Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Sawdust & Two-by-Fours

This is a series of essays based on a teaching that I did at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, TX on Sunday, September 21, 2003.

A Woman with an STD

John Wimber tells of a time when during ministry prayer at the Anaheim Vineyard, a young woman approached and asked him to pray for the healing of a sexually transmitted disease that she had contracted. John prayer for her and God healed her. The woman was not married and she was not a believer. A few months later, the same woman again asked John to pray for the healing of another STD that she had contracted. God healed her this second time. A few months later, John Wimber saw the same woman approaching him again. He said to himself, "Enough is enough. Not again."

Was John Wimber right to feel the way he did when this woman came a third time for healing? Why or why not? 

Try this one. What should your church do if a non-Christian unmarried cohabitating couple begin to attend services?

The Church is facing these and much harder issues today. At least the Church should be facing these issues. The purpose of these series if essays is to explore Jesus teaching on judgment and draw application. Here is the passage:

  1. Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 
  2. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 
  3. Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:1-6, The Net Bible)

The numbering of the points is not part of the translation, but it is useful to see that Jesus addresses three related topics in this brief section. I net these sections down as follows:

A General Rule -- Do not judge another person. For this I will explore similar passages in the New Testament and show the strength of this command as a rule for daily living. Although there may be some application to government, Jesus intent is interpersonal. Governments have responsibilities that individuals do not have.

A Qualification -- We need to help our brothers and sisters see clearly. One reason for the general rule is to create in us a heart that is able to come along side others and help them see and overcome obstacles to Christian discipleship.

An Exception -- We need to protect what is valuable. We need to recognize and judge those things that cause harm to the body of Christ. In other words, we have to know who are people and who are dogs and pigs.

As you might guess, over the next few days, I will be taking these topics up in order. You can get a tape of my teaching by contacting Community Bible Chapel and requesting it.. There will be neither charge nor donation request to do so.

Thursday: The General Rule

<>< Test Everything. Cling to what is good. ><>


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