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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, October 22, 2004
 
The Joy of Judging

An anonymous “drive by poster” with a fake e-mail address dropped this bomb on my Pharisee Phundamentals discussion group with a comment that the article applied to all of us on the list and we needed to “get a clue”. We commonly get hate e-mails from those who live guilty lives of sin, compromise, debauchery, unholiness and general disobedience to God’s word. They drop into our group, criticize us and drop out. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why. I suppose it provides them with some sort of catharsis or smug superiority that allows them to continue a life mired in sin without feeling the need to repent. Aside from that, I feel the need to address the article since it raised such a ruckus in the group.

Let me say first of all that the article appeared in that bastion of liberalized watered-down lukewarm lameness, Christianity Today, which may be “today” but hardly reflects the true nature of Christ, True Christians or True Christianity. How can a magazine promoting Harry Potter as the next best thing to the Chronicles of Narnia call itself Christian? Granted, C. S. Lewis was only a nominal Christian and was no fundamentalist or Pharisee but at least his books attempt to portray Christian ideals. To promote the reading of Harry Potter by the young is grossly irresponsible, and in my opinion, anti-Christian. So the fact that this article appeared in CT is proof to me that the magazine has no merit whatsoever. But because there are weak, unlearned and perhaps well meaning Christians who do read the magazine, I feel I must engage the discussion here since my replies to the drive by message poster keep getting bounced.

The premise of the article is that the author gets angry at himself for getting angry at Christians for getting angry at the world. This is a mark of his personal insecurity, lack of confidence and vacillation about his own convictions. He seems to confuse two concepts that are clearly distinct - the concept of judgmentalism and the concept of discernment or good judgment. This is a common fault in our “politically correct” and “postmodern” times where all viewpoints are supposed to be valid and it’s wrong to rain on other people’s parades. I call this being wishy-washy or lacking conviction. Let me state for the record that Christians are called upon to be discerning and exercise good judgment. God calls us to judge the spirits and see whether they are of God. We are to judge righteous judgment. We are to judge the fruits of teachers to see if they are of God. Those who quote Matthew 7:1 out of context are the ones who are the real hypocrites because they, like the author of the editorial, are judging me for judging righteously.

Let me explain what I mean by judgmentalism. It is any time anyone finds any fault with me. People who criticize me are practicing censoriousness and are being hyper-critical as well as hypo-critical. I am a man of God, duly called, ordained, sanctified and set apart for God’s service. As David would not lift his hand against God’s anointed, I am exempt from judgment because the anointing of God rests on my holy brow. Some would call me arrogant for making such an assertion and they would be right if it were not for one thing. I did not take this honor upon myself. It was placed on me by God. I did not call myself into the ministry but I have been called by God. And yes, I know that there are many who make this claim and pastor godless non-Pharisee churches but you can rest assured that they are deceivers while I am telling you the honest truth.

Judgmentalism also extends to my church. Many are critical of the Pharisee denomination, individual Pharisee churches and Pharisee pastors. I have to admit that sometimes I engage in criticism of them as well but I do it from the position of an insider. I love the Pharisee denomination and I love my church so if I offer anything in criticism, it is not to judge but to chasten as a loving parent. Everything I say is for the good of the church and their pastors. The reprobate, apostate non-Pharisee critics are mounting a judgmental attack from the outside, criticizing us out of fear and ignorance and generally exercising their lack of discernment against us. They do more to display their unbelief and vile condition before God than they do to provide an honest critique. The only purpose their comments serve is to give notice that they are not of the household of faith for if they had been of us, they would have stayed with us, but they went out from us because they had no part in God’s favor as we do.

Good judgment on the other hand, rests on the firm foundation of discernment. Discernment is the ability to tell one thing from another, to distinguish Truth from Falsehood, to tell right from wrong and black from white. The author of the article claims that hypocrisy starts when people think they are experts. What he fails to realize is that only an ignorant person, reveling in their ignorance and taking pride in their inability to know anything for certain would make such a statement. Those of us who really are experts in discerning truth from error feel no such irresolution about stating what we know for certain. Good judgment demands certain knowledge of truth from error and I happen to possess it. To say otherwise is to practice judgmentalism rather than good judgment and they are deceiving themselves if they think failing to judge is good judgment.

Gamaliel/RJP

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Romans 13:14 (NIV)




Comments:
Hey Rick
Jim (neonlinux) here...
Which template did you use for your blog... I also use this blog.. and am frustrated with my layout... I really like the layout of yours... Could you please give me some hints??
Thanks a million....
 
Hey Rick
Jim (neonlinux) here...
Which template did you use for your blog... I also use this blog.. and am frustrated with my layout... I really like the layout of yours... Could you please give me some hints??
Thanks a million....
 
great... two copies yuck
 
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