Judge or Witness?

I just read a post from a believer that brought up this issue.  I immediately resonated with what was being discussed because I realized that until the last year or so, I have been more  (maybe solely?) judge of all things than witness of Christ.  Many who read this, if you truly look at your life, would most likely say the same thing.  Here is why.  How often, since you have become a believer in Christ, have you judged rather than witness of Christ?  For example, how many discussions have you entered into (that maybe have turned into arguments!) where the end result was stipulating differences and judging those differences, rather than it ending in unity and peace?  How many became apologetic arguments that were more about being right, or using your latest argument for your belief, or at the least, seeking to destroy your opponent AND his argument to show them how empty their beliefs are?  How many times in Sunday School have you had the “arguer” step in and monopolize the teaching to show how much they know and to deride those who don’t believe exactly the way they do, that particular church does, the pastor does, etc?  How often does your church, leader at church, teacher, pastor, whatever seek to differentiate you and yours from theirs and them (other believers in other denominations or home church or other professing believing body)?

If you hear more about separation within your church walls than you do about unity in the Spirit, then most likely you are more a judge than a witness.  We are called first and foremost to be witnesses of Christ.  Paul taught that we should witness of Christ and be united with those who profess Jesus as Savior.  If we would be more focused on witnessing the love of God through Jesus’ sacrifice and death and resurrection, we would probably be having more of a hearing with those who stand opposed to the church, organized religion/Christianity, fellowship, worshiping God, etc.  Calvinists have the reputation of being calloused and uncaring because they believe in God’s election of some and not all.  This is viewed as a very judgmental spirit, and it is!  They use scare tactics to “find” the elect through the threat of forever punishment in hell.  The Arminian has the reputation of upholding the will of man as more sovereign than God’s will, meaning God is doing all He can to save people, but some just don’t want to be saved and there is nothing God can do.  They judge man’s will as more powerful than God’s will, thus judging God as impotent.  They are seen as caring but use scare tactics to bring people to faith (threat of forever punishment in hell).  I have been in both camps and know what I am speaking about.  The commonality is the threat and the disunity this causes.  This makes everyone out to be judges rather than witnesses, no matter what each group says.  The proof is in the results.

Overall, the Christian church is, and has been, in decline for many years.  Threats no longer work for bringing people to church and keeping them there.  Threats don’t explain life and the questions life brings, merely excuses.  I choose to be a witness now, rather than a judge.  A witness shares the GOOD NEWS of Christ and God’s love for all His image bearers.  A judge threatens punishment and follows through with punishment.  Which would you rather be?  Which will you continue to be?  I have got to rush off for now.  I hope you will understand the intent in this quickly typed post.  If not, leave a message and I will clarify what I mean.

Blessings to you!

Craig

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1 Comment

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One response to “Judge or Witness?

  1. Dirk

    “For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian. For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him. He who is believing in Him is not being judged; yet he who is not believing has been judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.” (CLV – John 3:16-18)

    “Wherefore, defenseless are you, O man! everyone who is judging, for in what you are judging another, you are condemning yourself, for you who are judging are committing the same things. Now we are aware that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who are committing such things. Yet are you reckoning on this, O man, who art judging those committing such things, and art doing the same, that you will be escaping the judgment of God? Or are you despising the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, being ignorant that the kindness of God is leading you to repentance? Yet, in accord with your hardness and unrepentant heart you are hoarding for yourself indignation in the day of indignation and revelation of the just judgment of God, Who will be paying each one in accord with his acts: to those, indeed, who by endurance in good acts are seeking glory and honor and incorruption, life eonian; yet to those of faction and stubborn, indeed, as to the truth, yet persuaded to injustice, indignation and fury, affliction and distress, on every human soul which is effecting evil, both of the Jew first and of the Greek, yet glory and honor and peace to every worker of good, both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God …” (CLV – Romans 2:1-11a)

    “ … Now He Who is examining me is the Lord. So that, be not judging anything before the season, till the Lord should be coming, Who will also illuminate the hidden things of darkness and manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then applause will be coming to each one from God.” (CLV – 1.Corinthians 4,4b-5)

    “I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit with the tie of peace: one body and one spirit, according as you were called also with one expectation of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us was given grace in accord with the measure of the gratuity of Christ.” (CLV – Ephesians 4:1-7)

    Press on brother Craig 🙂

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