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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are you Judgmental?

Is it just as judgmental to condone the sin of another as it is to condemn it?

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34 Comments:

Blogger Missy said...

Would it be judgemental for me to answer that? {c;

9/18/2007 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I suppose it depends on whether you're speaking for your self or others (hehe).

9/18/2007 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

Great question, KC. Could it be that by condoning sin we are judging God Himself as either being incorrect or irrelevant?

I had never really thought of this until you brought it up.

9/18/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous rrbj said...

Kc,

The only time anyone should be judgemental is when it directly involves yourself . When you see things that are happening that are not acceptable , you should offer an explaination to whoever it involves ?

I don't be judgemental towards you if you decided to jump off a building , but I would tell you what you gona be missing in life and try to help you understand .

I do think there is a difference in the things that need to be judged , such as the law of the land , but the judgement of a persons life is to be left up to God on judgement day ?

I wouldn't have had to ramble so much if I just said this is my life and don't meddle in it unless I ask you too? Then I would be reversing the judgement !!

Whether you like it or not I done been judgemental of you and missy and all my other blog friends ?

Blessings.
Ron.

BTW - IF I said anything wrong don't judge me just try and help me ?

9/18/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

My thoughts exactly Preacher. Neither do we have the authority to forgive sin. I think we play God when we do this just as much as we do when we condemn someone for sin.

Grandpaw Ron you made me really think. Would I judge the action of someone who intended to harm themselves or another and intervine? In all honesty, yes. Would that be sin? I have to draw a line between making a judgment and being judgmental. That line would be to neither condemn nor condone but only to do what seems best in accordance with a Spirit led conscience and the scripture.

9/18/2007 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

There is something said by someone I do not recall once about harming the soul. When hope is taken then we have harmed there soul, that is what we do when we condemn.

There is someone who comes to our house about 3 times a week and ask for money. This person is addicted to alcohol and pot. Almost always it is 1 or 2 dollars she ask for I give it to her. But when she ask for an amount that can purchase either of the things above I say no. She will often reply she needs it for food or medication. I say Ill make you food or go with you to buy the medication.

At first she was angry and her reply was "your judging me all you Christians are like that" that was a few years ago. I said "I can not help you purchase what is harming you, but I can give you food and get your medication, I can care about you and I can help if you want it. "

Now she does not ask for those amounts and once in a while she lets me make her food. But she knows the difference just last week she said "I need to go to jail cause I did not go to rehab" I said "let me know where you go and Ill visit you, bring you whatever toothpaste and stuff like that" she said "your family is the kindest family ever to me I know its about your God, but I don't want to talk about that but thank you" and she left with tears in her eyes.

She still comes and she will until the police come get her but she is starting to realize there is no point in making up stories and such. Because of that after 7 years of asking for money and whatever I am finally starting to see the very scared, sad, lost, beautiful women under all the junk.

So is this the right balance?
If we make an effort never to harm ones soul and always to leave hope intact, then I think the issue of judging another is moot.

Would that be a fair way to look at your question KC?

Be loved

9/18/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Whenever the judgement discussion occurs, "judge not" always seems to be misconstrued (IMO) as "keep your opinions to yourself," or "live and let live." While those ideas are not without merit, I think it is critical to make the distinction between the spiritual notion judgement and the common sense variety of judgement.

For me to say, "You're in sin, because I saw you look at that person with lust in your heart," is a spiritual judgement, which I have no business making. However, if I say, "You are a stupid dumb*ss for letting your 3 year-old play with that arc-welder," well, sorry, but I think that's not only correct, but absolutely necessary.

While I do not believe there is a distinction between sacred and secular, I do think that we have a certain obligation to hold each other accountable to be capable members of society. This is a far cry from the way many christians try to make everything into a spiritual matter as a means of manipulation.

9/18/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

first paragraph - should be "spiritual notion OF judgement"

sorry

(I've been making a lot of small typos lately. I hate that.)

9/18/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Lady Z that is a very touching example of the balance I'm looking for here. May God bless you and this poor lady you minister to. You're such a sweet sister. ;-)

Dory of ypu caint' coment withit typo'a it mifht be best towait util you can! :D

I agree with your point on good judgment as well as your thoughts on the psychic ability some believe they posses. To be very pointed: If a person who felt bad for getting even with someone was told to let it go because it was considered an understandable reaction would you consider that as being judgmental?

9/18/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Elisa said...

To condone someone's is not to love them. By condonong sin, a person's sin remains and the sinner's relationship with God is broken. We are called to edify each other, build them up in the Lord. If sin is not addressed in our lives, we cannot grow. Knocking down sin is building up the body of Christ. We are called also to be discerning (judging) of good and evil. To do this we need to be in the Word and repentant of our own sins (without hypocrisy and pride), then we can come alongside the sinning brother/sister in order to point them back to Christ.
We must call sin what it is, as defined in Scripture. One thing to remember is that we do not define what sin is, God does. He is the One who judges us. God is the One to condemn anything. We condemn what He condemns in order for us to be obedient to His Word. It is our job to teach others what He says is sin, how we are to deal with it, and Who is to help us in the process.

I hope this makes sense> I'm listening to a 2 year old to hear if he is/isn't asleep while I type. :)

9/18/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

I can't say I don't agree Elisa but my concern is this,
How many people will not step foot into a church or prayer group because in our effort to point out there sin we have stolen there hope?

My hope is in Christ often I hear well meaning Christian folk saying things like "the path your on will only take you to hell"
"because your do this (fill in the sin) you are without the blood of Christ"

If we are to approach anyone about anything should we not be extremely careful that God is the author of our footsteps because the risk of harm is unmeasurable?

I can say to someone who is living together without marriage "hey guys there is a better way of doing this God says...."
Or I can say "you guys are outside God's will there is nothing for you because of what your doing"

It is God judgment who is with Him in eternity not ours and God uses who He wants to correct and that is not always me just because I may know.

I guess I have seen so much pain to people who are honestly trying to seek out God's way hosted upon them that I want to find a way to honor the laws God has set out and preserve the soul of the ones looking for answers in Him, as well as not reject those who have rejected Him because they simply do not know.

Again I do not disagree but the tightrope is very thin.

Be loved

9/18/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Kc, I can't say I'd call that judgmental. Sounds like that counselor might just favor keeping the peace over dragging up a potential conflict. Not an altogether bad motivation, but doesn't mend the breach in the relationship. If the person felt badly for doing something vengeful, then I'd advise him to apologize and gain his brother back.

Elisa, I have to take issue with your comment. I don't impugn your intent, but I'll ask you to consider a couple things.

First, you said that we must call sin what it is, that only God can define it, and that we must condemn what He condemns. Can you be more specific? Are you referring merely to the ten commandments, or do you also include the Levitical law? How about Paul's admonitions to the churches? The struggle that your comment invites is that of where to draw the line. I know a man who would make a compelling scriptural argument that you are in sin for trying to offer instruction in the presence of men. I disagree, but you see where I'm going with this?

Second, do you believe that sin is the same for everyone? My father believes that it is sinful to consume alcohol. My wife's grandparents believed that it was sinful for a person to shoot pool or go to the movies. I don't believe that any of those things are sinful and enjoy them all. But what about them? If they do one of those things, believing them to be sinful, then are they sinning?

Lastly, and my real point, is that Paul indicates that whatever is not of faith is sin. If that is so, then we're all in sin most of the time. Sin becomes a state of being more than a particular action. I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling righteous and ready to call my brother on his sin, that thought certainly puts my moral authority in perspective.

I think the reason the Bible says not to judge in so many different places, is that ONLY the Holy Spirit is capable of the kind of discernment you proffer. Condemning what He condemns is not being obedient to His Word. It is a pharisaical exercise, at best. I fear that any gospel that spends its time pointing out sin is a gospel that doesn't trust the Holy Spirit to do His job.

9/18/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sis. Beth it’s great to have your thoughts as always. You make perfect sense and I agree with you at around the 90% level and that’s rare for anyone on any topic! ;-)
I wanted to ask your scriptural basis for this thought, “We condemn what He condemns in order for us to be obedient to His Word. It is our job to teach others what He says is sin,…”. I’m not saying there isn’t one, I’m just curious about your selection and interpretation though I do come a little closer to Dorsey’s thinking in this respect.

Dorse I agree with your judgment with regard to the other person involved but what about the indiviuals relationship with God? Hasn’t he/she committed a sin against God by taking vengence?

9/18/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Let me be sure I have a clear picture of the scenario. Person A got even with B, and person C (or was it person B?) told A to let it go because it was understandable. My response assumed (not sure why) that there was a person C offering advice.

Regardless, the answer to your question is sure, all sin is against God. But I think God's forgiveness sort of accompanies the forgiveness you obtain from your brother. In John 20, when Jesus appears to the disciples after his resurrection, he told them "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." In other words, your relationship with God is defined by your relationship with your brother. I wish this was not so, because, frankly, I'm in a world of trouble.

9/18/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse I'm sorry I wasn't more clear but I did intend to consider person “C” in this.

I’m fascinated with your take on John 20:23. I had questioned whether Christ intended this to be apostolic (as in the power to heal) or ecclesiastic (judgment concerning disputes) and concluded that both could be valid given other supporting scripture but I had never considered this as an individual appointment. The implications in that are enormous and I have to confess at first blush I can’t imagine that Christ empowered each of us with the power to forgive sin but you know my heart and mind is open to your understanding.

9/18/2007 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Ok, then I think person C was taking too passive a posture and person A needs to follow his conscience.

I know that a lot of reformed folks interpret that passage as Christ's dispensation of power to the institution. However, I have always seen it as a personal charge, especially in light of the amount of trouble He went through to rend the temple veil and make the priesthood available to every believer. It just seems to fit better within the context of relationship that seems to be at the root of the gospel.

9/18/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I totally agree with Dorsey's John 20:23 as not being institutional. I believe it is personal and is essential to being filled with the Holy Spirit. I think Job 42:8-10 is relevant to the John 20:23 passage. Except Christ ended the need for the 7 bulls and 7 rams. But Christ didn't end the need for us to decide to forgive willingly or to not forgive.

I think what is forgotten is and why God told Job to forgive his "friends" is related to John 20:22. We won't be filled with the Holy Spirit if we have unforgiveness or as verse 23 says "retain the sins of any"

I have enjoyed this entire post and comments. I will not be posting as much as I have in the past. I will miss it greatly. I will be checking in and I will be calling you KC, hopfully within the next week. My life is getting really busy and any extra time I used to blog with have to be used else where.

Keep up the Dorseist points or Dorseism, I take great pride in being a part of helping to rename the truth @ the Pub that will be sweeping across the world and hopefully will be documented for the generations to come.:)

Grace & Peace

9/18/2007 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris, do call when you can brother and until then please give our love to Karel and all the other sweet ladies in your abode. Dorse the same goes for you and yours. ;-)

Brothers I agree with you both with regard to forgiveness, relationship and the priesthood of believers but at present we’re at odds concerning the application of John 20:23 in this context. Dorse I don’t consider this verse as pertaining to an institution but I can perceive it as pertaining to the body as a whole. My greatest suspicion is that it is in reference to an apostolic power but I could accept arguments for either. There are primarily two reasons why I have great difficulty in perceiving this as an appointment to each of us individually. One is centered on my perception of the nature of sin and I think I am most open in that area. The second concerns the nature of Christ’ work on the Cross and the negative aspect of the appointment, which enables those charged with the power to hold the sinner in condemnation. While I can accept that this power might well fall within the authority of Christ’ body I am much more comfortable with the idea that this power was temporal and appointed to those few who were personally instructed by our Lord. I am very, very uncomfortable with the notion that any one believer has the authority to hold another believer in contempt before the Lord. I have other objections as well but I see this as my major hurtle in coming to an understanding of personal appointment in this verse.

From a practical standpoint concerning judgment I think we’re in agreement but for clarity sake let me ask, given persons A, B and C would you both consider person C to be judgmental in condoning the sin of person A?

Kris, there's been some development toward centralization within the movement and the corrected spelling for it flows from the need for clarity in all things beginning with pronunciation. It is now spelled as it sounds, “Dorsism” as per the Dorsmeister him self. ;-)

9/19/2007 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I still don't feel comfortable calling it judgmental, at least, not in the classic sense of the word. I think it's just poor advice from someone who'd rather not stir things up. However, an argument could be made that, by suggesting that the "understandable-ness" of the getting even makes it no big deal, then person C is assuming the Spirit's role by defining sin. Still, I'm not sure I would call that condoning, either.

On the John reference, I can't say that I've put too much critical thinking into this, so it's not a foundational position for me. As I looked around, I notice that some translations say "not forgiven," but more seem to say that the sins are "retained." By whom? The "retainer?" Could it be that this passage says that if you forgive, then forgiveness is given, but if you retain the sins of any, they are retained by you. In other words, if you do not forgive, you are taking the sin of the other on yourself? That makes a certain uncomfortable sense to me. What do you think?

9/19/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Elisa said...

KC,
I have to admit, I wasn't thinking of any particular Bible verse when I said we condemn what God condemns with regards to sin. That just made sense, that's all. For instance, why would we say it's ok to cheat on our wives if God condemns it? Then, I was thinking of the great commission.

As for coming along side a sinning brother to address sin, people typically don't say "You're sinning and going to hell." Boy if that wouldn't cause a knee jerk reaction. I wouldn't go back there either. Mrs Zeke had an excellent way of approaching this tricky issue when she said "I can say to someone who is living together without marriage "hey guys there is a better way of doing this God says...."
Or I can say "you guys are outside God's will there is nothing for you because of what your doing"


Dorsey,
(BTW- I have my husband's permission to discuss these things with men. It is one thing for women to teach men and another to discuss the things of Christ with them. That's done in the Bible.)

I see what you're saying. There is a thin line and it is easy to be Pharisaical and hurt people. We have to be so careful. -Especially when we might make a personal conviction a law.
One of the most painful things that happened to me recently, which made me want to leave our church (pastor's wives really can't...) was due to a man "coming alongside" my husband to have me rebuked. He said that I wasn't looking forward to my new baby that I made faces and grimaced to much. What he did not realize was that from February to his birth, was that I was in preterm LABOR. Of course I was going to grimace! It hurt! He was 11 pounds when he was born. I'd been on the prayer list. I was even on bedrest and had to have help with the house and my two year old. Then he told my husband that we were bad parents; that we didn't spank our 2 year old enough. After receiving this harsh and untrue rebuke (there were some other things he said too) from my husband who believed the man, I spent some time in L&D trying to hang on to our son. I had already lost his twin in the early stages of the pregnancy. It was his personal conviction. He made a law and set himself up as a judge, not knowing or caring about the situation. He did not point me to Christ. Was this Biblical? Was this done in love? Had any of it been true, yes I'd be in major need of repenting.

I think the most important thing with dealing with particular sins is to point the person back to Scripture and let the Holy Spirit work on their heart.

I really don't know to much about the Levitical law. I'm under the assumption that Christ fulfilled most of these ceremonial laws with His Sacrifice, the institution of Communion and Baptism. Didn't Paul address this somewhere, or maybe it was Peter? I may have to refer this issue to Timothy. I was referring to the 10 Commandments in my comment.

You said this as well "Lastly, and my real point, is that Paul indicates that whatever is not of faith is sin. If that is so, then we're all in sin most of the time. Sin becomes a state of being more than a particular action. I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling righteous and ready to call my brother on his sin, that thought certainly puts my moral authority in perspective. " I agree with you. Maybe you missed is, but I said "To do this we need to be in the Word and repentant of our own sins (without hypocrisy and pride), then we can come alongside the sinning brother/sister in order to point them back to Christ."

This sin stuff is so tricky for us all. The temptation is to be either holier-than-thou or to just look the other way. But sin needs to be dealt with- our own and within the body. We cannot sweep it aside. However, it must be done in love, not in pride, and certainly without the guidance of the Bible. The whole purpose is to point the sinner to Christ in love, as Christ would. (Matthew 18 addresses this.)

9/19/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey I’ll withdraw from using the word “judgmental” in favor of an agreement that it’s simply not best for any person C to advise any person A in such manner. :D

Regarding John 20:23 I think I’m a “hard sell” on any understanding of a personal appointment concerning sin and judgment.

Sis Beth thanks for your honest reply and I can appreciate your thinking in that regard and I really appreciate your comments to Dorsey as well.

9/19/2007 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

BTW Dorse, thanks for taking so much time with this one. ;-)

9/19/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Not at all, bro. Thanks for the space to flesh it out.

As I said before, the John 20 thing isn't life or death for me, I just like the way it fits in with my everything-rises-and-falls-on-relationship paradigm.

Beth, I think I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for clarifying. We agree that it's the Holy Spirit that works on hearts. Good enough for me.

Kris, my first disciple. go ye into all of Oklahoma, preaching Dorsism to every creature (and say hi to my Aunt Susie in Owasso). Don't be a stranger, bro.

Peace, all.

9/19/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

KC, sometimes my heart needs understanding - when I already know I done wrong and my pride will compound the wrong-doing by demanding perfection. The friend who does this for me is echoing our human condition - but not pardoning my wrong. Sometimes I need someone to point out my wrong when I am oblivious and self-deceiving. The friend who excuses me and allows me to continue the deception is cruel.

I think I could find myself responding either way to a friend depending on the circumstances, how well I know and understand that friend and how much I can empathize with their issue. Love is giving what is needed, not judgemental. (Please, notice I say "needed" and not "wanted" here.)

In this circumstance, perhaps the individual's greater sin is worldly sorrow for being seen as imperfect, and they really do need to just let it go and accept that they are a sinner. (I know this well.)

Now if I hardly know someone, anything I do is likely to be judgmental.

9/20/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Matthew said...

I don't like judgmental people; and the irony is maybe I am sometimes judgmental. =)

9/20/2007 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Oh, and mostly I just keep my trap shut cuz I have no idea what my friend really needs. :)

9/20/2007 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Missy quite seriously I appreciate the added dimension here. There is so much tht person C simply cannot know, making the action you reference in your closing comment most apropos! ;-)

Ryan Matthew welcome! I'm afraid that you and I are very much alike in that respect. ;-)

9/21/2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Nathaniel said...

Yes. We should be agnostic. I am becoming more and more agnostic.

9/23/2007 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam what do you mean by agnostic?

9/24/2007 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Nathaniel said...

You ask me whether homosexuality is sin. My response, 'I don't know'.

You ask me whether abortion is sin. My response, 'I don't know'.

Understand?

9/24/2007 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Yes Brother, thanks. I was certain you were not implying we should doubt that God exist.

9/25/2007 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Hi KC,
I started to weigh in on this one, but felt too overwhelmed. :)
Blessings

9/26/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger sofyst said...

Timothy, you can weigh in in my class...we're the lightweights. :)

9/26/2007 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor you well know I would be honored to have you come back to anything here any time you have the time. ;-)

Adam either of you are anything but "lightweights"! ;-)

9/27/2007 04:52:00 AM  

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