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Culture and Life
Ok, I’m about to get up on a digital soapbox. As a Baptist, I adamantly and unashamedly place my authority in the written word of God which bears witness to the incarnate Word of God. In my sermons, in my theological presuppositions, and in my daily life, I believe that the Bible is authoritative. Period. So it does my heart good when my brothers and sisters clap and shout “Amen!” when a preacher makes the comment “We just need to get back in the Word” or when a friend asks “How much have you been in the Word?”
I'm continuing my series challenging the sayings of pop-culture Christianity. Today’s topic is: “judgment.” We often hear claims like “Only God can judge me” or “The Bible says not to judge other people.” Usually, even a single snippet of one of these quotes hushes even the most zealous Christian who is attempting to explain that a certain action or lifestyle is sinful. Is the “Thou shalt not judge” card indeed the trump card? I'd like to mention about both sides of the coin. I’ll affirm a way that we might use these phrases in a manner that is consistent with Scripture and then debunk the common pop-culture misconceptions.
Neil T. Anderson in The Bondage Breaker has argued that the default Western worldview assumes a two tier system with an almost platonic flavor to it. The upper level, or the realm of spirit beings and the supernatural, is comprehended through religion. The lower level, or the realm of material and the physical, is known through science and the empirical senses. In the Western mindset—no doubt a result of naturalism and an influence of Kantian thought—these two have little to do with one another. On this view, spirit beings exist on a different plane and do not interact with us in the here and now, at least not in any meaningful way.