I Can See Clearly Now the Log is Gone
Man, do we love to point fingers. It seems like any Christian with a microphone and a public forum burns their calories condemning non-Christians “destroying” this or that. Popular music destroys our kids, Democrats are destroying our country, Gays are destroying our marriages, etc. Aside from the fact that we can’t claim ownership of our kids, nation, or marriage (they are all gifts from God for which we are given stewardship), it is a completely unbiblical orientation for judgment.
The Apostle Paul (one of the first big-name Christian leaders) told the Church that he has no business judging the world, that is God’s job. He can only judge the church because the church (supposedly) has been transformed by the grace of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good. Therefore it is only the Christian church that should be judged by Christian standards.
Jesus takes it even closer to home. He teaches in the Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of Matthew ch 5-7) that before we can even judge our fellow Christians, we must first examine and correct ourselves. The irony of course is that can never examine ourselves fully (that is a vantage only God has), and therefore can never act as a “just” judge with another Christian. How then do we help fellow Christians with their issues?
First we must recognize and “own” the fact that we have our own issues. This will enable us to better understand the nature of sin in the community and allow us to act humbly toward others (which is the correct way to act).
Second, only then can we look at the sins of our fellow Christians, and only for the sake of helping them overcome the sin, never to condemn them. Another irony, Jesus also speaks of condemnation in his Sermon, saying that if you call a brother a “fool” (one who doesn’t know God), you open yourself up for condemnation. This shouldn’t be surprising because for one sinner to condemn another, they must first throw out the possibility of grace, which is the only thing saving the accuser!
Third, we must also realize that our authority to correct comes from our charge to purify the fellowship of believers. Therefore we have no business or right to condemn those outside of the fellowship. Remember, the only reason we can do good is because of God living inside of us. We cannot expect those outside of Christianity to even recognize or be able to achieve godly standards. God has written a law on the hearts of those outside the Church, and he will judge them according to their own understanding of it (see Paul’s letter to the Romans ch. 1-3)
In summation, pointing fingers begins with pointing at ourselves, later on at other brothers and sisters to help them (not hurt them), and never beyond the church.