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Who are we to judge??

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

One of the things I have to keep clear in my head is what God expects of me and what others require that I do——or steer clear of. Sometimes those two expectations collide and I have to chose who I will please.

No it’s intellectually an easy decision: Do I obey the Creator of the all exists—and the Lover of my soul, or the capricious creations that can’t seem to make up their minds about “right” and “wrong”—-i.e. humans.  As I have read the bible, it seems pretty consistent that what God “hates” is pride, deceit, dishonesty and lying.  But in the New Testament, the things that were additionally considered essential for the believers “code of conduct” was to “not drink blood, eat meat that was strangled or sacrificed to idols and to not be sexually immoral”.  I am not sure about all the reasons for the rules regarding animals strangled or food sacrificed to idols, but the warnings about sexual immorality seems petty clear-cut. So why do we struggle with those commands (regarding sexual conduct) so much? 

Our present generation finds it objectionable and bordering on “ignorant” to even suggest that there are certain things, sexually speaking, that we should not do. But I am quite certain that any sexual interaction with a person that is not your spouse (call it adultery, fornication, etc) is “immoral” based upon the obvious examples and passages found throughout the Bible.

Which leads me to two questions.  Why do so many people who profess to follow Christ fall into this sin and why does the church (i.e. houses of Christian worship across our nation) fail to condemn it?  I would bet my life that John the Baptist, Saint Paul, any Old Testament prophet and all the apostles, would stand amazed at how unmotivated we are to talk about this, let alone confront this in our churches.  And yet, many of us in Europe and the USA wonder why our attendance to church services is shrinking and we we (Catholics and Protestants alike) are ignored more and more in the media or maligned in the movies and television.  It seems that we have lost our spiritual backbone and we lack the courage to call things what they are.  The Bible is clear (First Corinthians 5:12b) that we are obliged to judge those within the church when it comes to immoral behavior.  Yes, we need to be careful about how we judge, and yes, we should be circumspect about our own behavior(!), but how heartless and cowardly to not tell a brother or sister in Christ that what they are doing wounds the body of Christ and compromises the work of God’s Kingdom.

There are time when I write these little thoughts that I think it might be wise to avoid the topic, but I am not writing from my opinion, but from frank and direct teachings from scripture. God holds us accountable for not saying things that could be helpful, even if those words are initially offensive and/or misunderstood.

I don’t claim to have achieved the prize yet, but I am pressing on to reach the goal of Christ Himself.  And as I press closer to Him, the things that offend Him and God our Father needs to offend me as well.

Warmly,

Dean Barley

The Vineyard

Dean@VineyardCamp.com

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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