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THE ISSUE OF JUDGING

Copyright 2007 Loren Davis

Judging seems to be a complicated matter among most Christians. Most have been TAUGHT NOT TO JUDGE, but many who teach this, would be quick to judge you if you disagreed with them. There are some scriptures that say, "judge not", but there are other scriptures that teach us to "judge". Is the Bible contradicting itself? WHICH POSITION IS RIGHT?

SCRIPTURES ON "NOT JUDGING"

* James 4:11-12 "Speak not evil one of another, brethren; He that speaketh evil of his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and JUDGETH the law: but IF THOU JUDGE THE LAW, thou art not a doer of the law, BUT A JUDGE. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: WHO ART THOU THAT JUDGEST ANOTHER?" (The key phrase here is judging a brother, another true Christian).
* Matthew 7:1 "JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED." For what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
* Luke 6:37 "JUDGE NOT, AND YE SHALL BE NOT JUDGED: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive and ye shall be forgiven."
* John. 8:15 "YE JUDGE AFTER THE FLESH." This type of judgment is unscriptural.
* Romans 14:1-5 "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despises him that eateth not; and let not him, who eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that JUDGEST ANOTHER MAN'S SERVANT? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." A key here is that we are not to judge ANOTHER MAN'S SERVANTS.

MISJUDGING THE TRUE PROPHETS

* Matthew 23:30 "And say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them IN THE BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS."
* 31, "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which KILL THE PROPHETS."
* Matthew 23:25-29 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make CLEAN THE OUTSIDE of the cup of the platter, but WITHIN THEY ARE FULL OF EXTORTION AND EXCESS. THOU BLIND Pharisee, CLEANSE THAT WHICH IS WITHIN the cup and platter, THAT THE OUTSIDE OF THEM MAY BE CLEAN ALSO. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also OUTWARDLY APPEAR RIGHTEOUS UNTO MEN, BUT within YE ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND INIQUITY. Woe unto you, scribes (journalists) and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because YE BUILD THE TOMBS OF THE PROPHETS, AND GARNISH THE SEPULCHERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS."
* 34-38 "Wherefore, behold, I SEND UNTO YOU PROPHETS, and wise men, and scribes: and some of THEM YE SHALL KILL AND CRUCIFY."
(This is an example of MISJUDGING. KILLING THE INNOCENT in the name of righteousness).
"And some of them you scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. "THAT UPON YOU may COME ALL THE RIGHTEOUS BLOOD SHED UPON THE EARTH, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zechariahs son of Barachias, whom YE SLEW BETWEEN THE TEMPLE AND THE ALTAR. O Jerusalem, JERUSALEM THOU THAT KILLEST THE PROPHETS, and STONEST THEM WHICH ARE SENT UNTO THEE."

FALSE ACCUSERS

* Exodus 20:16 "Thou shalt NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS against thy neighbor."
* Revelation 12:10 "For THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN is cast out."
* John 16:2 Jesus said, "They shall PUT YOU OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUES."

In the books of Galatians, Philippians and Romans SLANDER, BACKBITING, and MALIGNITY are included in the works of the flesh. Unsubstantiated rumors unjustly destroy reputations, lives and ministries. This is evil!

* 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 "for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake...we are weak...WE ARE DESPISED...even unto this present hour we both hunger, thirst, and are naked, and are BUFFETED, and have no certain dwelling place; being REVILED...being PERSECUTED...being DEFAMED...we are MADE AS THE FILTH OF THE WORLD, and ARE THE OFF SCOURING OF ALL THINGS."

JESUS WAS THE MOST MISJUDGED OF ALL

Jesus was judged and misjudged by the Pharisees, Sadducees and Jews. They found Him guilty of death even when Pilate FOUND HIM NOT GUILTY. After this verdict, the religious leaders and the crowd still demanded for Him to be crucified. Though Pilate found Jesus not guilty, he made Jesus EXPENDABLE TO SAVE HIMSELF POLITICALLY.

* John 1:11 "He came unto his own, and HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT."
* Luke 22:63-64 "And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, WHO IS IT THAT SMOTE THEE?"
(They were judging Jesus as if He were a wizard involved in witchcraft).

JESUS WAS ACCUSED OF BEING A SINNER

* Revelation 12:10 says, "SATAN IS THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN."

THE MAN BORN BLIND THAT WAS HEALED

* John 9:16 "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, THIS MAN IS NOT OF GOD, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them."
* v. 18-22 "But the Jews DID NOT BELIEVE concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until THEY CALLED THE PARENTS of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who YE SAY was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; But BY WHAT MEANS he now seeth, WE KNOW NOT; or who hath opened his eyes, WE KNOW NOT: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, FOR THEY FEARED THE JEWS: for THE JEWS HAD AGREED ALREADY, THAT IF ANY MAN DID CONFESS that he was Christ, HE SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE."

They weren't looking for the truth. They already had their minds made up before they heard Him.

Most Christians are afraid to speak up even if they know a preacher is saying something unscriptural. They fear that they will be put out of the church or ostracized. They would rather not confront falsehood than risk BEING PUT OUT OF THE CLUB and BEING LEFT ALONE.

ISRAEL MISJUDGED TRUE PROPHETS, BUT DIDN'T JUDGE FALSE PROPHETS

Israel was always ready to judge, condemn and stone the true prophets of God. Their problem was that they judged false prophets to be true, and judged the true prophets to be false.

WHEN SCRIPTURES TEACH AGAINST JUDGING, THEY ARE REFERRING TO MISJUDGING TRUE SERVANTS OF GOD. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE NOTED FOR DESTROYING EVEN GOOD MEN OF GOD "IN THE NAME OF GOD".

* Revelation 16:6-7 "For they have SHED THE BLOOD OF SAINTS AND PROPHETS, ...and I heard another out of the altar say, even so, Lord, God Almighty, TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ARE THY JUDGMENTS."

JUDGING ON HEARSAY

* John 7:51 "DOTH OUR LAW JUDGE ANY MAN, BEFORE IT HEARS HIM, AND KNOW WHAT HE DOETH?"
* Jude 10 "But THESE SPEAK EVIL OF THINGS THEY KNOW NOT."

HERESAY is inadmissible in a court of law. To judge on heresay is to judge on rumors and not on substantiated evidence. THIS JUDGMENT IS EVIL.
* 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for MAN LOOKETH ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKETH ON THE HEART."

IT IS NOT WRONG TO DEFEND ONESELF
WHEN ONE IS ACCUSED FALSELY

* Acts 22, shows that Paul defended himself. No proof could be provided regarding the allegations made against him.
* Isaiah 54:17 "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn."

BLACKBALLING

* 3 John 10 "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, PRATING AGAINST US WITH MALICIOUS WORDS: and NOT CONTENT therewith, NEITHER DOTH HE HIMSELF RECEIVE THE BRETHREN, AND FORBIDDETH THEM THAT WOULD.

This scripture is describing carnal preachers who blackball godly ministers from preaching, because they won't come under their authority or follow their teachings.
* Matthew 23:25 "and some of them shall ye SCOURGE IN YOUR SYNAGOGUES AND PERSECUTE FROM CITY TO CITY."

Some ministers, in dominant positions, want to politically and doctrinally have absolute control over Christ's church and His people. When the Church becomes AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB under the control of one or a few men, they intimidate other ministers by putting them on a blacklist and closing doors for their ministries. Now it is no longer Christ's church, it is man's. The motivation behind this religious manuvereing is money and power. Who ever does not dance to their tune is cut off financially and their names are scandalized.

These SELF APPOINTED KINGS IN THE CHURCH have literally become strongholds of the devil and are SPOILING THE CHURCH. They won't do the job Christ commanded of winning the lost and teaching sound doctrine, and they try to prevent others who would. I am convinced that such ministers inside Christianity are THE MAIN GATES OF HELL who are hindering the evangelization of the world even more than pagan religions and atheists.

* Matthew 23:15-16 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides."

NO MAN OR ORGANIZATION IS TO BE IN A GOD-LIKE POSITION OVER CHRIST'S CHURCH. There are too many POPES even inside Protestantism. This is Christ's Church and He alone is the Head.
* John 16:1-3 "Jesus said, These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that WHOSOEVER KILLETH YOU WILL THINK THAT HE DOETH GOD SERVICE. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."

ISHMAEL'S IN THE CHURCH

* Galatians 4:29 "But as then he that was BORN AFTER THE FLESH PERSECUTETH HIM THAT WAS BORN AFTER THE SPIRIT, even so it is now."
* 2 Timothy 3:12 "They that LIVE GODLY in Christ SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION."

Those who are born of the flesh always persecute those who are born of the spirit. These Ishmaels infiltrate the Church and use it as their political base to build their own kingdom instead of Christ's.

JOSEPH AND POTIPHAR'S WIFE

Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph while he was in Egypt. When he refused her, she falsely accused him. Although, he was innocent, her accusation put him in prison. This scenario has played out many times even in the church.

IT WAS IN THE NAME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
THAT THEY KILLED THE PROPHETS

* 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an Angel of Light. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS ALSO BE TRANSFORMED AS THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."

Often the unrighteous ministers, Satan's ministers, appear, act and claim to be more righteous than the true righteous servants of God. TheyDO THEIR DEVILISH WORK FROM INSIDE THE CHURCH in the name of righteousness.

Satan's ministers are often not that easy to detect. They are very smart and cunning. They can change the meaning of the Word of God without you catching on to what they are doing. It often takes years to detect the errors being taught. They have a magnetism about them that deceives the masses. Many of them are great personalities, charismatic, flamboyant and often have a great aura of spirituality about them.

SCRIPTURES TEACHING "TO JUDGE"

* Luke 12:56-57 "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and the earth; but how is it ye discern not the time; yea, and WHY EVEN OF YOURSELVES JUDGE NOT WHAT IS RIGHT?"
* 1 John 4:1 "TRY THE SPIRITS to see if they are of God."
* John 4:23 "He hath ONE THAT JUDGETH HIM: THE WORD I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
* Acts 4:19 "...And Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than God, JUDGE YE."
* Romans 2:27, "Concerning circumcision and the law, JUDGE YE."
* 1 Corinthians 11:31, "For IF WE JUDGE OURSELVES, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED"
* 1 Corinthians 12:10, One of the Gifts of the Spirit is "THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS". THAT IS JUDGING!
* 1 Corinthians 14:29 "Let the prophets speak two or three, and LET THE OTHER JUDGE."
* 1 Corinthians 2:15 "He that is SPIRITUAL JUDGETH ALL THINGS."
* 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not YE JUDGE THEM THAT ARE WITHIN? But THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT GOD JUDGETH. Therefore PUT AWAY FROM AMONG YOURSELVES THAT WICKED PERSON."
* 1 Corinthians 6:1-5 "Dare any of you, having a matter against another go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that THE SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD? And you shall judge the world, ARE YE UNWORTHY TO JUDGE THE SMALLEST MATTERS?"
* 2 Timothy 4:8 "JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT."
* Revelation 2:20 God had something against His people because they "ALLOWED JEZEBEL who called herself a prophetess TO SEDUCE HIS PEOPLE." God's people refused to judge her.
* John 7:24 "JUDGE NOT ACCORDING TO APPEARANCE, but RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT."
* I Corinthians 6:4 "Know ye not that YE SHALL JUDGE ANGELS? How much more things that pertain to this life? If then YE HAVE JUDGMENTS OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THIS LIFE, SET THEM TO JUDGE WHO ARE LEAST ESTEEMED IN THE CHURCH."
(In other words, let someone judge the matter that has no stake in the outcome)

THE IMPORTANCE OF JUDGMENT

* Proverbs 8:16 "By me JUDGMENT RULES."
* Proverbs 18:5 "It is not good to accept the person of THE WICKED TO OVERTHROW THE RIGHTEOUS IN JUDGMENT."
* Proverbs 19:29 "JUDGMENTS are PREPARED FOR SCORNERS."
* Proverbs 28:5 "EVIL MEN UNDERSTAND NOT JUDGMENT."
* Proverbs 29:4 "The King BY JUDGMENT establisheth the land."
* Proverbs 31:4 "WINE IS NOT FOR KINGS...lest they forget the law and PERVERT JUDGMENTů"
* Ezekiel 13:17 speaks of false prophets, "PROPHESY AGAINST THOSE PROPHETS."
To prophesy against false prophets is to judge them.

N A M I N G   W O L V E S

* Romans 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM WHICH CAUSE DIVISIONS and offences CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM." We are not to ignore false teachings!

* 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul mentioned by name, "DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN ME, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica."
* 14-15, Another enemy he named. "ALEXANDER THE COPPERSMITH DID ME MUCH EVIL: Of whom be thou ware also; for HE HATH GREATLY WITHSTOOD OUR WORDS."

One must be extremely cautious in the arena of judging. It is wrong not to judge someone who is guilty, and it is also wrong to falsely accuse and judge an innocent person.

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Open sin and defiance of the Word of God are allowed to go on inside the church. Not to exercise church discipline in the name of love will ruin a church.

* 1 Peter 4:17 "JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF GOD."
* Matthew 18:15-17 "Moreover IF THY BROTHER TRESPASS AGAINST THEE, go and TELL HIM HIS FAULT BETWEEN THEE AND HIM ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." But IF HE WILL NOT HEAR THEE, then TAKE WITH THEE ONE OR TWO MORE, THAT IN THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESS EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED."

WE ARE NOT TO BE UNFORGIVING NOR UNMERCIFUL

Just because one believes in the Ten Commandments and the commandments of the New Testament, this should not be interpreted to mean that we should be unforgiving and unmerciful when someone stumbles and falls into sin. IF THEY REPENT AND GENUINELY TURN AROUND, WE MUST RECONCILE THEM IN LOVE.

* Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
* John 8:7 "He that is without sin amongst you, cast the first stone."
* Matthew 5:20 says, "That except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
* Matthew 6:14-15 says, "But if we forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
* Galatians 2:16 we are "justified by faith."

WE ARE TO FORGIVE WHEN ASKED

* Luke 17:4 "And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I REPENT, THOU SHALT FORGIVE HIM."

B U T   T R U S T   H A S   T O   B E
E A R N E D   B A C K

* Proverbs 25:19 "CONFIDENCE IN AN UNFAITHFUL MAN in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint."

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

* 2 Corinthians 5:18 "And all these things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." (It's an amazing thing that many who preach reconciliation are selective on whom they think are fit to reconcile).
* Romans 5:6 "Christ died for the ungodly."
* Romans 5:8 "God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (We did not stay sinners). Without the ministry of reconciliation there would be no Abraham's, David's, Moses', Israel's, Peter's or Paul's; just to mention a few of the great patriarchs of the Bible. They all had sinned and failed miserably, but God changed them and they were used mightily of God. These examples give us all hope that no matter how far we have fallen, we can be restored if we come sincerely and humbly back to God.

* 1 John. 2:1 "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not, and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."

THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF ADULTERY

* John 8:3-ll. "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him,that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, HE THAT IS WITHOUT SIN AMONG YOU, LET HIM FIRST CAST A STONE AT HER. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, he saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE: GO, AND SIN NO MORE." After Jesus forgave her He commanded her to SIN NO MORE.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

John 4:6 This woman had been married five times, and was now living with another man outside of marriage. The Lord forgave her and gave her a new start. Most in the church would not be this merciful. We must be like Jesus!

TO EQUATE MISTAKES WITH SIN AND SIN WITH MISTAKES

1. SIN is disobedience to the Commandments of God. For example, committing adultery, lying and stealing ARE NOT MISTAKES, but SIN. They are named sins in the scriptures.
2. MISTAKES are errors in judgment. These are NOT INTENTIONAL nor necessarily sinful, but nonetheless the results can bring horrific consequences in this life, i.e., negligent homicide; or unknowingly marrying someone who is really not right with God. Sincere or not, the consequences are devastating.

This is why we also need to ask God for wisdom and understanding to keep from being a menace to others and ourselves. These are mistakes in judgment that can be avoided if one reads the Word of God carefully and obeys it. This is not a simplistic arena. People who make mistakes should not be judged as sinners but should be given counsel and correction. Life is dangerous even when one is trying. There are many deceivers and traps everywhere. Most mistakes could be avoided if Christians would simply believe what the Bible has to say about every area of life: marriage, children, business, etc.

W E   N E E D   T O   K N O W
W H E N   T O   J U D G E,   A N D
W H E N   N O T   T O   J U D G E

Many innocent Christians like Joseph are destroyed in the name of righteousness. On the other hand many wolves who teach false doctrines get away with murder in the name of love and forgiveness.

* 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "PROVE ALL THINGS."
* Luke 12:56 "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but HOW IS IT THAT YE DO NOT DISCERN this time?"
* Proverbs 1:3 "To RECEIVE the INSTRUCTION OF wisdom, JUSTICE, JUDGMENT, and EQUITY."
* Proverbs 2:8 "He keepeth THE PATHS OF JUDGMENT, and PRESERVETH THE SAINTS."
* Proverbs 8:16 "By me (WISDOM) princes rule, and nobles, even ALL THE JUDGES of the earth."
* Proverbs 18:5 "It is NOT GOOD TO accept the person of the wicked, to OVERTHROW THE RIGHTEOUS IN JUDGMENT."
* Proverbs 19:29 "JUDGMENTS ARE PREPARED FOR SCORNERS, and stripes for the back of fools."
* Proverbs 29:4 "THE KING BY JUDGMENT ESTABLISHETH THE LAND: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it."

STRIFE AND OFFENSE

JUST BECAUSE ONE POINTS OUT DOCTRINAL ERRORS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT HE IS CAUSING STRIFE OR WALKING IN OFFENSE. JESUS DISAGREED WITH THE PHARISEES. DOES THAT MEAN THAT JESUS WAS IN STRIFE AND OFFENSE? WHO IS SO HOLY AS TO JUDGE JESUS?

STRIFE IS A CARNAL WORK OF THE FLESH. DISPUTING FOR SOUND DOCTRINE IS NOT A CARNAL WORK OF THE FLESH AND IS NOT STRIFE.

THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE:
* Galatians 5:20 "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies."
* Proverbs 6:16, says "God hates those that sow discord." This is referring to "hell raisers" who thrive on causing trouble.

* Acts 20:30-31 "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things (unsound doctrines), to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
* 2 Corinthians 11:29 "Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I BURN not?"
ANYTIME A LIE IS DISAGREED WITH, THERE WILL BE A FIGHT. THAT IS NOT UNGODLY STRIFE, otherwise Jesus and His disciples would have been the greatest offenders!

JESUS CONTRADICTED THE PHARISEES PUBLICLY

* Matthew 12:24-25 "But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
* Matthew 23:27, Jesus called the Pharisees "whited sepulchers full of dead men's bones." WAS JESUS IN STRIFE? Jesus had to slip through the crowds because His words were so strong it made them so angry they wanted to kill Him.

The same thing happened to the APOSTLE PAUL
* Acts 19:9 "But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, DISPUTING DAILY in the school of one Tyrannus."

Most of the apostles suffered martyrdom because of the doctrine of Christ which they preached enraged the people so much. How can we say that all strife is bad considering the uproar that Jesus and the apostles caused? To get people to turn from their pagan doctrines and idols and to get them to accept Christ and follow His teachings, it was necessary to challenge the people's belief systems. This always started a war with their religious leaders.

W H A T   A B O U T   L I V I N G   I N   P E A C E ?

* Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." This does not mean that we are not to confront false doctrines and abuses in the house of God.
* 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for instruction in righteousness."

ANYTIME THERE IS REPROOF AND CORRECTION, SOME ONE IS GOING TO GET MAD. NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE SO OFFENDED WITH THE BIBLE.

* Matthew 15:12 "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the PHARISEES WERE OFFENDED, after they heard this saying?"
* Jesus said in John 8:37 "but YE SEEK TO KILL ME, BECAUSE MY WORD HATH NO PLACE IN YOU."
* Matthew 7:28 "People were astonished at His doctrine."
* Matthew 5:19 Jesus said, "teaching the doctrine of men for the doctrines of God."
* 1 Timothy 1:3 "that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine."
* Jude 3 says, "CONTEND FOR THE FAITH that was once delivered to the saints." To contend means to fight for it.

* Acts 20:22-31 Paul says, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. TAKE HEED therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I KNOW THIS, that after my departing shall GRIEVOUS WOLVES ENTER in amongst you, NOT SPARING THE FLOCK. Also of your own selves shall men arise, SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS, TO DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM. Therefore WATCH, and REMEMBER, that by the space of three years I CEASED NOT TO WARN EVERY ONE NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS."

THE MESSAGE AGAINST STRIFE AND OFFENSE HAS SOMETIMES BEEN INTENTIONALLY PREACHED AS A DEFENSIVE MECHANISM TO KEEP ANYONE FROM QUESTIONING PERVERSIONS OF THE WORD BEING TAUGHT. Outside of bringing correction of doctrine regarding perversions of the Word of God, we should walk peaceably among all men.

LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE JUDGES

In America, the President has the power to appoint judges. If he is LIBERAL, he tries to appoint LIBERAL JUDGES; if he is CONSERVATIVE, he tries to appoint CONSERVATIVE JUDGES. There is often a massive fight between the President and the Congress, especially if the President is conservative and the Congress is liberal, over these appointments. This is proof that it does make a difference if the judge is conservative or liberal as to how they will make judgments. Unfortunately, JUDGMENT IS GREATLY INFLUENCED BY ONE'S POLITICS and personal philosophy. This is not godly judgment.

The scriptures regarding "TO JUDGE" OR "NOT TO JUDGE" are not contradictory, but both are essential ingredients because life is so complex. ALL SCRIPTURES REGARDING JUDGING, PRO AND CON, ARE ACCURATE. They are a part of the puzzle of truth in God's Word.
* 1 Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS."

Heb 5:12-6:1 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON of USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED to DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL." KJV

CONCLUSION

A person who does not exercise good judgment will be deceived and destroyed.


This article on Judging is from a chapter in my book "The Paganization of Christianity." Click here to order online.


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