Article Find – To judge or not to judge

In Is it Ever Right to Judge? posted on Christianity.ca Stan Fowler, professor of Theology at Heritage Theological Seminary talks about an argument sometimes used against Christians who speak against homosexuality and presents a rebuttal to that argument. The argument is drawn from Matthew 7:1,

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

and assumes that those who speak negatively of the actions of Homosexuals are contradicting the teachings of Christ. Without re-stating what Stan already pointed out I merely want to draw attention to his conclusion – which I think is right on. He says,

Wherever the Church of Jesus Christ exists in the world, it faces unique pressures from the surrounding culture. In contemporary Canada, one of our greatest challenges is the assumption by much of our society that tolerance is the greatest virtue. But to adopt this common definition of tolerance would be to fail to follow Christ in His commitment to truth and goodness. If we are going to express negative judgments, we must first judge ourselves, and if we judge others it must be with kindness and respect. Nevertheless, we must not bow to the argument that Jesus taught His followers that they should never judge others. He said no such thing.

Once again, this demonstrates the importance of interpreting scripture through scripture. When looking at a particular verse in the Bible the context surrounding that verse, and throughout other texts in scripture must be considered before drawing any complete conclusions in interpretation. This is something that Stan has done.

Also – although Stan is using the issue of homosexuality as the touch-point for his article, the conclusions he draws are applicable to any case in the church where “judgement” must be considered.

Finally, one thing I might add that might have been outside of the scope of Stan’s article is the truth that in cases where judgement must be used there should also be in place a path of reconciliation. Yes, it is important that we understand the reality that some things in this world must be judged (albeit after judging ourselves, and then with others in kindness and respect) but the judgment should not be devoid of opportunity for reconciliation and ultimately healing. Certainly this is at the core of the gospel message where we are made aware of the God’s judgement on those with sin (which includes all of us [Romans 3:23]!) along with the opportunity for forgiveness through the grace and mercy of God (Romans 6:23). The judgement is there but so is forgiveness if one will receive it. I believe the church should not downplay, or be “tolerant” of things that the Bible teaches are sin but in the same vein the church must present love, hope, healing, and a reconciliation for those en-trapped in the very sins condemned.

Article Review – The Blessing of Pain

I must admit I never quite looked at pain the way that Paul Brand and Philip Yancey record in the article Putting Pain to Work which is posted on BuildingChurchLeaders.com. Illustrating from his experience working with people suffering from leprosy, Paul highlights the importance of pain in healthy bodies. This correlates directly with the healthiness of the body of Christ as well. He says, Continue reading Article Review – The Blessing of Pain

Article Find – Revenge of the Plants

Fly hazardYou know I never thought of the creation/evolution debate from this angle before, but Dr. Richard Yen (a cell biologist, founder of a biotech company, and advisor to the West-Coast Chinese Christian Conference) certainly has a valid point in highlighting how plants defy the evolutionary model. Certainly when you read this article you can’t help but see why evolutionists might want to avoid talking about plants…

Article Find – “Israel, the Canary in the Coal Mines”

In this article, Harry Antonides writes about the flaws that exist in the news reporting that takes place in the Middle East. His premise is that predisposed bias of western news agencies of secularism (there is no God), moral relativism (there is no truth), and tolerance (multi-cuturalism) has a profound affect on the prevailing opinion of the state of Israel in the hostile Arab/Muslim world of the Mid-East. He highlights that for the most part, western media covering the events taking place are overly pliant and willing to do “soft” reporting of the happenings which often means a failure to correctly report the facts and truth of terrorist vs. Israel military actions.

When reading an article like Harry’s one can’t help but see the focused efforts of militant terrorists to use the west’s own media as a form of propaganda machine to soften resistance to their violent and intolerant actions. What baffles me is that so many people are so quick to “buy into” what the media reports as “truth” without questioning the legitimacy of the reports.

Here’s the rub: The Bible has stood the test of time for near 2000 years and even though it has had it’s share of critics and challenges it has never been proven wrong. Truth, so freely, and readily available (and trustworthy to boot) but so quickly dismissed as ancient myth…

Five non-religious arguments for marriage over living together

I’ve always been against the practice of living together before marriage and for the wonderful commitment between a couple in getting married. However, even though I disagree with a guy and gal living together before marriage I still understand why some people think it’s okay. There are many reasons why I disagree and of course among them is the Biblical teaching on the sanctity of marriage. However, I must admit (to my chagrin) that the Bible just doesn’t carry the initial influence that it once had in society (gasp!) and frankly a “religious” argument just doesn’t have any impact on “reasoning” with people that it once had. That doesn’t make the Biblical teaching invalid or worthless – it just means that I can’t make the assumption that quoting scripture is going to convince people that living together is not a good idea or is even living in… (whispers conspiratorily) sin!

Another problem with talking about living together before marriage is that (for the most part) we preachers (and many others who disagree with it!) approach the whole subject from a negative direction rather than positive. In other words, we spend more time talking about why living together before marriage is bad instead of emphasizing why getting married first is good. Anyway, I said all that to introduce this article I came across in my reading that is a good approach on the subject. In it Dennis Prager briefly outlines five good non-religious arguments for why marriage is better than living together. Some very wise words are written in this article and I’ll definitely add this to my file of articles I’ll give couples that I counsel in the future!