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.
We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995),
This verse is one of a string of verses in this chapter that are important to one-on-one ministry. Check the index to see which other ones I detailed. In any case be sure to read all of 1 Thessalonians 5.
I am sorry for this longer than usual post. There is just too much in this passage. And to get the overall impact I wanted to show it as an entire unit.
1 Thess 5:14 in Real Life
Let me attempt an expanded paraphrase of this verse.
Now for those of us who are devoted to Jesus. Here are some life principles.
Help refresh the memory of those who are not living out brotherly love or otherwise disturbing the harmony among local Christians. Some ways to do that include sharing with them how what they are doing is hurtful to the others. And note how this has negatively affected others in the past.
Encourage those Christians who are cowardly about accepting persecution or losing their dedication to Jesus. Comfort those who despondent or depressed.
Show your strong attachment and devotion to and in that way help others who are not doing well. Including those who are physically sick, or have no way to provide for their own needs, or helpless because of some addiction Maybe they are unsure about their dedication to Jesus.
In summary, be patient with each follower of Jesus and the group as a whole. That is we need to bear up under the provocation of another believer and that without complaint.
In other words, there is not any room for hate in the character of the follower of Jesus.
Keywords in 1 Thess 5:14
I sent a fair amount of time researching the keywords in this verse. I feel that it is imperative to see the understanding of words at the time of writing. And not some new opinion resulting from current translations or the cultural shifts of nearly two millennia.
Brethern: BDAG notes that Jesus calls everyone who is devoted to him brother Mt 12:50; Mk 3:35, especially. his disciples Mt 28:10; Jn 20:17. Hence used by Christians in their relations with each other Ro 8:29, 1 Cor 5:11; Eph 6:23; 1 Ti 6:2; Ac 6:3; 9:30; 10:23; Rv 1:9; 12:10. So in this passage, the apostle Paul is appealing to his fellow believers. He sees himself as on the same level as his readers.
Admonish: The TLNT notes that it is a compound of nous and tithēmi, the verb noutheteō means “put something in someone’s mind,” hence “instruct, lecture,” sometimes by way of refreshing the memory, sometimes by way of making observations or giving warnings. BDAG defines it as to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct, admonish, warn, instruct. Check out Ac 20:31; 1 Cor 4:14; Col 1:28; 3:16; 1 Th 5:12; 2 Th 3:15; Tit 1:11 and Ro 15:14. Notice this much softer approach then is common in the western culture where we are inclined to condemn or even hate someone we think is unruly.
Unruly: This is the only place this word occurs in the New Testament. It is a compound word its root word means fixed or appointed with a prefix meaning “without.” So the question is what should be “fixed” or “appointed.” The TLNT suggests the “ataktoi” Thessalonians free themselves from the rule of community life. One thinks of sins against brotherly love, a propensity to favor discord, a refusal to accept the customs or discipline of the church. The church here would be the local community of believers, not some larger organization.
Encourage: The underlying Greek word occurs four times in the New Testament (Jn 11:19; 11:31; 1 Thess 2:11; 5:14). The word comes to us in English as “console” or “encourage.” Either word will work in this passage.
Fainthearted: This again is the only place this word occurs in the New Testament. However, it is used in the Greek translation of Old Testament (Prov 14:29; 18:14; Isa 25:5; 35:4; 54:6; 57:15). Suggested translations in the TDNT include “those faint of heart”, “to be cowardly”, “to lose heart”, “despondency”, “crossness” and “impatience”. I think any or all of those suggestions can work in this passage.
Help: BDAG suggests it means “to have a strong attachment to someone or something,” “cling to,” “hold fast to,” “be devoted to” and “to have a strong interest in,” hence “help.” It is this second set of meanings they suggest for 1 Thess 5:14. Again I think any of those definitions can fit in this passage.
Weak: There are many ways a person can exhibit weakness. BDAG finds support for the following.
Suffering from a debilitating illness
Give up too easily
Relative ineffectiveness whether external or inward – feeble or ineffectual
Helpless in a moral sense
Weakness of faith for any reason
Economically weak or poor
Patient: There a place in both Hebrews and James where the word means to remain tranquil while waiting or to have patience. In Matthew and Luke, it indicates a delay. However, it often indicates to bear up under provocation without complaint (1 Peter 3:9) or forbearing. Bearing up under provocation is the meaning here. (See BDAG)
Everyone: This word is used over 1,200 times in the New Testament. In this case, the sense is about the totality but with focus on the individuals. (See BDAG). So we are to be patient with each person without qualification.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995),
As always we need to read the broader context which is Romans 12:1-8. Also read cross-reference passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 20, 27 and Ephesians 4:12, 15, 25. When one looks at the book of Romans as a whole we see how these two verses fit in the literary structure.
Discussion on Romans 12:4-5
The human body often is a metaphor used in Scripture to illustrate spiritual concepts. Even God who is a spirit being is commonly described using the human body as an illustration. In this case, we call them “anthropomorphisms.” In this case, the spiritual assembly of believers in Jesus is like a human body. Each member of that Christian meeting has different vital things to do.
In our one-on-one ministry, we must realize that the other person has a different role in the Church, the Body of Christ. Having different functions means we will not see things exactly alike. We will have various functions. (Note I said “various functions” not “different roles to play.” To me, a role is an acted part in a play not what the person is in real life.) What is highly relevant to me may seem less critical for my friend or brother. We each need to accept these differences.
For example one of us may be focused on spreading the Good News about Jesus. The other may focus on clearly understanding difficult scriptures. Another brother maybe concerned with caring for the daily physical needs of those who can not help themselves.
So when you meet with someone this week realize these differences and lovingly accept one another. Doing this is practicing Romans 12:4-5
.Luke 9:18-22 has an impressive command. Peter has correctly stated that Jesus is Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one of God. Immediately Jesus commands the disciples not to tell anyone. Why not? It is because Jesus must suffer, be rejected, and die. Then raised from the dead. If Jesus wanted this widely know at that point in his ministry, He would be bragging.
How about us? Do we seek attention for the unique things God has done for us? Maybe we should not. Who knows but what we too, like Jesus, have many things to suffer, rejection to face and even killed. When we brag about a special relationship with God, The name of God will be slandered when we suffer? People will think that either we have lied about this relationship or that God is not able to protect His own.
We should keep quiet when God shows himself to us in unusual ways. Or He uses us to do His work in some unique way. For we do not know what will happen in the future.
You just reach out to someone. Let your heart draw you. It knows who to pick. Someone with whom you click. Let the Holy Spirit within you prompt you.
Jethro to Moses– Saw a need
Paul to Timothy– Saw potential
Eli to Samuel– Get dumped on you
Plus others in the Bible and my experience.
Notice in the first three that the older man helps, the younger man.
Assignments seldom work well. Especially if you are dumb enough to say something like “Pastor Aaron Gance wants me to disciple you.” That is the opposite of friendship or brotherhood. It makes him feel like some welfare project, or that you are his parole officer.
I got picked when I was about 14.
I was in church with my mother some 20 miles from home. However, my father wanted to stay in the community instead of driving to the city. Soon after we started a man in the church introduced himself to my mother and me. That man invited me to attend a boys club meeting at the church. I loved being with that group. I would never miss a meeting. The best part was the whole-group huddle at the end. With arms around each other’s shoulders, we repeated a motto or “watchword.” That 10-second interaction signaled support and unity that was uplifting. I could not wait to get back to that group where I felt I belonged. And valued as a person. I continue in some way involved in ministry to other men. It all started about 60 years ago.
You find someone your heart draws you to and look for a way to do something together.
From 1 Samuel 30 we learn that we should appeal to the wicked and worthless as brothers.
Background of 1 Samuel 30:22-25
David and his 600 men returned from the Philistines. Their city is burned. Their wives and children are captives. All their goods are spoil in the enemy’s hand. 200 of David’s men are tired and stay to protect the baggage. The 400 others go and bring everything back and more. Some of those 400 were wicked and worthless. They did not want to share the spoil with those who stayed to protect the baggage.
Application from 1 Samuel 30:22-25
When David appeals to these wicked and worthless he calls them “brothers”. And so should we.
The wicked and worthless Appeal to as brothers
Think about it. Calling someone wicked, worthless, lazy, good for nothing, stupid, whacked, or some other negative thing is not good. It will not encourage them to improve. It may harden them. Speaking to them in a friendly way will encourage them to improve and do what is right.
These passages talk about dealing with an enemy. Are not the wicked and worthless in our groups really an enemy? If we are to treat outside enemies this way can we not call those in our own groups “brothers”?
2 Kings 6:20-23 Elisha on how to deal with an enemy
Proverbs 25:21-22 Direct command to care for an enemy
Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount
Luke 6:27-38 Sermon on the Mount in Luke
Romans 12:17-21 Part of Paul’s application statement for the book of Romans
Years ago I assisted in a popular public speaking course. One of the textbooks had a helpful slogan. “Give a dog a bad name and you might as well hang him. But give him a good name and he will strive to live up to it.”
30:23 But David said, “No! You shouldn’t do this, my brothers. Look at what the LORD has given us! He has protected us and has delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 30:24 Who will listen to you in this matter? The portion of the one who went down into the battle will be the same as the portion of the one who remained with the equipment! Let their portions be the same!”
30:25 From that time onward it was a binding ordinance for Israel, right up to the present time.
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), 1 Sa 30:23–25.
As the“provider” consistently view and call the“receiver” abrother orfriend. How you label your relationship to another person controls how you think and behave toward him. You do not want to come on to the receiver as being superior. Note the passages below. Notice what Jesus starts calling the disciples in John 15:12-17(NASB).
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another”
If Jesus called his disciplesfriends, how dare I assume a prideful title!
Here are some common terms that are problematic.
Discipleship– Has a Teacher and disciple(s). That is a superior to an inferior relationship. It is not friendship or brotherhood. Yes, we are to make disciples but that is not a license to look down on those we help. To look down on someone is prideful. Pride is not a Christian virtue.
Mentoring– Has the mentor and the mentored. Again it is a superior to an inferior relationship, not a friendship.
Training– Has a trainer and trainee, Yet again it is a superior to an inferior relationship, not a brotherhood.
Pastor– In my sub-culture, that term often signals a paid superior. Which is a privileged relationship, not a friendship or brotherhood. If in another culture“pastor” means the servant of those in his charge then that term is biblical. See 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Each man in the relationship often has a different term for it. Those terms may change over time. That change will signal changes in the relationship.
Let the younger receiver call you and your relationship what he will. That is his freedom. You as the older person should consistently use“brother” or“friend” of the other person. Hopefully, your relationship will mature to the point that he will you call you friend or brother.
Both of you should ponder and apply Matthew. 23:8-12.(NASB).
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”
Example of using “brother”:
An actual dialog I recently had:
Him: I am glad I have you as a mentor.
Me: I love having you as a friend and brother.
Him: I love it when you call me that.
So truly see your service(ministry) to younger men as both friendship and brotherhood. Do not view yourself as a father figure.
In Luke 15 the Pharisees despise Jesus because Jesus ate with sinners.
Jesus responds to this charge by telling three parables. (On this web site pointing to any Bible reference will give you a pop-up of the text.)
The rejoicing shepherd (Luke 15:4-7)
The rejoicing woman (Luke 15:8-10)
The rejoicing father (Luke 15:11-32)
These titles come from the “punch line” of each parable. They are in Luke 15:6, 9, 32.
Jesus also gave spiritual applications for the first two. Notice Luke 15:7, 10. He did not need to do it for the last one. It was now obvious.
The parables explain why Jesus ate with sinners.
These parables seem off topic. They talk about a lost sheep, coin and son. These are but a vehicle to carry the main point. Jesus ate with sinners to find those who are lost from the Heavenly Father. When Jesus finds them the Heavenly Father rejoices.
Those who are lost fall into three categories:
Those like the sheep who have innocently wandered away.
Those like the coin who through neglect or mishandling are now lost.
Those like the son who are in deliberate rebellion.
To find any of these requires being available to them. Out where they are not in some “holy huddle”.
Finding the innocent wanderers requires listening to their cry of distress and returning them “home”.
Finding the neglected or mishandled requires bringing light into their darkened world.
Finding the rebellious requires being ready and watching for their return from the mess they now experience.
Jesus ate with sinners shouldn’t we?
We like to eat with holy people and be seen in their company. But are we willing to eat with sinners? Do we want our Heavenly Father to rejoice? Do we look like Jesus or a Pharisee? More importantly, do we have the Pharisees’ attitude or Jesus’ attitude toward sinners?
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/jesus-ate-with-sinners/
Woe to those who work hard at sinning (rebelling against God).
They do this by telling (or you could even say commanding) God to:
Hurry up and fulfill the promises You made to our fathers!
We want to see if they are real.
Hurry up make Your purposes happen!
So we know what Your purposes really are. (Implying that they think He really does not have any.)
Isaiah 5 has a list of woes on those who cause problems in Israel. The third one is in Isaiah 5:18-19.The woe is on those who go around telling God hurry up.
They do this by making arrogant demands. These imperatives (the jussive form in Oriental languages) show that the person making the demand thinks that he is superior to God. Satan fell when he decided he would make himself like or superior to the Most High. (Isaiah 14:14)
When Satan temped Jesus in the wilderness one of the temptations was to “put God to the test”. That is see if God really will fulfill His promise that God would protect Jesus. Matthew 4:5-7
We also have a direct commandment not to put God to some test. See Deuteronomy 6:16 You can read about that incident Exodus 17:1-7.
How am I telling God hurry up?
There is an old saying that illustrates how we sometimes do that today. It goes “Lord I need patience, but hurry up!” We must be careful not to use prayer as a way to issues directives to God. Pray is not to cause our will on earth to be done in heaven but to bring us into to submission to living out heaven’s will while we are living on this earth. See Matthew 6:10
Recently I have found that too many of my prayers and the prayers that I hear are veiled attempts to get my will done in heaven. Yes we share our concerns with our Heavenly Father, but we do not command Him. It is fine to share our requests with our Father. The problem is when those request become demands. Let’s be careful to thank our Father for all the good things He does for us each day. When we do that then we will be less tempted to issue our demands that we think heaven should obey.
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/telling-god-hurry-up/
“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle” (2 Samuel 11:1) But that spring King David did not follow one of the cultural rhythms of his day. He stayed home in his palace. Bad idea. Notice the horrible chain of events that follow that one lazy indiscretion.
David’s Lustful Stare
Violating Cultural Rhythms Opens the Way for Major Sin
David stays home instead of going to war with his army like kings normally do.
At a lustful time of the day David spots a beautiful woman bathing.
He inquires about her. And learns that she is Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Uriah is one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam 23:39).
David has her brought into this house and rapes her. This is also adultery since David is already married.
She reports her pregnancy.
David brings her husband Uriah in from the war. He gets a report from Uriah about the success of Joab and army. He then encourages Uriah to go sleep with his wife. He also sent a present to their house.
Uriah refuses to sleep with his wife because the other men are in the field and at war. A sharp contrast to David at home violating Uriah’s wife.
The next morning Uriah explains his moral reason not to go home and sleep with his wife. Uriah even mentions that the Arc of the Covenant at the battle. (If the Arc, the localized presence of God, was in the battle why was King David not?)
The next day David get Uriah drunk at a banquet. Yet Uriah still refuses to sleep with his wife. (Yea Uriah!)
The next morning David writes a letter to Joab instructing him to make sure Uriah dies in the battle and suggests how to do it.
David sends Uriah’s “death warrant” to Joab in the hand of Uriah. (Uriah might not have known the contents of the message but that is still cruel.)
Joab follows David’s instructions. He puts Uriah in the hottest part of the battle and then withdraws from him.
The tactic works. Uriah and several others die in the skirmish.
Joab sends a messenger to David with a carefully planned two-part message. First that during a skirmish they got to close to the wall and the enemy archers killed several of us. The messenger is then to expect David to send a rebuke to Joab. After hearing the rebuke the messenger is to then report Uriah’s death. This does several things
It shows that Joab knew better than to get close to the wall.
It make David responsible for the all the deaths in that skirmish since David’s plan involved a group.
It makes David’s rebuke look silly. In effect David is rebuking himself.
The messenger does not follow directions. He gives both parts of the message without the break between them to allow David to respond to the first part. This defeats Joab’s intended purpose.
David sends an encouraging message to Joab. Of course he did. Joab just did David’s dirty work. David needed to thank Joab.
Bathsheba learns of Uriah’s death. She enters into mourning.
When the cultural period of mourning is over David adds her to his wives.
The out-of-wedlock pregnancy yields David a son.
(Summary) What David did displeased the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:27) It appears that David is not aware or is in denial about his transgression.
The Lord sends the prophet Nathan to David.
God has Nathan tell David about a man who was rich in flock and herds of sheep and goats.
He also details a poor man
He only has one small lamb, a female
He purchased the lamb
He carefully cared for the lamb
The lamb grew up with the poor man and his children
The lamb shares the poor man’s scant meals and drinks from the poor man’s cup
The lamb was like a daughter to the poor man
The rich man has a visitor
The rich man does not use his own wealth to serve the visitor a meal
The rich man took the poor man’s lamb and butchered it for the rich man’s visitor.
Nathan pauses and David pronounces his angry judgment. David says:
The rich man had no pity
The rich man must repay 4 time the value of the lamb (Exodus 22:1)
The rich man deserves to die
Nathan identifies the rich man as King David. “You are that rich man.” In effect, David has just pronounced judgment on himself. (Just like Joab attempted.)
Nathan relays God’s account of what He has done for David
I (God) made you king
I delivered you from Saul
I gave you Saul’s estate
I gave you Saul’s wives
I gave you rule over all the descendents of Jacob (Israel)
I planned to give you even more.
Nathan announces God’s evaluation
David’s family will always be at war
He has rejected the way of the Lord
He has taken Uriah’s wife to be his wife
Nathan announces God’s judgment on David
David’s family will do evil to David
David’s wives will be taken from him and he will see it.
They will be raped and everyone will know it
What David did in secret with be judged out it the open and in front of all Israel
David confesses his sin
Nathan assures David that the Lord removed his sin and that David will not die.
Because the Lord’s enemies now have reason to blaspheme
The child born as a result of David’s rape will die
The fulfillment begins:
The child get very sick
David demonstrates repentance
He prays to the Lord
He sleeps out on the ground
He refuses to be comforted and eat
Seven days later the child dies
David’s servants fear to tell him for fear he will harm himself
David guesses the child is dead
When this is confirmed David returns to normal life.
David questioned about his behavior
He fasted and wept in case the Lord might be gracious to David
Once the child died there was no need. The child will not come back to life
In time David will join the child in death
Another son, Solomon, is born to David through Bathsheba. Renamed “Beloved of the Lord” by Nathan
Joab captures Rabbah which he was sent to do at the beginning of this account
David goes out to claim the victory where he should have been at the beginning of this account
The rest of the judgments for David’s sin happen the following chapters. It is long and complex.
Cultural Rhythms and Us
Not all not all violations of cultural rhythms will result in this sort of mess.
All cultural rhythms are not necessarily good.
If a cultural rhythm violate love of fellow believers or is otherwise immoral then reject it.
Do not confuse culture and its rhythms with a belief that Jesus is God.
Some possible positive cultural rhythms
At the time of the year that citizens pay their taxes
At the season when extended families get together
At the time of year when men set up fish camp and set their nets for salmon
At the time of the year that housekeepers do an extra thorough job of cleaning
At the time of the year when truck farmers plant potatoes
At the time of the year when ranchers take their stock to the high country
At the time of the year when people winterize their summer cabins
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/cultural-rhythms/