On judging

I judge people all the time.  Are you aware that you do too?  We live in a time where people quickly retort the all-too-trite and clichéd remark, “I don’t judge.”  (Frankly, the statement lost it’s former ostensible coolness for me decades ago as I grew into my natural skeptical self.)  And predictably most will wax boring with a bull session dialogue that is dynamically opposite their prefacing wrapping paper statement, “I don’t judge.” Thus, most “non judgers” will utterly confuse their listener.  “Was I judged and accepted at the same time?”

Folks let’s get something right, right here and now.  Everyone judges whether overtly or covertly, witting or otherwise.  It makes no difference how well one attempts to cloak it too.  Say it with me.  I judge people.

“David, who do you think you are?  What makes you so sure?”

Your questions alone would allow me to rest my case.  By some standard, arbitrary or not, you hold my reasoning in doubt.   Your questions, my friend, are implied judgement.

“David, that’s not fair.  You know what I mean?”

Yeah.  You doubt me. No?  Even to doubt is to hold something up to scrutiny to make a correct conclusion or judgement about its truthfulness.  It is in the nature of truth to exclude its opposite, even if the doubter only holds to an intuitive opposite notion with which to doubt.  It’s passive, but judgement nonetheless.

What I am vying for is accuracy of word choice and meaning in use when communicating with others.  Be clear with people by stating unequivocally where you stand on a matter.  I sympathize and understand when a person says that he or she does not judge because I know their meaning is simply to emphasize an unconditional acceptance of a person, whether a person be, in truth, right or wrong for Y reason(s).  What’s more is that this does not exclude one’s ability to hold to a conviction that is dynamically opposed to the convictions of the one being unconditionally accepted.  Warning!  Acceptance of a person, however, does not include acceptance of that person’s convictions until stated otherwise too.

“Well if you know what people really mean, then why all this mumbo jumbo!”

To all content is an intent.  My intent is always to push people in different directions to convince them of how refreshing differing angles or viewpoints on any aspect of life can be.  Also I mumble and jumble to teach people to cease the continual obfuscation of the truth through the epitomizing of their present cultural moorings.  (Quite frankly I, being such the perceiver, get bored with the same angle on life.  I want to spread the awesome around.)

Now you don’t have to agree with my judgements herein.  But suffer no delusion.  You have to judge me to know a difference here.  See?  ;)

As an side, do judge.  But judge justly.  It keeps us honest about our own heart condition.

“…and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  -Matthew 7:5

God Died

In some way I think that the Christian is supposed to wrestle with the reality of evil, sin and death because God chose to die for us.  Or for the sake of simplicity, let’s sum all three up in the word evil.  I think that the Christian is supposed to wrestle with the reality of evil in the world while believing that a good and loving God exists and will bring evil to its end.  But until that end comes, I think that in order for the Christian to understand the past and present seemingly inexhaustible resourcefulness of human evil, one must look at the cross and realize that Jesus did die.  God died.  But how and why?

What does this mean for us as Christians?  Really think about the implications of the statement that God died.  Here is one particular implication I am really aiming to convey here.  In our history, human beings looked into the eyes of pure and matchless truth itself and saw pure goodness, love, wisdom, light, joy, humbleness, or better yet, God, and yet proceeded to murder him.  But for what?  Because to look at Jesus was to know instantly that their deeds were evil.  They would have to believe that yes, their deeds were evil, or no their deeds were good.  And now consider the implications of the latter statement, which is to say that human beings are just as good as Jesus Christ.  Impossible!  Please do not be confused.  Either we are less good, as good or better than Jesus Christ.  Make your determination.  To dare claim the last two is blasphemy, and historically speaking, stupid and laughably ridiculous!

To go further, those who faced Jesus knew they would have to sacrifice their allegedly good enough wants in order to love him.  The logic here is simple too.  Either Jesus must go or our desires must go because it was obvious that what Jesus came to change and eradicate was evil.  What happened?  Humanity chose darkness over light.  While Jesus came to change evil hearts and bring an end to evil, humanity chose to eradicate goodness.  Jesus was a gentleman and so humbly did he accept their choice.  So he died of his own choosing.  God died.  At this time, I think the point to gather here is that there was no middle ground whenever Jesus was looked upon.  The distinction was always clear.  There was a clear and obvious separation between mere human beings and Jesus of Nazareth that could not be crossed.  Who is like this man Jesus?

Was Jesus a liar?

Was Jesus a lunatic?

Was Jesus just a good man?

If he was just a good man, then by what standard of goodness should we measure him?  Who gave human beings the notion of goodness by which to measure or detect anything less than good in Jesus?  How good is Jesus’ goodness?  When and how does good cease to be good?  Can anyone less than good be God?  If Jesus was not God, how less than God’s goodness did Jesus fall short?  If there is no God, then by what standard of goodness is Jesus to be measured?  To what measure of goodness does all of the statements and acts of Jesus point us?

No.  Jesus cannot be a liar, for this would contradict his words and impugn his unimpeachable character–a character that’s verifiable to this day.

No.  Jesus cannot be a lunatic.  For if the way Jesus lived his life amounts to lunacy, then what does that say about the rest of us?  How pitiful an existence we all must be living!  Give me Jesus’ mind any day!

No.  Jesus was not just a good man.  If all of the eulogies given over every human being combined, save Christ, where they were said to be good and wonderful people, not even our cumulative good deeds from Adam to the last human birth measure up to what Jesus has demonstrated of his righteousness.

God came into the world to show us the way, in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus died and rose from the dead on the third day so that we may follow him and have eternal life with him.  This is the truth.  And it is to this truth that I have chosen to dedicate my life, and to emulate more and more.

Questions to consider:

If God exists, can he not incarnate himself, die and raise himself from the dead?  Is this too difficult for God?  If hypothetically this is true, what are the implications in reality of a dead God raised to life for the sake of redeeming humanity? What are the necessary conditions of this world for such an act?  What are the odds of such coherence and relevance of the latter question to our world today?

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

1  Corinthians 2:6-10

On my pastor, Bob Coy

My name is David Moore.  I call Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale (CCFTL) my home church where I actively and prayerfully serve as a lay small bible group co-leader.  Now while having unfortunately never known of CCFTL’s existence while growing up here until my professional adult years, I do love what spiritual nourishment and serving opportunities its ministry affords me today.  Clearly to thousands more like me, our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed Pastor Bob Coy and all of CCFTL’s pastors with incredible vision and ability to not only touch our lives, but the lives of countless others looking for answers to life’s deepest questions.  Pastor Bob was instrumental in helping me practically deal with and live out true biblical answers to such questions like who I am and how I live my life in a world of increasing and unprecedented evil.  It has been through his preaching and those of his associated pastors that I have wrestled with and grasped who Jesus is and why he came into the world–Bob Coy not being the least of Christ’s focus of his grace.

Having said all of this, I am saddened for the current circumstances (click the link to read CCFTL’s official statement that I’m referencing) that required Pastor Bob’s resignation and stepping down from his senior pastoral position.  I truly love his teachings and actually pray that he be restored to his position one day, if that is his desire and most importantly God’s will.  However, concerning Christ, I did not arrive to Calvary Chapel for Pastor Bob, nor do I reserve some preferential expectation for only his teachings over that of the body of pastors that work in CCFTL’s ministry.  I came to hear God’s will for my life through a Bible believing church, or to reiterate, I agree with the church’s statement of faith and philosophy for imparting the message of Jesus Christ.  I came to this church to grow and then move out into the world to complete the unique missional calling God has on my life to “find them, feed them” and “help them, heal them,” which is all who need the love of Jesus in their hearts.

Regarding sin, Pastor Bob Coy is a man.  More to the point, he is a human being with a fallen nature, whose sins I frankly do not care to know about.  I know enough to move me to pray for hope and healing for him, his family, the greater CCFTL church family, and even the surrounding community who do not believe, as they too are affected by this matter.  What I do want to know and I pray for is that he be restored back to a place that exceeds the prime of his preaching career.  I believe this will happen no matter how long his healing process takes.

Regarding judgement, I am a sinner who has, like Pastor Bob, sought accountability as a mere layperson through fellow close disciples of Christ to hold me accountable for my thoughts and actions so that sin loses it’s ground in my heart and life in this world.  To elaborate on this, think of the body of Christ, the church, as a house made of glass because of the fallen human element.  And where one Christian can somehow construct stones of judgement to throw in the matter of a fallen believer, is to shatter much glass and wound many believers and unbelievers.  As far as my home church is concerned, I think judgement has and is being dealt by the Lord himself, and Christ’s grace is sufficient for us all.  Nothing is wasted and his children do not get thrown away.  The Lord disciplines those he loves.  And as a warning, the Lord’s judgement does not start and stop at the head (the senior pastor) of a church, but flows to all the parts of the body, where through his discipline we find abounding grace even still.

Regarding grace, I am hopeful and happy at how Pastor Bob brought light to his circumstance himself.  I suppose I can say that I have increased faith in Christ to work in a person no matter what he or she has done, nor how badly one fails, nor even how far one falls.  Christ has overcome the world.  Through him, we who believe in Jesus, shall overcome, and so shall Pastor Bob Coy, I do humbly pray.

So I…

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  –Philippians 1:6