Pre-judgement, Judgement, & Post-judgement

guiltyHave you ever said something, or made judgement upon another, and then thought yourself to be the fool? YEAH, that is me, I am guilty! Go ahead, throw your stones…I did it!

Man is the only animal who seems to be able to judge others and clear themselves of any wrong doing, even though it be the same exact crime against God!

raised hands

Yeah, go ahead…raise your hands in agreement to that one, too! Man is, by his nature sinful and therefore, hypocritical! We talk out of both sides of our mouths and skirt the truth with ourselves, all of the time! Don’t worry about a thing, if any of you won’t raise your hands in agreement over this…there are plenty who will gladly chastise me, while at the same time they are doing the same things as I.

Let us look into the past week with Joel Osteen and the Hurricane Harvey debacle.

While there are plenty of videos of news, and others, tearing at Joel Osteen’s church and ministry; many are failing to realize that Lakewood Church had rising waters in the basement. Also, I watched several videos defending Joel Osteen because what would happen if someone was injured on their way to get to Lakewood Church, or died? Or perhaps, if they got to the church and they closed the doors as they got there? What would the ramifications of that be.

We all, each and every one of us, has a problem with judgement of others. Just nod your heads in agreement! Especially without all of the facts at hand. And in this day and age of half truths, and partial sporadic news reports…thereby, coining the phrase “fake news.” We tend to be quite a bit more outraged at those with all the money and power. Now I don’t necessarily agree with Joel Osteen, nor his methods of preaching, but his judgement in THIS case happens to be spot on. Tyler Perry, a man for whom I have  a great respect for, has gone to Joel Osteen’s defense.

While we each, and yes I do mean all of you as well as I, tend to judge others based upon the perception of evidence at hand. However, if you will pay close attention, most of the perceived evidence out there is truly just an accusation or an assertion that is without any proof or evidence, at all! Sadly, but that is how this whole victimhood thing works. We, the species of man, are a sad creature. As we tend to do all we can to demean our fellow man in order for us to feel better about ourselves!

There are a number of scripture passages which target the fool and the wise, with respect to our speech. However, this one seems to hit home for me:

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Yeah, that is me…the man who is hasty in his words. Yeah, that is right…fools will have a better time than I! I work on it daily, but I also fail God daily in both little an great ways!

The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that King David who was “Apple of God’s eye.” King David requested and prayed to God to aid him to be maintained in such a status in Psalm 17:8 where he wrote:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings

We must remember that King David, despite his sinfulness and behavior, he was always contrite before God when he was called out on the carpet by his prophet. He sought God’s forgiveness and always sought his Lord’s guidance to be healed from his haughtiness and sinfulness and sinful ways. God chastised him, as any father would do to his own son. And then he was back to a clean slate, once again. What we see here is that God is the God of the second chances, as coined by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. Where God will use us after redeeming us from our sin(s). And more importantly, He will use us as well as the Gentiles, because Jesus paved the way for them also!

…the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time… ~Jonah 3:1 NKJV

Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also ~Romans 3:29 NKJV

God has given me far more than 2 chances, I would submit to everyone out there that each of us have been given dozens of chances. And we will receive many more chance before we draw our final breath.

Let’s face it, we all judge others. Whether in our minds and thoughts, outwardly in our reactions or in our verbiage toward them, or perhaps we show our disdain toward others in our posts on social media or other opinionated sites.  Consider the people of WalMart on Facebook, or other demeaning sites. We should treat everyone with a certain modicum of respect as well as understanding. We are called to be patient with all people! To treat the lowly with respect, as though they were rich…give no one an overtly specialized attention.

As I have said all throughout this post, I am as guilty, if not more so, than any. But by God’s grace I will overcome my lowly actions and rule over my sinful desires and urges to judge others, to gossip (which is a form of judgemental speech toward another.)

Just remembering that in order to change something in your life, you must become aware of your wrong actions. This is your warning…pay attention and change your ways, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

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Stereotyping Others

stereotype

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. ~Mark 9:38-41 NIV

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” ~Luke 9:49-50 NIV

This should tell us that we are not to stereotype our brothers and sisters in Christ. We each separately have a gift to share or aid in the glorifying of Jesus and fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. Though Mark and Luke were not direct Apostles and followers of Jesus, they had access to Apostles that were directly following Christ. Mark was mentored by the Apostle Peter and Luke was mentored by the Apostle Paul; and if that is not good enough for you, Luke was with the Apostle Paul when he met with the Apostles. We should feel quite comfortable learning from each Apostle and accepting of the historicity of the words presented by each forefather of the Christian faith. So, both of these accounts have the authority of research and knowledge of those who witnessed and followed Jesus.

While we disagree with those who profess another faith, yet they follow Christ…who are we to stereotype or compare them to others who may be preaching heretical teachings or pushing  heretical doctrines which are not promoted in the biblical text? Should we not leave certain matters to God’s judgement and follow the path in which we teach God’s mighty and glorious word? Is that not our primary purpose?

Do not misunderstand me, there are times that we must, absolutely must, stop heretical teachings in their tracks and stand up against the perpetrators of such nonsense and false teachings! We are all called into the priesthood, so-to-say:

…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~1 Peter 2:5 NIV

“…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” ~Revelation 5:9-10 NIV

Our purpose is to glorify God and be priests of the One True and Living God! And how is it that we accomplish such a thing?? Study of the word. Study of theology. Study and memorization of scriptures. Study on subjects of evangelizing and apologetics, as well as logic. Study on the subject concerning the proofs of God’s existence and those subjects related to the life of Jesus, reading as much as we can by our forefathers within the Christian community. For example, I may not agree with the doctrines of any particular church, or faith, but their forefathers within the church may have written a treasure trove of information on the understanding of any particular subject which we are studying at that moment. Do not cast aside something written by a man of our past just because he was a member of, part of the history of, a particular church or theology. It is up to us to read and learn as much as possible, and by God’s understanding and discerning Spirit we must decide for ourselves if the information is worthy to be used and remembered.

Use it or Lose It ImageWe are called to serve God! I imagine there is no simpler way to put it. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are our Master. Notice I did not say Masters, because we are speaking of the Trinity…but that is for another blog posting! And we are called to serve with our gift(s) that God has provided us. Some of us have but one gift and there are others who have been blessed with more than one gift to use. Some are blessed with a gift and another is given to replace that gift to further serve to His Glory! Our problem is that many of us do not pay attention to what our gift(s) is/are and if not used to glorify Him, they subside and wane away.

I would like to think that my Gift is writing, but sometimes I wonder. But I believe I am fulfilling my purpose as a person called to the royal priesthood. There are times you just aren’t certain that you have what it takes to fulfill God’s purpose in your life until you start doing that thing which is tugging at your heart’s strings. There may be something else that I will be lead to do another time down the road, who is to say? Until then, I will continue to accomplish my writing, blogging, and posting and pray I am accomplishing God’s will and that I glorify Him in all that I do…despite all of my failures in His eyes.

Instead of stereotyping people, we should take this to heart where Jesus said:

Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? ~ Luke 12:57 NIV

The only person we should comparing to anyone or to anything is ourselves! We should compare ourselves to the words of God and the actions Jesus had taken. As Jesus had been our Godly example of how to act.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. ~John 13:15 NIV

If we compare ourselves to another, what makes us think that he or she is doing what is right in God’s sight? Of course, we can compare ourselves to Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. we have the possibility that we are fairing better than they, in God’s sight. But where in the bible does it say that only these people do not go to heaven? And in one theological frame of reference, noting the book of James, sins being equal before God (being repulsive and abhorrent) we are separated from God when we sin; regardless of how we sin!

compare yourself

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Even God Gives Sarcasm When Necessary

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home? Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great? ~Job 38:19-Job 38:21 NKJV

sarcasm

Sarcasm is not original to you or I, but did not God prod even at Job in that time while chastising him? Since we tend to understand God and all of His glorious words in human terms (anthropomorphic) then God’s speech and chastisement can also, in a sense, be anthropomorphized. Consider what was written in the Reformation Study Bible commentary on Job 38:21:

Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? – This may either be a question, or it may be spoken ironically. According to the former mode of rendering it, it is the same as asking Job whether he had lived long enough to understand where the abode of light was, or whether he had an existence when it was created, and knew where its home was appointed. According to the latter mode, it is keen sarcasm. “Thou must know all this, for thou art so old. Thou hast had an opportunity of observing all this, for thou hast lived through all these changes, and observed all the works of God.” This latter method of interpreting it is adopted by Umbreit, Herder, Noyes, Rosenmuller, and Wemyss. The former, however, seems much better to accord with the connection, and with the dignity and character of the speaker. It is not desirable to represent God as speaking in the language of irony and sarcasm unless the rules of interpretation imperatively demand it.

Unfortunately, we as humans and the species of man do not throw out sarcasm sarcasm-freeor irony toward another in the chastising process in order to teach our underlings or peers a lesson; at least most of us do not. We normally do so in order to be wiseacres! We do so to demean and to make fun of what they did and to humiliate them. In such a process, we do not teach anything of value but how to humiliate another person. THAT is the message that comes across. I can look back at my time in the military and see how both myself and others did such things. Even at my present job, it is quite the same! Now-a-days, we each wear these badge of “sarcasm” and “irony” as badges of honor. As though we have gone through the Great War of Sarcasm & Irony and survived. But it is not such as a true veteran who had survived a war, we simply survived the war & battle of words that were thrust our way. Sounds much like the Snowflake Wars of recent battles held on college & university campuses by those who are harmed by words of free speech with which they tend to disagree and fight the good fight in order to stop such abuses of free spech on their college campus! [Yes, THAT drivel was sarcasm!]

However, even though you or I are being sarcastic, our point can be transmitted to the one we desire to make understand our opinion or our point. Well, God did so with Job in this particular point in Job’s life. It was both sarcastic and quite telling of that point which God was attempting to get across to Job. God was quite straight forward about the point, don’t you think? He asked, “Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great?” No matter what we think we know as the species of man, we are quite finite in our understanding. Think about that…no matter how much I learn I always know that I don’t know everything! (Although, I do not admit this to my wife. lol) But looking at it all, we have a very finite understanding, in that, we know what we have learned in the past and what we are leaning now. Unfortunately, we don’t know everything to an absolute certitude! We do not have experiential knowledge of all things present, past and future. God on the other hand, has an all encompassing knowledge of what has happened, what is happening, and all that will happen.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. ~Proverbs 15:3 NKJV

Does God have eyes? No, because God is a spirit. But God created man’s eyes and we anthropomorphized the eye of man to God that we could understand such a thing, better. Is God able to be everywhere? He is a spirit, the bible says that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, and the bible says that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! So, why wouldn’t I believe that God can do all of these things? You do the reading, studying, and the research. What are the answers you come up with??? God makes sense where no sense can be made, in my humble opinion.

Consider this:

  • What exactly did Charles Darwin prove? Did he, in fact, prove that evolution was a fact? IMO no, he proved, theoretically, that it was possible…but did not prove so in a laboratory.
  • What did Einstein prove? Did he, in fact, prove that the speed of light was attainable? IMO, no, he proved theoretically that it was a possibility. As of yet, no one has proven such to be physically possible.
  • Has science proven that earth is millions, or billions, or years old? IMO, no, if you accept their assumptions which are part of their calculations in order for them to work…they have only proven, theoretically, that the earth may be that old.
  • Has science proven the creation of the first life on earth? No they haven’t. They have only posited proofs, postulated and theories but have not proven such creation in a laboratory.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not anti-science, nor are any of the Christian community. And Christianity does not teach anything of the such, God uses the sciences to much. Many of the sciences actually prove much of the bible (archeology, astronomy, anthropology, biology, geology, etc.) The problem is that many scientists tend to lean toward atheism and many people desire to push such an agenda where there is not God.

Sometimes I think that there is much sarcasm within the sciences, but that could be an entire blog on it’s own. Well, sorry that I was all over the place on this one…and that was not sarcastic! But an admission of guilt.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Salt is Good

“Everyone will be salted with fire. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”” ~Mark 9:49-50 NIV

Jesus-salt

WE, as Christians, are the salt for the lost souls within this world to help them find their way back to God, through Christ! We are their light just as Jesus is our light; much like the lighthouse is the aid to the ships of the sea, so they can find their way…we too are the exact same for the lost souls within this world of ours.

A Chinese girl said, “Salt makes you thirsty.” DO stop and think that over. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Do YOU make anyone thirsty for Christ? You never will be merely separating from something. But you will be separating unto Christ. ~Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistle to the Romans as a Point of Departure, Volume 1, page 16, by Donald Grey Barnhouse (emphasis mine)

This is precisely what we are to do, make people thirst for God’s life giving and eternal life word! We can do this through passion and desire, it can be done through will but not through sheer will, as we must be able to show a caring, love, and compassion in our message(s) toward those with whom we speak the message of Christ.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. ~Colossians 4:2-4 NKJV

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~1 Peter 4:11 NKJV

We are, in essence, slaves to Christ. Like it, or not, it is by our choice. Why? (You ask) Well, we have chosen to believe (through reason, wisdom, research, study, etc.) that Christ truly is “…the way, the truth, and the life…”  We did not make this decision flippantly, nor without forethought, this decision was truly one of the greatest decisions in our lives. And without a doubt was the greatest decision that weighed on our minds and hearts! Are we promised to be wealthy? Have an easy life? Have a gorgeous wife? A husband that has the physique of Adonis? No, on all accounts. We are promised eternal life. We are promised trials and tribulations. We are promised rain and shine like everyone else. We are promised both good and adversity, just like everyone else, as well. So, why did we make such a decision? Because in all of the religions out there, one must be right and the others must be wrong. By reason and logic, this must be true. That religion or faith which is true deserves my allegiance!

Check out the Grids and Charts at CARM.org

This is the greatest reason why we, as Christians, must understand why we believe that which we believe. And not only must we understand why we believe what we believe, but what other faiths believe. It is at that point that we can have a discussion, thereby defending our position.

And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. ~Leviticus 2:3 NKJV

Every time we speak to someone about Christ and the words of God toward another, we too must season with salt. We must flavor our words that are more palpable for others to digest. The words we speak are of God, but others must gain help in understanding them. That is the flavoring we give to other. Consider when Jesus was asked about why he spoke to the people in parables:

He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. ~Matthew 13:11-13 NKJV

This was the salt that Jesus added. You either got it or you did not. On the other hand, if you did not get it, did you seek to understand it? The salt is the flavoring that makes you desire or passionate for more and to understand. That is why we walk the earth, to be used as servants of the Most High God and Creator of All. We speak His words and help others understand. That is one of our purposes; the other purpose is to glorify our Creator in all we do!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD