JUDGING SIN

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“One of the great sins of the modern churches is the refusal to judge the teachings of others. This is a problem with the church model wherein it is considered not only unloving to do so, but impolite. Our “civilized” culture frowns on confrontation; it makes people uncomfortable to hear others vociferously contend for their beliefs. Whether those beliefs are right or wrong isn’t the issue, the issue is peace at any price.

As a result of this cultural proclivity toward politeness, Christians sit in their pews listening to doctrines of demons and watching demonic practices take place without challenge. A pastor can spout the worse heresy and no one will call him to account publicly because that would be impolite. And ushers stand ready to remove anyone who would dare do so. Society propagates this cowardice by imposing penalties and fines for anyone who disrupts a religious service.

It may be well that government is ready to protect religions against undue harassment from those who are not of the particular religion in question, but it has no business entering into the disputes among those who claim to be of like faith, particularly if one disrupting the service is a member of the assembly. Religious leaders who would take advantage of such laws are demonstrating a lack of confidence in what they teach. If they cannot defend their teachings and practices to their congregants, but must use force to evict one who questions them on a reasonable and scriptural basis, they are unsuited for a defense of the Faith. As well, they are sinning by taking a brother before the secular courts to protect their religious “rights.”

This doesn’t mean, however, that just because a teacher misstates something apart from an obvious heresy we have the freedom to call him down in front of the assembly. It would be best to first confront him in private, try to reason with him from Scripture on the areas that need correction, and then ask him to make a public retraction of his error.

When we fail to judge false teachings we are not being loving; we are being cowardly. We are leaving the sheep to be devoured by the adversary. All believers in Christ assume the role of a watchman. We all have the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to discern truth from error. If we fail to warn the brethren of the error in their midst we are guilty of that same error, even if we disagree with it.

Ezekiel 3:17-21 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

Those who have knowledge of evil but fail to warn the brethren are betraying them to the wolves to be devoured. This is especially true of the leaders within the assembly.
With all this, we must keep in mind the many Scriptures that warn against judging. All things must be in balance, based upon the Word of God and ministered by the Spirit of God. When we attempt to judge others by our own judgement we are guilty of hypocrisy.”

— Al Dager, The House Assembly, pg.151-153

 

ZEAL IN EXPOSING DANGERS FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST AND SOULS

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“To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are ensnared”

— George Sayles

Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Psalms 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.