Archive for ‘Judge’

March 28, 2012

Justice

by pastortimfowler

Justice.jpg

According to dictionary.com, this is the definition of Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. It does not mean do what you think is right. It does infer that there is a higher authority that determines what is right. I believe that higher authority is God. Otherwise that leaves the whole idea of right and wrong in the hands of mankind, who has the tendency of injecting feelings over facts. I have written about right and wrong and where we get the idea of what they are. It has little to do with feelings, but few will admit it. Justice is a word being tossed around by many in cases like I wrote about yesterday. Justice in America is accomplished through a system of laws and courts and civil authority, not random groups who feel like they have a better way.
Before I go any further I want to respond to one comment from a reader about yesterday’s blog. I said that clergy needed to speak out about the threats of taking the law into your own hands and this person said that there are no black pastors or churches that were not racist or had the guts to speak out. This is one of those times that I would like to slap someone who reads my blog. You could not be more wrong. The only reason I feel that I can speak out on such a sensitive subject and be as bold as I am is because my friends know my heart and know me. They know that the truth sets us free and not our opinions. Many of my friends are black and pastor churches full of people who love God and other people, regardless of race. While I appreciate your opinion, I take offense at your racist comment about my friends and brothers in Christ.
Now back to justice. The goal of justice is to make things just, or right. Right and wrong were never meant to be subject to feelings. They were never meant to be gray areas or ambiguous. There is a difference between and law and right and wrong. A law can be something that is totally based on feelings. For instance, the current health care law is a feeling that everyone has a right to health insurance. I can find no place that ever gives us a clear-cut right or wrong concerning this. If the law remains, it will be wrong not to follow the details of the law, but it is still based on a feeling.
Right and wrong is where there is a clear-cut determination, regardless of feelings. Murder is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Sexual abuse is wrong. These are things that almost every civil society in the world agree on. It is something that comes from the very moral fiber of humanity, which I believe comes from God. It is right to help the poor, but how, is left open for interpretation. It is right to work for what you have and to provide for your family. It is right to love and protect one another.
But justice is the process of taking a wrong and to the best of the ability of the legal system, making it right. That may mean to those who have stolen, that they give back. To those who have hurt another that they lose the ability to hurt again. The process most often takes time, and because of the human element, can sometimes make mistakes. That still does not give anyone the authority to take this into there own hands. We must first give the justice system time to work. In America we are innocent until proven guilty. We are protected from those who would take vengeance into there own hands and given a method to defend ourselves against all accusers.
The bottom line to this whole idea of justice comes down to God. He is the only righteous judge. He is the only one who knows the hearts of man and has promised that no sin will go unpunished. He did not limit those sins to the ones that we feel are worst, but to all sin that has separated us from Him. He made a way for the punishment for sin to be given to another. One who would be our sacrifice and take the wrath of God so that we may receive total forgiveness. Not based on who we are or how good we say we are, but totally based on His love for us and His hatred of sin that causes us to be separated from Him. God can do this because only a righteous judge can bring true justice with no influence from human imperfections. God has done this and will do this for those who repent.
Although His justice is firm and final, He has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, our advocate, the Savior of humanity. Vengeance is Mine says the Lord. His judgment is true and His mercy is greater. Justice will prevail.

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November 14, 2011

Longing For The Days of Old

by pastortimfowler

If you are not a football fan like I am, don’t give up on this blog yet. If you are a football fan like I am, then you will understand what I am about to say. I long for the days of old. I think football is getting too soft. I saw more penalties this weekend for what use to be a good, hard hit, and now the guys have no idea how to tackle someone for fear of losing yardage to those penalties. Football use to be a sport of real men, somewhat of the gladiator type. Now it seems to be driven by the political correctness crowd. And that is what bothers me the most.
Political correctness, the love of money, and personal motives, seems to drive everything that we do today. It is rare that you see an individual whose motives are not driven by those things. Even the news that we see on TV has become political and money driven. I have no problem with anyone who makes money from hard work or creative ideas. I do have a problem when they make money off twisted truths and the less fortunate.
So that brings me to the story of Penn State University and what happened to one of the football coaches. If you haven’t heard, you have not looked at any news outlet, because this has been all over the place. But there was an assistant coach who was caught performing lewd sexual acts on a young boy. He was not just accused, but was actually seen as he was molesting a young boy in the showers of the players locker room. This is the stuff that makes me long for the good old days.
There was a time when if a person like this was caught, they were considered lucky if they made it to trial. Someone would have taken justice into their own hands and this man would never touch a little boy again. Sure, there are those who will argue for the legal system to work, but I somehow like the thoughts of someone “manning up” and handling the problem. I am not talking about sitting around plotting a crime, I am talking about taking swift immediate actions to protect a child, not a football program. I would like to think that had I walked in on this crime that I would have been able to ask forgiveness for beating this man to a bloody pulp. And what about the other coaches and the 300 pound football players? Couldn’t they have made sure that this pervert, “slipped on a bar of soap”?
Instead, this man was allowed to continue to hurt innocent children for the sake of a football program. This is what I was talking about earlier with political or money, or selfish motivations that I see. There was a time when these things were not allowed to go unchecked. Someone would have made sure that this fellow did not hurt someone again.
I kept hearing the news report that the head coach did everything that was legally required of him and then they asked, but did he do all that was morally required. This is the same news media that despises God and does everything in their power to discredit God and His people. So I have to ask, if there is no God, where do morals come from? The only answer left is that they come from people. And if people make morals, then it is only subject to whose morals we want to follow. If I am the one making up the morals of society, I can make it perfectly fine to molest little children and who are yo to question me? After all, we shouldn’t judge, right?
But that is not where morals find there beginnings. Morals come from a Holy God, who by the way, finds molesting little children detestable, and His morals are placed inside decent humans who have a responsibility to protect innocent people. Maybe not by pounding such a pervert into a bloody pulp, but maybe by dragging his sorry butt out into the middle of the schoolyard and holding him down until the police come and take him away.
But no. We want to spend our time protecting football players from being hit too hard during an inherently physical and violent game. We want to make sure that an unprotected receiver doesn’t get hit too hard and if so, throw a penalty flag, while we let an unprotected little child get raped and the football program that provided the man who did a job, continues to a football program at all.
Sorry for the rant, but I am disgusted by this whole thing.

June 13, 2011

Judge Away

by pastortimfowler

I was asked the other day about how Christians are supposed to judge right and wrong, when the Bible tells us not to judge. That is a great question and the short answer is that the assumption that we are told not to judge is wrong. That assumption comes from taking one verse out of context and is used by people who are not Christians so that Christians will not tell them that they are sinners, and by Christians who are sinning but would rather submit to sin than submit to God.


Matthew 7:1-5
1 “Stop judging so that you will not be judged.
2 Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you.
3 So why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer’s eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
4 How can you say to another believer, ‘Let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,’ when you have a beam in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer’s eye.

This is where that teaching comes from. It does not say that we can’t call a sin a sin, it tells believers not to be hypocrites by pointing to other people’s sins when we are sinning in a very obvious manner. Let me share some other verses that are better suited for us having the right to judge others.
John 7:24- Stop judging by outward appearance! Instead, judge correctly.” This plainly tells us to judge others, but to do so correctly. That is the key. To judge the sin and not the opinion. Sin is wrong, and people don’t like to be told that they are wrong. So if we do tell them, we can expect to be criticized. But often we turn a blind eye to sin because of that. God has given us the truth to help us judge. If the Bible says it is wrong, we can say it is wrong. There is no one in their right mind would not tell someone who is sexually molesting a child that they are not wrong. That is judging, right?
1 Corinthians 6:2- Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? So if you’re going to judge the world, aren’t you capable of judging insignificant cases?
I think that this is an important verse for Christians to understand. There is coming a time when we will judge the world. This means that we will enforce the laws of God. So if God is going to trust us in the future to judge the world, we need to be able to judge ourselves now. The emphasis is on righteous judging, not self righteous judgement.
Overwhelmingly, Christians are shut down because of ignorance of the Bible. Ignorance can often lead to us not doing what God wants us to do because someone who doesn’t want to accept that they are a sinner plays a guilt card on us. There is a whole book in the Old Testament call Judges. It is about people who were given the authority to judge the actions of others according to God’s word. Most of the judging was for the purpose of correcting the actions of God’s people not those who were outside of them.
The same is true today. God’s people must first learn to judge themselves using God’s word before we should go running to tell those outside that they are sinners. My personal belief is that they already know it and are trying to find hope, not judgment. That is where Christians are to use a tool far greater than judgment. That tool is called GRACE. Grace is what God used when we all deserved judgment. When God judges us it is not in comparison to me or you or any other person we know, but He judges us compared to Jesus and we all fall short. So by accepting forgiveness and God’s grace we are reconciled to God and judged as such.
So grace allows us to admit our faults and receive forgiveness. It allows us to know the truth and when we know the truth we are free to judge away.