Spiritual Abuse (Part 1) — You be the Judge (or then again, maybe not!)

Jesus made this remarkable statement in Matthew 7:1-6 (NLT):

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

In response to which I can only say, “Welcome to one of the most ignored or blatantly disobeyed passages in all of Bible.” Ignored or blatantly disobeyed to the needless and unspeakable hurt of so many of us.

May I, in this brief five-part blog, bare my soul as Jesus bared His in Matthew 7?

Believe it or not, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed what was then, and what is today, one of the most common spiritual practices — one that I will be bold enough to identify for what it is: an unconscionable spiritual abuse — that was taking place in so many of the synagogues of Jesus’ day, and is taking place in so many of our evangelical churches today.

And trust me: I don’t use those words, Spiritual Abuse, lightly.

Honestly, if people would simply take Jesus’ words to heart, as He expressed them in Matthew 7, they would absolutely transform our Christian experiences #ForTheBetter, because #ThisIsHuge.

Let’s talk about this!

For the life of me, I do not understand Why.Oh.Why so many “Christians” either do not understand Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount. Or if they do understand them, deliberately choose to reject them.

Jesus categorically states, “Do not judge others.” How much clearer could He be.

5.0.2Four times in the first two verses of Matthew 7, Jesus invokes that word “judge.” And He even goes so far as to identify those who do judge others as “Hypocrites.”

Would someone tell me please (he asks rhetorically) what in the world is so hard to understand about that phrase, “Do not judge others”?

And please note that Jesus did not qualify that phrase. He did not say, Do not judge others unless…; Do not judge others if…; Do not judge others when… He simply and pointedly said, “Do not judge others.”

And why not? What’s the basis of this prohibition? We are never to judge others because — Are you ready? — we are each equally sinful. It’s all about a speck and log.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite!

Do you see it? The speck and log are the same sin, different perspective. You hold a speck at arm’s length, as if to place it in someone else’s eye, it looks like a speck. Bring it right up to your own eye, and the speck now looks like a log. Same sin, different perspective.

shd10-speck-and-logJesus’ point? How dare we judge someone else when we are equally sinful!

The operative word, “Judge,” krino, is a courtroom term. Krino in this context refers to someone who exalts him or herself over another by assuming the position of a “judge” who renders a verdict on another’s behavior. That definition bears repeating:

Krino in this context refers someone who exalts him or herself over another by assuming the position of a judge who renders a verdict on another’s behavior.

In Matthew 7, a krino is a “judge” who assumes the authority to question and/or confront someone else’s behavior or character. Jesus used the word “judge” as a pejorative since it carries with it an implied arrogance on part of an individual who would dare to set him or herself up above another as their self-appointed “judge.” Someone who takes it upon him or herself to rebuke another, to confront another, to correct another for the way he or she lives.

In short, if I may be blunt, Krino as Jesus used the term refers to someone who refuses to mind their own business by placing him or herself in the position of God. Yes, you read that right. Someone who refuses to mind their own business by placing him or herself in the position of God. God, who is our only judge.

This is nothing less that spiritual pride run amok. All done under guise of “holding others accountable.”

An important phrase, that, about which I will have much more to say in this blog space tomorrow. But simply for now, judging others, exalting oneself over another as their self-appointed krino, is nothing less that spiritual pride run amok. All done under guise of “holding others accountable.” Thus giving themselves license to freely condemn others for the way they live their lives. A most important thought, one that I will develop much more fully tomorrow in Part 2 of this blog.

This whole, entire “judging” thing finds its justification in one insidious, all-too-common, non-biblical phrase: “holding others accountable.”

You think on that. And we’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Or if you simply cannot wait, you can hear the entire message — voice inflections, pregnant pauses, et al — by clicking here:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: