That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Judging Error

A while ago I did a series on judging.  You can read it hereherehere, and here.

There's a lot of talk today in the Christian realm about being loving and not judging.  There's a lot of talk about unity, purity of heart and motive, and not condemning a brother in Christ.  It seems that the prevailing attitude is that absolute truth really can't be known.  What may be wrong for you, might be right for me.  We can't judge a brother or sister in Christ, because how do we know if they are wrong or right?  No one knows the heart.  Maybe they are sincere.  Hmmmmm.... Atheists are sincere too.  Does that mean we should accept their beliefs?  There seems to be a lack of absolutes amongst Christians.  No one wants to take a stand.  No one wants to be sure.  After all, can we ever be sure?  Being sure, being absolute, calling someone else wrong would be divisive.  Of course, we all know that's not what Christ wants.  He doesn't want division in His body.  Or does He?

Can we absolutely know what is right and wrong?  Can we absolutely make judgements about people who claim to be Christians if we see them doing wrong things?  Absolutely YES we can!  We can if those judgments come solely from the Scriptures.  The Word of God IS absolute truth.  It is not unloving to judge.  It never has been.  If it was, then Jesus was unloving, because He sure cast a lot of judgments while He was on earth!  Remember, there's a distinction between judging a person and judging an error.  Christians love people, or at least we should.  We don't condemn people, but we do condemn sin and error.  Please don't assume that because someone points out an error or a false teaching that they are unloving.  Please don't assume that they don't like you or your church or your favourite preacher.  It's not like that at all!  Most people that are sounding these warnings are doing it out of love!  Love of the truth (ie. God's Word) first of all, and then love for their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Deception is cunning, and it is harmful.  It is captivating thousands of believers and they have no idea.

There's a lot written to try and help believers weed out the false teaching.  The problem is when we read something we assign whatever tone our mind likes.  We can read with a negative, angry tone what was really written in a loving and humble tone.  So, the next time you read something negative about your favourite tv/internet preacher, or about a particular ministry or book, and you're offended by it, try reading it in a loving and humble tone and see if you're attitude changes.  Maybe the person who wrote it wasn't being judgmental at all, but was simply trying to warn you about a harmful deception.  Don't be afraid of making judgements or listening to judgements made by others.  Be sure those judgements are based on and backed up with Scripture.  If they are, then stand on them unashamedly.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.
John 7:24
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things...
I Corinthians 2:15a


  1. Judging error is Biblical! But one must make sure that when confronting sin or error that he/she is doing it from a humble spirit. Too many times people have an attitude of self-righteousness that contradicts Biblical admontions of humility. We must be extrordinarily careful when confronting a brother or sister that we have first removed our "beams" and that (women especially) have a meek and quiet spirit. :)

  2. I agree completely! I guess the point of my post is that sometimes Christians get so caught up in not being "judgemental" that they end up excusing all kinds of wrong doing. That certainly shouldn't be the case. One thing I've also noticed, is that the faults I see in others are often ones that I have myself! Hence, the mote and the beam parable becomes very applicable!!
    Thanks for your comment :)