Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. “The most surprising time I heard this verse thrown out was from a man who came to me to discuss pursuing a divorce,” says Ben Connelly (who co-leads The City Church in Fort Worth, Texas). “After I walked—lovingly, I hope—through the biblical teaching on divorce, he nodded, then crossed his arms and declared, ‘Judge not, pastor, lest you be judged.’”
John Koessler, professor and chair of pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute, has seen people misuse the phrase “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16) in a similar way. “The result is a kind of functional universalism that does not understand the Bible’s theology of grace within the larger framework of divine justice.” How should these verses be interpreted? “John’s statements about God’s love have implications for Christian behavior,” says Koessler. “The focus is on family resemblance of those who are God’s children through Jesus Christ. It is not an absolute prohibition against evaluating others but an admonition to apply the same standard we use on others to ourselves first.”
In fact, at one point, Paul actually charges Christians to judge each other: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside” (1 Cor. 5:12–13). Connelly concludes, “We should care enough about our brothers and sisters to lay down our people pleasing, ‘speaking the truth in love’ into their sin to help them ‘grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ’” (Eph. 4:15).
Excerpt from: 5 Passages Your Pastor Wishes You'd Stop Taking out of Context How we get them wrong and what church leaders can do about it. Kyle Rohane ... See MoreSee Less
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