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Ep 05, “Only God Can Judge Me” w/ Phylicia Masonheimer

On this episode of the podcast, Phylicia Masonheimer and I talk about the message, “only God can judge me”.

Phylicia is a speaker, author, and teacher of women. She’s incredibly skilled at teaching women deep theological truths and breaking them down so they are simple to understand, yet never sways from biblical accuracy. It was an honor to have her on the show today.

You can find Phylicia here: www.phyliciamasonheimer.com, or Instagram: @phyliciamasonheimer.

Here are some questions Phylicia and I talked about throughout the episode:

  1. The entire season of this podcast is dedicated to exploring the messages in the Self Esteem Gospel, or messages that point people to themselves and their power instead of Christ. This episode explores the cultural message “only God can judge me”. Can you explain what this phrase, “only God can judge me”, means in our culture?
  2. Can you describe for us the difference between unbiblical judgment and biblical judgment?
  3. How does the phrase “Only God Can Judge Me” encourage the ignoring or disregard of sin both sin and truth?
    1. Why is the ignoring and disregard of sin unloving?
  4. How is our culture, and we ourselves, hypocritical when we say “only God can judge me”?
  5. When we say we want others to ignore our sin, what are we saying? Who are we claiming as Lord of our lives in that moment?
  6. What are some examples of situations or times we need to use biblical judgment?
  7. What happens to us individually and as a culture when we fail to properly execute biblical judgment and when we fall into the “only God can judge me” mindset?
  8. How do Christians lovingly yet boldly speak and discern truth, using biblical judgment, in a secular culture that immediately thinks we’re being hateful and judgmental?
  9. My pastor, Kyle Eaton, recently said: “Religion leads to judgmentalism, but the gospel leads to incredible tolerance.” The opposite of judgment in our culture is seen as tolerance, but our culture’s understanding of tolerance is summed up as “only God can judge me”. Our culture sees judgment and tolerance as polar opposites, but how do they actually work together in the Gospel?
  10. How does the Holy Spirit guide us in our judgment and discernment, and how can we both respond to and discern with his leading?

 

PHYLICIA’S DAILY HABIT THAT HAS MOST FORMED HER TO LOOK LIKE JESUS

Easy Answer: Being in the word consistently

Other Two:

1. Reading through the Bible chronologically

2. Always immediately connecting to a church community, women’s ministry, and getting to know older women in the faith

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Kevin DeYoung, Yes We Are Judgemental (But Not In the Way Everyone Thinks)

JD Greer, Jesus Commands Us To Judge video (1:33)

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:

iTunes

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Favorite Quotes From This Episode:

When people say “only God can judge me,” they’re saying don’t you dare speak about what I’m doing as an objective sin issue. Don’t say that what I’m doing is wrong. You have no authority to do that, only God has the authority to say that.

They’ve recreated God in their own postmodern image. They’re saying, ‘look, only God can judge me, you can’t say anything about what I’m doing, and the God I’ve created won’t judge me for what I’m doing,’ is essentially what they’re saying.

Unbiblical judgment is hypocritical critical judgment.

What a lot of people like to do is take Matthew 7 out of context and then adapt the context to what they want it to say. But in context, he’s saying do not judge hypocritically. So do not point at your brother who is doing something to distract from your own sin. He’s NOT saying that we are not to judge what is right and what is wrong. And that’s what biblical judgment is. Discerning what is right and what is wrong, and lovingly addressing that right and that wrong in order to bring people to repentance.

The issue is that their response to that discomfort {of being called out of sin} is them saying: ‘you can’t judge my actions, you have no right to tell me what to do, so God is the one who can tell me what to do’. But in evading that question or confrontation, they’re now inviting the judgment of God on themselves for that very issue. So in their quest to ignore their sin by saying this, they’re actually inviting God to expose it even more. And I would say, that’s a very scary place to be.

Ignoring sin is unloving because God himself is the perfect balance of truth and love. And if God is the balance of truth and love, and he doesn’t ignore sin, then we should also not ignore sin in those we love. This does not mean that we go around picking out sin. It’s a great way to return to Matthew 7, because he’s saying don’t go try to take the speck out of other people’s eyes when you haven’t dealt with your own sin first.  So we should always be more conscious of our own sin than the sin in other people’s lives.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t say, “hey,” to our girlfriend who’s sleeping with her boyfriend, we just ignore it and hope she’ll just come around one day. But say, ‘no, I love you and God loves you, but because he loves you, he has set a standard for sexuality. So I am gently telling you, this is not who you are in Christ, this is not what he wants for your sexuality. I’m willing to walk with you to restoration if you will turn around and reject this.’ I think too often what happens, though, is that we end up either coming down super harshly in emphasizing truth over grace or using “grace” and refusing to acknowledge sin at all, which you and I both know is not grace.

If we are asking people to ignore the sin in our lives and saying “only God can judge me”, citing the lord of heaven as our judge–which, again, is scary–what we’re doing is we’re saying actually I am the king of my life, I am the lord of my life, I decide what is sin, I decide what I’m held accountable for.

No matter whether your friend lovingly comes to you and says, ‘look scriptures clear on this issue and you’re not walking in holiness in this area, and I love you and that’s why I’m pointing this out. Because I want the best for you.’ And we say, “how dare you, only God can judge me.” Again, you’re citing the lord’s judgment on yourself but you’re also saying that you don’t believe scriptures standard for your life. So now you just tried to undercut the authority of scripture for your own morality. And if you claim to be a Christian, that same scripture is the basis of your understanding of who Jesus is. So you can’t have it both ways. You either have to say I believe that scripture is authoritative to tell me what is right and what is wrong, and who Jesus is, or you have to admit that you only believe the parts of scripture that are beneficial to you.

We end up with a weak culture, especially a weak church, if this is happening in the church. If you think about it, if we have a group of people who all believe that their experience is king, and who say no one can hold me accountable but me and the god I have formulated. If this is the situation we’re in, what kind of faith community is that? Because you don’t have anybody able to speak authoritatively to what is right and what is wrong. We need to have that objective authority and we need to have a group of people who are all willing to speak form that authority into each others’ lives because they love each other so much. And that doesn’t mean all pointing out the flaws of each other, but journeying together to a greater understanding of God’s truth. Because when God is working in a body of believers, he will always bring them to a better understanding of himself. And thus it will result in growth and in maturity. So the opposite of that would be to separate yourself from biblical judgment, and therefore to separate yourself from discernment and then separate yourself from maturity.

When people hear judgment, they often hear condemnation. Judgment has multiple definitions. When it’s translated in scripture, you have to look and see what kind of judgment we’re talking about here. Is this judgment to condemnation, like no hope of return? Or is this judgment as in discernment, this is right and this is wrong? We can attribute, ‘hey this is wrong, but I still love you and I’ll still do life with you and walk beside you, and just know that this is where I stand.’ Religion leads to judgmentalism if you’re worshipping a doctrine instead of worshipping God, if you’re worshiping your works and your own self-righteousness, it’ll lead you to an intolerant judgmentalism. But if you are worshipping the God of grace and you understand the grace you’re under, you will be able to say, hey no this is truth, but I love you, and I’m going to give you grace as you’re growing in the truth.

Our cultures’ understanding of tolerance is endorsement. It’s not actually tolerance. It’s affirmation and endorsement. So if you’re going to say you want to be tolerated, just use the right word to set the correct expectation. You want to be affirmed and endorsed, and then we can actually get somewhere. Because if you’re saying, ‘I want you to affirm me, I want you to endorse what I’m doing,’ Then the other person can honestly say “I can’t do that”. But a Christian should always be able to say “I can tolerate your choices. I can tolerate you and I can live beside you.” If we are in Christ, nothing is a threat to us.

So to be tolerant as a Christian doesn’t mean affirmation, doesn’t mean endorsement, it means loving someone on that journey, even as you stand on truth.

The Holy Spirit’s primary role is as teacher and comforter and guide to the holy life, to sanctify us. Judgment and discernment are two of the gifts he gives to help us grow in that maturity. Our job is to be able to hear his leading and discern when he’s leading us to speak and when to be silent.

 

May 13, 2020

Podcast, Uncategorized

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