Why do so many Christians embrace Psalm 53:1, yet completely ignore Matthew 5:22?

Psalm 53:1 **The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.** Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, **Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.**

Are the people who embrace the former, but ignore the latter "not real Christians"?

And who exactly is on the "Not A Real Christian" committee?

26 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm very impressed -- that's a great question.

    Many people don't understand the meaning of the Hebrew word our Bibles translate as "fool." They suppose it means a person lacking wisdom or insight, and is too stubborn or stupid to realize there is a God. In fact, the word used there is "moreh," which means "an APOSTATE who rebels against God." This is someone who once had faith, but who no longer chooses to believe; it is a willful act.

    With regard to Matt. 5:22, Jesus clarifies that Scripture such as Psalm 53:1 does not give God's followers license to accuse atheists, pagans, agnostics, Muslims, etc. of being "moreh." He explains that whoever CALLS ANOTHER PERSON "moreh" will be punished, because God is the judge, not us.

    Actually, if you step back and examine the context of Matthew 5 - 7, you'll see that Jesus is merely reiterating what already exists in the Mosaic Law. In the context of apostacy, the Law gave a penalty: the person was to be put to death either by stoning or strangulation (c.f. the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Sanhedrin), but ONLY if the following circumstances exist: 1) the person was heard blaspheming by at least two reputable men; 2) these men had never uttered or thought blasphemy and not been caught (c.f. laws re: "false witness"); 3) they had never committed any other transgression of the Law (also c.f. "false witness" Laws).

    So while the Law contained the penalty, no one was worthy enough to accuse another of a transgression and exact the penalty -- EXCEPT if God Himself commanded it. This obvious fact totally escaped most Jews, but it explains why the woman caught in the act of adultery was not stoned.

    Deut. 32:41, and other verses like it, makes it clear that God, and God alone, is the One who will punish apostates: "I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me." Not Christians. Not Popes who say they stand in Jesus' place on earth. Not any of us. Period.

    So you're right, those who condemn others will be condemned and more attention should be given to Matt. 5:22. I am not qualified to say whether these people are "real Christians;" at the very least, they have not read the Bible as carefully as you evidently have.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think many Christians are good at all on the Love Command, and how they treat their brethren in Christ.

    Matt 5:22 is much scarier for me than Psalm 53:1. My heart knows there is a God, even when I'm angry at God.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the answer to both of your questions is this:

    Matt. 7:1-5 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." NIV

    I think a lot of people (Christians & non- Christians) spend too much time judging others instead of self examination. You can only change yourself; not anyone else.

    Source(s): Me
  • 1 decade ago

    Well this is a tough question. I Think the real question here is why christians forget they are christians and they get alot of flack for it. people also forget the christians are people. The capacity for sin doens't go away once you get saved. It just means you have a relationship with God and you know you neeed His forgiveness. It is only by God's grace that we are worthy to worship Him. People do make mistakes. But it is the Love of God that allows us to commune wth Him. As for the God vs No God issue, I'm With God. I try not to be angry with anyone. I like to get to the bottom of things. but the bottom line is we ALL need to put others first. Whatever we believe.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is a difference between speaking the truth and being unrighteously angry without cause, even God exhibits righteous anger.

    Psalm 53:1 implicitly acknowledges that there are fools and what they say/think.

    Mat. 5:22 address people who speak only from emotion without cause, e.g. a quick tempered man - quick temperment is foolish.

    Personally, I think most Christians get it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yep, we shouldn't ignore Matt 5:22. I have been guilty of calling people fools and I definately need to change my ways. God knows who the fools are and He has a right to call someone a fool, as for us...we are only human and cannot read the heart and intentions of someone and shouldn't be calling anyone a fool.

  • 1 decade ago

    I consider anyone who calls a person a "fool" not a real Christian, because that reveals their lack of compassion and ignorance of religion. God intended us to love eachother, not call eachother out for his/her personal beliefs.

    Non-Christians will often tell you that you are living a bad life, and going to hell if you're not Christian, as well as trying to constantly convert you to their beliefs.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. Both these passages was written to Jews under the law, and not to Christians. We learn from the principle taught, but are not bound to those verses.

    Romans through Philemon was written specifically to Christians.

  • Mr. E
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You bring up a great point Deke. Even worse however is that if you continue reading Psalms 53 you find that it is talking about all of us, believers and non-believers alike. We are all fools according to that chapter.

  • 1 decade ago

    One is the old testament and the other is the new testament and we have to remember that when Jesus died on the cross ALL things in the old testament were completed - Now, that leaves revelation to be dealt with and only in God's time.

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