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Friday, March 30, 2012

Bennion's Teachings of the New Testament, List 4

by Seattle Jon (bio)

A few months ago I purchased and slowly read Teachings of the New Testament, written by Lowell Bennion and used in the adult Sunday School in 1953. Brother Bennion was Director of the Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City when he wrote the manual.

There are 44 chapters, or lessons, in the manual designed to "bring out the moral and religious implications of New Testament teachings for our times." Our time is not their time, but the fundamental principles taught by our Savior are timeless in their application. Here is the final list (lists onetwo, three) I found interesting, uplifting and easy to replicate in post form.

Reasons why we should not judge one another

1. We have no right to judge our fellow men. They do not belong to us, but to the Lord. He is our Creator and lawgiver and he alone has a right to judge us.

2. We are not capable of rendering a just judgment. We are always blinded by the beam in our own eye. We are often guilty of the same things for which we criticize others. No man can know another person well enough to judge of him as a person. Each person's life is so complex in its environment and heredity that only God can pass fair judgment on a man.

3. When we judge our neighbor behind his back, we are not loving him. Our interest is not in his welfare. If we loved a man, our remarks would give him the benefit of the doubt or we would keep silent. Every man has a right to defend himself. How unjust and unkind to belittle a person by speaking for him without permission and in his absence.

4. We may judge our neighbor to fortify falsely our own ego. James, in chapter 4, verses 11 and 12, indicates that when we speak evil of one another we become judges and not doers of the law. He has a point. Negative criticism is destructive to everyone, to the one who criticizes as much as to the criticized. To tear another man down is a deceptive technique of building up one's own ego. It takes the place of creative activity, giving us a false sense of superiority over the person we discredit. Persons who are creative, successful, and happy in their own living have less temptation, less need to undermine the status of others. Backbiting is a sure witness of personal dissatisfaction on the part of the backbiter.

5. People respond to our judgment of them. Speak well of a man and he is inspired to measure up to your estimate. Speak ill of a man and he is inclined to stoop to your level in response. Children especially need encouragement. And who does not like to respond to it?

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