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Be like Jesus . . . Be "Judgmental"
No. 1: We live in the most "tolerant" and violent century in human history. The two are related. "Tolerance" killed six million Jews in Nazi Germany. The Good People of Germany knew what was going on. Their neighbor had a good job with the government railroad industry, helping people get on trains headed for the "camps." No one wanted to be "judgmental." He was just "doing his job."
No. 2: Great numbers of those who call themselves Christians are today telling us that we should not judge. At the same time, great numbers of those who call themselves Christians frequently engage in hypocritical, ignorant, and lawless judging, and this is probably the reason why the others are saying we must not judge at all.
Of course, no one believes that we ought to
No one claims we should judge this way, and the Bible plainly condemns such judging.
But to use the Biblical condemnation of self-centered, Humanistic judging to condemn all judging is an equally erroneous position. If we are to tolerate all things, and do no judging at all, then we will not discriminate or criticize the blasphemies and lies of Satan and his followers. We may worship God, or we may just as well worship Satan himself! But the Bible says we are to judge between God and Satan and choose God!
Those who say we should be more like Jesus, and not judge at all, have overlooked some important passages of Scripture. If we meditate on these verses we will discard the notion that we should not judge.
Jesus is a Judge
First, many passages show us that Jesus frequently rendered stern judgments:
Unfortunately, we can only cover one of the Gospels in this brief survey. We would find more of the same in the other Gospels. How do we understand these accounts?
Jesus is very stern and judgmental because it is so important for God's commandments to be honored. If we are to be Jesus's friends we must do the same (I John 2:3-6; 3:22-24; 5:2-3; John 14:15,21-24; John 15:10-11, 14,16; John 16:7-14 + 14:22-27).
Second, based on Jesus's life and command, the Apostles tell us we are to be like Jesus, and judge between good and evil, denouncing the bad and praising the good.
May these verses help us, not to be judgmental for the sake of being judgmental, but to exalt God's Law, and replace the ugliness and violence of the world with the beauty and peace of the Kingdom of Christ.
"Oh how love I thy Law! It is my meditation all the day!" (Psalm 119:97)
Can We Judge Another's Heart?
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law,
"I said, Ye are gods"?
I once had an aunt who dabbled in the occult. She used this verse to show that all men had "a spark of divinity" in them and consequently had no need for a Savior Who was "the only Way to God." This is not the only verse that can be confusing to someone who takes the popular, evangelical, antinomian position that Christians are not to render judgments based upon God's Word. Consider the following passages:
Apparently, those with political or judicial power over others were called "gods," probably because they were imitating the function of the True King and Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22).
It is interesting that even Israel's judges were called gods. Was this good? Is it good for a people to have gods? What was it that made them "gods"?
One aspect of their being gods over the people was their possession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly differentiated them from the rest of the people under the Old Covenant. Kings, most notably, were anointed with oil to symbolize their possession of the Spirit.
Was it good for only a few to have the Spirit, or would it be desirable for all men to have the Spirit? How did Moses, the mediator of the Old Covenant, answer this question (Numbers 11:29)? In the New Covenant, all believers do indeed have the Spirit (1 John 2:20,27). Does that make them kings? (Revelation 1:6).
It certainly makes us "sons of God" (John 1:12).
We are led to the conclusion that in some sense (and I sure don't know exhaustively in what sense!!) believers are "gods." (That sounds real wacky, and although I don't know all the relationships between kings and priests and gods, I do know that it does not mean what certain cultists might say it means. Don't put such a terrible construction on what these verses are saying that you miss the point of whatever the Bible really is teaching.)
In light of such passages as John 1:12, I John 3:2, and 2 Peter 1:4, what can we say about judging the heart?
We have already seen how judges were called gods. Undoubtedly they were to judge as God Himself does: righteously, according to His Holy Word (John 7:24).
But doesn't the Bible say that only God Himself can judge the heart? I Samuel 16:7 says
As is often the case with those who value their feelings more than the Law-Word of God, this phrase is taken out of context.
The Bible says man is a worm. Always? In every sense? "Man judges the outward appearance." Always? Unavoidably? Peter in his first letter (1:15-16) rightly cites Leviticus 11:44 to argue that we are to be holy even as God is holy. If God judges not just on appearances, but righteously, even looking at the heart, then we are to do the same. Is it possible that we even can?
The very verse in question (I Samuel 16:7) is actually a command for Samuel to do this very thing! Samuel had just made an untrue judgment (v.6) and God commands him not to judge based solely on appearances, but to judge as the LORD does!
We can judge hearts because the Word of God Himself tells us how. Hebrews 4:12 says "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Armed with this sword (Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 149:6) believers can expose the true state of affairs, exposing motivations and goals of the heart (I Corinthians 14:24-25).
Solomon taught his son how to judge hearts: by putting together external actions and the Word's assessment of those actions. By looking up the word "heart" in a concordance, we can see how often the Proverbs make such judgments. These judgments teach believers how to be wise discerners. "A prudent man concealeth knowledge; but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness" (Proverbs 12:23). Does a wise heart ever proclaim foolishness? Never. Anytime we see a fool proclaiming foolishness, we know something about his heart.
When Solomon rendered judgments (e.g., Proverbs 6:14) he wasn't just showing off his wisdom, he was telling his son important facts that should be kept by us. We can know a man's heart by his actions (Mark 7:21-23), because God's Law-Word governs all actions and makes us Spiritual discerners (I Corinthians 2:14-15; Psalm 119:69-70).
To their credit, most Christians, even those who remissfully assert that we should not judge the heart, do so anyway. Proverbs 22:15 says "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod and correction shall drive it far from him." Spanking thus has for its purpose the driving of foolishness out of a child's heart. Only a few who say we cannot know the heart of another never spank. Perhaps some who say we shouldn't judge the heart spank anyway, without judging the heart: "Oh, I just spank 'em a couple times a day: keeps 'em on their toes." How unGodly. Those who do spank do in fact judge the heart, the more like their Savior they become (Ephesians 4:13). A child hits his sister. "He hit me!" she cries, demanding vengeance. But the wise father saw that the boy struck her inadvertently; he doesn't spank the boy because he makes a sanctified judgment of the lad's heart; we distinguish between accidental and deliberate damage ("Deliberated" where? In the heart.)
Jude (and the parallel chapter in 2 Peter 2) makes some awesome judgments of peoples' hearts. We are to follow these judgments (Jude 22), and most of us do, even if we say "You shouldn't judge a person's heart." Let us never underestimate our authority as sons of God.
Judging Extends the Kingdom of Christ
I've just explained how a failure to judge righteous judgment can result in unfair discipline of children. But there's much more. If you're asking yourself, "Why should I want to judge people?" or "Why would anyone write a paper in defense of being judgmental?" here is the answer.
|except perhaps that of Noah,
before the flood
is the operative term here. The pressure to accept and
tolerate all things works most immediately in favor of the
State. Especially in favor of dictatorships and murderous
regimes, such as our own government. For this reason, the
attitude is fostered and sponsored by the State.
|We live in a century which has
two distinctive characteristics.
This nonsense must end. It is the saints of God -- that is, people who are "called out" from the modern world -- who reign and carry out the orders of Christ the King. If we do not judge, the Kingdom does not come to full fruition.
Only a judgmental Christian is Truly Human.
Send your comments to me at Kevin4VFT@aol.com.
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