Jesus said some hard things to His disciples, like in John 6:60-66, where many of His disciples turned away at His teaching about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. But His hard teachings didn’t end there; some are difficult even for today’s believers, such as in the very next chapter of John’s gospel.
Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
(1) “Judge not, that you be not judged.
(2) For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
(3) Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
(4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
(5) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Oh yes, we’ve all heard this passage preached many times, but have we unstopped our ears to hear what our Master is really telling us? Yes, this is for you there, the one who shows little tolerance for doctrinal disagreement! If that lesser brother contradicts you, why, he’s trying to teach error, and conscience dictates that you expose him for what he is.
Have you, O know-it-all, ever entertained the possibility that you may not have all of God’s Truth? As much light as He has shown you, is it not possible that He has illuminated someone else where He has not you? Assuming that you have a complete grasp of God’s truth is presumption, regardless how exhaustively you have studied His Word. It embodies the sin of vain pride, which is the one sin that hides behind itself. Unless you repent, you will stand before the Judge perfectly upright, until you notice which side of the throne you are standing on.
And yes, it’s for you, the one who won’t dirty himself by offering friendship to a homosexual, just in case perversion is contagious. You’re a manly man, and your Internet surfing habits attest to that. Better to sate your sexual frustration with hetero-porn than to risk sullying yourself by exposure to the real perverts.
Take solace in the fact that God’s Word commands relative sexual purity, right? Wrong! Consider what Jesus said earlier in His sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:27-28 ESV
(27) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
(28) But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
You may try to answer, “Lusting after porn isn’t the same as lusting after a real woman.” If so, you’d be wrong. Porn is like a drug, constantly desensitizing its user so ever harder porn is needed to satisfy. Also like a drug, it’s habitual, changing the way you see women in general so you are tempted to look at them more as sex-objects than as sisters in Christ.
Not so? How often do you dwell on physical characteristics below women’s faces? Yes, it’s hard not to notice, but dwelling and noticing are hardly the same.
And you, O media-engorged woman, cannot stand with condemning finger pointed at those lousy men. Does the word, “Hot,” occur to you upon glimpsing an Adonis? Do you love your sizzling soaps? Do regency romance novels disappoint if they are not explicit? Whether or not you like to admit it, that is chick-porn, even without graphic pictures. Do you dress to accentuate your more favorable features, attracting men’s attention? Don’t be a hypocritical, blaming men for objectifying you as a sex-object.
Those are just two of many possible examples where hypocrisy is rampant within the church. I picked them because they are also my personal battlegrounds.
Ever wonder why today’s church seems so impotent compared to the first-century church? Pray for insight, and look deeply within yourself to find the answer.