“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend,‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 NLT
I guess I need to throw in a disclaimer to anyone who reads my blog, I watch Game of Thrones, I’ve watched it from the beginning, and to be honest the sex scenes shocked me – that’s why I’ve managed to fast forward through any of those scenes since the beginning. What I’ve discovered is that people like to question people’s salvations based on shows they watch, and apparently the fact that I choose to fast forward through what my conscience feels inappropriate is not enough for the rest of polite Christian society. I have since become a pariah of sin – preferring to live in my sin than to repent and quit watching a show that is 99% sex free…at least that’s what I’ve been told.
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Matthew 7:15-20 NLT
Listen, I admit, I understand it’s easy to look down on others when they do something, that we wouldn’t do. For instance, I couldn’t understand why some Christians were infatuated with ‘Fifty Shades’. Personally, I feel that I could not and would not watch or read that series – but that’s what I believe the Holy Spirit has directed me. Ironically, when I saw the media buzz about that movie/book, I was a little taken aback from the people I saw going ‘gaga’ for it – I admit that I had a little self righteous indignation going on. Here’s the deal though – EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I get on my moral high horse – God likes to give me a lesson and I end up seeing how wrong I was to look down on someone else’s ‘insignificant’ issues.
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLT
I know Christians are supposed to help their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ remain on the right path – yet the way I understood that scripture, it’s those we are close to and not for strangers (i.e. if you’ve never called that person and prayed with them over your own sins, than you don’t know them well enough to call their sins out). Recently I was reading an article from a Christian website, that was discussing how fellow Christian, Brian ‘Head’ Welch of the band KORN, was discussing another musician’s recent suicide – his comments were raw and emotional and he cussed – which Christians were quick to condemn him of his ‘sin’ and actually questioned his salvation – yet ignoring that the article spoke how he had conquered the sins of a rockstar’s lifestyle of sex, drugs and alcohol addictions and now spent his time sharing Jesus with those who’ve never known God. That to me, looks like the good fruit that Jesus was talking about.
“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””
Luke 18:9-14 NLT
We can’t humble ourselves before God if we’re going to stand like the Pharisee and pray to God and man and boast why we’re thankful we’re not like another Believer. I truly want to stand in front of God and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, and I appreciate that other people want to help me on my way with loving guidance – but their condemnation on an area that God hasn’t shown me, isn’t helping me or the unsaved! I would even suggest that their public scolding, only shows those without a relationship with Jesus, that Christians will attack one another over a TV show – so how can a non-believer expect to receive loving grace when they walk into a church for the first time?