what it is all about, we should be humbled.
Humbled by the message of Jesus.
And humbled by how we are portraying that message today ( the lack of!!!!)

We need to embrace not abandon the broken, the needy. Imagine yourself, once you were lost and in need of Grace and Mercy.

Where is our heart and perspective for the needy. Where is our evangelistic primer?
Where is our heart?
Is our faith so shallow that we are not sharing Christ’s mercy?

Let me leave you with this:
We can not give out something we have not received.

Is our church in a state of so much pride and arrogance that we have forgotten about grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love?

This has got to CHANGE.

The Christian of love

This post 4 of 6 posts where I have been reflecting on a chapter out of the book UnChristian.
The chapter is about Christians being Judgmental we have really caused a lot of pain and negative image because of our own sinfulness. And in the last three posts we saw the negative. We saw how Christians are wrong to be so judgmental.

But there is hope. There is a way we can be Christians of truth and still reach out to the lost. Key Word from last post was respect: How?

Listen to outsiders.
Don’t label.
Don’t be so smart. Don’t pretend to have all the answers.

Have empathy. imagine yourself in their shoes. Really get to know them, their situation! Understand them!!!

Be genuine and real with everyone. Don’t use the relationship to front a “christian agenda.” Be yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to weave in your faith in the conversation but do not be too aggressive about it. Be conversational. Be real.

Be a friend with no other motive. This speaks BIG!

See them as God does.

Let God judge!

The hypocritical Christian

This is post 3 of 6. This post series is based on chapter 8 of the book called UnChristian. Today’s post is the last of the bad news. The snowball effect from the first two posts continues to worsen here.

Okay, Christians come across as Judgmental. We are convinced that we are right. We know that sin is bad. We like to be prideful about our lifestyle.

We are seeing though that we can come across as self-righteous, as prideful. We are seeing that our judging outsiders is just as sinful as the action of those outsiders (that we were judging.)

This is humbling. This is hard to swallow, but this it the truth, it hurts. We need to change!

But here is probably the harshest news yet…it all builds on what was said in the past posts….WE tolerate our own pride! The church has accepted and has done little to excuse our arrogance. It is the sin the church is okay with,has not dealt with, has forgottewn about, has swept under the rug, and let it go by quietly.

This has been a huge problem…think about it: a community of big headed people who are very proud of themselves…they are active in Bible thumping. They are encouraged to point out sin and honor themselves as morally upright. This community is NOT THE church I WANT to be a part of!

This picture scares me…but there is truth in it. 😦

So hear is some application:

Key concept: The opposite of sin is not virtue, but grace. (and love.)
God tells us not to judge but to reach out with grace and love.

Key word: Respect

The sinful Christian

This is part two of six blog posts reflecting on a book called UnChristian. The specific topic of this series is judgmentalism and this post in particular, Christians flaws that we do not realize sometimes.

Stereotypes kill relationships! We sometimes harbor assumptions, prejudices, stereotypes, biases, about certain groups of people based on superficial stupid differences that should not make a difference at all! (Such as appearance, tattoos, excessive fat, dirty hair, ragged clothing, a lot of rings all over the body, bad breathe, etc)
These are the people we should be loving and reaching out too! these stereotypes come from misperceptions, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and they are errors on our part.

Can you not see it – it is so obvious to me, by judging these people wwe are just as sinful as those we are condeming.

Have you ever heard hate the sin, and love the sinner….
this is how it should be
but people think that Christians hate the sin and the sinner

We need to change this!

Let us not be so anxious to judge, but rather to LOVE. Even Christians make mistakes, get over it!

What we need to be doing is hanging out with the least desirable people in our culture and loving them as Christ did! Not judging them.

Our error: Pride, arrogance!

We are in conceit. We are in abundance. We are way to convinced that we are right about everything.

Becuase of this error, we are not open to other people’s perspectives in life. We are too aggressive and on the edge ready to persuade everyone else that they are wrong and we are right that we forget LOVE. We judge and we do not get to understand where others are coming from!

We so easily forget that God is to judge NOT humans!

We are to love. Wwe are to care for the needy and hurting.

The Judgmental Christian

In a series of six posts (including this one) are inspired by the book UnChristian by Kinnaman and Lyons.

The book has been an eye-opening read. Very humbling and I wish everyone could read it. The book reveals the perspective of “outsiders” to Christianity and acknowledges how these outsides see Christianity. There is a lot the church can work on! A lot to be gleaned from these outside perspectives. And a lot of problems that even the most distant outsider can see about the church and its image. The book is backed not only with outsider opinion but also hard data from Barna Research Group.

Chapter 8 is about how Christians are perceived as being judgmental. This is the main chapter from which I will be blogging about in the next several posts, along with my own perspective.

The jist of the matter is that Christians are perceived (and understandably so!!!) as prideful about their faith, their moral character, their “spiritual superiority.” Christians can come across as arrogant and self-righteous. For we are quick to judge, to point out others wrong, and put others down. Some say we sound like we are better than others. That we are too focused on others faults.

You might be saying, “Okay, okay Alex…we are assertive, we know right from wrong!!”

Well my response is that HOW we communicate is just as important as WHAT we communicate. It is an important fact that we are all fallen and sinners in need of a Savior, but we can communicate this with love, grace, and peace. We do not need to be harsh, rash, and judgmental.

What are some of our errors:
Lost track of our main audience: We are trying to please those inside the church and not reach out to those outside of church…and not GOD!

Errors in judgment:
Wrong verdict – we judge becuase we have a lack of understanding a lack of information… instead we should get to know them

Wrong timing :
Yweah we have the right ideas about God’s view but sometime we scare people away becuase we are too wquick to give the proper verdict….at hte wrong time.

Wrong moivation:
Are we motived by love and compassion like Jesus or something else?

Playing Favorites:
Are we loving everyone equally? More importantly are we loving those outside the church equally?

I have a lot more to say on these topics and other relavent information, but you are going to have to stay posted on this blog and my upcoming posts on a continual basis!