The Two Judgments

By  Erich Olsen

Evil vs Good

“Judge not, lest you be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.”

 -Jesus

 “He who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one”. 

 -Paul the Apostle

Two very different, seemingly contradictory statements. One says, ‘do not judge’. The other says, ‘judge everything’. How do we reconcile the words of these two men? First we must ask, what was Jesus referring to in his statement, and what was Paul referring to in his?

 Immediately following Jesus’ words, He compares bad judgment to trying to remove a speck of dust from someone else’s eye, when I have a plank in my own. As is often the case with Christ’s words, He is speaking to an attitude of the heart. This one says, “I am better than you, or smarter or more spiritual than you, so I am able to tell you where you are wrong”. It’s a condition of false superiority that elevates me over someone else, and tells me that I am a qualified ‘speck remover’, that in fact speck removal is my spiritual calling. The fact is, I am probably trying to make the 2×4 hanging out of my own eye feel smaller by making someone else’s speck seem bigger. Jesus says to me, “Go take care of your 2×4, and then you’ll be able to see clearly what you now perceive is a problem with another. Now, He is NOT saying to remove my plank, and then I’ll be able to criticize others more effectively. He is saying that the attitude of the heart that seeks to condemn another IS the plank in my eye! The Pharisaical hypocrisy that makes me think I am qualified to pass judgment on another is, in fact, what is blinding me, and it must be removed.

Then I will be able to see the size of my own shortcomings compared to those of others.  And what Jesus says, leads seamlessly into what Paul says later: once we’ve dealt with our fallen nature that judges in the natural, then and only then are we able to rightly judge things with the truth of the Spirit.

 It is here that we cross over from ceasing the wrongful kind of judgment, and we begin to ‘judge all things’ according to the Spirit, or as Paul also calls it, ‘the Mind of Christ’. So, what then are all these things that the Spirit-minded are called to judge? The scripture reads, “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one”. So, we are to judge between what the world calls foolishness, and the voice of the Spirit, which we discern with the Spirit-given Mind of Christ.

 The natural man, that is, the man whose mind has not been renewed by the resurrection power of Christ, will always see things in the natural, and will always therefore be blind to spiritual truth:

 “…that which is born of the flesh is flesh,

and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit.

You must be born again”.  –John 3: 6&7

 If any man is to walk in the Spirit of truth, he must be reborn and resurrected with the mind of Christ. And this renewed mind is to discern, or to judge between those things that are from the Spirit of God, and those that are from the spirit of the natural man without Christ. This is Godly judgment, and it comes only after the mind of Christ has been birthed in us by grace, and we learn to walk with Him in His resurrection wisdom and power.

 So we have the two judgments. The Lord tells us to flee from the condemning, self-exalting kind of judgment. And Paul makes it clear that we who are spiritual are to ‘judge all things’,  ‘test’ all things, he says elsewhere. And it is here that the truth begins to sting. Although we are never to judge with a heart of condemnation, we are also never to suspend our spiritual moral judgment. ‘All things’ are to be weighed with the mind of Christ. With the leadership of the Spirit of truth, we are commanded not only to judge the foolishness of the world, but, to bring the light of truth to bear:

 “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,

  but rather expose them”.   –Ephesians 5:11

 Scripture is very clear that we must walk carefully when admonishing and reproving each other, “lest you yourselves be made to stumble”. But if the Spirit of truth is silenced, the foolishness of the natural man flourishes. We are called to be light in a world of spiritual darkness, “exposing, reproving and exhorting one another”. Our fallen nature, the ‘natural man’, is always trying to resurface. And wherever he does, we who are Spiritual are admonished to speak the truth in love.

 The modern Body of Christ is suffering immeasurable harm because of this lack of understanding. Many professing Christians now stand with the world in saying, “don’t judge me”, often misusing the words of Jesus concerning wrongful judgment to condemn those who stand up for Biblical righteousness. Sadly, we see the Word itself used as a license to practice all manner of sin, as if somehow thinking that if the words of scripture concerning sin are not spoken, that we can escape the wrath that lawlessness brings. But the truth calls out:

 “for the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven

against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,

who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”.  –Romans 1:18

 Let us always be quick to love and forgive each other, but ready to be truth speakers and never truth suppressors, lest we become partakers in the coming wrath of our Holy God.

 Blessed be His Name.

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 11:58 am  Comments (2)  

In God We Trust

In God We Trust

In our increasingly secularized culture, it seems more important than ever to remember the words of our Founders. Our heritage is solidly and obviously Christian, and when reading quotes like these, it exposes the foolishness of the Progressive Movement that says otherwise.  We need to stand and be fiercely proud of our Christian roots.  Without that proven foundation, we would not be who we are today, and if we as a nation continue to forsake it, we will certainly be remembered as an aberration in world history.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

           Psalm 33:12

 

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

       2 Chronicles 7:14

 

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

           George Washington, Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolution; Signer of the Constitution; First President of the United States

 

“Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”

            James Madison, Signer of the Constitution, Fourth President of the United States

 

“And can liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

  Thomas Jefferson, Signer and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence; Third President of the United States

 

“Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?  – That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?  That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?

           John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States

 

“An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!…Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power… Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.  There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

           Patrick Henry, Patriot and Statesman

 

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys…  Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government – and all blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.”

           Jedediah Morse, Patriot and Educator, called “The Father of American Geography”

 

“I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth:  That God governs in the affairs of men.  If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

           Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

 

“We are a Christian people…not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay due regard to Christianity?”

                   Senate Judiciary Committee Report, January 19, 1853

 

“At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged…in this age there can be no substitute for Christianity…That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

           House Judiciary Committee Report, March 27, 1854

 

“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.  And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Proverbs 2, 3).  Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein.”

           Harvard – 1636 Student Guidelines

 

“All the scholars are required to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, that fountain of Divine light and truth, and constantly attending all the duties of religion.”

           Yale – 1787 Student Guidelines

 

Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in schools – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?  Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?

           Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844 – Unanimous Decision Commending and Encouraging the Use of the Bible in Government-Run Schools

 

INDEPENDENCE Day:  When I was born again – “All things are lawful for me, but I WILL NOT BE ENSLAVED by anything.” (1Cor 6:12)

           John Piper

Published in: on July 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Boasting or Self-Pity?

Pondering John Piper’s tweet today: 

BOASTING:       “I deserve praise because I’ve achieved so much.”

 SELF-PITY:       “I deserve praise because I’ve endured so much.”

Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thinking about the LGBT Pride Month Celebrated at the White House

I learned today that the White House hosted a celebration of the LGBT Pride Month.  Needless to say, I was truly shocked.  If you don’t know what LGBT stands for, it is an acronym used for a community of people that are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender.  You can watch an 18 minute video with President Obama’s remarks or you can read the transcript at:

       www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Celebrating-LGBT-Pride-Month/

When you read the Old Testament, over and over again God is trying to teach people that He is the one true and all sovereign God and that He wants their trust and hearts. And over and over again, people choose their own Gods, despite all He has done for them.  I can’t even tell you how many communities of people were destroyed due to their lack of faith, their wicked hearts and their refusal to turn their ways to God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived:  neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

We are clearly all sinners and guilty of at least one of these things and most likely, several.  But it is another thing when well-educated people in our White House, the people who are leading our country, are “celebrating” something that is considered an abomination to God.  Governor Sanford’s recent case with adultery is just as sad, but I am happy to hear that he feels remorse to God and to his wife.  This has not been cause for celebration but just the opposite.  It is scary to know that the leaders of our country, who are well known, respected and loved, have a large influence on people when they themselves are deceived.  Are the blind now leading the blind? 

2 Timothy 4:1-5    I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Leviticus 18:22    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:26    But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.

Leviticus 18:27    (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean),

Leviticus 18:29    For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people.

How God must be grieving right now, not for sins of sexual immorality alone, but being a jealous God, He wants our hearts made pure and full of His truths.

Be reminded, that God said through the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil — good and good — evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”

I also like what Max Lucado says in his book, It’s Not About Me:

“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT).  Paul wrote these words to counter the Corinthian sex obsession. “Run away from sexual sin!” reads the prior sentence. “No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (v.18 NLT).

You know the sexual anthem of our day: “I’ll do what I want. It’s my body.” God’s firm response? “No, it’s not. It’s mine.”

Sex is to be regarded as a holy gift to be opened in a special place at special times. The special place is marriage, and the time is with your spouse.

Casual sex, intimacy outside of marriage, pulls the Corinthian ploy.  It pretends we can give the body and not affect the soul.  We can’t.  We humans are so intricately psychosomatic that whatever touches the soma impacts the psyche as well.  The me-centered phrase “as long as no one gets hurt,” sounds noble, but the truth is, we don’t know who gets hurt.  God-centered thinking rescues us from the sex we thought would make us happy.  You may think your dalliances are harmless, and years may pass before the x-rays reveal the internal damage, but don’t be fooled.  Casual sex is a diet of chocolate—it tastes good for a while, but the imbalance can ruin you.  Sex apart from God’s plan wounds the soul.

Your body, God’s temple. Respect it.

Published in: on July 1, 2009 at 12:52 am  Comments (1)  

It’s True Because God Says So!

I don’t know where I came across this, but I absolutely love it!

You Say:       “It’s Impossible.”
God Says:   All things are possible .   *Luke 18:27

 
You Say:      “I’m too tired.”
God Says:   I will give you rest.    *Matthew 11:28-30

 
You say:      “Nobody really loves me.”
God Says:   I Love You.    *John 3:1-6 & John 3:34

 
You say:       “I can’t go on.”
God Says:   My grace is sufficient.    *II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15

 
You say:       “I can’t figure things out.”
God Says:   I will direct your steps.    *Proverbs 3:5-6

 
You say:       “I can’t do it.”
God Says:   You can do all things.    *Philippians 4:13

 
You say:      “I’m not able.”
God Says:   I am able.    *II Corinthians 9:8

 
You say:      “It’s not worth it.”
God says:   I WILL be worth it.    *Romans 8:28


You say:      “I can’t forgive myself.”
God Says:   I Forgive you.   *I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1

 
You say:      “I can’t manage.”
God Says:   I will supply your needs.    *Philippians 4:19

 
You say:       “I’m afraid.”
God Says:   I have not given you a spirit of fear.    *II Timothy 1:7

 
You say:       “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God Says:   Cast all your cares on ME.    *I Peter 5:7

 
You say:      “I’m not smart enough.”
God Says:   I give you wisdom.    *I Corinthians 1:30


You say:       “I feel all alone.”
God Says:   I WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE YOU!

Published in: on June 7, 2009 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  

65th ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY – JUNE 6, 1944

Jim at the 502 Memorial in LongChamps, Deauville, France

Pictured is Jim Norene at the 502 Memorial in Longchamps, Deauville, France.

Today President Obama saluted the contributions of individual veterans of the Normandy landings, including veteran, Jim Norene, who fought as a member of the 101st Airborne Division.    

Jim was traveling alone to commerate this day.  He was suffering from stage 4 cancer and was very ill.  Jim had told his family and friends at home before he left that he may not come back since he was so ill.   And now he is gone. Sad, very sad, but in a way this is a fitting tribute to a man who 65 years ago jumped in to liberate Europe and lived to return home.  I am sure it was an honor to die in the same place where many of his brothers did.

“Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep,” the president said. “Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did 65 years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.”

“Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget – what we must not forget – is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century. At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty – a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had fought and bled for over two centuries.

That is the story of Normandy – but also the story of America. Of the minutemen who gathered on a green in Lexington; of the Union boys from Maine who repelled a charge at Gettysburg; of the men who gave their last full measure at Inchon and Khe San; of all the young men and women whose valor and goodness still carry forward this legacy of service and sacrifice. It is a story that has never come easy, but one that always gives us hope. For as we face down the hardships and struggles of our time, and arrive at that hour for which we were born, we cannot help but draw strength from those moments in history when the best among us were somehow able to swallow their fears and secure a beachhead on an unforgiving shore. To those men who achieved that victory sixty-five years ago, I thank you for your service. May God Bless you, and may God Bless the memory of all those who rest here.”

President Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, died five years ago yesterday, June 5 (2004).  Today I read his great speech that he gave on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, 25 years ago.  You can see it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEIqdcHbc8I

Quote by Ronald Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. “

Published in: on June 6, 2009 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Old Guard place flags at grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.  It took 1,300 soldiers, sailors and Marines about three hours to place a flag at each of the more than 300,000 gravestones at Arlington ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cracked Pots

clay-pots-005A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

 ”Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Now, aren’t you glad you are a “cracked pot” too!

-Author Unknown

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 8:06 am  Comments (1)