There was a post placed on the Breakdown’s Facebook and Twitter on June 26th, 2016 which read as follows:
— The Breakdown (@breakdradio) June 26, 2016
This was deemed by some as harsh and judgmental; a case can be made for that if were arbitrary. However, it is not.
In all fairness, those who called me out are doing the same thing of which they are accusing. This tweet/post was deemed judgmental by their judgmental standards. It was read, judged and condemned.
Here’s the catch: I’m totally fine with that. Why? That kind of courage is what is needed in order for us to continue running a tight theological ship in this age.
We should all welcome this sort of criticism since it opens dialogue about the incorrect and false teachings which are pervasive in modern society (1 Corinthians 11:19).
In order for a person to get saved, they have to know who Jesus Christ is.
“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also,” 1 John 2:23
In the video clip below, Paula White agrees emphatically with Larry Huch when he says “Jesus is not the only begotten son of God.”
Need we show John 3:16 where we are told that Jesus is, in fact, the only begotten son of God? It is evident to any and all Christians that this teaching is heretical and will get no one saved.
If this is the Gospel taught to Donald Trump it is no wonder his life has not been marked by true repentance. Yes – that’s another judgement.
To go even further, it is not only proper but required that we judge those who attempt to preach the Gospel; to be Berean-esque (Acts 17:11). Without proper discernment being actively utilized throughout the church, anyone can preach anything they wish with no consequences.
The most famous passage used as fodder against those who dare say something negative about false teachers is Matthew 7:1:
“Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Unfortunately, the use of this text is taken wildly out of context. When we read further we are given several key points which help the understanding of this statement of Christ:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye,” Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus is telling us not to judge hypocritically, but with compassion and grace – the same type of judgment we would like to have measured to us. We are further commended to assist our brothers once we have examined ourselves and removed the sinful log that may be damaging our witness.
This is also in a context of sanctification where we see one’s sins but may be blind to our very own. There are three important impressions from this text:
- Don’t judge hypocritically. We have all sinned; calling out other people’s sins without a strong consideration of our own sinfulness brings shame and not repentance. Our goal in all confrontations is repentance.
- Personal sanctification yields humility. When a certain sin is spotted in another person, our first reaction should be self-examination. When this “log removal” is complete it will bring humility with the constant reminder that sin is still present with us all. This will drastically bring about a humble, loving, Christ-honoring attitude when confronting our brother and sisters about sin in their lives.
- We treat others the way we desire to be treated. As we treat others with proper judgement and assistance when it comes to bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-3), we reflect Christ’s teaching of the Golden Rule by doing unto others as we would have done to us (Matthew 7:12).
Judgement is Necessary – and Commanded
Say what?! How can judgement be commanded and necessary?
Consider church discipline. Matthew 18:15-20 outlines the way in which we confront a brother who has sinned against us. The only way they can be confronted and a decision made about the sin which has been perpetrated is by a righteous judgment based upon the principles above.
A more direct statement of righteous judgement is directed specifically towards false teachers. We’ve now come full circle.
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve,” Romans 16:17-18, emphasis in the original autographs…not really; it’s mine.
Paul tells us to watch out for divisive people who teach false doctrine – but not only watching but marking them! How dare he! Hasn’t he read Matthew 7:1? He can’t judge them! That is so mean!
Oh yes he can. It isn’t mean, but the most loving act that can be done.
He is judging their false teaching and marking them with a big, fat “False Teacher” label. Today’s version of marking could be a Tweet, blog post, Facebook post, and even books to expose the heresy being put forth by some of the most well-known faces in Christian television.
It seems so mean, so contrary to how evangelicalism has taught the Gospel presentation should be. Yet this is how important the integrity of the Gospel is. We must not shy away from calling out false teaching or heresy when we see it. There cannot be a time when we fall lax or complacent when the Gospel is under siege.
To dilute the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to damn the hearers and blaspheme the Lord on High. Now more than ever, we should “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered unto the saints,” (Jude 3).
There is hope, however, for both Paula White and Donald Trump. We serve a gracious and merciful God who suffers much disobedience to show His steadfast love. Let’s join together in prayer for all of those who are without Christ that God’s mercy is extended so they can come to the knowledge of the truth through repentance unto God and faith towards Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria