We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.
Q&A: Condemning Sin
Q: I have a question about how you answer the rare occasions when Jesus apparently felt it necessary to publicly condemn sin: like the cleansing of the temple and his very strong judgments on Pharisees and rulers in Matthew 23. Also John the Baptist who not only preached strongly regarding public sins but was imprisoned for judgmental condemnation of Herod taking his brothers wife?
A: Thanks for the question. It’s important to remember that both Jesus and John the Baptist were operating under the First Covenant where it was understood that the job of prophets was to hold fellow Jews, and Jewish institutions, accountable to the terms of the covenant. So you find Jesus cleansing the Jewish temple, but he didn’t concern himself with pagan temples. And John the Baptist confronts Herod, the Jewish King, but he doesn’t go after Pilate or Caesar.
So too, we are only permitted to exercise discernment with people we are in covenant relationships with. So, for example, Paul tells the Corinthians to expel an unrepentant man from the church, but tells them, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Judge [or practice discernment with] those inside the church” (I Cor 5: 9-13). Outside of such covenants, I contend, we are allowed only ONE opinion about people…”Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2).
Hope this helps.
Photo credit: dhammza via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Does God Have a Dark Side?
In the previous post, I argued that we ought to allow the incarnate and crucified Christ to redefine God for us rather than assume we know God ahead of time and then attempt to superimpose this understanding of God onto Christ. When we do this, I’ve argued, we arrive at the understanding that the essence…
Rob Hogeslag via Compfight Zack Hunt over at The American Jesus shared the story of Paul Keane who offered his own burial plot to Tamerlan Tsarnaev if his family could not find a cemetery that would accept his body. You’ll remember that Tsarnaev was one of the men who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings and…
When Jesus was crucified by his enemies instead of conquering his enemies, the hope of Jesus’ disciples came crashing down in utter despair. They had hoped that Jesus would establish the kingdom of God in the same way that other kingdoms were established. However, the resurrection reveals that the kingdom of God is not like…
Challenging the Habit of Judgment
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matt 7:2). In our world where we encounter a nearly constant stream of judgments on social media or the news,…
Did Jesus Instruct Us to Arm Ourselves?
Over the past few posts, I’ve been dealing with the passages that are frequently used to argue how Jesus condoned violence. One of these takes place just after the last supper and just before Jesus and his disciples were going to travel to the Mount of Olives to pray. To prepare his disciples, Jesus tells them;…
Participating in God’s Love
Greg took a slight detour from his reflections on free will in this video in order to talk about Jesus’ prayer in John 17. He discusses the idea that God desires the kind of unity among his children that the triune God enjoys. “He wants our love to participate in the triune God.” In order to…