Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Redeeming Judgment

Adherents of the Prosperity Gospel?
If you’re reading this blog and you’re not a 3-foldcord virgin, then I’m guessing you already know that Bible allows us to judge the actions of our brothers and sisters in Christ. You understand that it is allowed to correct poor doctrine and speak to someone about his or her sin. But where does that judgment stop? Where does Christian exhortation go beyond the limits of “Judge not, lest ye be judged”? I think it perhaps goes beyond the scope of Christian love and the need to stand up for abusive behavior and correct bad doctrine when we decide that our doctrinal disagreements are a barometer of salvation. 



Infant Baptism.


Speaking in Tongues.


Pre or post-tribulation.


Modalism.


Transubstantiation.


Depravity and Election.


Whether or not Jesus drank wine.


These are all great fodder for conversation and debate, but can any of these things save us? Do any of these ideas, doctrines, practices actually provide us with salvation? Do we sometimes worship an idea or doctrine more than we worship our Lord, Jesus Christ? And do we use someone’s stance on certain doctrine to determine some one’s salvation? Is our salvific judgment redemptive? Can humans even possess anything like salvific judgement?


I know that there is some criticism out there about all the criticism on the Christian blogosphere. Supposedly all of our disagreeing is doing more harm to the Kingdom than Westboro Baptist. Honestly, I love the discussion, I love the disagreement and I think it is the first place where we will start fixing what is wrong with the church. The only time I have a problem is when others are excluded based on their beliefs or there is the assumption that some one is not a “true Christian” because they believe in baptizing their babies, or they speak in tongues, or they drink a beer every now and then, or they interpret Revelations differently than you do. If someone doesn’t agree with our doctrine whole-heartedly than there is the assumption that their salvation isn’t real- that they do no believe in the same Jesus we do and that their declaration of faith and confession of sins was not in fact as real as our own.


Judge not, lest ye be judged.


Perhaps we have lost our focus
And I think this was what the Bible was talking about. He wasn’t saying that we can’t tell our brother that he spends too much time cruising porn sites and not enough in bed with his wife. He didn’t mean that we couldn’t speak out against those who do harm to others in His name. But I don’t care how Driscollian one’s practices and preaching is, we aren’t allowed to judge someone’s salvation. We can not know a person’s heart- and quite frankly it isn’t our job to try to figure out if someone is saved or not. I will admit there is some crazy things out there that Christians preach that make me wonder if they read the same Bible as me and if they know the same Jesus as me. But I am not Christ and if one proclaims to be saved by Him I will not dispute it- though I may dispute their knowledge of Him and their ability to follow Him. This might be semantics and we certainly enjoy challenging the doctrine and practices of our time (and of Luther’s time and Calvin’s time) but I’m not willing to presume to understand miraculous grace that grants sinners salvation.


So what do you think? Are those who spout off bad doctrine and fill books with poor Biblical interpretations damned for hell? Are we, as blood- bought Christians, in any position to determine the salvation and true faith of another?