Jesus, that is:
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” – John 2:23-25 (ESV)
And now that Jesus is no longer with us in person, the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every one of us who names the name of Christ, is the discerner or all of our thoughts and intentions.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Heb 4:12 (ESV)
The written word of God is so powerful’ and aided by the Holy Spirit will dig into the deepest regions of our innermost parts (soul & spirit/joints & marrow), and ought to convict us when we claim to know what Jesus knew; when we think we have the right to declare before all the world, (via the blogosphere) the motives in the hearts of other Christians when they aren’t behaving in the manner we, in our self-righteousness indignation, declare they ought to behave.
If you think I have specific examples in mind of Christians wrongfully judging the inmost thoughts and intents of other Christians, and broadcasting their judgments to the entire world, you are dead on. This post is specifically for some of those I have come to know in recent months who do exactly that – declare that they know the innermost thoughts and motives of other Christians’ hearts. I am not, however, going to name their names, or the names of their ‘victims’. After all, I might think I know what drives them to do what they are doing, but I’m not Jesus so I won’t go there. The best I could do is tell the world what their motives might be, not what they are.
I will say that they feel they are justified in their actions. They will, and have told me that because out of an evil heart come evil acts (Luke 6:45. Matt 15:18), it means that they have the right and authority to declare exactly what heart motive prompted whatever alleged evil is on the table. That ‘evil’ could be from individuals they will name, churches where there are ‘rules’, or it can be entire ‘movements’ (like homeschooling). But all those passages tell us is that where there is evil, there’s a heart problem. It’s quite a leap to claim that they give us Christ-like power to see into men’s souls.
Am I saying that we ought to ignore the bad acts of brothers and sisters in Christ? By no means, What I am saying is that we need to allow church discipline and civil courts to run their course without our interference. We also need to apply love, grace, and compassion to everyone (alleged victims or accused perpetrators) involved in cases/situations where where there is real or perceived wrong doing.
In a word, we need to be on our knees, not our soapboxes! We have every right and duty to judge ‘things’, but not the thoughts and intents of any man’s heart. God will judge all of our hearts, and will do so justly.
And that’s really all I have to say for the moment.