Today, we're going to talk about being people of counter-culture.
Probably the greatest tragedy of the church throughout its long and chequered history has been its constant tendency to conform to the prevailing culture instead of developing a Christian counter-culture. - John Stott
Matthew 7:1-2 (KNT)
7“Don’t judge people, and you won’t be judged yourself. 2You’ll be judged, you see, by the judgment you use to judge others! You’ll be measured by the measuring-rod you use to measure others!
Matthew 5:20 (KNT)
Yes, let me tell you: unless your covenant behavior is far superior to that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get in to the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 23:13 (KNT)
“Woe betide you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Jesus continued. “You lock up the kingdom of heaven in front of people’s faces. You don’t go in yourselves, and when other people try to enter, you stop them.
John 7:24 (KNT)
Don’t judge by appearances! Judge with proper and right judgment!”
You say, well, we’ve got to make judgments. True, but whenever you’re doing it to control or to condemn yourself or others, to explain or to justify or to validate yourself or others, at that point you’re not normally looking for truth, you’re looking for control. That’s the judgment Jesus is talking about in this passage. - Richard Rohr
Matthew 7:3-6 (KNT)
3Why do you stare at the splinter in your neighbor’s eye, but ignore the plank in your own? 4How can you say to your neighbor, ‘Here—let me get that splinter out of your eye,’ when you’ve got the plank in your own? 5You’re just play-acting! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your neighbor’s eye. 6“Don’t give holy things to dogs. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they will trample them under their feet—and then turn around and attack you!”
Jesus, with his parable about dogs and pigs, puts his finger on this sore spot. From our arrogant position of believing we possess holy words and pearls of wisdom, we easily push our own agenda onto those who don't agree with it or may not be ready for it. When we selfishly think we have the answers without knowing the real questions, it is no wonder that those on whom we force our standards violently turn on us. - Philip K. Clemens
The problem with pearls for pigs is not that the pigs are not worthy. It is not worthiness that is in question here at all, but helpfulness. Pigs cannot digest pearls, cannot nourish themselves upon them. Likewise for a dog with a Bible or a crucifix. The dog cannot eat it. The reason these animals will finally "turn and rend you," when one day you step up to them with another load of Bibles or pearls, is that you at least are edible.' - Dallas Willard
1 Corinthians 4:5 (KNT)
5So don’t pass judgment on anything before the time when the Lord comes! He will bring to light the secrets of darkness, and will lay bare the intentions of the heart. Then everyone will receive praise—from God.