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Archive for July, 2009

“Holy,” “king,” righteous,” “Lord,” are words that are only as powerful and meaningful as our definition of them. (Of course, the true value in those words is not subject to our definition of them; however, our skewed ideas influence how we define them.)

Perhaps the word “holy” refers someone to the stained-glass window in the cathedral that they went to growing up. Perhaps the word “king” refers someone to a distant, and seated God observing us from far away. Perhaps the word “righteous” refers someone to the imagery of a glowing saint with a halo. Perhaps the word “Lord” refers someone to a man with long flowing hair in a picture frame. All these misinterpretations are unfortunate, but common, in Christians and non-Christians alike. After all, what human has seen God as He is?

Because of our fallen nature we all own misinterpretations of God to an extent. Perhaps those misinterpretations are slowly chipped away at as we experience the impact and intimacy with the true living God on a deeply personal level. Another way to learn what these words truly mean is to refer to the scriptures to see how God’s word defines them. (Pop) Culture, media, the world we live in and our undiscerning human filter do a fine job of slandering these words.

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Chew on this:

There can only be a problem of evil if God exists.  (Gregory Koukl, Tactics: A Gameplan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, p. 138)

Argument explained:

Since God’s existence is necessary to make the notion of evil intelligible, the existence of evil cannot be used as a proof that God does not exist.  It proves just the opposite.  Simply put, if evil exists, then good exists.  If good exists, then God exists.  Ironically, the existence of evil is powerful evidence for God, not against him. (p. 141)

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The Shack: “You have even judged the value of a person’s life by the quality of your concept of beauty.”

Comment: Judging is a self-centered concept, in that, it is done according to your (distorted) perception of beauty, value and worth. On the other hand, God who does not have a distorted view of beauty, value and worth can see past and through the things we are hung-up on. We assign value to a person according to such fickle things, such as, looks, occupation, behavior, mannerisms, language, odor, etc.

Judging is not among those attributes bestowed to us by God. We are simply not gifted with the ability to make judgments according to appearance. We lack discretion to make (good, accurate) judgments, therefore, the judgments we do make are neither justified or precise according to truth.

(Hasty) Judgment is a sign of foolishness and immaturity. Judgment is a sure sign of something wrong within. Our estimations of people are always wrong in some way, because we refer to our definition of beauty which is culture driven, performance driven and preference driven.

Our “reference center” upon which draw from the make judgments is limited and incomplete, therefore we stand on insufficient grounds when we judge. We draw from nothing but (mere) appearance to construct our pronouncement, which overlooks a person’s “raw material,” i.e. their genetic predisposition, life experiences and intentions.

We can not judge the “bad” in people and we can not judge the “good” either. Even when there is outward evidence which we critique as “good,” thereby we judge the person as “upstanding,” we can not observe private character, conduct and thoughts of a person. The most telling things about a person are hidden in things we can not observe. Only God can look on the heart.

J.C. Ryle says, “A nugget of gold may be covered with dirt, and look (like) worthless rubbish.” He continues, “One man’s work may look good at first, and yet turn out to be from the basest motives. Another man’s work may look very questionable at first, and yet at last my prove Christ-like and truly Godly.” The Vine’s Concise Dictionary reiterates Ryle; “The merely natural mind cannot estimate the motives of the spiritual.”

The Shack: “Who doesn’t jump to conclusions about others from the way they impact us?”

Comment: We all jump to conclusions about people simply by the way they impact us. If a person “rubs us the wrong way,” it is likely due to our problem (our judgment). Perhaps they strike a chord, or remind us of someone whom we didn’t (or did) like from the past. Most likely, we need to change our thinking about them, not that they need to change who they are in order to please us. We assess people by how they make us feel; which is supremely subjective, and, in essence, consider them a person of high worth or low worth based on our arbitrary appraisal.

The Shack: “Judging requires that you think yourself superior over the one you judge.”

Comment: Judging is a natural expression of self-righteousness. This is the opposite of humility; which is pride, which is in opposition to God. We are not fit to decide a case because we judge with self-based evaluations. It is in pride that we assume the office of judge. Judging is discrimination; prejudice based on faulty arbitrary notions.

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