Sunday, September 10, 2006

For Discussion

Everyday Mommy has called into question the veracity of statements made in a commercial for the United Methodist Church. She writes:
In the commercial two statements were made:

"None of us is qualified to judge others."

"When you truly embrace diversity you embrace God."

Are these statements Biblically accurate?


I have not seen the commercial, so my assessment of the accuracy of these statements is made by taking each one at face value and weighing it against what the Bible tells us. All scripture references here are links to the NIV at BibleGateway.com.

On judging others:

In the book of John, we are told that all judgement has been entrusted to the Son by the Father and that He reserves judgement until the last day. He did not come to judge the world, but to save it. Who is more righteous than Christ? Who then is qualified to judge anyone?
John 5:21-23, John 8:14-16, John 12:47-50


In Romans, we are told that we condemn ourselves when we pass judgement on someone else. There is no one righteous. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all will stand before God's judgement seat. So far, it seems to me that none of us is qualified to judge.
Romans 2:1-3, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, Romans 14:9-11


In 1 Corinthians, we are told to judge nothing before the appointed time. When the Lord comes He will expose the motives of men's hearts.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

James tells us there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. How arrogant of us to think we have any right to judge our neighbor! James 4:11-12



But wait. What about 1 Corinthians 5:9-13? Doesn't it say that we are to judge those inside the church? Is the statement above rendered inaccurate by this passage? Who are the "others" in that statement? Church members or non-members?


On embracing diversity:

I have two thoughts on this concept. On the one hand, God is God of all people regardless of their color, race, height, weight, gender, education, age, etc. We are not all alike. We should not esteem ourselves higher than any other nor think ourselves more deserving of His gift of salvation by grace through faith. It is for ALL whom the Lord will call. We are to love one another. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God. When we love one another, He lives in us and His love is perfected in us.

Leviticus 19:33-34

John 17:1-3

Acts 2:38-39, Acts 3:24-26, Acts 10:27-28, Acts 10:34-35

Romans 3:29-30, Romans 5:18-19, Romans 10:11-13

Ephesians 2:11-22

1 John 4:7-12


On the other hand, diversity could refer to the exhortation to be different - not conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is not by human wisdom that we understand what God has given us, but by the Holy Spirit. We are to be set apart from the world as aliens and strangers.

Romans 12:1-3

1 Corinthians 2:11-13

1 Peter 2:10-12


Both statements, in my opinion, can be supported by scripture. However, if you assume that the statements are intended to broaden the path that leads to righteousness and to relax the standards of holiness we are to uphold, then they cannot be Biblically accurate. This was not my assumption.

Care for another opinion? Go here.

11 comments:

Paulette said...

Ok well now then I couldnt have said this better if I tried. Sounds like a great sermon to me to.
My worst pet peave in the whole world is when people judge each other, especially when they do not know the other person, they just assume..
Great post Brenda.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I think people get confused on the judging part. In order to judge someone, we must impose a sentence for the "sin." I don't think recognizing sin as sin is judging. We are to exhort each other. You said it well- that we cannot "broaden the path to righteousness and relax the standards." Thanks, Brenda!!
Melanie@thisaintnewyork

Andrea said...

Thanks for your post. As a member of the United Methodist Church, I sometimes struggle with what they stand for and how they present the faith of the church. I have seen this commercial and others like it and they bug me. They aren't clear. The way to eternal salvation is very clear - Jesus Christ. There shouldn't be a guessing game involved!
Sorry to go on and on...this just touched my heart. Thanks again for your post.

Andrea said...

By the way, that's me from decipher the fog... :)

Nancy said...

Well I'm impressed with the thoroughness you took to present this issue. I have not seen the commercial, but will certainly keep my eyes open.

Pamela said...

Wonderful post, and I truly appreciate your research. I believe the Holy spirit is the only one who can judge. I feel we all come from different walks of life and we all are God's children. I try to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated. I try to be with people who bring me up and not bring me down. Therefore, I have always had trouble sharing my problems and yet, I would dislike being judged for that reason, I try to give, and by giving I receive. That is just the best I can do.

Dawn said...

I've seen the commercial and to me it is a part of the gay agenda. I could be wrong.

BooMama said...

Well, I was a card-carrying member of the UMC until I was 29 years old. And okay, they didn't really give us cards.

But I admire how logically you've laid out your take on this...I'd have to see the commercial again to speak on it. When I see it I'll weigh in.

:-)

Dawn said...

Hi, Brenda - come over and see what my daughter did for my site. She's good and I'm techno-challenged!

Overwhelmed! said...

Brenda, what an impressive post! It's obvious that you spent much time researching this issue. I have not seen the commercial, I hope I do soon.

By the way, thanks for your comment on my "How I met my honey" post. I do appreciate it.

Barb said...

OK, I was going along fine until you brought 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 into it. My immediate reaction was whoa! You know that I'm pretty new at studying my Bible so I thought I'd better not comment here and make a fool out of myself.

Then I thought some more. I haven't seen the commercial. Some of us haven't watched TV in months. :-)

I do have a simple opinion. I don't believe anyone but God has the right to judge anyone. Period. To me, judging someone else is a form of arrogance.

And embracing diversity? I always have. And I always will. We are all God's children. All of us. Makes no difference how diverse we are at all.

I haven't seen the commercial. But I don't need to see it either. I know what I believe.
xoxoxo