Monthly Archives: November 2011

The lie we were told: a letter to my generation

Millennials, we were all lied to. From the time we first set foot on the preschool campus to the moment we were handed that college or high school diploma. We were lied to. No matter who you are, if you grew up in the US over the last two decades you were told this lie and despite how innocent it may have seemed to its progenitors, it has recently come to a head in a frustrating, pointless and even violent way.

Somewhere long about the early 80s a decision was made in America. I don’t know where it came from, I’ve tried to find out, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. This decision would make us the guinea pigs of a soon to be horribly failed experiment in human behavior. Weather the decision was conscience or just an unhappy fluke, we all felt the effects of it our whole childhood. And the results of the experiment have recently come to light as we, the Mellinial generation, generation Y, the screenagers, the mosaic generation- as we have entered ‘adulthood.’

I don’t know whether those who first told this lie actually believed it or if they just thought it would be fun to see what happens to a generation when they are all told something that isn’t true. I don’t think it was malicious; I think those that lied to us thought they were helping. I think they thought that this lie would somehow drive us to do great things. As I said it was in one way the largest psychological study of our time and it’s outcome is now obvious.

What is this lie? You may still believe it to be true. You may think I’m exaggerating it’s effects, but regardless of what you feel about this phrase, you’ll recognize it. You will recognize it from teachers and coaches. You’ve heard it on TV and in film. You read it in comics, magazines and books. Some of us were even taught it by our parents.

The lie is this: You can do anything if you want it enough. Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. If you can dream it, you can do it. Astronaut? NFL player? President? All possible so long as you want it enough. You may still think this is true, but any Mellinial who wants to behave like an adult has to realize that this is a lie. I’m 5′ 7″ and no matter how much I want it, I’d never be able to beat Lebron at a one-on-one game of basketball. While I truly believe that positive thinking can take you very far, (studies show optimists live longer, healthier lives) there are some things that are simply out of reach.

Like the rest of you, I don’t like limits, I don’t like rules. I don’t like things to be hard and fast. I want to cling to the romantic notion that the unattainable can be attained, that I am capable of anything I want to do, so long as I really want to do it. But here is the truth they didn’t tell us: You can do almost anything, but only if you’re willing to work hard your whole life and make sacrifices in order to achieve it. It is amazing what you can accomplish by imagining something and then pouring every ounce of strength you have into the realization of it. You can do what many thought was impossible, but you have to do more than write a thesis and receive a degree (or two) to see it happen. You have to work for it. Wanting it, dreaming it, believing in it is simply not enough. You can reach for the stars all you want they’re not coming any closer you must go to them.

It takes time, which is perhaps the hardest part. Anyone can work hard for a day, but to do it for years or even decades in order to see a dream realized takes patience and strength of character. Don’t get discouraged. I often hear from my peers that they thought they’d be in a different place than they are now, they thought they’d have  a better job, or a better paycheck. Craig Groeschel addressed this at catalyst this year.

“This generation overestimates what God what’s to do with you in the short run and underestimates what God want’s to do with you in the long run.”

You will have a hard time accepting this if you are a true member of the Mellinial Generation, because the one thing we excel at is overconfidence. You may know that according to an international survey, despite scoring very low in math and science, our generation scored highest in confidence. For the past two decades we have believed that we were the best, that we are smarter, funnier, and more creative than any generation before- because the lie lead us to believe those things. The lie made us think we were special. The lie made us arrogant. In reality we are not any better than our parents- we’re just different. We have different strengths and we have different weaknesses. That may be news to you as well, but we do have weaknesses.

But, thats not what they told us. I warn you that if you continue to live like this is true that you will see the fulfillment of Malcolm Muggeridge’s prophecy written about the same time we were all being born.

Thus did western man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania; himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down.

And having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, until at last, having educated himself into imbecility and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and became extinct.

Or will our mantra be that of George Bernard Shaw’s great quote:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

So Millennials, what will future generations say of us? What will our children tell their grandchildren- will they say we sat around in public places shouting our anger at the world for it not bending to our will? Will they say we expected the government to spoon feed us? Will they say all of our talk of social justice was nothing but show? Will they call us lazy? Entitled? Or will they say we beat a bad economy with ingenuity and an entrepreneurial spirit? That we worked hard so that they could live in a better world- That we never blamed anyone for the hardships we faced- That we were selfless?

We are writing history and we can choose now to be a generation that couldn’t face the truth or we can be the generation that showed a maturity beyond its years. And when that history is written, what will it say? It could say that we didn’t rise to the occasion, that we lacked innovation, that we chose to play the victim when things got hard, that we left this world in even worse a state than we found it, that we were selfish, that our generation spent more time playing video games or rehearsing with our band than we did actually trying to better this world, that our knowledge of popular culture dwarfed our knowledge of anything useful, that we sat writing blogs complaining about each other, that we were a total waste of space and that the only way in which we were an example for our children was that we showed them exactly how not to live.

We could be that generation or we could be a generation that used our creativity in a way that created jobs for future generations, the generation that ended extreme global poverty, the generation that saw the end of slavery and human trafficking worldwide, the generation that stopped the AIDS crisis in Africa, the generation that spent more time fixing the problems of the world than complaining about them, the generation that fed the hungry and healed the sick, the generation that watched the divorce rate dwindle into nothingness, the generation who used their creativity to house the homeless and give hope to those who have none, the generation that solved the debt crisis and the energy crisis, the generation that saw the whole world get clean water, the generation who did more for the next generation than they did for their own, the generation who left this world a much better place than the way they found it. Because if we want to be that generation, it doesn’t happen on accident. The only way this happens is by sacrifice.

Does all this sound impossible? We’re the generation who doesn’t believe in the impossible, remember? See, there is one condition under which this ideal is, in fact true.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Phil 4:13 (KJV 2k)

Through Christ. not through wanting – not even through hard work can all things be achieved, but through Christ. Our confidence doesn’t come from our knowledge or our own strength. It comes from God:

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14

So mellinials, we need a generation that stops believing the impossible is possible, what we need is a generation who will do the impossible because Christ is their strength. Will you be that generation?

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Haiti Help Portrait Trip Day 2

I have to start this entry by saying thanks to everyone who has been writing us on Facebook, twitter and otherwise. We really appreciate your prayers and your kind words.

Today was another incredible day here in Haiti. Before breakfast was served we got talking about a particular youtube video then we had to pause and let everyone watch it. You may have seen the “Teasing the Dog” video – it got us all laughing. I mention this because it turned into a major joke throughout at the day and if you want to get a feel for the jovial attitude that this team has you’ll want to watch it. After breakfast we met and had a devotional where we talked about the day. We had a great prayer time. Kyle said that Josh made his journal today when he prayed for a Hope that is ignorant of the odds against us here in our endeavors with the deaf culture. Between a full night’s rest, a good breakfast, some fervent prayer and a hearty laugh we all felt really energized for the day.


We started off the day with a long ride to Leveque just outside of Cabaret, which is close to Chicago, oddly enough – that’s a musical theater joke – Okay, it wasn’t close to Chicago, but it did take us about as long to drive there. It was interesting to see rural Haiti after spending a day in Port Au Prince. The n


eighborhoods are generally safer and this area has lots fertile land and several good schools that the children in the community could attend. Mission of Hope has already built a considerable number of homes in this area already. The people living in this area all have space for gardens and we met a few of the residents as we came to tour around.

photo by Lori Mercer

Photo by Lori Mercer

We hiked around the property and saw where the deaf community will move – with the ocean just to the west and mountains to the east and plenty of room for gardening it’s a prime place for this relocation. We also saw the place for the new church that Frazer will be helping develop. I took the opportunity to take several video segments with Kyle explaining about where everything would be located. There will be basketball courts and a soccer field in addition to a new guest house for our future mission teams. I hope to have the video edited quickly and on the missions blog and transformation blog soon.

Photo by Billy Pope

Billy Pope, a photographer with 15 years experience said that this has been the most fun that he’s had shooting photos. The spirit ofratitude is palpable as its mutual between the deaf community and our team as we all feel so blessed to be here, participating in such a fun act of service. The single most common sign we see everyday is ‘thank you.’ Every time we show them their photo they say thank you and we thank them for letting us take it. The proud mothers with their children all lined up, the young couples as well as the elderly all lined up – each eager to get their picture taken and so loving and thankful while we’re just as thankful for the opportunity.

There were a number of children who were very fascinated with my beard. They all would run up to me andclimb up on me and start tugging at my chin. At one point I was carrying four children around. They’re all so loving and eager for attention. Many of the teenagers were also around at this point and I started talking with them teaching them different english words. Kyle was working hard to get all the kids young and old to start calling me “Grizzly Beard” this was too difficult for the Haitian children, to say fortunately so he settled for calling me “Papa Bear.” At one point they were all surrounding me chanting “Papa Bear! Papa Bear!”

One of the coolest people that we’ve gotten know over the past few days is thewoman that Kyle calls his ‘Haitian Mom’ I wish all of you could hear her voice – in spite of being deaf, she’s quite vocal and she has the most infectious laugh. She treats the kids like she’s all of their grandmother -shooing them away when they’re misbehaving and giggling when they’re being silly.

Perhaps the coolest indicator of how close we’ve become is that some of us have scored name-signs with the community. Yesterday the several leaders argued over what mine should be – they finally settled on a ‘W’ over the stomach (a loving comment on my weight.) Diane also got one – a ‘D’ on the cheek. I spent some time trying to pick up new signs today while the photographers shot. Again, the eagerness and thankfulness of the people in the community is just astounding.

Here are a few photos from today from Billy

And here are a few from Lori

And a few from Nick

My personal favorite moment of the day was probably toward the end of the day when a little boy came into the doorway of the leader’s hut. I had been sitting with the sign language dictionary trying to learn new signs. I signed to him “Christ Loves You” and he smiled and said back in sign language “Thank you.”

And so I end saying to all of you – Christ loves you and thank you for your continued prayers. Tomorrow is our last full day so please pray that it will be all that it can be. So far the trip has been amazing.

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Haiti Help Portrait Trip Day 3

Bonswa everyone. Our last day has been a truly great one here in Port Au Prince. Our day started with a devotional out of My Utmost for His Highest from a couple of days ago.

We also spent some time discussing the current political climate in Haiti. The new president has recently declared that he wants to rebuild Haiti’s national army. This may not sound like a bad thing until you find out that it was the Army that was the cause of much of the political instability in Haiti until the 1990′s. Apparently one dictator would seize power then a few months later his general would move the army in, kill him and take his place, only to have his new general move in a few months later. This President is expected to order the UN peacekeeping forces to leave so that he can replace them with an Army, creating Jobs for Haitians. The problem with this is that the government can’t afford to build a force equivalent to that 13,000 UN troops that currently keep the peace here. Many Haitians don’t like the UN. At best they don’t think they do much; at worst they don’t think they should be here at all. So to say the least, Haiti’s situation needs prayer.

 After breakfast we took a photo of the team and headed out for the day. Our first stop was a place at which the other teams who have come here have stopped, Rebuild Globally. This is a cool organization that uses materials readily available – old tires and trashed clothes – to make flip flops, jewelry and bags. It’s great because not only are they recycling materials, they’re also employing haitians at very good wages. We talked to them about ways the deaf community and Frazer can get involved with what their doing. We discussed the possibility of opening a Rebuild Globally branch near their new homes and the managers were enthusiastic. I hope we can get involved in helping them finding places to sell their goods here in the states. You can visit their website for more info.

Photo by Billy Pope

After stopping by a gas station to grab some water and snacks, we headed on to spend the rest of the day with the deaf community. My sign language had gotten good enough to make some conversation finally. As we finished out the photos we had come to find out that there was one couple that had recently had a baby and that she wasn’t ready to leave her house, so Billy, Josh and I headed over to their house and we caught a photo of them. It was one of the most precious photos that the team took.

We took time to interact with the community more. At one point I started dancing to some music with the kids and Josh told me that one of the community members signed “The fat guy can dance.” This is beginning to be a theme; maybe its time to lose some weight. I got into a conversation in the leaders hut about the percussionist Evelyn Glennie who is deaf. They talked about how she could feel the vibrations. After a few moments I started stoping out a rhythm on the floor and suddenly they all started stomping and tapping around the room. It was so much fun. I got into a tap-dancing competition with one of the guys. It was a blast.

Photo by Lori Mercer

We all told the community members that Jesus loves them and I was surprised at how shocked some of them were to hear this from us. The leadership council of the community took a photo together as well as Mackenson, the leader of the group. It was really cool to see the leadership take charge of organizing the group – settling disputes and making decisions. I learned the sign for ‘wise’ just so I could tell Mackenson how impressed I was with his decision making skills.

We finished with Nick and Billy walking around getting photos of a few of the children for future sponsorship profiles. Soon we’ll be offering people the opportunity to pay for a child’s schooling here in Haiti and they’ll be going to one of the top schools in the country- all very exciting. We were pretty tired at the end of the day. I don’t know that I have a reason for posting this picture other than the fact that it’s may favorite picture of Billy and Nick from this week. I think it looks like a buddy comedy movie poster.

If you can come up with a caption for this photo let me know – I can’t figure one out that is worthy of the awesomeness of this picture. In addition to this one (one of the only photos that I shot) Billy, Nick and Lori worked hard for us to total our three days to over 120 portraits between three days of shooting. But now the real work begins. They’ll have to edit through hundreds of different photos, picking out each household’s photos. We’ve been talking about having a special photo exhibition to raise the money to pay for the prints and possibly raise funds for future Haiti trips or Help Portrait events. Let me know if that sounds interesting to you and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

Click the thumbnail to see the full photo.Here are Nick’s



Over all this trip has been amazing and we’re already talking about our next Help Portrait event and many of us are excited to get back to Haiti again soon. I’ve got some sign language to work on – as many of the deaf people told me. (And apparently some weight to lose) But I’ve never had this much fun on a mission trip. I really feel that we conveyed the love of Christ to these people, even just in taking these photos and talking with them. I felt so fortunate to have been a part of this trip. At the end of the day I asked Mackenson what he would like to say to Frazer on video and the thrust of it was that this team was helpful and he’s glad that Frazer is involved with the community.

We head for the airport first thing tomorrow, so pray for safe travels! We’re excited to get these photos printed and framed! Thanks for everyone who has been reading. If you read this I’m telling you that you should come to Haiti. Whatever obstacle is in your way God is bigger. Learn some sign language, get here and love on these people.

Tompy, the Haitian 410 Bridge National Coordinator was extremely helpful throughout our trip.


To God be the glory.

Further reading:

Nick’s Blog, Lori’s Blog and Billy’s Blog are all awesome as well.

-You can always visit Frazer’s Mission Blog and Transformation Blog to read about the progress of this and other projects.

-To get closest to the action visit to hear from Kyle Reschke, a good friend of mine, and Frazer’s missionary in the field in the deaf community.


Haiti Help Portrait Trip Day 1

butch said we had to be up at 4:00 in the morning, my response was “No, silly 4:00 is in the afternoon!” Photo by Lori Mercer

Mr. T escorting us by motorcycle to the New Life Children’s home Photo by Lori Mercer

I write to you at the end of a very long day. We started today at 3:00am (for us) and flew out of Ft. Lauderdale. We got to the airport really early but took some time to review our sign language and Creole. The flight was good. We arrived around 10am and made our way to the New Life Children’s home where most of Frazer’s teams stay on our trips here. The compound includes a guest house, church, garden and orphanage. It’s walled and there’s an armed guard at the gate. There is no better place for mission teams to stay at Port Au Prince.

Kyle met us in the airport and we were escorted from there by our Haitian police friend who is lovingly referred to as “Mr.T.” Once we got to New Life we sat down and Kyle told us a little about how things were going to go. He told us that the leadership of the deaf community volunteered to organize the people in the community to be ready to have the photos taken.

When we arrived at the community we were quickly mobbed by all of the children who absolutely love Kyle. As soon as the car from 410 drove up children came running out of the huts to meet him. Many people are surprised to find out that even though the adults in the community are deaf, most of the children are hearing. It’s very common for this to happen, but especially in Haiti where much of the deafness comes as the result of illness rather than condition from birth. The children in the community love to sing. Kyle plays guitar for them and goes through the few praise songs that he knows – often translating them into Creole. One of the coolest moments of the day was hearing all these Haitian children singing at the top of their lungs ‘Wi Jezi, wi Jezi, wi Jezi…’ – the chorus from ‘Trading my Sorrows.”

We got to hear from several members of the leadership council most of whom are very young and all seem like very smart, determined people. Mackenson St.Louise is one of the leaders and he is determined that the community learn English as well as French, Creole and Proper American Sign Language. In an effort to help in their endeavors we delivered to them several books that help teach proper sign language. They wasted no time as soon as we were done they they all took one of the books and set down to read them. It was awesome to watch them as they devoured the books – each of them was trying out the signs depicted in the books and then showing the others.

Josh Brewer, our wonderful translator was there to translate several amazing stories as the leadership council each shared where they were during the earth quake and how they came to the deaf community. You can hear more about Mackinson’s awesome story on kyle’s blog.

Photo by Lori Mercer

The team and the members of the deaf community were fast friends as they were all telling us stories and asking us questions. Many of them sat with us as we all hand-spelled our names and made what conversation we could. It was an enormous blessing. We took a tour of the community were we saw that a number of the people there have already started their own micro enterprise – artisans hocking their wares, other people selling other kinds of goods – there’s even a local pub.

Let the Photos Begin

Photo by Lori Mercer

Finally we started taking photos. God really provided for us in a cool way when it came time for us to decide where we were going to shoot. Since the first meeting we had been wondering were we were going to stage the photos, originally thinking that we’d try taking them totally outside in front of the T-houses you see in the above picture. But when we got there we found out that just in the past few weeks a new tent had been donated by UMCOR (woot! woot! UMC represent!). The tent was the perfect size and opacity; It provided a great back drop with a neutral white and wonderful diffused light that allowed the photographers to set up a single flash and take pictures that look exactly as if they’d been taken in in a studio.

It didn’t take long for word to get around the camp and soon Billy, Lori and Nick had their hands full with families wanting their photos taken together. Diane was busy taking names so that we were sure to match up the photos with the correct households when we return with the framed photos in December. I acted as a light stand for much of the afternoon. Butch was doing crowd control and Josh was in the middle the whole time, making sure that everyone was understood. I wish I could tell you how amazing it was to take photos of these people and show it to them. Though none of them speak english – and many of them don’t speak at all – we could all see the joy in their faces as they each saw a photo of themselves. All of them were very thankful. It was funny to see the number of things that are universal – the awe of an elderly couple looking into each others’ eyes in one photo, teenagers refusing to smile in a family picture and the fact the everyone feels joy knowing that they’re worth photographing.

Here are a few of the photos from today – all three photographers contributed a great deal today. These three photos were taken by Billy Pope. You can see the larger image by clicking on them. Keep in mind these were all taken in the same tent in the deaf community.

for more photos by Nick, you can visit his blog 

End of the day

Tonight we had the blessing of joining the children at the New Life Center for their evening devotional. Though the whole thing was in creole, I was still struck by the sincerity of their faith and the universality of our God. As the team leader I was asked to stand up and tell the kids who we were so I explained through a translator what we were doing and introduced the team. After the devotional each one of the children approached each one of us to wish us ‘good night’ or ‘god bless’ in english. It was a really cool experience.

over all it was a really good day – we’re all excited to get back out there tomorrow, but the whole team is really tired. Even as I finish writing this a little after 9, I’m the last one awake. Thanks for your continued prayers – we’ve been feeling them! God is doing a great work here!

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My Help Portrait Trip to Haiti Day 0

The Team: Billy Pope – photographer, Josh Brewer – interpreter, Lori Mercer – photographer, Diane Klaaren – Assistant, Myself, Butch McPherson – director of missions, Nick Drollette – Photographer

As some of you know Frazer, my church and place of employment is currently partnered with 410 Bridge to help house, educate and disciple the deaf community of Haiti. We’re also now working with Mission of Hope which miraculously helped us find land free of charge for the deaf community in exchange for our partnership with them to provide spiritual development for an entire community of Haitians, both Deaf and hearing. You might be interested in reading the posts from my first trip to Haiti to hear were we were back in april, and then check out this video to hear the most recent update from Kyle Reschke, our missionary on the ground.

This is my second trip to Haiti and my first Help Portrait event – What is Help portrait you ask? Well you can visit their website for more detailed information or you can simply check out this graphic:

And this is what we’re going to do for the Haitian Deaf community. Frazer’s November mission team to Haiti will arrive in Port Au Prince tomorrow morning. We’ve got three pro photographers and myself (an enthusiastic hobbyist) as well as a couple of people to assist and an interpreter for the deaf. We’re going to take high quality portraits of each family in the community and return in december to give them their photos, matted and framed as a christmas gift from Frazer. It’ll be the first picture they’ll have to hang in their new homes. Many of these people have had photographs taken of them, but they’ve never had a portrait of their family that they could keep. For some of them it may be the first photo of themselves they ever owned. But more than the photos we just want to love of the deaf community. Relationship building is always the number one goal of these trips and we’re hoping that through those relationships we’ll see more and more people in Haiti – deaf and hearing – come to know Christ.

Today we traveled to florida and took a few moments to get to know each other and talk about how we’re going to be working as a team over the next few days. It’s a tall order to get high-quality portraits for over 150 families over the next three days, but I believe this group is up to the challenge. So far our team has really enjoyed hanging out – just check out their Facebook pages for some of the fun pictures from today’s day of travel.

We’re all very excited about tomorrow and the team is very appreciative of the support we’ve been shown on Facebook today – lots of people are praying for us and that is a huge encouragement. We’re hoping that more than giving them great portraits that we’ll get a good opportunity to relate to the community. You can be praying for us in several ways: That the language barrier isn’t a barrier, that we’re able to use our time there wisely and that the weather holds out so that we can get portraits of the whole community.

Further reading:

-You might be interested in reading the posts from my first trip to Haiti

-You can always visit Frazer’s Mission Blog and Transformation Blog to read about the progress of this and other projects.

-To get closest to the action visit to hear from Kyle Reschke, a good friend of mine, and Frazer’s missionary in the field in the deaf community.

Thanks for your prayers and if the internet connection cooperates I hope to be writing you tomorrow evening as well.

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Discernment vs. Judgement

In an effort to not be judgmental, I believe that we’ve lost discernment – and while discernment may look like judgment, it is actually entirely different.

“Who are we to judge?”

This is the phrase that is most often said when the average Christian explains why they decided not to confront a friend about their sin. I have recently come to the belief that this is blatant misunderstanding about what it means for a Christian to recognize sin.

Why are we afraid of appearing judgmental? Mainly because that’s the stereotype that Christians have been handed and unfortunately, this isn’t unfounded at all. Christians who fall on the other end of this spectrum are equally guilty of muddying the waters of judgement and discernment.

Scripturally speaking…

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Matthew 7:1

I’m going to take a stab at an interpretation of this scripture: we’re not supposed to judge. I guess that’s pretty clear. I think the first mistake about this is a misunderstanding about what it means to judge. In the modern context of the word ‘judge’ we get it half right. We understand that saying ‘that is morally wrong’ is judging. But we neglect the other side of that same coin, that saying “that is morally right” is also judging. If you follow Christ you no longer have the right to decide what is right and what is wrong. You’ve given that up – that is up to God and God alone. You never really had the ability anyway and by following Christ you have given up your imagined right to do it, placing it on the cross.

This was a mind blowing revelation to me – the idea that “Judge Not” applies to either direction. The idea that when a person says “that’s ok” they’re being equally judgmental as the person who condemns. Looking now, I know I’ve been guilty of both. I brought this before a friend of mine and he asked me what I though about those times where a clear judgement call needs to be made – that is where discernment enters in. Take a look at this scripture, it may seem to conflict with the one mentioned earlier, but it actually has a very different meaning:

Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 1 Corinthians 2:15 NLT (emphasis added)

Krino vs Anakrino

In Scripture there are two common words that are translated as “judge” ἀνακρίνω “anakrinō” and κρίνω “krinō” – the greek prefix “ana” means upon or against, so krino happens first, followed by anakrino. Krino means judgment as to condemn, to rule, to damn, to determine the law, to decree. This is the word used in the phrase “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1. Anakrino means to examine, to reason, to search, to ask questions or to discern. This word is used in the passage “…for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11.

What we now know as “judgement” is krino. What we now call “discernment” is anakrino. Judgement is a function of God; he makes the law, he makes decrees and he decides what is right and wrong. Discernment is a function of His followers; it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. Discernment is different from Judgement in that it recognizes instruction from an external source and puts it into practice.

When a cop pulls you over for speeding, do you say “don’t you dare judge me!” No, because you know that there are laws that he’s abiding by – he’s not making the judgement on what speed is dangerous – that was already done – he was merely doing his work as an officer of the peace; following the authority that has been placed over him.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Corinthians 2:14 NIV (emphasis added)

What many people today call judgement is actually discernment, someone expressing what the Holy Spirit is speaking to them about what is right and wrong. God has already judged – now it is for us to discern what that judgement is and that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Just as judgement is always wrong for us to do, discernment is never wrong. Though, it can be carried out incorrectly; we are told that we must be gentle in our use of discernment.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Gal 6:1

This is often when people call christians judgmental. Instead of being gentle, they are ungracious, condescending and ultimately un-Christ-like. Gentleness is a key to the proper use of the gift that is discernment.

To Conclude

We’re not supposed to judge; we’re not supposed to make a call on what is wrong OR right based on our own internal moral code. We’re supposed to discern, with the guidance of the Spirit, what God has already judged. To do otherwise is to say you believe you’re smarter than the creator of the universe. So give up your gavel to God and leave the judging up to Him, but don’t neglect discernment; those with the spirit can discern all things.