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Hey there everyone! Well, the upcoming month of February is pretty empty in terms of Philmont bizness. Which is actually kind of a good thing, as four of us are experiencing birthdays during the next four weeks, so we get to be home with family to celebrate. Not to mention Scott and Brittany are moving into their Nashville TN apartment this weekend! So they will have some good time off to settle in and make friends.

But back to the birthday thing…mine is February 9th, and [taking a cue from Jeremi], if you happen to have the desire to get me something, I am an avid collector of Playstation games (only Playstation 1), especially rare or out-of-print titles like “Alan the Accountant”, “Extreme Cooking with Judith”, or “Suburban Minivan Driver 2: The Cul-De-Sacs”.

That…was a joke. Please do NOT get me Playstation 1 games. A gift card for Best Buy, Amazon, Target, or Zaxby’s will do just fine though!

Here is something that bugs me a lot. You sin. I sin. Your teacher sins. Your pastor sins. Your parents sin. Literally, EVERYONE sins. “Everyone” not meaning “everyone else” but rather being used as an inclusive set, meaning that from a universal perspective, every human being on the surface of the earth is a sinning machine. Boil it down, and we are all in the same category. SO why is it so easy for you to pass judgment on your neighbor? It is truly a reflection of the depth of our narcissism (fancy word for self-absorption) that we constantly practice elevating ourselves above someone in our thoughts or in our words because we see that someone sin. Even just hearing about someone who has committed sin, we naturally don this holier-than-thou attitude and scoff at them. Guess what? That person’s problem is your problem too. Your human-ness is your downfall.

This is why I hate gossip/drama. I’m sure many of you who are in school can attest to the phenomenon of a secret or a story indiscreetly circulating about a campus, and the reaction is usually the same – “Oh NO she didn’t!”, “What is his problem??”, “You have got to be kidding me! I can’t believe that person would do that!” Really, you can’t? Interesting, since you have more than likely lied and/or stolen in some form in the past week. That’s two broken commandments right there!

“Remove the plank from thine own eye before examining the speck in thy neighbor’s!” Matthew 7:3-5 (paraphrased)

“Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone!” John 8:7 (paraphrased)

EVERYONE sins. Let that sink in for a moment.
So what do we do? Well, the best thing you can do is to recognize and work on your own shortcomings, and encourage your fellow humans who are in sin. The worst thing you can do, especially as a Christian, is to judge your fellow man and turn yourself into a complete hypocrite [which ironically makes you a million times more likely to be judged by a non-Christian!]

Well this blog is getting awfully long. I still owe you a couple guitar tabs, but hopefully what you may or may not have learned here today will suffice until next week. Later on!

Three Songs to Buy on iTunes This Week:
1. “Let My Love Open the Door” by Pete Townshend

2. “Paralyzed” by The Used

3. “Queen of the Hours” by Electric Light Orchestra

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2 Comments

  1. Josiah,

    Happy Birthday early! Enjoy your time to rest during February.

    I’d like to challenge your theology here. I hope that’s OK.

    Let’s not confuse “gossip” with “judging”. Christians are NOT suppose to gossip, slander, speak falsely, etc about anyone at anytime.

    Christians ARE supposed to judge however. Who are they supposed to judge? Other Christians. Christians should not judge those that do no claim Jesus as their savior, but Christians are to judge those that do follow Jesus.

    Example: What would you do if Scott got drunk after a show and hook up with somebody else besides Brit? Would you not say anything? Would you just say “I’m a sinner too, so let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone!”? I hope not. You would judge his actions, and you would pull him aside and “let him have it”. That’s what Christians do for each other. Nathan judged David. Paul judged Peter. etc. etc.

    You quoted Matthew 7:3-5. “Remove the plank from thine own eye before examining the speck in thy neighbor’s!” This is a command for Christians to examine their own life BEFORE they judge someone else’s life. This is not a command to never judge, but guideline WHEN WE DO judge.

    Can we make judgments? Yes we can. I judge lying to be wrong. I judge murder to be wrong along with stealing, adultery, and abortion. The context of Matthew 7:1-5 is dealing with rash and superficial judgments filled with hypocrisy. It does not mean that we cannot make spiritual judgments. When you judge, do so without hypocrisy and in a manner consistent with Scripture. In other words don’t judge another Christian who gets drunk when you are getting drunk too. Examine your own life first.

    God will judge those that decide not to follow him, but Christians are to judge other Christians and hold them accountable. We are to do it gently, and out of love, after we examine our own lives first. But it is a myth that Christians are not to judge.

    Gossip = bad.
    Judging (done according to scripture) = great.

    Thoughts?

    Frank Rock

  2. Frank, thanks for the response! I do appreciate and completely agree with your insight. I suppose that in this blog I presented only a limited scope of the issue of “judgment”. My post was meant to highlight and criticize the idea of hypocritical judgment, which I imagine is probably a struggle for and something that is witnessed by many young people who read this blog! I feel like our main points go hand in hand, though I suppose I could have been a little more articulate in my writing.

    Thanks for the b-day wishes, hope to see you soon!

    Josiah


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