Comments, Thoughts and Trivia
Judging Others Too Quickly
3 For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
It is a strange world we live in.† And, we Christians are usually much to quick in judging groups with whom we have little knowledge.† I find this especially true of fundamental evangelical churches who see "their way" as the only way to practice Christianity.† We needs be careful.
It is certainly clear that at the "top" many denominations no longer act Christian in their moral standards.† This is evidenced by the ordaining of homosexuals and by the approval of gay and lesbian marriages.† For many, the ordaining of females evidences it.† Other scandals rock the churches.† The common thread in all of these is a decline of the absolute moral standards of Scripture.
But, too many Christians see the Presbyterians or the Episcopalians or the Lutherans or the Methodist as being liberal and, thus, brand all members of these denominations as pagans.† At times, the same might have been said about the Southern Baptist Convention.
What we need to watch is the standard and method of judgment.† Scripture tell us:
Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced (Matt 7:20, NLT)
Yet, this admonition is aimed at individuals, not groups.† By condemning all of these groups in general conversation or preaching, we condemn many good, solid Christians.† God must be appalled.† We are to judge individuals and specific group actions, but we must be very careful how we judge, for as we judge, so we will be judged (Matt 7:1-2).†
We are reminded of the need for careful exercise of our judgments in odd ways.† Remember back following September 11?† There were a lot of interfaith prayer meetings, including a large one in New York Cityís Yankee Stadium.† One of the participants was a Lutheran Minister, the Rev. David Benke, president of the New York-based Atlantic District.†
The July 9, 2002 edition of the Washington Post carries an Associated Press story reporting that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has suspended Rev. Benke for his role in this service.† To quote from the article:
"To participate with pagans in an interfaith service and, additionally, to give the impression that there might be more than one God, is an extremely serious offense," wrote the Rev. Wallace Schulz, the Missouri Synod official who suspended Benke.
So, there are still Christians in places we fundamental evangelicals donít expect.† My hat is off to the Missouri Synod for standing up in favor of One God and the seriousness of failing to recognize how absolute the Lordís commands really are.†
"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. 3 "Do not worship any other gods besides me.