Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged. HUH?

I was critical of the attention (every major network) that was poured out on the Michael Jackson Memorial Service. I received the much used warning "Judge not lest ye be judged!"

Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged" is a verse so often torn from context and used by folks to try and shame or humiliate believers for drawing a line between right and wrong behavior or good and bad morals. This sentiment actually attacks our Lords teaching to be discerning.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3 "2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!"

John 7:24 24 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Philippians 1:9-10 "9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ..."

Proverbs 3:21 "My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight"

Jeremiah 22:3 "This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right.

We are called on daily and even hourly to make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong, healthy and destructive behavior. We would be lousy parents if we did not judge behavior by what God values and not teach our children to do the same.

Jesus taught us in Matthew 7 that we cannot know who will and who will not have eternal life in Him and he clearly taught us that none of us are without sin. I quickly admit that I am chief of sinners and apart from Christ I am deservedly lost and that God would be perfectly just in sending me to Hell for eternity. I fall on His mercy and trust that Christ took my sins upon himself and 'clothed' me in His own righteousness.

Now, as a believer and a father, I have a duty to be discerning; I have the right and authority, based on God's Word,and in order that I might honor God's Word, to judge wrong, bad and destructive behavior.

Seven of America's finest and bravest died in Afganistan the day before Michael Jackson's memorial service yet we had to endure wall to wall coverage of the adoration, glorification and worship of a self professed "Peter Pan" of low moral public character.

A grown man who shares his bed with young children, grabs his crotch for all the world to see, hates himself so much he would mutilate his body and face is NOT a good role model. That is a no brainer. I don't care how well he moon walked or if a hundred little girls sob that he was the greatest dad in the world, he practiced destructive behavior that must be discouraged in our young people. The glorification of this man/boy was way over the top.

The sad question is, in the culture of enabling that he lived in, among all those tearful mourners on stage and in the spotlights, was there not one discerning friend or family member who would say, "Michael, you can't live this way... you are going to kill yourself?"

Lord, give us good judgment and help us to honor You with discerning minds and loving hearts.