Posts Tagged With: hypocrite

One Little Word That Makes ALL the Difference

Ironies abound, in the four verses I just read to you. A full compliment of ten ironies by my count. Ten!

The most soul-stirring and hope-producing irony being this—the takeaway of this PODCAST:

“Your most influential, inspirational, impactful life-message—greatest chapter of your story—will come not out of your successes, but out of your failures.”

To invoke Jesus’ masterful metaphor — “You ARE the light of the world.”

That being true, your brightest beacon of light will shine forth from the depths of your darkest hour.

And no, I am not referring to the failure of the thousands who gathered at the Temple on this day in Acts 3 to hear Peter indict them for their greatest failure, as stunning as that failure certainly was.

There is buried within the syllables of this story an even greater failure.

An absolutely epic fail, one that hinges on exactly one word—one word about which I will tell you as you get into this podcast. A failure that underscores the blessed reality that…

“Your most influential, inspirational, impactful life-message—greatest chapter of your story—will come not out of your successes, but out of your failures.”

Call it the backdoor blessing of this amazing story. A God-blessed reality that stands in stark contrast to the what was without a doubt the weirdest experience I have ever had when speaking in a seminary chapel…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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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:

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Shattered Dreams, Broken Hearts, Unfulfilled Longings

Broken-PromisesIt’s one of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture… which, ironically, may not actually be in the Bible.

But as you will learn in this PODCAST, it really doesn’t matter. Because what Matthew quite possibly did not write, Paul most certainly did.

Paul ascribed glorious praise and power to His sovereign God who quite possibly Broke.Paul’s.Heart.

Paul’s heart broken by a shattered dream, an unfulfilled longing.

Yet through Paul’s resilience, we can and WILL derive much comfort in the face of our own shattered dreams, broken hearts, and unfulfilled longings.

This podcast is for you!

Please remember that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to play.

HAPPY LISTENING, and may God richly bless you as you do.

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Why are They Leaving the Church in Droves?

leaving-the-churchIn this week’s PODCAST, believe it or not, Jesus answers THE question that has haunted church/ministry leaders for years:

Why are they leaving the church in droves?

Jesus’ answer will surprise you, even though the answer is so obvious that it is staring us right in the face.

And yet, with all of the blogs and books devoted to answering this question (and IMHO missing the point completely), with the gallons of ink that has been spilled on reams of dead-tree paper, how do we miss such an obvious answer?

Fact is, in His Sermon on the Mount, in His run-up to what we commonly call The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus definitively answers this singularly significant question:

Why are they leaving the church in droves?

Yes! His answer WILL surprise you.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, the podcast may take up to 60 seconds to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING

And if this podcast is a blessing to you, please SHARE the link to this podcast with your friends.

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