Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"I don't judge; I love."

Those who claim to love apart from judgment are dangerous.

Judgment points people toward what is good and away from what is harmful. (that is loving)

Judgment says one thing is beautiful and another thing is ugly. (that is loving)

Judgment informs us on nutritious vs. junk food. (that is loving)

Judgment highlights virtue and condemns vice. (that is loving)

Judgment recognizes authority and rejects antinomianism. (that is loving)

A non-judgmental love offers no wisdom, counsel, or direction. 

A non-judgmental love refuses to cry out to protect the wandering.

A non-judgmental love has no opinion, backbone, or personality.

A non-judgmental love acceptance means nothing because it accepts anything and anyone. 

The reality: Real love judges. Real judgment is done with love.

Friday, January 16, 2015

"That's legalism."

Too many people avoid living based on convictions for fear of the dreaded "L" word--legalist!

Christians used to not drink alcohol based on convictions; now, all teetotalers are quickly dubbed legalists. 

Christians used to avoid movies and dances based on convictions related to content and decorum; now, such people would be immediately dubbed fundamentalists.

Not so, among the 17th century Puritans. These men and women embraced convictions not to be saved (which is what a legalist really does), but they did it out of faith in a God who cares about every facet of our life.

Richard Rogers once said, "I serve a precise God." A precise God requires precision of life and conduct among his people.

J.I. Packer explains this well in his book A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life: "A precise God--a God, that is, who has made a precise disclosure of his mind and will in Scripture, and who expects from his servants a corresponding precision of belief and behavior..."

If you are ever labeled a legalist, embrace these steps:

1) First say, "Thank you for that observation. If this is true, I am in a grave situation. I will go now and prayerfully make sure my lifestyle choices are born out of gratitude for my salvation and not as the means to be saved."

2) Next, if after meditating on this and are confident it is a choice based on love and obedience toward God to express thanks for your salvation, return to your accuser. Tell them, "I believe my conduct in this particular area is just one simple gesture of gratitude and holiness to a God who has saved me from great sin and has invited into a life of precise holiness."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"But I don't like theology..."

There's a myth in churches that doctrine is boring and spiritually deadening. Reading through lengthy spiritual treatises, inductive Bible study, and Bible memorization get billed as "heady" and cumbersome. People  boast of not being theological.

I believe our spiritual patriarchs and matriarchs would lament such ideas. For instance, Our spiritual forefather William Perkins defined theology as "the science of living blessedly forever."

Scientists study things diligently, knowing that the payoff is on the other side of the research.

Many of us miss out on the deep things of God because we're unwilling to study the deep things of God.  May we become Psalm 111:2 people in 2015:

NIV  Psalm 111:2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.