A gal who grew up in a church that seemed to all about condemning others gave a TED talk. It came to my attention today, and I like it. Please see all of it before we apply what she learned in our ministry among others.
The Greek word most for “condemn” means to pronounce a sentence upon after determination of guilt (BDAG). The root word here is “to judge.” So condemning is the outwork of judging. In Bible times a convicted person was usually excommunicated or executed. However, after the death and resurrection of Christ, we seek to restore the guilty. Notice how Paul had the Corinthians deal with the man in both First and Second Corinthians. He was to be brought back into the fellowship. Also, notice the basis Paul used for his judgment. (Hint: It was not a quote from the Old Testament.)
Let’s go back to the TED talk. Here are her four suggestions and my comments.
- Do not assume bad intent. Most likely that person means no harm to other person or group.
- Ask questions. Ask open-ended questions. Like “Why.” “How do you know?” “To what extent?” Take the time to review Kipling poem or this video of it.
- Stay Calm. Never interrupt. Never shout the other person down. What you need to make your point is a civil dialog.
- Make the argument. In my terms start your case for your perspective. State why you believe what believe. Be sure that you can support your claim from multiple outside resources. Do not invent “facts.” When using Bible verses make sure you fully understand the entire paragraph that contains each verse. Also the full context of the passage and culture of the time and place of the author.
See the posts listed below on hate.
We often condemn others based on our political views. Our moral standards. Our own spiritual and religious convictions. We have judged people based on these things and declared them guilty.
What does Bible say about our condemning others?
See what Jesus says and Luke 6:37. Try reading that whole passage. In it, Jesus describes what life in His Kingdom.
John 8:10-11. Since Jesus had that attitude then maybe we should too.
Even the angels do not do pronounce a railing judgment on problem people but leave that decision up to the Lord. Now look at Jude 9 Point: God will judge those who think and do unrighteous things. It is not up to me to say all kinds of nasty things about them. Or to condemn them.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Mt 7:1 (Remember that condemning others is the result of judging them.
Rom 2:1-4. These verses are my central passage on this topic.
If you want more look up every place “condemn” or “condemnation” is mention in the New Testament. I think you will find that the exercise of condemnation is only for the Ultimate Creator of the universe. That is to say, God.
Condemning Others is often an outworking of hating other. Therefore be sure to see that post. Also, check out the post on being hated. Another post that might help is 1 Thess 5:14 it is the more loving approach.