Main Passage:Micah 7:18-20
Key Verse:"You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities
into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:19 NIV
While my hubby and I were engaged, some Christians friends tried to discourage us from getting married. They believed he would be sinning and causing me to sin because he was divorced. Remember, my first husband died. Another issue is there is enough evidence to support that his divorce had biblical grounding. We had already looked over God's Word, fasted, and prayed by the time their concerns were voiced. Before that, my first husband and I sought God's counsel about divorce and remarriage because he needed to set guidelines for which marriages he would perform and the ones he would not. We believed God's grace prevailed as long as we rectified any sin issues which caused troubles in both of our previous marriages. Image by Frank McKenna from Freely Photos.
I've also been judged for having my wedding band tattooed on my left ring finger from my first marriage. Mind you, it is a cross design. Before hubby #1 and I had them done, we made sure we understood the background of the Leviticus 19:28 passage about tattoos first. Since we didn't go to a pagan festival, participate in pagan rituals, nor identified with other religions with it, we were okay. God has amazingly used that tattoo wedding band as a witness tool to share about Christian covenant marriage with people of all ages who saw it and asked questions. Photos are mine.
Needless to say, some of the people we know refused to come to our wedding, participate in our wedding party, and never called or accept our invitations to get together. We had been judged sinners by well-intentioned, yet misguided Christians we loved. Judged "guilty" by a so-called Kanagaroo Court.
What's the Deal?
We are often judged by other Christians unfairly, whether they believe they have biblical support or whether they twist God's Word to support their cause. These well-intentioned Christians take one or two verses of Scripture without considering other passages which speak to the situation. They believe they are correcting a wayward brother or sister in Christ. Instead of winning these people over, they drive them away, the opposite of what the Bible says we should do. This often causes shame rather than true guilt, distances the victims from the church and God, and damages otherwise great, loving relationships.
I'm not telling you these stories to slam, shame, or bash anyone. Not at all. I can share our own stories because they are our own; they are simply an illustration for our study today to help those of you who have been victims of the Christian Kangaroo Court. There are a lot of Christians under the scrutiny of the self-appointed pharisaical Kangaroo Court, for sure. But how does God view Christians who love Him, yet sin? Does He agree with the Kangaroo Court? How does He deal with self-appointed judges and executioners?
How can victims of judgmentalism respond? How should they respond? Is it possible to care about the people who hurt them and still live in the grace and love of Christ?
1. An unofficial trial or the use of unfair methods.
2. Prejudged outcomes against someone which denies due process for the purpose of expediency.
3. Hasty, instant court trials used in the West in the 1800's to deal with the California Gold Rush claims jumpers.
4. A trial by prisoners to extort money, goods, or services from new prisoners.
Whose measuring rod is being used: theirs or Gods? Do they have a legitimate leg to stand on? Are you blameless?
We are called to rightly divide the word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
Image from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KangarooCourt.
Examine yourself with sober judgement (Romans 12:3).
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
You who have not sinned cast the first stone (John 8:7).
Create in me a clean heart, O God. (Psalm 51:10)
Our sin has been cast as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12)
Forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)
We are all sinners. Jesus died for all of us. Those of us who have accepted Jesus have been washed clean; God remembers our sins no more. In that thought, both sides could be guilty or not. It is easy to bristle at a hasty or harsh finger pointing at us. We don't always know why someone would approach us in such a manner, but we can know that they often believe they are right and we are wrong. Let us not fall into the same temptation to do what they do to us.
When someone points their fingers at us claiming we are in sin, the first thing we need to do is examine ourselves to see if there is any truth in what they say. We must examine the Bible to see what God says about the topic, but do a thorough search. let us not take passages out of context, but carefully study the subject of concern. If we find they are right, then we should go the the Lord and confess our sin, then repent, stop committing the sin. Thank the Christians who brought the issue to our attention, regardless of their attitude. Let God deal with their attitude.
But if we find we are not guilty, we should be careful to not step up into the judges seat of our own Kanagaroo Court. When I say this, I look at these definitions, self-appointed, hasty in judgement without due process, and one prisoner (sinner) judging another prisoner (sinner). There could be a host of reasons we don't know about why they would be so harsh. It is important for us let them know why we disagree with their judgement and continue in Jesus' mercy and grace in life. We also should forgive them for their hasty judgement of us. Image by Chetan Menaria from Unsplash.com.
Have you been the victim of the Christian Kanagaroo Court? Offer a loving prayer for your accusers below. If you need prayer to forgive a harsh self-appointed judge, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. May God bless you!