The Plank In My Own Eye

In Jesus’ own words, when He was here on earth with us, He taught us;

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:3-5

God also teaches us, 

At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.

“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:16-21

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’   If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  Matthew 18:15-17

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Galatians 6:1

So what do we say, does God’s word contradict itself?  By no means.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16

I believe the world has hijacked some of our Christian terms and redefined them.  Such as grace and love being redefined as tolerance and enabling.  Correcting and evangelizing as being defined as being  judgmental.  In the case of correction, we are told we are being judgmental if we declare or stand on any part of God’s word that is not the light fluffy part of love.  Are parts of God’s word judgmental, hateful or evil? Not at all! All of God’s word is good news. His commandments, conditions and promises are all good because they all work together.  We cannot have one without the other. We deceive people if we only preach the promises without God’s conditions.  People are deceived into believing that we can believe in Jesus as our Savior and not the Lord of our lives.  God is the creator of all things and teaches us, in His word, the difference between right and wrong.  We do not have to judge or define what is right or wrong, God has already done that.  We just need to be willing to stand and declare what God has already taught us in His word.

I believe that the judgmentalism that God is against is a spirit of prideful condemnation that only looks to condemn, hate and elevate ourselves without seeking to restore and give hope, as in the woman caught in adultery.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees condemned her, but Jesus corrected and gave her hope of restoration.

There is an evil teaching from Satan himself.  Satan wants nothing more than to silence believers and keep us focusing on ourselves and not be seeking to reach the lost.  He wants us to be self centered and focus on ourselves, get in our closets and be silent while others come out of the closet and not have anyone love them enough to tell them that they are headed on a destructive path.  Since we have our own sin in our lives, who are we to say anything to anyone else?  If the prophets, John the Baptist, the apostles and Paul waited until they perfected themselves before they spoke to anyone, they probably would have lived longer lives and would not have changed the world with the message they were commissioned to preach.

God has given us Pastors to teach and shepherd, but it is so important that, we as Christians, are in God’s word for ourselves and not just relying on someone else’s interpretation of scripture for our beliefs.  What does God say?  He wants to tell us and that is why He has given us His word.  We need to be like the Bereans;

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  Acts 17:11.

We  cannot just take a Pastor or teachers word for something without our own personal study and prayer time with God Himself.  Especially if a teacher tells us not to question or critique him and to just believe what he teaches us.

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8:44.

God warns us of a time that there will be great deception in the world;

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  2 Timothy 4:3

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in times of persecution, it is not the time for fear or to shrink back and be bullied or deceived into silence.  There is a confused, hurting and deceived world out there that is in desperate need of the good news of God’s word.  Lets love them enough to take chances, be willing to be rejected, and possibly even persecuted to see them come to the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  Matthew 24:9-14

Silence on “controversial” issues have gotten us to where we are today. People who call themselves by the Name of the Lord living in confusion about what is right and wrong and not knowing for themselves what God’s word teaches us.  We have come to a place where churches accept homosexuality as viable lifestyle, accept practicing homosexuals as pastors and backing homosexual marriage as the law in America.  This is where silence and tolerance gets us.  Not to mention the possibility of God removing His hand of protection over our nation and His judgment on the people of this land.

Do we preach this message in a mean, hateful spirit?  This is another “by no means!”  We are to love them as ourselves and if we were headed for destruction and hell and didn’t know it, would we want someone to get our attention and tell us?  Would we consider them loving toward us if they didn’t?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Ephesians 4:14-16.