Christians who criticize our current culture are frequently reminded of Jesus’ admonition to “judge not.” This snippet pulled from the Sermon on the Mount is the only Scripture many people know, but they wield it like a club in their attempt to silence “hypocritical” Christians.
Townhall.com columnist, Michael Brown, has an insightful column today reminding everyone of the rest of Christ’s words in that famous sermon. (Read here) He makes an excellent point, not only about Christ’s instruction on judging others, but on Biblical interpretation, as well.
One of the most important teachings on how to interpret the Bible is to remember to read it in context. If a passage is still unclear, compare it to the rest of the Bible’s teachings until you find the meaning which is in sync with the whole of Scripture. Despite what some people claim, God’s Word does not contradict itself.
Like statistics, individual words or phrases pulled from a text at random may be twisted or combined to underscore whatever point a person wants to promote. This is true of any piece of writing, not only the Bible.
Christians are to be discerning, to watch for false prophets and the rotten fruit they produce. Only by studying the Bible, hiding the words in our hearts and minds, can we make right determinations of what is being fed to us and reject the bad fruit before swallowing it.
I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16 (CEV)