Who Are You to Pass Judgment on the Servant of Another? (Part 1)

Angry man with fire coming out of his mouth

Insults

A couple weeks back I asked you what the best compliment you were ever given was.

Today, and let’s stay with nothing too cruel, what is the best insult you’ve ever heard?

What comes to mind for me is one that, perhaps incorrectly, was attributed to Winston Churchill. Per the Quote Investigator, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan had this in his autobiography:

It was therefore unfortunate that on one of Lady Astor’s visits to Blenheim when my son was host Winston should have chosen to appear. The expected result of their encounter was not long in coming; after a heated argument on some trivial matter Nancy, with a fervor whose sincerity could not be doubted, shouted, “If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee!” Whereupon Winston with equal heat and sincerity answered, “And if I were your husband I would drink it.”1

Now…as your minister…I do not encourage you to respond to insult with insult…but I will admit I thought that was funny…although I also think there is a good chance Churchill never said it…and, regardless, people can trace a form of the joke to a point significantly before Churchill is to have zinged Lady Astor.

Christendom itself is not without some pretty sharp insults. For instance, Martin Luther…as in the Lutheran Church…had quite a barbed tongue.

For instance, against the Roman Papacy, he reportedly said:

YOU THINK LIKE THIS, “AS I AM A CRUDE A**, AND DO NOT READ THE BOOKS, SO THERE IS NO ONE IN THE WORLD WHO READS THEM; RATHER, WHEN I LET MY BRAYING HEEHAW, HEEHAW RESOUND, OR EVEN LET OUT A DONKEY’S FART, THEN EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO CONSIDER IT PURE TRUTH.”2

Between you and me, if you are going to fail to be Christlike with your tongue, I would rather you fail like my Churchill example versus my Luther one. The Papacy is false and worth being called out, but let’s not forget what Jude, the brother of Christ, tells us:

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively (Jude 8-10, emphasis added).

If the archangel Michael was wise enough to hold his tongue against the devil…who is unquestionable extremely evil…then we should similarly hold our tongues against those who wrong us or God.

However…

We have a president who either does not know or does not follow that advice. Back on June 29th, he tweeted these in succession:

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Allow Yourself to Be Pleasantly Surprised

Give people a chance

Who Do You Want to Emulate

On Friday night I asked this on Facebook and Twitter:

If there is anyone (alive or dead) you would like to emulate, who is he/she? How are you doing? Do you care? Do you _really_ care?

The reason I posted it is because there are some people on both who I really care for…and who I know could answer the first question…but don’t really spend time pondering the other three. For instance, as Christians we all want to be like Jesus, right?

How are we doing? How are you doing?

If we are honest and (generally) answer, “Not so good”…do we care? Do we really care?

If we really care we would be actively pursuing fixing it, right?

And on social media there are tons of people who I’m pretty sure would say they want to be like X, but they don’t show it in their actions. It saddens me. Too often, I sadden me. 🙁

A Friend of God

Now, I suspect if I asked a Jew in Jesus’ day, “If there is anyone (alive or dead) you would like to emulate, who is he/she?,” a decent number of folks would say, “Abraham.” [Read more…]

What Kind of Eyes Do You Have?

I do not know this minister beyond what LIGHTNING ROD NYC PASTOR’S STUNNINGLY CONFRONTATIONAL SERMON ON TRAYVON MARTIN: ‘YOU SEE THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR BLACK EYES’ says (and it isn’t terribly positive), but he had a jarring reaction to the outcome of the Zimmerman trial:

[Dr. James David Manning] urged his mostly black congregation to stop viewing the world through their "black eyes" and start looking at it through the "blood of Jesus."

If they did that, the pastor explained, there would be no denying that the verdict in the Zimmerman was the correct one. He also told those who are convinced that Zimmerman is guilty that they only believe that because they are black.

Ouch! However, for Christians, it got even worse:

He called out those in the black community who refuse to consider any other possibility than Zimmerman racially profiled and killed Martin in cold blood.

"The only reason why you think that way is because you’re black," Manning preached. "You see the world, not through the blood of Jesus, you see the world through your black eyes. You have not changed yet."

Double-ouch!

I suspect even non-Christians are familiar with Matthew 7:1’s, "Judge not, that you be not judged" (English Standard Version). It is often used to bludgeon those who have the audacity to point out sinful behavior (and often wielded by those who don’t even believe in the inspiration or authority of Scripture). The problem is that it wasn’t uttered alone, instead Jesus continued…

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