Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Are We To Judge?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

The most sacred virtue in the Western world today is tolerance. Like a weed perniciously overrunning the flower beds, tolerance has overgrown Christianity with its universalistic mindset that there are many different roads to God and that one is no better than the other. Since all religions are equal under this theology, all morality is equal. And, with all things equal, who are we to judge?

Eric BargerWe'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries, for the biblical answer to this very sensitive question. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.


People today don't believe that a loving God should or would judge, and so neither should we. How do you respond to that?

Every time I mention something about what is right and wrong, somebody comes back with the only Scripture that the atheists seem to know — "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matt. 7:1). You know, I get it all the time.

The Scripture instead tell us that we must indeed judge. Anybody who tells you that we're not to judge does not know what the Scripture says. It is the only way we can know what truth is. Over and over the Bible says, "test this, test this, test this, test yourself." How could you possibly do that if you don't judge?

Now, Jesus was dealing with hypocrisy, so don't judge unjustly. Judge righteously, and that is what we must do, by using the Bible. I'm not perfect and we're not perfect, we know that. But, we are saying that Scripture is the truth and it is perfect. That doesn't mean you have to hit the person over the head with the Bible, or act like you are some self-righteous bigot, but you must at least confront them with the truth and that requires judgment.

Another scenario is if you ever say anything critical of someone in Christianity even though he may be totally off the wall, immediately you'll get the statement, "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22). But, of course, that is David speaking about Saul. If that was a New Testament edict then the book of Titus, both books of Timothy, both books of Thessalonians, well all those would have to be thrown out the window. The book of Titus is very clear that those who bring division, those who are preaching false doctrine, their mouths Paul said must be stopped. Paul even rebuked Peter.

If we don't mention the teachings of false doctrine and point those things out, we do an injustice to the Church and we do damage to what the Scripture tells us to do, and we abuse our calling.


In judging do we have to filter it through the Bible's teaching that there are indeed not many roads to God but only one?

There is only one path. I would love to tell people there is more then one way. I would love to announce that the Bible says there is more then one way. But, there is only one way according to the Bible. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). Either that's true or the Bible is not true, which would make Jesus a liar.

Christianity is the most distinctive religion in all the world because it is the only one that teaches that you cannot earn salvation. Every other religion that I know of teaches salvation by works. Islam, for example, they are completely hung up on the idea of being good enough.

Now, we see this idea worming it's way into so-called Christian circles with liberalism telling us, "If you are just good enough, if you just get baptized, just join the church, join enough committees in your church, do a little good works here and there, read your Bible once and awhile, come to church on Sunday and make sure you give your tithe... As long as you do all that, everything is okay and God will sign off on you." That is not how you get to Heaven and that is not how you become a Christian.

I have said for so long the world doesn't like these ideas, but our mission is to try to cut them off before they run headlong off the cliff. Even if they don't like it when we tackle them, when we get them up and walk them to the edge to show them where they were about to go, they'll be eternally grateful for us. So, our mission isn't to see if they will like us or not.

Too many churches, people and philosophies out there say that you don't want to teach Jesus is the only way because it is negative to church growth and it will run people off. I instead say we have to preach the truth and God will then save whom He will save.

Who are we? We don't save anybody. We are God's glorified FedEx messengers as we bring the whole truth, and then the Holy Spirit can work and save them. By telling people there is more than one way or "you have your way and I've got mine," all that does is help damn souls.


For even more information on Universalism, check out Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?

12 comments:

Billy said...

Excerpt from 1 Chorinthians 5:

(I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you.")

I think the paragraph above says it all for me. We should not judge lost sinners but try to bring them to Christ. But as Christian brothers, we are held to standards by which we should be living. We SHOULD judge each other AND help each other if we are not living by the Word - even to the point of expelling someone who refuses to repent according to what I read above.

I would say that is a great argument for going to church and having Christian friends BUT unfortunately most Christians only have "judge not" burned into their brains and therefore they do nothing to help their brother when he is stumbling off the path. Thank God we ALWAYS have His Son to go to when we've wandered off track.

Laura said...

Hate the sin, but love the sinner. So when we "judge" are we pointing out an ACTION that is a sin or are we maligning the person who committed the action? It's the difference between calling someone a liar and saying, "You told a lie." BIG BIG difference there!

Of course, many people cannot separate themselves from their actions in this world in which one very prominent lies is "you are what you do," (as opposed to the Biblical truth of "you are who you are because of birth; you are either in Adam or in Christ"). But there's still a very important distinction there.

hartdawg said...

the 2 verses i hear the most in hanging with the youth are "judge not or you will be judged" followed by "God made every seed bearing plant" puff puff. this attitude has even infiltrated real christians. at a christian college all my friends would take attendence in chapel then walk out the door. when i told them thats not right they said "dont force ur opinions on others" or they quoted matt7:1

hartdawg said...

the truth is not subject to ones opinion and this "dont force ur opinions on others" that has infilterated the christian world makes me wanna puke

Billy said...

Laura said "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."

I only agree with that if "love" is the action of trying to get that person to repent and change their ways and heal their relationship with God.

Otherwise you aren't loving that person at all. You're just an enabler of their destruction.

Laura said...

Billy,

Only the Holy Spirit can convict people and convince them of their need for a relationship with God. Just look at Jesus and who He hung with--prostitutes, tax collectors, loud-mouthed fishermen, sinners!

It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict the world of sin, not mine. I certainly will always call a sin a sin whether that's in my life or at large, but my job is to be the love of Christ to a dying world.

And it's His kindness (not His judgment) that leads us to repentance!

Some may say I'm soft on sin, but not true. I'm soft on the sinner. They need to know that Christ is the loving solution to the pain, chaos, and despair caused by sin in their lives.

Billy said...

Laura,

I was talking about helping a Christian repair their EXISTING relationship with God, not convicting and convincing a non-believer.

All I can say at this point that as a Christian, if I was partaking in sinful behavior and it was ruining my life and my relationship with God and I needed a Christian brother to come to my aid, I would want someone who would lay it out straight with tough love and hard truth. I wouldn't want some feel good liberal psycho babble telling me I don't have to take responsibility for my actions. I'd want someone telling me to get my act together and behave like a Christian. Not "oh, it's okay, it's not your fault, love, peace, blah, blah..." That's called enabling, not helping.

We have a difference of opinion with no middle ground in my opinion so you can have the last word - I've said all I have to say.

Mitchell said...

Good article Nathan.

Laura said...

Billy,

My misunderstanding then--I thought you meant nonbelievers. As for believers, though, we are specifically told to confront them "in love" and to be careful, lest we fall in the same way they did. That doesn't mean being soft on sin, but restoring someone gently and in a loving way. And we can both trust that God will lead us in the right way to do that, yes?

Anonymous said...

I have two comments: First, I think another word for "judge" as you guys are using it, and as it was used in the article would be to "discern." That's just my thought on that.
Second, at the beginning of today's and yesterday's article, they were talking about people not believing that a loving god would send people to hell. Those people are creating a god to suit themselves, which is idolatry. I saw Ray Comfort talking about that on Way of the Master, and he said it better than I could, but you get the point. If we say we "believe" what God would or wouldn't do, and those beliefs are contrary to what His Word says about Him, then we are basically making up our own god. And I think people do that all the time so that they can live the lifestyle they want to live, and yet not feel guilty about it.
What do you guys think about that?
Clay

hartdawg said...

that sounds about right, clay. but i would even take it a step further than that, i`d say these prosperity teachers, especially the ones who say jesus was rich, are also making their own God.

Anonymous said...

Clay, I like the Josh McDowell quote saying basically that it is irrelevant what we humans, or Christians for that matter, believe about God and his commands for us. The truth is the truth whether or not we agree with it, whether or not we even acknowledge it. That is what makes it the truth, it stands true regardless of people, time or circumstances.

Therefore the truth is Hell was not created for you and me, it was created for Satan and the 1/3 disobedient angels who followed satan. When sin entered the world that punishment was then conferred to sinful man. God does not send man to hell, mankind brings that judgement on himself through his own rebellion.

Rob from Alabama