It was my pleasure to join with people from across the country and world to remember the great faithfulness of God for 90 years at my home church – Forcey Bible Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was an honor to serve on the pastoral staff for 15 years from 1984-1999 and to serve as one of their missionaries for the last 13 years. Donna has been part of the family at Forcey for almost 50 years and it has been 45 years for me. We are grateful for so many people who have invested deeply in our lives. I had the honor of speaking at several events over the weekend. I give glory to God for the great things HE has done over 90 years and will do in the future!!!!
“Judge not” in Matthew 7:1 is a favorite verse for many. Many people, including atheists, college students and secular philosophers who do not know any other verses in the Bible, can quote this one. It is often used to justify anything and everything. It is a great truth but often taken out of context and redefined.
The verse appears in the greatest sermon ever preached which is fondly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus knows the human disposition to judge, criticize, shame, condemn, put down and label. Much soul-damage has been done by a hasty spirit of judgmentalism, condemnation and the pleasure of playing God. With the skill of a surgeon, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter and says, “Do not judge. Do not have a condemning attitude. Don’t have a spirit that puts others down.” “Don’t be judgmental” is biblical and the way of Jesus.
However, the rest of the chapter says we are to make judgements. Followers of Jesus are to be discerning and perceptive people. Matthew 7:6 tells us that we must be discerning when sharing the good news. We must discern who is receptive and who is not. Shocking words – ”Watch out for dogs and pigs”. In Matthew 7:15 – “Beware of false prophets”. How will know them? By their fruits. Be discerning because false teachers are disguised. They don’t dress up in a sheep’s outfit but in a pastor’s outfit. Don’t have your head in the sand. Don’t be gullible.
Jesus did not have a judgmental attitude toward the woman caught in adultery when he said, “neither do I condemn you” but he did make an accurate judgement when he added, “go now and sin no more”.
The Sermon on the Mount wraps up with a huge invitation to discern the right path (narrow or broad) and build on the right foundation (sand or rock). The teaching is that Jesus alone is the firm foundation and the path that does not lead to destruction. Does that sound a little narrow and intolerant? No, these are the loving and true words of Jesus.
Suppose you woke up in the middle of the night with the house on fire and all exits blocked. Just when you resigned yourself to your coming death, a fireman bursts into the bedroom and says, “Follow me. There is one way out of the house.” Is the fireman being intolerant because there is only one way to escape the flames? No! You would follow him and thank him. Jesus in the same way is loving when he warns us not to take the broad and popular road that leads to death. He alone is the Way. We are not to be judgmental in our attitudes but we are to make judgments.
Pray for These Upcoming Big Events
- Regular Monthly Leader Faith Forums – held in 3 different Parishes
- New Orleans Mission Gala – November 3, Hyatt Regency
- War College Chapel – November 8, Carlisle, PA via Zoom
- Capitol Commission Gathering – November 12-15, Austin, Texas
- Young at Heart – January 16, 2024, First Baptist Covington
- National Prayer Breakfast – January 31-February 1, 2024, Washington, D.C. If you have an interest in attending, contact me for information.
- Rotary Baton Rouge – February 8, 2024
- Holy Land Trip – February 24 – March 4, 2024: The trip is full. Get on the list for the next trip.
- Officers’ Christian Fellowship – Summer 2024, White Sulphur Springs
- OCF Holy Land Trip – March 1-10, 2025