Has anyone noticed a whole lot of people voicing “criticism” these days? We seem to live in a world that enjoys “criticizing” or “judging” others. Worse yet, we can now “criticize” more easily with social media. Honestly, this is an area I have wrestled with over that past few years. As a Christian and believer of the Bible, I believe in “Absolute Truth”. Given this, when is it appropriate for me to share my beliefs and personal convictions with others?
Likely, whether you’re a non-believer or believer, you’ve heard Matthew 7 somewhere along the way. It says, “1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 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? 5 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.”
So, when is it right to judge? If you’re a follower of the Jesus’ teachings, than the answer is most definitely – NEVER – right?
Dr. Mark Moore was professor of New Testament at Ozark Christian College from 1990-2012 and is now the Teaching Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ. Mark was a guest pastor at Traders Point Christian Church back in July 2011 and did some of the best teaching I have heard regarding what the Bible says about “criticism” and “judgment”.
Unfortunately, the subject matter is too complex to summarize in just few words. Dr. Moore’s sermon is about 40 minutes in length and I would encourage you to take the time to watch the entire sermon. You can also access the transcripts at TPCC.org. For you instant gratification folks, might I suggest a skim of the transcript?
One particular point which I will emphasize surrounds “edification”. Dr. Moore says, “Most of the time – I would say all the time – criticism always edifies. Criticism always edifies; sometimes it edifies the person who is criticizing (builds you up), and other times it edifies the person who is being criticized…. Most of us edify ourselves. We criticize the other person to tear them down so that we look bigger, better, smarter, more informed. And we can do it in the most sophisticated ways; we usually call it prayer requests. But the principle is still true: if you need an audience to level your criticism, what you are doing is evil. If you don’t need an audience – in fact, if you reject an audience – then what you’re doing is probably pretty helpful….”
Given this statement, a question that arises is whom this blog post is “edifying”. I know my intent, however, I’ll let you be the judge.
Have a fantastic day!