Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

I’ve Made A Decision

It’s true! I have finally come to terms. It was not easy. It took a long time and much consternation. I am leaving the bench, the gavel and the robe behind. I’m out of the judging business. I must say that I feel greatly relieved. I was never any good at it anyway. For too long I thought judging was my calling. I thought it was up to me to decide who was in and who was out. It always troubled me that I couldn’t read the hearts of others. And it was always disconcerting to me that so many people did not get the same breaks in life that I got. Sin is sin. That’s just how it is! There were no extenuating circumstances that mattered. If they never had a chance to even hear the gospel, that was just too bad. No exceptions. I thought I had to require others to accept, before their own conversion, that their relatives were all burning in hell. I thought it was up to me…and others like me…to call the shots…to give the thumbs up or down to everyone.
How I came to be judge, I really can’t fathom. If Jesus Himself did not come into the world to condemn the world, what made me think I could or should (John 3:17). Now…I know the Bible teaches that sin results in people being lost. I know the Bible teaches that the Gospel of Christ saves people. I plan to continue teaching what the Bible plainly declares…to urge everyone I can to, as a result of their faith and in obedience to Scripture, be baptized into Jesus for forgiveness. BUT, I will no longer try to usurp God’s role as Judge of all the earth Who always does what is right and Who always takes into account everything that should be taken into account.

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4 thoughts on “I’ve Made A Decision

  1. Wayne Hunter on said:

    Doug, I relate to your words. I have in times past “second guessed” the motives, or faith, or even the legitimacy of others’ claim to Christianity. In the last three years I have been blessed to baptize a few people — I always do it the “right” way — by immersion, for the remission of sins, as a response to an intentional confession of faith in Jesus Christ. I will always do it that way because that is what I believe the “doctrine” is on the matter. But in my day to day comings and goings — when someone says to me that they are a Christian — I no longer go through the mental gymnastic — well are you really? — I embrace them where they are — wholeheartedly. Many times I find myself humbled because I learn so much from people that I may have formerly “dismissed”. Two weeks ago, it was my privilege to “preach the funeral” of one of the elders of the church I work with. If there was ever a man who met the Biblical qualifications — it was this good brother. I had learned to truly love him and I miss him. A few years ago I would have probably written him off as a good person but someone I needed to “bring to a knowledge of the truth”. I missed out on so much when my mind was in that mode. Thanks for your thoughts. God bless, Wayne

  2. I know we should not judge (as Jesus taught us). But when we know something is wrong in our lives or another person’s life (the Bible teaches us) that there are things wrong and we should get forgiveness and obey God’s commands. We should repent and not stay in the sin. Too many think they can stay where they are and be accepted by God. This is what I cannot get a handle on and not feel good at all about all of this sinning. And we just like the Elders qualifications “should be apt to teach God’s word and teach others better”. But I think most people know this is not right. That is why they want support for the things they are doing to get some kind of approval.

    Like a quote I heard this morning from the new priest in Rome. The Catholice church needs to quit obessing over the gay rights, abortion and pills to keep from having babies. Well it sounds and seems to me it is the world who obesses over things like this. The priest said “we need to quit talking so much about all this”.
    Well it seems like the people in these kinds of things (gay rights especially) they talk about these things all the time to convince us to accept them. Who is talking too much. Keep it to themselves and shut-up. Tell the Pope this I say.

  3. Wayne Hunter on said:

    One of the most telling things the Pope said was a statement he made a few days before his comment about gay rights, etc. It was his statement regarding athiests where he said something to the effect that they could be justified in judgement if they were good people and didn’t hurt anyone or do anything bad. This statement showed that he has no Biblical understanding of grace. His belief must be that we are somehow involved in our salvation by the good things we do. Of course it is no secret that Catholic doctrine has always been very guilt motivating — “do so many of these rituals…confessions…whatever…” and you can be restored to good standing. Paul said in Galatians that such a gospel is no gospel at all. There’s no “good news” in it because it is not reliant on the Cross but on us. I am encouraged by the number of Catholics who are learning about grace. Probably a third of the people in our home congregation have come out of that tradition. Sadly, for many years, that was my mentality too. Jesus also said that our forgiveness is directly proportional to how we forgive others (last few verses of Matthew 18). That part of Jesus’ words are very sobering to me — it makes me want to really be “sold out” to Him, His Love, and His Forgiveness.

  4. Hi Wayne, appreciate your comments.

    I just feel very bad that there are leaders (supposedly leaders) who are leading in life things that are contrary to what God’s Truths teach us. And People depending on them so much and trusting and hanging on their words. God’s Word is the only way to live now and to live on in eternity. And what gets me most is the leaders support people in making their lifestyle known. I think this is why our world is having a lot of trouble and a mess today. Not listening to God.

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