(Today’s post by Wayne Bunting)
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Luke 6:37-49 is in the midst of a section where Jesus is giving instructions and guidelines on how a Christian should be.
A few things need to be said at this point. First, Luke 6:37-42 is not a formula for Marxism, nor is it a validation of its principles. I say this because this is a very serious issue that the church is being faced with. One of the manifestations of the current rise of darkness in our society is the realization of Marxism. Under this current of anti-Christ ideology the necessity of human collectivism, shared achievement, shared values, and forced way of existing will squeeze out and eventually oppress absolute truth and absolute morality in our part of the world. This will cause the church to be on the fringe of society, and ultimately looked down on as being contrary to society, an enemy of society, and will lead to its persecution.
Now I say this because the evidence of this is already deeply rooted in our culture. Not many Christians would disagree that we are in a very “me-focused” society. Part of that comes to fruition through the assertion of ourselves in a variety of avenues. This is more than just selfishness; it is the very essence of human wisdom, sinful human desire, humanism, and a desire to live life our way and not God’s. We as humans, in our corrupt core, desire to chase after this propensity. It is the sinful nature that God sent His son to redeem. It is the ‘flesh’ and ‘the old self’ that Paul refers to in Romans 6-8. It is a way that is contrary to God, and is what we as Christians are to die to daily. Today in church we sang a song that said that God came to save US from US. This is very prolific in that those words are the very thing that Christ calls us to forsake…ourselves.
But the rise of Marxist ideology pushes an assertion of this human desire, wisdom, and morality that the church is called to turn from. It causes many people, sadly including the church, to seek after their own ways. Most evidently this is seen currently in the use of the phrase ‘don’t judge me.’ Many people, especially younger people, say this when anyone speaks or asserts something that interferes with their own way. The idea of judging others has turned into a prohibition of asserting any absolute standard or morality in the lives of others, hence the phrase ‘don’t judge me’ arises in response to it.
But the church IS called to judge. Not in a mean critical way, but in a way that corrects and upholds the standard of Christ in the church so that the world can clearly see the fullness of Christ in those whom he lives in, and also those who profess and carry His name. In the New Testament there are many ordinances to call out others in the church and to uphold and maintain the standard of purity. This is because of the many things that hinder the fullness of Christ in the church. We have lost so much of this because many have abused it, and caused others to run from good criticism. And Satan is taking full advantage of this and perverting this wonderful tenet that Christ has given us. We must not take this section of Luke to mean that we are to accept anything in the church, and to let all Christians do their own thing without reprimand. After all, just a few verses later, in 6:43-45 Jesus says that we are to make our fruit known to the world. This command cannot be accepted as true without accepting that a measure of judgment is required in order to know what good and bad fruit is.
So that brings us back to Luke 6. What Christ is asserting here is the avoidance of hypocrisy. It is the emphasis of personally dealing with your own sin first. We are all going to be accountable for our own lives on judgment day, so we should take personal responsibility for it in our lives now. This mandate from Jesus is also for the sake of clearing out bad things so that those who do correct others in the church can do it in a pure and proper way. So often those in the church point out the sin in others without regard to their own sin. What Jesus is emphasizing is not that we should never look at the sin in others’ lives, but that we should look to our own sin first. If Jesus meant by this that one must be completely free from sin before they can say anything about another’s sin then nothing would ever be said from one Christian to another. And that would contradict what Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-17 –
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
Also, keeping Matthew 18:15-17 in mind, if we are to not have any sin in our lives at all before we attempt to correct others, as so many opponents of church discipline often maintain, then this means that we are to achieve this correction by an employment of works in order to attain the level that is required to be able to correct others. This is of course ridiculous.
In other words, since the ‘don’t judge me’ crowd asserts that one must be perfect, and one must even be God in order to judge, then in light of Matthew 18:15-17 as well as the many other verses that show that we are to correct others, we are to achieve a level of perfection and become God Himself so that we can do what Jesus told us we must do. And therein lies the hidden legalism behind so much of the doctrine of false grace and false love. This false grace and love is not grace and love at all. It is just a dispersion of truth and standards in order that people can be free to assert their own human way instead. And since it is a dispersion of truth and not grace, there will inevitably be a certain amount of legalism, because what else will hold together this flow of deception in an orderly fashion. From only God can grace originate. From only God can love originate. And from only God can truth originate. And without truth there can be no grace…or love. Furthermore, if we take the logic that because we are not God that we should not correct others, because only God can judge, then shouldn’t we also root out other attributes of God that are manifest in the church since we are not God, like grace and love. Because, you know, only God can judge…and show grace, and love others, and so on and so on. It doesn’t make sense. In reality much of the church is just picking and choosing certain things and throwing away the rest.
The lies that the church are embracing right now are horrible.
This false view of grace and love that the church is embracing is a roundabout way to take the truth of Christ and conform it to look like the current rise of humanism and Marxism that I mentioned earlier. The rising spirit that we are faced with must be resisted. And much of that comes through knowing what the truth is, and how we as the church should actually go about guiding, correcting, and loving one another. There has been enough of the twisting of scripture in the church so that people can go about chasing after darkness instead of being conformed to the image of Christ, and I’m sick of it.
But in addition to this the church needs to learn how to be loving as it corrects others. In fact, I don’t really think that a lot of what the church does is correcting. I think it’s just criticizing and gossiping. Recognition of wrong and right is a very good thing, but how it is manifested in the church is important. It needs to know how to embrace grace, discipline, and love, and how all of that should work in the church. It would be great if the church would embrace Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.” And also Ephesians 4:15 – ‘Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.’
We must pierce the darkness; we must leave the world behind with all of its lies and deception that suck us in and twist who Christ is so His work in the earth can be perverted in the eyes of the world.
The church has a lot to do.
1 Corinthians 5
This is why so many times in the Bible God punishes His people with giving them over to their own human desires.
Let’s be a people, a church, a body that “gently and humbly helps a person back onto the right path” and “shares each other’s burdens” all the while examining ourselves first. For God’s glory!!!