Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sudden Stop

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven …  For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. – Luke 6:37, 43-44

I expect to be judged.  I expect to be judged on my performance, my achievements, my failures, my strengths and my flaws.  Jesus does not forbid forming opinions nor does He expect us to refrain from making informed judgments.  He admonishes us not to jump to conclusions or to pre-judge someone on the basis of culture, religion, ethnic background, or even on past failures.  A reformed criminal should be given opportunities to live honestly.  Someone from a bad family should be judged on his or her own behavior and not on that of family members. 

That does not mean that we have to accept and tolerate bad behavior.  If a drunk tells me not to judge him that makes him no less a self-destructive drunk, and it certainly doesn’t give him the right to drive his car into mine out on the highway.  If I break my marriage vows, I am an adulterer, and it requires no judgment to call me such.  The secular world doesn’t want the words of Jesus to carry their plain and obvious meaning.  They want those words to mean that they will not be judged according to the fruit they bear – a complete contradiction to what the Lord says. 

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Galatians 6:7).

Too many today are mocking God by quoting Christ out of context, and God is never mocked.  God is reality, and reality cannot be escaped.  The secular world has leaped from the top of the tallest building in town, and it is a long, laughing thrill ride down.  What rushes toward us at terminal velocity is the ground.  Do not judge by the fall.  What hurts is the sudden stop.

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