Sunday, October 6, 2019

When Shame Meets Grace 2

John 7:53 - 8:11

The world has little use for those who condemn others from any system of belief.  For Christians, it is especially troubling because our own Bible guides us away from such behavior. 

 A Story of the Improper Concept of Spiritual Authority 

· It is religion, however, that places individuals in positions of religious authority. 
· Those called of God to lead are called to submit themselves to God and the needs of the people they serve. 
· Religious authority to Pharisees was something characteristically critical, censorious and condemnatory
· There are still those who believe God has given them the right to be moral watchdogs trained to tear the sinner to pieces. 
The Duties of Spiritual Authority 
· The first duty is to try to understand
· The second duty is to seek to reclaim the wrongdoer. 
· The third duty is to help transform the sinner. 
Encountering Those We Disagree With
It is imperative in today’s world to engage the world in dialogueTwo things:
1.To “engage” is not a battle term only.
2.Dialogue” - a meaningful exchange of ideas in a climate of respect and interest.
·   To judge before we listen and understand is to alienate.  To alienate is to lose the opportunity to influence.
·    You, They, Those People” are usually followed by “always” or “never” attacking not the issue, but character, creating a defensive response.
Discernment vs. Judgment  Matthew 7:1-2
·    Judgment means to mentally or judicially condemn; to conclude, to decide, to determine, to call to account; to sentence.
·    The right to judge only comes with the authority to judge. 
·    Discernment means to test, to examine; to interpret, approve, discover; or make a distinction. 
·    Judgment is wrong when you use the wrong standard, or you do it in the wrong spirit
·    Proper judgment should be kind, corrective and constructive, not condemning and critical
·    You cannot judge a person by what others say about him, but you can judge a person by what he says about others
·    You can judge methods, but you cannot judge motives until they are confessed. 
Why Guard Against Judging? 
·  Because we don’t know all the facts.  
·  Because we are fallen.
·  Because what goes around comes around.

·  The truth is, what you think of others is usually what others think of you.

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