Can Christians Judge Other Christians?

by Richard Haas 


CaptureRecently in a conversation, the question of judging was brought up by a fellow Christian. They ask whether it was okay for Christians to judge other Christians? This a great question to ask and one that is often asked; in particular by those with the gift of discernment and who have been told that they should not fellow Christians, instead be preaching only to the lost.

So should Christians judge other Christians? There is a yes and no answer to this question. In the Bible, there are two types of judging. One is acceptable and one as Christian we should stay away from for it’s a sin. The two types of judgment are Righteous Judgement and Hypocritical Judgement.

Let us take a look at Hypocritical Judgement first. This form of judgment is what is talked about in Matthew 7:1-5. Often this set of verses is used out of context to try to stop those who have the gift of discernment from speaking the truth. (Read our full article here on Matthew 7:1-5.) In this set of verses, Jesus was not speaking against all forms of judging others. On the contrary, Jesus was condemning only one kind of judgment, hypocritical judging. Hypocritical is the type of judgment in which you judge a person for committing a sin while you are committing the same sin. This sort of judgment Christ warns us to stay away from in the text of Matthew 7.

Another key verse that explains the differences between the types of judgment is John 7:24 which tells us Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  We can see here that it is not a matter of judging, but a question of what type of judgment we are using.  Thus, Scripture makes a clear distinction that there are forms of judging. One being hypocritical and the other being right or Righteous.

Now let us look the other form of judgment; Righteous Judgment. Righteous judging is where those with the gift of discernment come in. While the Bible strongly warns us not to judge in a hypocritical intent, Scripture clearly tells us that we can righteously judge others.  Scripture even states we are allowed to judge those inside the church, meaning that we are authorized to judge fellow people claiming the name of Christ.

Righteous judgment is different from hypocritical judgment.  Righteous judgment is done in the light of Scripture with the purpose of sin being exposed to bring back those in sin into the fold of Christ and His church. Righteous Judgment is also done with the intention to expose false teachers and teachings so those weaker believers are not lead astray.  We can see this in Scripture.  Looking at the book of second Corinthians chapter 5 verses 12 and 13 we can see that those within the church are clearly instructed to judge righteously those claiming to be in the church body.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ESV ”For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Another verse that tells us that righteous judgment is allowed and should be practiced is found in 2 Corinthians 2:15 which states; “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” As we can see by this verse Christians’ the “spiritual person” or true believers will indeed judge all things.

 

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WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE PREACHER?

 

by Richard Haas 


PictureWho is your favorite preacher?  I have been asked this question many times.  My answer is I don’t and people usually give me a strange look and say “you don’t?” like I should or something.  I don’t have a favorite preacher because I don’t want to elevate any fallible man to the point where he is not even questioned on his preaching according to the authority of scripture.  This is a problem in the body of Christ that I see with the many preachers that are on T.V., it’s a virtual buffet of preachers to choose from, just pick and eat the entrée you like.  Back in the 1st-century church, this was a problem too that the apostle Paul encounter with the Corinthian believers.

1 Cor 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.12 Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

We could easily replace Apollos, Cephas, and Paul with some popular preachers today and the meaning of the passage would remain the same.  I am of Charles Stanley; I am of John MacArthur…………..where any of these preachers crucified for you? (disclaimer: Stanley and MacArthur are good orthodox teachers)  Were you baptized in the name of them?  Get the idea?  In verse 11, it states that there are contentions among you. This means that they weren’t getting along and probably arguing among themselves. This goes on even today among Christians.  They have such devotion to their preacher that anything they say can’t possibly be wrong because they are “anointed” and if anyone questions what they said are met with a sharp rebuke. Its almost a kind of preacher worship.  I have had this happen several times myself.  I questioned Joel Osteen’s statement on national TV that Mormons are Christians because they believe in Jesus and I got a verbal tongue lashing of how dare you to say that about my ear tickling preacher.  They actually didn’t care about the obviously false statement he made, he preaches a positive message!  That all that matters!  Talk about some contentions going on not to mention blind devotion.

The point is that no human leader, not even an apostle, should be given the loyalty that belongs only to the Lord.  Such elevation of leaders leads only to contention, disputes, and a divided church.  Don’t get me wrong, I have some preachers that I “prefer” to listen too not because they preach a positive message and tickle my ears but because they are consistently biblical and orthodox in their teaching.  I (We) also must hold these preachers/teachers in submission to the Word of God, not their ability to make us feel good.  Paul called the Bereans noble-minded for they searched the scriptures to see what he preached was true.  Today we must be as a Berean and filter what we hear preached through the Word of God. (Acts 17:11).

Standing For Your Faith Will Cost You

Screenshot of Stand for your faith - Google SearchWhen you stand for your faith expect to get resistance. Standing for your faith will cost you cost you and should cost you something. In today’s evangelical climate there are a lot of “christians’ that want a faith that will cost them nothing. These small “c” christians are unwilling or unable to defend their faith because they themselves do not understand what they believe. It is hard to defend something you know little or near nothing about.

In this episode of DriveTime Apologetics, Richard Haas makes it clear the need to know what you believe and to be able to defend it.  We can not afford to sit quietly on the sidelines and let others tell us what we should be believing and do as Christians. It is time that we stand firm with the Word of God and do what it tells us. As Christians, we are in trouble in this country and we only have ourselves to blame. We have for too long allowed false teachers, false teachings, and cults to infiltrate our churches. It is time we start to stand and tell these wolves “get off my lawn.”

Listen to “When You Stand For Biblical Truth It Will Cost You Something —Stand & Fight!” on Spreaker.