Matthew 7:1 is perhaps the most abused verse in the entire Bible. The idea that Christians should never judge is as unbiblical as you can get. Everywhere Scripture commands us to judge, to discern, to assess, and to make moral pronouncements and judgments. Not to do so is a sign of disobedience and rebellion. All that Jesus warned about in the Matt. 7 passage was hypocritical judging: attacking someone else when you are doing the same thing. That of course is wrong, but biblical judging is never wrong.
It is a general rule of life that the more important or valuable something is, the more chances are it will be abused and misused. The greater something is, the more it will be attacked and slandered and misrepresented. So we would expect that Christianity would receive such treatment on a regular basis – and it does.
The Christian faith is regularly abused and misused, as are key Christian terms and concepts. And sadly this is not just being done by non-Christians, but by believers as well. We have managed to mangle and manhandle basic Christian truth and doctrines time and time again.
So let me offer five key terms and words of the Christian faith which are being abused every day. Sure, there would be other such terms we could add to the list, but certainly these five would be leading contenders on any thinking Christian’s list.
Jesus. It goes without saying that Christianity is Christ, so if you want to abuse and misuse the faith, then you begin with the person. Jesus has got to be the most misrepresented and most misunderstood person around. And of course behind all these faulty portraits of Jesus is Satan himself, who desperately does not want anyone to know the real Jesus.
So he gets atheists, secular humanists, leftists, religionists, New Agers, and uninformed Christians to present a plethora of images of Jesus – none of them representing the real Jesus of Scripture. Thus we have the hippy Jesus, the socialist Jesus, the greenie Jesus, the New Age Jesus, the syrupy sentimental Jesus, and so on.
Anything but the real Jesus. Anything but the creator and judge of the world who is fully God and fully man, the second person of the Trinity, and the one who has dealt with the sin issue so that we might get right with God the Father.
Instead, create a fake Jesus and offer him around to the masses, and you have basically destroyed biblical Christianity. That is why we see this all the time. Satan does not want us to know the real Jesus so he has become expert at creating millions of counterfeit and fraudulent Jesuses.
And far too many Christians have done exactly the same. We have a Jesus who is all about love, who would never harm a fly, and would never speak ill of anyone or anything. The Jesus of the book of Revelation is entirely absent, as is much of the Jesus of the gospels, including the table-throwing Jesus.
I speak more to this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/10/04/which-jesus/
Love. Speaking of love, this is another biblical word absolutely gutted of its scriptural content, and filled with every sort of dopey and humanistic foolishness imaginable. Love is now almost entirely viewed as emotion, as feelings, as mushy sentiment.
But biblical love is always about willing the highest good for the other person. True love wants the best for the other person. And that best is of course God’s best. Thus if you really love a person, you will want them to have all that God wants for them: a relationship with himself, sins forgiven, bondages broken, lives transformed, etc.
And the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. If you genuinely love someone, you care deeply about them and are concerned about their welfare – spiritual and otherwise. Indifference and apathy are the opposites to love. But real love involves hate.
If you love God, you will love what he loves and hate what he hates. God hates sin, and so should we. God hates that which prevents people from knowing him, and so should we. To love a drug addict means hating the drugs which are destroying him.
To love your wife means hating that which would cause her harm, or puts her in danger. Thus human love, like divine love, is a jealous love, rightly understood. Such love cares enough about the individual to strongly oppose that which would harm that person. It certainly is not about tolerating everything and putting up with anything.