Selective Application of Scripture (Matthew chapter 7)

 

I was recently told:

g14231Some people believe, and some people don’t. Bad logic is picking and choosing which bible verses or “versions” of G-d (the spiteful god, the loving, compassionate god, etc.) you want to use to justify whatever subject is being discussed. That’s how modern Christianity can somehow condemn homosexuality and in the next breath, justify capital punishment.

The context of this comment was a discussion about the basis of morality. Within that discussion, one individual had played the “judge not” trump card,

  1. In the first place, the person citing “judge not” actually rejects the authority of Scripture. It is self-contradictory to cite the Bible if you don’t believe it matters.
  2. Also, consider the biased process of selecting a phrase from the Bible and fitting it to your opinion. This requires ignoring the other approximately 783,135 words in the Bible because they do not fit your personal agenda. If you are not willing to make an open-minded investigation of the teachings of Jesus Christ (and His agenda), then the rest of Scripture is irrelevant. To the mind without objectivity, only two words in the Bible are important: the two words, “judge not.”
  3. Furthermore, those two words have been stripped of any contextual meaning. This is particularly important in the “judge not” passage which is Matthew chapter 7.
    1. The immediate context commands you to “remove the plank from your own eye so that you can see clearly before you attempt to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
      Matthew 7 was never a prohibition against the use of sound judgment by Christians. Matthew 7 is a warning against clouded and obscured judgment, a condemnation against biased opinions, an indictment against narrow-mindedness.
    2. The sixth verse of Matthew 7 warns us against the emptiness of arguing with someone who does not value Scripture. “Do nor throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn around and attack you.”
    3. The greater context of Matthew 7 actually warns us to turn away from the popularity of sinful  living. “Enter at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who are going through it, because small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
    4. Matthew 7 tells us that false teachers can be identified by their behavior.
    5. Matthew 7 tells us that not everyone gets to go to heaven.
    6. Matthew 7 tells us that if we choose to build our lives upon a strong foundation of obedience to God’s Word that the storms of life won’t devastate us

I invite you to read it with an open mind.


Matthew Seven

 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will be measured again for you.

 “And why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, ‘Let me pull the speck out of your eye,’ when a log is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn around and attack you.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.

“What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, everything you would like men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who are going through it, because small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit. But a corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will know them.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonderful works in Your name?’ But then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice evil.’

“Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded a rock. And every one who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it fell. And its fall was great.”

When Jesus finished these sayings, the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

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