From the Heart

God always looks at the heart. Many people look at outward appearance and actions. While we show love to God by obeying Him, many put rules and commandments first. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders did this so much that they created their own rules and laws and added them to God’s Laws, putting more of a burden on the people and used it for their own gain. It became more about rules and regulations instead of the goodness of one’s heart. Many religions, churches, and even families today seem to make things more about traditions and following rules than about character, relationships, and love.

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Divisions and Hypocrisies

This parable talks to me about divisions in the church and in the country. It also talks about hypocrisy and the “unpardonable sin.” While Jesus was removing a demon from someone, the church leaders were quick to judge and criticize (as always) and did not discern the truth. By accrediting the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil, they committed the sin that Jesus said cannot be forgiven. Again, it just wasn’t the act, it was their evil hearts. In Jesus’ answer to the church leaders’ charge, He shows that a divided house cannot stand. I believe that is true in our church, in our families, and in our country. And if we are not careful, we are heading there fast.

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Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental

There is a lot of talk about being tolerant in today’s society.  What does that mean? When Jesus said, “Judge not” what odes that mean?  And what is the context of it?  As Christians, we are to love all people.  Does that mean to accept what they are doing even if we know biblically it is wrong?  How do we talk to that person without being judgemental?  What does it mean when someone says, “love the sinner, hate the sin?”  Why is this offensive to some people?  Where do we draw the line between being self-righteous, judgemental, or “fruit inspectors” and being tolerant and compromising?

I had a person talk to me about churches and she was looking for a good church that isn’t “holier than thou” as she put it.  We both agreed that God is a loving God and we are saved by grace.  She talked about tolerance.  I mentioned that some churches are too tolerant (and compromising) and do not want to teach about sin.  We parted ways when she asked me my stance on gay marriage.  She said churches should be tolerant and welcome all people.  I agreed we are to welcome all people, including homosexuals.  But, we are also to teach the truth and Romans 1 is very clear on this subject.  She told me that I almost convinced her to come to my church until we talked about gay marriage.

So, how do we handle these touchy issues?  Most people will quote Matthew 7:1 to basically tell Christians to mind their own business.  I think many times they are right.  We are also to share God’s word.  I believe we must show God’s truth (we must teach and learn all of scripture, not just the part we are comfortable with), but our attitude must be in a loving manner but without compromising our faith and belief. Continue reading “Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental”

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