Whenever I talk about homosexuality being a sin, politics, sex outside of marriage and secular music-- people get fired up! I mean, they get plain MAD at me! HOW DARE YOU HEATHER! How DARE you JUDGE them. If I post that God wants your heart-- you say AMEN! But if I challenge your music, you say- "don't judge me. Sadly, we are a church that is constantly being divided against itself (amos 3:3) and we cannot stand because we rationalize certain areas of our life that we aren't quite ready to let go of. To be totally honest with you, I didn't judge you. The bible judged you & it judged you as wrong. It is God alone that placed those standards in the bible and as humans, we aren't to argue them, but to obey them. The bible is so clear on certain areas of our life but then we refuse to read it and let our feelings lead our life. We compare & contrast sin & say.. "I can't judge you because I got sin in my own life." Your sin cannot blot out another person's sin-- so instead of rationalizing and comparing sins, let's pursue holiness. Let's pursue righteousness! I'm not saying that I'm perfect or that you'll never sin. The difference is this: When you are not saved, you pursue SIN. When you are saved, you pursue Christ. For example, a practicing homosexual cannot be saved because they pursue and continue IN their sin-- even if they have conviction about it. A practicing fornicator isn't saved because they stay in the bed and continue to have sex and ignore the truth. (read 1 John). How can we say that we love Jesus if we continue to run after things that He's made so clear to us to stay away from in our lives?
John 3:19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
I don't listen to secular music, not because I think I'm better than anyone-- I just understand that MUSIC plants seeds in your heart. I blogged about TV & music affect your life here. Search the heart behind the person that is singing the song. Does their heart belong to the Father? As you read these words, they plant seeds in your heart. When a pastor that preaches the word correctly, preaches-- it plants seeds in your heart.. so when a rapper raps into your ear it doesn't? I can assure you that there's some things going on in your life as a direct result of what you've been watching and listening to on a regular basis. Don't you know that satan was over music in heaven before he got kicked out? But of course he's going for you here on this earth! And the words can even appear to be "safe" but that paired with who is singing it-- it's planting the wrong seeds in your heart.
For example, If you're trying to get over an ex-- you can't sit and listen to Adele all day. You think she's helping you to get over them but you're actually becoming more focused on the situation versus allowing God to heal your broken heart. The more you listen to those songs, the deeper the bitterness grows into your heart and all the while Christ is pulling on you! He's saying, "Focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (Philippines 3:13)!!" Most of that music focuses in on YOU. Music's purpose is to glorify GOD and not self. So, if you're struggling with listening to different rappers or R & B music, ask God to help you. Instead of getting mad at me for telling you that the bible tells us to guard our hearts, ask God to show you why it makes you so upset!
Lets get back to this judging thing. I think it's so important to talk about one of the most uninterrupted scriptures in the bible.
This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1) Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Meaning this, I am telling YOU not to do something but secretly, I am doing it. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.
In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian DUTY to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 tells us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Do you see the difference? "Do not judge" is not some blanket statement that we make in our efforts to pat others on the back and make them feel ok about their sin. The bible tells us to tell our other sisters and brothers in LOVE. So if a proclaiming Christian is living a certain way, it's ok to be God-led to pull her or him aside and talk with them. Even if they reject what you have to say-- doesn't mean you stop correcting. Even if that means you say after praying to the Lord about it, "sis, you know I love you, please don't get upset with me but-- the guy your dating isn't saved. The bible tells us not to be unequally yoked. You used to be so on fire for God, but it's changed since you started dating him." Just make sure that while you're helping them sweep off their porch, that you've swept off your own in that area. You cannot be sleeping with your boyfriend-- keeping him in your bed every night but then trying to tell someone that they need to stop doing the same thing. How does that work?
We must take our own advice. You ruin your witness when you're doing the SAME thing & preaching against it (and this is what the bible is saying, don't judge hypocritically). It seems like we ALWAYS have all this word for somebody else but all of the word we have for them, isn't working for us. If you've approached your sister in Christ about an area and she has decided to continue in her sin, then just PRAY for her. This doesn't mean you get mad at her or whatever else-- it means that you take her before God and CRY out to HIM on HER behalf. Ask yourself.. do you cry on behalf of your sisters or brothers sins or do you gossip about them? If your heart is pure in your approach-- you'll find that you'll get results. If you're talking DOWN to that person, you won't get anywhere. It's not in what you say but HOW you say it. So, be sweet when you do talk to that person. Remember that you're not GOD and if they reject you, know that they rejected Him first. At times, we just plant the seeds and it's GOD alone that waters them. If you have zero relationship with a person-- you cannot expect them to receive from you either. They aren't confident that you even know them well enough to speak into their life, on their situation and if you don't know them and you're trying to speak into their life its most likely because you're assuming which thus makes you unqualified to speak into their heart. Now, if you don't know the person.. and God tells you to do it--- DO it. Obey quickly. This isn't a formula for anything-- in everything we do, we should be God-led. So, instead of thinking of all the people you're going to correct tomorrow-- Go to the Lord and ask Him to correct and wreck YOU. We must be first humble & not self righteous in our approach. I have learned this in "correcting" people-- you cannot WANT that person to change MORE than they want to change. Remember this-- that if we really believed that prayer really works, why would we stop?
So, the next time someone throws the word "judge" around, remember as Christians we are to righteously judge one another based on the truth of the bible-- unbelievers have already been judged as they live in darkness. Pray for their salvation instead of screaming at their sin.. they don't belong to the Father-- what else do you expect for them to do?
Just a few things:
1. If you live in Atlanta, I want to invite you to our church. Join us on Sundays at 11:00am at Landmark Art Cinemas. Our churches name is: "The Gathering Oasis" (there's another church that holds service there too). 931 Monroe Drive NE Atlanta, GA- in Theatre 6.
2. My book is selling like crazy! I'm so thankful for all of you that have supported! Check it out here: My New Book! Pink Lips & Empty Hearts: www.PinkLipsAndEmptyHearts.com AND my new book, "A Perfect Recipe" here!
3. Register for the 2014 Pinky Promise in Atlanta, GA! It sold out last year, so you don't want to miss out!www.pinkypromiseconference.com
4. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 13,000 ladies that have joined! Find a group near you by joining & checking out the intro page! Join here:www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com
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6. I will be in Greensboro, NC this Saturday preaching! If you're in the area-- I would love to meet you! My calendar is here: www.heatherllindsey.com
God loves you like crazy!