|After you read this article please scroll down to see my comments, thanks.. Carol
IS IT RIGHT: To Judge, To Expose Error, & To Call Names?
by E.L. Bynum
Many today believe that it is wrong to expose error.
Liberals have always seemed to believe this, but in recent times it has been widely espoused by many Christian denominations. Now we are seeing the same fatal error being declared by those who profess to be Bible believing fundamentalists.
Those who are faithful in exposing error according to the Bible are now being widely denounced, and are accused of being unloving and unkind. In this tract we intend to present the teaching of the Bible on this vital subject.
I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment
One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matt. 7: 1).
Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning.
In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v. 1 is referring to hypocritical judgment.
A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain, you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.
Those who cling to "Judge not, that ye be not judged, " to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing... " (v. 15).
How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God?
If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to exam the sheep of these "ravening wolves?"
All through the Bible we find proof that they should be identified and exposed.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit" (vs. 16,17).
Did the Lord mean that we could not judge the tree (person), by the fruit of their life and doctrine? Certainly not, for you cannot know without judging.
All judgment should be on the basis of Bible teaching, not according to whims or prejudices.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment " (John 7:24).
Here our Lord commands that we are to "judge righteous judgment," which is judgment based upon the Word of God.
If judgment is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matt. 7: 1.
Webster's Dictionary says that a judge is "one who declares the law."
The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of God's inspired law, the Bible.
A fornicator is described in I Cor. 5:1-13. Paul "judged" (v.3) the man even though he was absent, and he told the Church at Corinth that they were to "judge" (v. 12) those that were within.
The Greek word for "judge" is the same here as in Matt. 7: 1. Paul did not violate "judge not, that ye be not judged," in judging the man, nor in instructing the Church to judge also. All of this judgment was according to the Word of God.
A person who is able to discern between good and evil, has at least one of the major marks of spiritual maturity.
"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" (Heb. 5:14).
W.E. Vine says of the meaning of discern, "a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging; is translated 'discerning' in I Cor. 12: 10 of discerning spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God. " Strong also agrees that it means to judge.
Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.
II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers
False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many Bible believers.
Wolves in sheep's clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many.
John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) "a generation of Vipers" (snakes) (Matt. 3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.
Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34).
To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.
Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them "hypocrites", "blind guides, " "blind, " "whited sepulchres, " "serpents, " and "ye generation of vipers" (Matt. 23:23-34).
Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees.
Some who say they are Bible believing Christians insist on working with Roman Catholics and other assorted heretics. Yet, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for their compromise.
Near the beginning of His ministry, "Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence, make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" (John 2:13-16).
Our Saviour is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind, and loving, even to false teachers, but this is entirely false. When dealing with false teachers and prophets, His words were sharp and His actions plain.
Near the end of His public ministry, Christ found it necessary to cleanse the temple once again.
The exposure of false doctrines and practices is a never ending job. At that time He said, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Mark I 1: 17).
Is it any different today? The thieves come into the house of God, and rob God's people of the Bible and peddle their perverted Bibles instead.
At the same time this den of thieves rob the people of the doctrine of separation and the doctrine of sanctification.
Then you can hardly tell God's people from the people of the world. In all honesty, should not these thieves (false teachers) be exposed?
In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, music, literature, movies, psychology, and seminars, and have turned the Father's house into a den of thieves.
It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.
The Bible Admonishes Us To Expose Error We are to TRY them.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4: 1).
All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to the Word of God.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).
Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God.
The church at Ephesus was commended because they had "tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars" (Rev. 2:2).
The church at Pergamos was rebuked because they tolerated those that held "the doctrine of Balaam, " and "the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate" (Rev. 2:14,15).
It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed.
Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.
We are to MARK them and AVOID them.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them " (Rom. 16:17).
Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and to be avoided.
This requires discernment and judgment in the light of the Bible.
The ecumenicalists, new evangelicals, and compromising fundamentalists will resist any effort to obey this Scripture. They cannot be marked and avoided, unless they are judged according to the Word of God.
We are to REBUKE them.
"Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith " (Titus 1: 13).
This was written to Titus, because there Were those going from house to house and subverting whole houses with false doctrine (v. 10-16).
Oral Roberts, Robert Schuller, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, and others are subverting whole houses with their false doctrine today.
Are we to sit silently by, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people to avoid their teaching? No, the faithful servant of the Lord is to be "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers " (Titus 1:9).
We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with them. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them " (Eph. 5:11).
Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
We are to WITHDRAW from them.
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us" (II Thess. 3:6).
We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God.
The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, "if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother" (II Thess. 3:14-15).
Paul admonished Timothy to "withdraw thyself " from those who "consent not to wholesome words ... and to the doctrine which is according to godliness " (I Tim. 6:3-5).
We are to TURN AWAY from them.
Concerning the last days, he says that some will have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. from such turn away" for such people are "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (11 Tim. 3:5,7).
How can we turn away from them if we do not identify them, and this requires that their message be compared to the Word of God.
It is the business of the true preacher to: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine " (II Tim. 4:2).
This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.
We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house.
"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (11 John 10, I 1).
There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ... " (v.9).
By radio, TV, music and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!
We are to REJECT HERETICS.
"A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject " (Titus 3: 10).
We should reject those who deny redemption by the blood of Christ.
There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.
We are to look out for those who preach another gospel.
Paul warned about those who preached "another Jesus ... another spirit ... or another gospel" (II Cor. 11:4).
How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God ?
I'd like to make a comment here:
I have no idea if Jimmy Swaggart is teaching a false doctrine or not... in the past he was a very good teacher.
We need to judge as this paper above says ... we need to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things including this... I am not one to call names but if there is any name calling, it must be as led by the Holy Ghost. There's been too much of this done in the flesh which is abhorrent to the Lord.
It's time to stand up and renounce the works of the evil one in our churches, and fellow Christians in general; as the Holy Spirit leads us. But this is another subject: we need to be close to the Lord in order to hear the dictates of the Holy Spirit.
We are called to come out from among them... to be Holy as the Lord is Holy... the church for the most part is a stench to the nostrils of the Lord... the flesh has got to be put down, not fed.
I know there is no condemnation for those in Christ... to be in Christ is to be in His will... to walk as He tells us.. not to be running on our own. When He tells us to do something and man comes against us.. then as we stand, we know there is no condemnation for us; for we are acting in Christ.
I know these have been harsh words, but I honestly believe they are important words and we each need to make it a matter of prayer.
Bless you my sisters and brothers... I pray we all will stand before the Lord spotless and pure in His Blood, without condemnation