To Judge Or Not To Judge

Unfortunately, there are a plethora of recent incidents in the church and public society that have cast a dark shadow and an enduring stain. We cannot look away, and we must not be silent.

Even more unfortunate are those who intentionally endorse or unintentionally defend immoral actions. In the church there seems to be two groups: the prophetic few and the complicit many. Those who are fear God more than the world are unafraid to speak for truth and justice. Yet, there are others who either have been deceived or who have become selective in moral standards. The latter group who intentionally endorse or unintentionally defend sinful actions become equally guilty.

The “judge not” people and “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” crowd are the reasons why there are a long line of victims, and why false views of Christianity are formed. It is necessary and righteous for the church to call out sin and hold one another accountable (1 Cor 5:6, 12-13). In other words, one of the church’s functions is to judge inside the church and to trust God’s sovereign wisdom to judge outside the church. Truth in love should be our anthem, and we’ll leave God to judge the heart and the harvest.

Until God’s harvest, my brothers and sisters, let us embrace the blessing of rebuke. Let us learn from the tragic flaws and failures of past and present events. Let us be willing to listen to those whom we differ and disagree. Allow critique and critics to become our coaches to grow in character and faith. The book of Proverbs can be a source of correction on this pathway as it has much to say about humility and pride.

David Mathis is also helpful here,

Will we cringe at correction like a curse, or embrace rebuke as a blessing? One of the great themes in Proverbs is that those who embrace rebuke are wise and walk the path of life, while those who despise reproof find themselves to be fools careening toward death.

The Proverbial warnings against dismissing brotherly correction are staggering. The one who rejects reproof leads others astray (Proverbs 10:17), is stupid (Proverbs 12:1) and a fool (Proverbs 15:5), and despises himself (Proverbs 15:32). “Whoever hates reproof will die” (Proverbs 15:10), and “poverty and disgrace come to him” (Proverbs 13:18).

David Mathis, “Embrace The Blessing Of Rebuke”

He goes on…

But just as astounding are the promises of blessing to those who embrace rebuke. “Whoever heeds reproof is honored” (Proverbs 13:18) and prudent (Proverbs 15:5). “He who listens to reproof gains intelligence” (Proverbs 15:32), loves knowledge (Proverbs 12:1), will dwell among the wise (Proverbs 15:31), and is on the path of life (Proverbs 10:17) — because “the rod and reproof give wisdom” (Proverbs 29:15) and “the reproofs of discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).

To the one who embraces rebuke, God says, “I will pour out my spirit to you” (Proverbs 1:23), but to the one who despises it, “I will laugh at your calamity” (Proverbs 1:25–26). It will be said of those who reject correction, “They shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices” (Proverbs 1:30–31), and it’s only a matter of time until they themselves will say, “I am at the brink of utter ruin” (Proverbs 5:12–14).

David Mathis, “Embrace The Blessing Of Rebuke”

The entire article is well worth reading for understanding the role of Christian community in our sanctification. If Christians do not exhibit tender hearts and thick skin to allow others voice concern for wayward action or spiritual drift, then to whom will they listen? God’s means for our growth is the opportunity to listen and learn from one another. Or, we will reach the end of our journey and face the Holy Judge in an unpleasant encounter with eternal results?

In all, the gospel of Jesus is our only hope. The world is full of sin and sinners needing rescuing grace and reconciling hope. Thankfully, there is a Savior with open arms to every repentant sinner.

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