Interesting one. I only do so to be judgemental.Which I probably shouldn't be.
I would submit we should and shouldn't. It all depends on the situation and our motivation. I reckon, based on your past comments I've read, that I would trust you to judge almost anything accurately and impartially.
Linda - Too often I feel I do as well. But we are called (as STxAR so correctly points out) to judge with right judgement. Perhaps the more relevant question is what standard are we (starting with myself) judging by.
STxAR - Indeed we should and we should not. And it is situational and motivational - although how many times have I refrained from judging when I should have judged out of wrong motivation or because it would make things uncomfortable for me? Not as much as I have judged wrongly to be sure, but enough.I appreciate your confidence. Interestingly, as I have gotten older, I have learned to judge less and more, based largely on what the Church should be (and how it has failed to become that).
And this statement is testimony to the incredible vapidity of the "clergy" and the state of Biblical ignorance of the "laity". Oh how I despise and reject those words. Church leadership is supposed to rise from within, not hire a mercenary from another location. It is a LOCAL body. Therefore it has a unique personality.Every man should strive to be a deacon: Acts 6:1-5 men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. Physically SERVING their church family. But studying to be able to teach, to move into elder territory.Every man should strive to be an elder: 2 Tim 2:15 Study, so that you may rightly divide the Word of Truth. c.f. 1 Tim 2: 3:1-7 Dividing: rightly handling and skillfully teachingTherefore: (when you see therefore, find out what it is there for [i.e. based on the previous, the following is presented])We ARE to judge: 1Cor11:32 Judge yourself, 1Cor5 judge those in the fellowship, not outside the fellowship. Romans 2:1 Watch your motivation and your own proclivities. 1Cor2:15 spiritual people judge all things. JB Phillips compiled a New Testament Paraphrase. Not a translation, not a transliteration, but one man's take with respect to the understanding he was able to discern. Personally, I think his take on 1 Corinthians 2:15 gives a good understanding of what Paul is saying. Just remember, this is one man's interpretation of scripture. It isn't a translation. "But the unspiritual man simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with—they just don’t make sense to him, for, after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things. The spiritual man, on the other hand, has an insight into the meaning of everything, though his insight may baffle the man of the world. This is because the former is sharing in God’s wisdom, and ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ!"As is usual, the worldly key in on what excuses their sin."Judge not that you be not judged." I think that is the most well known scripture reference in the world now. The one before was John 3:16.The world keys in on judging any rebuke as evil with "Get off my lawn!" We used to key in on eternal hope "whosever believes on Him will have eternal life."And every member of every church should be mentored to know these things and have them at hand when they have the opportunity to “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8I hope this isn't too long or seen as an attempt to bogart the blog. Maybe it's a Sunday School lesson for those of us stuck at home.Q.E.D.? I hope so.
STxAR - No, never too long or irrelevant. It is an aspect of what Tozer is saying. Were I more clever, I would have a better idea of how clergy used to be selected versus how they are selected. Currently there are two models I am aware of.The first is similar to what you relate: the local body either puts out a request to the higher body (for denominational) or just "posts a sign" on the InterWeb that they are looking for a new pastor. For denominations, they inevitably have a committee who reviews the candidates and makes a recommendation, which is usually expected to be accepted by the voting congregation. In the other model, the eldership raises up individuals from within (or without) based on their own criteria.Both have their problems. For the call committee version, the congregation usually has not exposure to all the candidates, only the one the committee feels should be moved forward. Maybe this goes well, maybe not (I have been in both situations). When it goes well, the committee is satisfied; when it does not go well, they have no responsibility (oddly enough). For the Elder model, the criteria may be murky and individuals may be "elevated" to the pastorship without actual qualification of what it takes to be a pastor.To your point - yes, there is a great responsibility on the individual Christian to be spiritually aware and able to make judgements (The "Judge not lest ye be judged" is often called out, as often as the "But judge with right judgement" is ignored. At the same time, there is a great responsibility on the individual Christian to be active in their own formation and development and if they find the church they are at is in error, to leave if they themselves will not be corrected.Would that the power and the responsibility of the Individual Christian to be emphasized. It would change Western Christianity.
I heard about the Pareto principle last year. I kinda had a similar understanding before that. In every system, 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. There will always be those who sit, soak and sour. There will always be a few, a remnant, that will heed the call, feel the fire. That will study, to show themselves approved, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. They will be the ones that follow close and in step. And they will rise to lead, if only by example. They may leave their nets for full time service, or they may continue their tent making as a support system for their ministry. I really wonder if the church wasn't supposed to be a bit more.... organic. Subject for another time.
STxAR - The reason the Pareto principle (often known as the 80/20 rule) has survived so long is that, in general, it is true. 20% of anything gives 80% of the results, and 80% gives 20%. As individuals, the greatest means to success is figuring out what how to focus on that 20% and drive results.In churches, this is often the complaint, is is not? They struggle to find volunteers because the same group (the 20%) are the ones always volunteering. The 80% coast.Finding that 20% is the challenge in any organization.
Amen. And to think this wasn't written in our current climate!
Kelly, to read Tozer (well worth it if you have not), one finds that even in the 1960's he was already lamenting the fact that The Church was reflecting the world, as did Cornelius Van Til. What we are living in today is really the outcome of almost 60-70 years of The Church becoming like the world instead of The Church.
The Higher Criticisms came from Germany in the late 1800's to preeminent theology colleges here. Think Ivy League Colleges... This was basically a repudiation of the Sola Scriptura school of thought. They cast doubt on the accuracy of scripture. The result was church leadership in mainline denominations that didn't believe the very Book they were supposed to teach and follow. The ripples from that, I think, include the politicians that hate the very country they purport to represent today. This country was birthed after a great Awakening. Our roots are in spiritual revival. Our future.... Alas, Babylon....But the individual... That is where the change takes place. That is where the nation heals. That is where culture pivots. Like individual cells in a body fighting off infection....
Some wise person, I have no idea who, once suggested that Europe is usually ahead on the curve of what is coming to the US by 10 to 20 years. Look at where Europe is now, and (unless we change) that is where we will be as well.Ultimately it is the individual that drives corporate change. But the individual has to be willing not only to engage in the changed, but pay the price. And the longer we go, the steeper that price is.
It's too easy to do.Perhaps it's laziness? I have seen any number of people always default to the easiest path with the least resistance. Pretty lies are comforting and soothing. We seem to always equate the easy way out with the best way out.
Laziness is certainly a suggestion. I have been guilty of that more than once. Also, lazy theology that is more reliant on what the person up front says rather than what the Bible says.
Considering the state of the culture, serious and judgemental Christians have significant, practical advantages. - Keith
Keith, one of my (many) gripes with modern culture and society is that we spend a great deal of time and energy buffering people from their poor choices. Christianity - or, to be fair, most other world religions in this sense - can give one a series of boundaries and guideposts to manager their lives by. Most have abandoned that for the reality of bad decisions which are not suffered from.And yes, serious and rightly judging Christians are at an advantage in this world, even if is not recognized as such.
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