Basic Battle Training
Chapter 10: “Tough Love”
The public proclamation of God’s Word and mind is often met with hostility because of the sharpness of the message and the clear definitions it brings. Proper presentation of the message we are charged to bring mandates this consequence and makes it necessary to Biblically answer this oft-heard response.
The form this usually takes is with the charge that we are "Judging"…and that this is a wrong thing to do! Satan’s attack on this critical function of ministry has resulted in a variety of things detrimental to the Kingdom and of God and the world we live in. That this is a defining issue at all is indicative of the ignorance and lack of solid Bible teaching in today’s Christian culture.
With the enemy’s success in quenching this understanding we see that:
· He removes the clear need for sinners to repent by eliminating the clear standards God expects.
· He softens Christianity to being unable to proclaim the truth of God’s law and mind…the salt looses its savor!
· He eliminates the standards that are necessary for our culture to survive.
So what does The Bible teach?
Judging is clearly taught throughout the Bible in both Testaments. In this chapter, we will establish we are:
· Commanded to judge
· That our failure to judge is sin.
· That is impossible not to judge.
We will start our instruction by looking at the passage that is most often miss-quoted by the critics: Matthew 7:1-20:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with 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.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts...how much more shall your Father.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction. Beware of false prophets, ye shall know them by their fruits"
Allow us to point out the following facts about this passage:
· Jesus is commanding us to judge. He says to get the beam out of our eye so we can see clearly to get the mote out of our brother’s eye.
· In this narrative Jesus Himself judges citing "hypocrites", “dogs”, “swine”, and calls his own hearers "evil”! With this, Christ also commands us to not give what is holy to dogs, or pearls to swine, thereby requiring us to judge what is holy, who is a dog, and who is a swine. The context here further commands us to beware of false prophets, which again necessitates that we judge who is, and is not, a "false prophet."
By clear instruction, the Bible requires us to judge!
· Leviticus 19:15-18 "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment… in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor… thou shalt in anywise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him…thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself."
· Proverbs 31:9: "Open thy mouth, judge righteously…”
· Ezekiel 22:2: “… thou shalt show her all her abominations."
· Ezekiel 23:36: "…declare unto them their abominations."
· Luke 12:57: "… why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”
· John 7:24: “…judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
· 1 Cor. 2:15-16: "He that is spiritual judgeth all things…”
· 1 Cor. 6:1-6: "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?
· Isaiah 58:1: "cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins."
The false understanding of judging is seriously compromising the Kingdom of God and destroying out culture. Christians are supposed to judge and tell the world what a holy God thinks of their sins. The failure to do so has given us a nation infested with pornography, militant homosexuals, drugs, crime, abortion, cults, heresies, promiscuity, venereal disease and aids.
The plain fact of the matter is that we are not doing the judging; God is…we are only the messengers! The question is not, "who are you to judge?" The real question is: "who are you not to tell the world what God says?" No human being has the intelligence to tell another about what is right or wrong: only God has that authority. If a person says homosexuality is normal, he is “judging” as much as someone who says that it is an abomination to God. The real question then is this: is the judgment based on God mind, or subjective, sinful, human “intellect”.
Judging and discernment go hand in hand, and a number of factors need to be determined to properly minister:
Who am I dealing with?
Presenting the Gospel to a 10 year old obviously requires a different approach than preaching to 150,000 militant homosexuals at a sodomite parade. It is also a vastly different situation to be in a foreign country that is unfamiliar with the Gospel, compared to America which inundated with it.
How big an issue is it?
Contrary to popular thought John 19:11 teaches that there are degrees of sin. Someone who slipped a profanity under his breath is not the same as a pornographer!
Am I qualified to make the judgment?
This is the main point of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7. Hypocrisy in relation to one’s life is critical in judging. The pureness of your life not only affects the content of what you are able to deal with, but also the zeal you are able to apply to the problem. Remember: "the measure you meet will be measured to you". In the best of circumstances, this part of ministry will follow caution and the admonition of Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”
Identifying a sin or behavior utilizing a moniker or descriptive language is a natural extension of judging. Here then are some of the names and description used by the men of the New Testament.
· Wicked and adulterous: Mat. 16:4; 12:45; 13:49; 18:32; 21:41; 25:26; Luke 19:22; 1Cor. 5:13; 2Thes. 3:2; 2Pet. 2:7, 3:17.
· Dogs: Matt. 7:6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Rev. 22:15.
· Swine: Matt. 7:6.
· Vipers: Matt. 3:7; Matt. 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7.
· Hypocrites: Matt.6:2, Matt.6:5, 16; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13-15, 29; 24:51, Mark 7:6, Luke 11:44, 12:56.
· Children of the Devil: John 8:44; Acts 13:10
· Perverse: Mat. 17:17; Luke 9:41; Acts 20:30; Phil. 2:15; 1Tim. 6:5.
· Reprobate: 2Cor 13:5-7, Rom. 1:28; 2Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:16.
· Whited wall: Acts 23:3.
· Heathen: Mat. 6:7; Mat.18:17; Act 4:25; 2Cor. 11:26; Gal. 1:16; 2:9; 3:8.
· Fools: Mat. 23:17; Luke 12:20; 1Cor.15:36; Mat.23:19; Luke 11:40; 24:25; Eph. 5:15.
· Of little faith: Mat.6:30; 8:26; 14:31; etc.
· Stiff-necked and uncircumcised: Acts 7:51.
· Liars: Titus 1:12
· Evil beasts: 2Peter 2:12, Titus 1:20
· Slow bellies: Jude 10, Titus 1:20
· Adulterers and Adultereresses: James 4:4.
· Whoremongers: Hebrews 13:4; Rom 7:3; Mat. 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38.
As is then obvious, name-calling has always been a definite part of Biblical "ministry". Remember, our job is to communicate in the most clear and specific manner possible…not based on the reaction of the hearers, but rather to the righteousness of the situation.
Assume that you are a Doctor trained to deal with someone who is ill. As your job is to help the patient with the knowledge you posses, a proper diagnosis is required for the individual to know the severity of his sickness. This is not an easy task. In most ministry instances you will be called upon to minister such truth knowing that it will probably be rejected and you will be vilified for even doing so. But with this rejection remember that:
His Word will never come back void…but will accomplish its purpose of salvation or final judgment! (Isaiah 55)
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