Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church
The Four Most Dangerous Mistakes any Christian Can Make


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The Fourth Most Dangerous Mistake Any Christian Can Make Is To Believe That We, As Christians, Are Not To Judge Anything or Anyone.

Carol Brooks
(edited by Vicki Narlee)

The Four Most Dangerous Mistakes Any Christian Can Make

1) Believe that we ourselves, or our pastor/denomination/spiritual leader, cannot be fooled
2) Attribute every personal testimony and “sign” to being of, or from, God
3) Take Bible verses out of context.
4) Believe that we, as Christians, are not to judge anything or any one.


The Myth OF Faith Alone


Thou Shalt Not Judge! ... 11th Commandment Or Politically Correct Liberal View?
"Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. ‘Try the spirits’ is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching." A. W. Tozer


What "to Judge" Means
"Judge Not"
Three Kinds of Wrong Judging

He That Is Without Sin Among You

Who Are You To Say?
Attack Dogs of Christendom

What The Bible Says About Publicly Warnings Against The Wolves, And It's Often Vitriolic Language
Judging is Far From Being "Unchristian"

Because It is Such An Unbelievably Critical Issue...
Discernment or "Judging" Is One Of The Gifts of The Holy Spirit

In Conclusion

What The Bible Says
Christians seem to have missed many instructions in Scripture that can not be followed without “judging”.


What "to Judge" Means
All too many Americans believe that one has to accommodate whatever anyone else might believe - even if it contradicts the facts, and/or makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If you dare claim that another person's truth is wrong, you are accused of not only being intolerant, but also judgmental. See Religious Pluralism

However let's first define what the word "judge" means. One dictionary says it is

     To determine or form an opinion or estimation after consideration or deliberation.

Mirriam Webster's says it is

    to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises

    to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation

    to form an estimate or evaluation of

So, in other words, when a person is told not to judge, they are being told that they should not consider and evaluate the evidence. How then we are to arrive at sensible conclusions regarding what we are to believe, or which path we are to follow, is anyone's guess.

I would love to be a fly on the wall the day someone decides to walk into a courtroom and quotes Matthew 7:1 [Judge not, that ye be not judged] to the man or woman on the bench. His job is to judge, but to judge based solely on the evidence presented. Judges are not in the business of being tolerant or polite. They are there to punish the guilty and protect the innocent.

In fact, regardless of often mealy-mouthed protestation to the contrary, we make judgments every single day of our lives, very often on the surface level of clothing, mannerisms and the car someone drives. We also often make judgments based on a person's political and/or religious views and lifestyle.

Poor judgment is almost always closely connected with ignorance, a lack of understanding and insufficient thought and deliberation given the matter.

If we are wise we endeavor to exercise good judgment and do not make important decisions such as what job to take, what car to buy, which insurance company to go with, or which candidate to vote for in av election without doing the appropriate research. If we are wise, we make our call based on a careful evaluation of the evidence we gather.

Yet, how often do we hear one person telling another not to judge...

"Judge Not"
Sadly this post modernist idea has carried over into the church, and even Christians are beginning to accept that this absurdity is a guiding principle of Christian living and behavior. So much so, that I am beginning to believe most Christians are under the impression that “judge not” is the eleventh commandment. Certainly it has become one of the foremost Bible verses many Christians (even some non-Christians) love to quote. A common cliché among liberals whose theology comes from political correctness, rather than Scripture.

By the way, the irony of the situation is that those who quote this verse are not at all averse to judging (and condemning) your right to "contend earnestly for the faith", or simply your right to say what you believe to be right and wrong.

I would like to have had a quarter for every time I have come across a Christian sanctimoniously spouting the phrase "Judge not lest you be judged", when someone else has had the courage to stand their ground, and declare that certain beliefs, actions, practices or lifestyle are wrong (morally or otherwise), and not according to Biblical precepts.  It is certainly a sign of the times that the phrase "judge not" is far more popular than many other of Jesus' sayings like ... ”Go and sin no more”. [John 8:11]. Or, in the case of non believers, "....for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." [John 8:24] )

What is interesting is that those who do quote the "judge not" verse are vaguely aware that it is somewhere in the Bible, while their more knowledgeable counterparts have actually narrowed it down to something that Jesus said.  Few however, seem to have any idea where exactly the phrase is to be found. Whichever the case, this situation perfectly illustrates the old saying... "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".  As a matter of fact the Bible nowhere condemns judging in general, but does point out that certain types of judging is wrong.

The First Kind of "Wrong Judging" Is To Judge Hypocritically.
The fact is, that "Judge not, that ye be not judged" is not a stand alone statement that Jesus pulled out of thin air, then went off to try his hand at fishing for his lunch on the Sea of Tiberias, saying no more on the matter.  In fact, it has been terribly wrested from it's context. Perhaps we should allow the Lord to complete His thought AND His sentence. So, if we actually take the time to read all Jesus had to say...

    “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]

...we will discover that Jesus wasn't saying, or even implying, that we should never make judgments about anyone, at any time. In fact just a couple of verses later Jesus Himself called certain people "dogs" and "swine" (7:6), and "wolves in sheep's clothing" (7:15). What He is doing is instructing us not to judge hypocritically. That we have to “cast the beam out of our own eye” BEFORE removing the mote from our brother's eye. He is not telling us that we should never pull the mote out of our brother's eye, but that we should first examine ourselves in case we have the same, or worse, problems than the ones we so readily identify in the other person. We have to first cast the beam out of our own eye, so that we can "see clearly" to help remove the speck from another's eye. All of which clearly indicates that the other person does have a problem that needs to be taken care of... his own speck does need removing.

A train of thought that the apostle Paul was certainly following when he told the Galatians. [Emphasis Added]

    Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. [Galatians 6:1]

Similarly when Paul told the Romans

    Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judges another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things. And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that practise such things. And reckonest thou this, O man, who judgest them that practise such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? [Romans 2:1-3]

... he was clearly not telling them not to judge at all, but was also clearly warning against hypocritical judgment. Those who profess to be the people of God have no special license to sin.

The Second Kind of "Wrong Judging" Is To Judge According To Appearances Or Material Possessions.
Remember Jesus' words to the Pharisees

    Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. [John 7:24]

And James’ word to the church warning against judging according to status or wealth

    James 2:2-4  For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing; and ye have regard to him that weareth the fine clothing, and say, Sit thou here in a good place; and ye say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool; Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

A Third Kind of "Wrong Judging" Is To Judge On Matters Of "Secondary Importance".
There are several verses in the 14th chapter of Romans in which Paul seems to emphasize that Christians should not judge each other.

    [V.1] But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples.. [V. 4]Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand... [V. 10] But thou, why dost thou judge thy brother? or thou again, why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God. ..[V. 13] Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling.

In fact, Rick Warren used this verse in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, saying..

    "God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other. When you criticize what another believer is doing in faith and from sincere conviction, you are interfering with God's business. 'What right do you have to criticize someone else's servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right' (Romans 14: 4 CEV)" [1]

However, a careful reading of the context indicates that in this chapter Paul was endeavoring to settle some difficult and delicate questions that arose between the Jews and Gentiles respecting food and the observance of particular days. Particularly concerning whether it was lawful to eat the meat that was offered in sacrifice to idols; [V. 2]. Whether days of fasting were to be observed [Vs. 5-6]. And whether  some certain animals were clean or unclean [V. 14].

People were judging each other over these issues, and Paul points out that neither fasting nor eating were of consequence, provided it is done conscientiously, and with a desire to glorify God [V. 6]. And that no meat is unclean in, and of, itself, but is unclean if the person concerned believes it is [V.14].

In other words, their faith consists of more important matters than these kind of more 'secondary issues', and they should not judge each other on these matters.  [V. 17-18]

    By The Way.. None of the verses that Rick Warren quotes in favor of not "judging" another Christian holds water. [See Footnote I]

He That Is Without Sin Among You
Another verse of Scripture often used to support the fictitious idea that one should not judge anyone else, is found in the eighth chapter of the book of John. When the scribes and the Pharisees, who were obsessed with the law, brought a woman to Jesus who had been found in the very act of committing adultery, they wanted to stone her, according to the law of Moses. Jesus' response was to ignore them at first, but...

    "... when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". [John 8:7]

from which people, who read no further, get the impression that since none of us are without fault, none of us are in a position to cast stones at anyone else.

But that is not the end of the story. By this time the religious leader had seen and heard enough to know that Jesus had compassion on sinners, which they assumed would make it very difficult for Him to condemn the woman. But, if He did not, then He would be seen as opposing the law of Moses, contradicting Himself when He said that He had come to fulfill the law, not abolish it (Matthew 5:17-18). They though they had Jesus trapped, but how little did they know about our Lord. 

He did not deny the woman's guilt, and did not ask for mercy for her. She was an adulteress and deserved to die. But there was one problem... who will cast the first stone? Jesus' words are a warning to the Pharisees that their own lives may be at stake, and they gradually melt away leaving the woman alone with Jesus, who tells her that her accusers have disappeared and neither will He condemn her. She is free to go. 

However, Jesus never gave her license to sin, but urged her to forsake her sin in the future, which, if you think about it, is a very judgmental statement. Remember, that in the 18th chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus instructed His disciples that they were to confront a brother who sins, and if necessary, the church is to discipline him

    And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. [Matthew 18:15-17]

In the case of the woman taken in adultery, once more our Lord is teaching that when we deal with the sins of other people, we have to recognize that we too are sinners and very vulnerable. Just like the whole mote in the eye teaching, we have to deal with our sins first. What is interesting about this whole incident is that in the law of Moses which the Scribes referred to, both the adulterer and the adulteress were to be put to death [Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22]. But the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees only dragged the woman before Jesus, which leads one to believe it was a set up. They had far more interest in backing Jesus into a corner than they were in applying the law.

A second challenge thrown down at the feet of those who dare to challenge their beliefs, doctrine, or practices is ....

Who Are You To Say?
This can be phrased in a number of ways... Who left you in charge? Who died and left you boss? Challengers are often referred to as "heresy hunters" in an effort to disparage them. However I am reasonably sure that few people, if anyone, actually go hunting for heresies in the church, since the discovery of misleading and often very dangerous deception is not a pleasant experience, but one that usually causes a lot of anger and sadness. Anger at the shepherds who are supposed to know better lead the flock away from danger, instead of right into it, and sadness at the millions who are being terribly deceived into following false teachings, many of which, under a thin veneer of Christianity, are directly derived from the occult..

The fact is that some people are more aware of heresies than others. They read or hear something and realize that what they have heard, or read is not Scriptural. Through the ages there have been watchmen appointed by the Lord, and as the days grow more and more dark, it is highly unlikely that He has stopped appointing watchmen and holding them accountable.

    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 thy hand. [Ezekiel 3:17-18]

    But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword come, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. [Ezekiel 33:6] 

These people are not afraid to stand up and challenge false teachings but, when they do, they more often than not run into those who want to know what right they have to challenge their doctrine. This response is not only totally irrelevant, but completely misses the point, simply because the challenger is being attacked, instead of the objection the challenger brings up. If the challenger was saying "you are wrong because I said so", the question "who are you to say" would be a valid one. 

Christian apologetic ministries do not arbitrarily decide that a certain preacher/ teacher is wrong just because they happen to think so, but because they have made informed judgments based on evidence.  Most, if not all, challenges to doctrine are not put forth based on the challenger's idea of their own authority. They are not saying "you have to believe me because I said so", but "you should at least listen to what I have to say because my reasoning is based on the Scriptures".

There's a world of difference between "listen to me", and "listen to my argument". The latter means that they are appealing to the authority of the Scriptures, which should be the deciding factor in any discussion of Biblical truth.

The only appropriate way to counter a challenge to doctrine, or any practice in the church, is to go the Scriptures that the person believes supports their view point. But this is rarely done. Instead people respond to someone stating that their doctrine or practice is wrong by denigrating the person concerned, which is little but a diversion.

One outstanding example of this was ....

“Attack Dogs” of Christendom
The August 2007 issue of Christianity Today carried an article by David Aikman entitled Attack Dogs of Christendom.. Is This How To Bring Grace And Savor To A Crumbling Civilization?, in which he severely criticizes what he calls the

    "self-appointed attack dogs of Christendom" who "seem determined to savage not only opponents of Christianity, but also fellow believers of whose doctrinal positions they disapprove".

Aikman goes on to say

    “A troll through the Internet reveals websites so drenched in sarcasm and animosity that an agnostic, or a follower of another faith tradition interested in what it means to become a Christian, might be permanently disillusioned.

    None of the major figures of American Protestantism in the past quarter-century have been spared from attack, from Billy Graham to Rick Warren, from Tim LaHaye to Robert Schuller. The attacks, moreover, are not reasoned or modestly couched criticism, but blasts of ire determined to discredit beyond redemption the targets of the criticism.

    The angriest websites are those belonging to small, but disturbingly visible, fundamentalist Protestant groups outraged that fellow Protestants appear to be holding out a welcoming hand to Catholics or Orthodox Christians.” [2]

He then names Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, who allegedly called Rick Warren a "milquetoast", Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale “the devil’s duo” and Brian McLaren and Joel Osteen “vipers of new evangelicalism” and “whitewashed tombs.”  Also called out was Way of Life,

    "whose website features books with titles like Billy Graham and Rome, The Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement, and Contemporary Christian Music" [2]

      Note: While I do not know much about Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry founded by pastor David Cloud. Comparing the biographies of David Aikman and pastor David Cloud is very interesting. [See Footnote II]

What is astonishing is that Aikman completely ignores the substantial research and doctrinal arguments that usually goes into the reports of those issuing public warning against the teachings of other Christians. He never refutes even a single point brought up by any of the apologetic ministries by showing where they are wrong according to the Scriptures. He instead chooses to attack the ministry itself for comparing what is being taught in some churches with the Word of God.

Nor does Aikman even once quote the Bible to support his views. On the contrary, he quotes atheist Sam Harris, who's 2004 bestseller The End of Faith, sparked what he called vitriolic e-mails and letters from Christians. Adding that "many who claim to be transformed by God's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism" which he knew because "The most disturbed" of his correspondents "always cite chapter and verse." (I certainly do not know what the tone of some of the mail received by Harris was. But it is concerning that he says... those who quote chapter and verse are the "most disturbed").

In the final analysis, all the Christianity Today article does is highlight two facts about David Aikman, and themselves.... their 1) Hypocrisy and 2) Complete lack of Biblical knowledge... in more ways than one.

Hypocrisy Unlimited 
As said by David Cloud

    The hypocrisy is obvious ... While Christianity Today claims that it is harmful and objectionable for Christians to issue public warnings against other Christians, they do not hesitate to issue a really nasty public warning against their fellow Christians at Apprising Ministries and Way of Life Literature. If Christianity Today issues public warnings, that is fine and helpful, but others are not allowed the same privilege. That sounds like hypocrisy to me. [3]

In other words, Aikman can call other Christians "attack dogs", but they, if they criticize at all (according to Aikman publicly lashing out at fellow Christians is "objectionable"), they must do so with grace. I am afraid I see little “grace” in Aikman's language.

And as far as their complete lack of Biblical Knowledge goes, both the author and the publication are apparently not aware of ... 

What The Bible Says About Publicly Warnings Against The Wolves, And The Bible's Often Vitriolic Language.
To say that a preacher should not publicly warn of error flies in the face of Scripture, that clearly teaches otherwise. To say that Christians are not to use any form of strong language when publicly warning against false teachers flies in the face of numerous Biblical examples, including that of the Lord Jesus Himself.  In fact, Scripture commands various people, at various times, to reprove, rebuke, and to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. [2Timothy 4:2]

    Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints. [Jude 1:3]

    These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise thee. [Titus 2:15]

When dealing with the Pharisees, who were respected religious leaders of the day, Jesus' language can only be called 'harsh'. He called them hypocrites, children of hell, blind guides, fools and blind, serpents, and a generation of vipers. Sadly, His words equally apply to far too many religious leaders of today.

    “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” [Matthew 3:7b]

    “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” [Matthew 12:34]

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”  [Matthew 23:27]

    “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” [Matthew 23:33]

Additionally Jesus openly accuses them of numerous transgressions, including pride and hypocrisy,

    Yea, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi. [Matthew 23:4-7]

And, as the incident at the temple shows, Jesus' words were followed by action. [All Emphasis Added]

    And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; [Matthew 21:12]

    And they come to Jerusalem: and he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; [Mark 11:15]

That's about as judgmental as it gets

John The Baptist was not exactly polite when he saw the religious leaders making their way to his baptism.

    But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? [Matthew 3:7]


In practically every epistle he wrote, Paul issued strong warnings against error. Note how often he unhesitatingly names the person concerned, and how much 'intemperate' language he uses (in bold).

    Blasphemy: holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:19-20)

    Apostasy and Blasphemy: This thou knowest, that all that are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. But shun profane (heathenish or wicked) babblings: for they will proceed further in ungodliness, and their word will eat as doth a gangrene: or whom is Hymenaeus an Philetus;  (2 Timothy 1:15-17)

    Love of The World: for Demas forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (2 Tim. 4:10)

    Jews and Dogs: Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision: (Phillipians 3:2)

    Enemies of The Cross Whose God was The Bellies and Who Minded Earthly Things: Brethren, be ye imitators together of me, and mark them that so walk even as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. (Phil. 3:17-19)

    People Who Did Evil: Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: (2 Tim. 4:14)

    Those That Preached A Different Gospel Were Accursed: I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema (accursed). [Galatians 1:6-8]

In his words to the religious leaders who were about to stone him to death, Stephen called them betrayers and murderers (Emphasis Added)

    Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” [Acts 7:51-53]

Have any of these people ever read Peter's second epistle? He devotes the entire second chapter to "false prophets" and isn't exactly gracious in what he says. He calls their teaching “damnable heresies” (2 Pet. 2:1), their ways “pernicious” (2 Pet. 2:2), using the same Greek word in both instances. Peter further calls them

    "Daring, self-willed" who despise dominion and are not afraid to "rail at dignities" (Vs. 10)

     "creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed" (Vs.12),

    "spots and blemishes" (Vs. 13)

    "children of cursing" (Vs. 14)

    "springs without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved" (Vs. 17)

He says they

    with "feigned words" make merchandise of you (Vs. 3)

    rail in matters of which they are ignorant, but in destroying others shall themselves surely be destroyed" (Vs.12),

    pleasure to revel in the day-time, revelling in their deceivings (Vs. 13)

    have forsaken the right way, but have gone astray, following the way of Balaam who was paid for wrong doing, but who was stopped by a dumb ass (Vs. 16-17)

    utter "great swelling words of vanity", all the while enticing the "lusts of the flesh" and by "lasciviousness", those who are just escaping from them that live in error; (Vs. 18)

    promise people liberty, while they themselves are bond servants of corruption (Vs. 19)

Peter compares them to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were made "an example unto those that should live ungodly". And, referring to the false prophets, adds that " the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day of judgment;" (Vs: 6-9)

Finally in verse 22, he says that according to the proverb, these dogs turn again to their own vomit, and like a sow, wallow in their own mire.

The "apostle of love" did not mince any words when speaking of people who claimed to know Jesus, but did not obey Him. He flat out called them "liars".  [Emphasis Added]...

    By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. [1 John 2:3-6]

Additionally, he warned his readers that many "deceivers" and "antichrists" have gone into the world. [2 John 1:7], and that a certain Diotrephes was babbling against them with "wicked" words. [3 John 1:10]

He emphatically stated that "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God" [2 John 1:9] Whether this means the doctrine or precepts which Jesus taught, or the true doctrine about Him, makes no difference. The point is that according to John, people who do not stick to true doctrine have no real knowledge of God.

    Note that deciding whether or not people are abiding by true doctrine involves comparing what they preach and teach with what the word of God says.. In other words judging what is right and what is wrong.

Also remember that it was John who said [Emphasis Added]

    Beloved, every spirit believe not, but prove (Greek dokimazo) the spirits, if of God they are, because many false prophets have gone forth to the world; [1John 4:1] 

Judging is Far From Being "Unchristian"
If judging others is as unchristian as it is often made out to be, how do you explain the the following

    (John the Baptist to King Herod): “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.”  [Mark 6:18]

    (The Apostle Paul): “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.” [Galatians 2:11]

    And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. [Romans 15:14]

    And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be longsuffering toward all [1 Thessalonians 5:14]

    And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed. [2 Thessalonians 3:14]

    A factious man after a first and second admonition refuse; knowing that such a one is perverted, and sinneth, being self-condemned. [Titus 3:10-1]

In fact...

It is completely preposterous to suggest that error in the church is not to be publicly refuted. As said by David Cloud...

    If preachers are not allowed to warn of error publicly, then error is free to prosper without rebuttal. If Rome can promote Mary veneration across the Internet but we are not at liberty to refute this heresy just as publicly and in the same forum, then Mariolatry can have free reign.

    If New Evangelicals can promote their doctrine and philosophy freely on the Internet, should those who oppose it not be at liberty to refute it just as publicly and in the same forums in which it is promoted, when they are convinced by the Spirit of God that it is wrong?

    Understandably, the New Evangelical doesn't like the idea of being the target of a theological warning, but Bible preachers are supposed to be in the business of proclaiming the truth rather than soothing egos… [3]

And they did.. throughout Church History

    When we come to church history we have a continuous stream of godly but plain spoken and sharp public warnings that have been issued against error and that helped to protect God’s people from the heresies of the day. Martin Luther didn’t keep his disagreement with Rome a private matter; he nailed his scathing anti-heresy thesis to the door of the church and published it in tracts for everyone to see. William Tyndale did not keep his disagreement with the heresies of Rome and the moral compromise of the king of England a private matter. He wrote against them boldly in tracts and books that were distributed throughout the land. Charles Spurgeon didn’t keep quiet during the Downgrade Controversy in the Baptist Union. He dealt plainly with its heresies in his very public paper The Sword and the Trowel. The Fundamentalists of the early 20th century did not keep their concerns about theological liberalism a private matter. They lifted up tongue and pen boldly and in a most public manner to warn those who had an ear to hear. James Stewart, a mighty evangelist during the 1940s and 1950s, did not keep quiet about that the compromises of the gospel that were just beginning to bud in evangelical Christianity. He wrote publicly to warn of “Pot-Pourri Evangelism” and “Hollywood Evangelism.” In fact, one of CT’s own editors, Harold Lindsell, took up his pen and published a very public warning about the downgrade of the doctrine of inspiration in well-known schools, and he “belled the cat” by naming the names of the chief culprits (The Battle for the Bible, 1976; The Bible in the Balance, 1979)…. [3]

Because It is Such An Unbelievably Critical Issue...

Why are we forgetting what exactly is at stake here. Even if we were talking about the presidency of the United States, as important a position as that may be, no matter how big a duffer we manage to elect, we have the consolation that he can be gone in four years, and his nonsense will be corrected by the next person..  hopefully!

However, when the issue is spiritual matters, we are not talking about four years, or having to get rid of that lemon we bought. We are talking about a life and death situation from which there is no going back. We are talking of the souls of men who will be condemned to death for all eternity.

Not only is the quality of life we have in the here and now directly tied to the quality of the decisions we make, but our afterlife depends on the judgments we make today. And, if we do not ever judge, how are we going to ensure that we are not being led astray, about which there are a plethora of warnings in the Bible..

    For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. [Matthew 24:5] 

    For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. [Matthew 24:24]

    And he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them. [Luke 21:8]

    let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, [2Thessalonians 2:3] 

    Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. [Ephesians 5:6] 

    This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. [Colossians 2:4]

How will we "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" [Romans 12:9] if we cannot tell the difference.

.... Discernment or "Judging" Is One Of The Gifts of The Holy Spirit
In speaking of the "diversities of gifts" given by the Holy Spirit, Paul says

     and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: [1 Corinthians 12:10]

The Greek word translated into the English discerning is "diakrisis", which is derived from another Greek word diakrino.

Strong's Hebrew and Greek lexicon defines diakrino as... to separate thoroughly, discern, doubt, judge

Additionally, diakrino is made up of two other Greek words...dia which means through, by reason of, and krino which means distinguish, judge, determine.

In other words, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the ability to judge or determine between two things as to which is right and which is wrong. Therefore "discernment of spirits" involves being able to distinguish between people or practices that serve the cause of Christ, and those that serve other spirits.

While criticism, which is borne out of hypocrisy, has been shown to be condemned by Christ, there is another side to criticism. In fact the English word criticism also comes from the Greek word krino (above)

Far from being wrong, judgment is actually a vital part of the Christian arsenal of defensive weapons, which will prevent people from being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14).  The kind of judgment which protects God's people by advising them of danger and outright falsehood is an absolute necessity.

In Conclusion
What today's liberal Christian calls "love" and "tolerance", is actually them sticking their heads so far into the sand, that they .... "hear no evil see no evil".

We had better start rethinking our position on being "judgmental", because the big judgment that all of us are going to face in the not so distant future is going to be made by someone who couldn't care less about being ‘politically correct’. His only basis for judgment is going to be whether or not we have obeyed His Word and, in that context, is going to hold us accountable for what we have allowed in our churches. And, to quote Brannon Howse on WorldNetDaily.com, He doesn't respond well to intimidation, name-calling, flawed logic or being quoted out of context. [4]

Finally I don't think Rick Warren is a "milquetoast" as Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries is supposed to have called him. The word milquetoast means 'one who has a meek, timid, unassertive nature'. Rick Warrne is far, far worse, having done more than his fair share to lead Christians down many wrong paths. [See Rick Warren’s Strange Bedfellows].  However I certainly agree that Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale are unquestionably “the devil’s duo”, having introduced innumerable occult concepts AND literature into the church. While Brian McLaren and Joel Osteen are without question “vipers of new evangelicalism” and “whitewashed tombs.”

    Joel Osteen has been all too happy to carry the banner first raised by Norman Vincent Peale and Naploean Hill (and make himself tremendously rich in the process). An October 21, 2005 article By Tatiana Morales on CBS News.com refers to an appearance Osteen made on The Early Show on which co-anchor Harry Smith ..."compared Osteen's preaching to Norman Vincent Peale's, and Osteen agreed". The problem is that Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, not only displays an unmistakable resemblance to the philosophies of Napoleon Hill, but he even used one of Hill's hallmark expressions.. conceive and believe, which was in turn used by Osteen. The wording in all three of the books is virtually identical. And, where did Napoleon Hill get his ideas? Shockingly he was vastly influenced by an "imaginary cabinet" and his conversations with actual unseen beings. [See Section on Joel Osteen in article on the Prosperity Doctrine. Also Roots of Evil, which charts the migration of occult literature and doctrine into the so called church].

Rick Warren says

    Competition between God's servants is illogical for many reasons: We're all on the same team ... we've been given different assignments" [5]

Actually, this is not true. We are not on "the same team". Most of today's church including a huge percentage of it's so called ministers have long defected to the other side.


What The Bible Says (Try doing any of these without doing some ‘judging’)

MARK THEM AND AVOID THEM: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

TRY THEM: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits wheth I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

DO NOT ASSOCIATE OR EVEN EAT WITH A FALLEN BROTHER.. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler: not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. [1 Corinthians 5: 9-12]

REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES: I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler: not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. [1 Corinthians 5: 9-12]

SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THEM: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17)

REBUKE THEM: ...rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (Titus 1:13)

REJECT THEM: A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; (Titus 3:10)

TURN AWAY FROM THEM: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5)

WITHDRAW FROM THEM: ...we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

HAVE NO COMPANY WITH THEM: And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (2 Thessalonians 3:14)

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

RECEIVE THEM NOT: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:10-11) *




Footnote I
None of the verses that Rick Warren quotes in favor of not "judging" another Christian hold water.

a) Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. James 4:11;

    In this case it seems that the KJV comes closer to the actual Greek, translating this passage thus.. "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."

    The word translated evil is the Greek katalaleo which according to Strong's means to slander.. to be a backbiter.

b) Let no corrupt (Greek sapros) speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear. [Ephesians 4:29]

    Rotten or unsavory communication has absolutely nothing to do with comparing or discerning between true and false doctrine.

c) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God [Matthew 5:9]

    "Peacemakers" are not required to embrace every heresy that comes along in the interests of some artificial peace.

d) Murmur (Greek stenazo) not, brethren, one against another, that ye be not judged: behold, the judge standeth before the doors. [James 5:9]

    The word actually means to sigh or groan and has nothing to do with discernment of true and false doctrine. See Mark 7:34 and Romans 8:23.  [PLACE IN TEXT]  

Footnote II
In making the following comparisons, I would like to be very very clear about a couple of things. I do NOT believe that it is necessary for a Christian to amass a 6,000 volume library, nor do research at "important theological libraries and museums". The Scriptures are more than sufficient to complete the man of God [2Timothy 3:16-17]. Nor am I saying that by reason of his accomplishments, David Cloud is an infallible authority on all things spiritual.

What I am pointing out is the vastly different emphasis of each man's life.  Pastor David Cloud is not exactly a fool with a computer and an internet connection, but has devoted his life to the cause of Christ. Yet in a short scathing article David Aikman relegates pastor Cloud  and his years of research and study, to the dustbin of "heresy hunters", WITHOUT even once referring to Scripture to show where pastor Cloud, or any other apologetic ministry, mentioned in the Christianity Today article, was wrong.

Yet, the one reference made to Scripture (Matthew 18:10), connected with Aikman's organization Gegrapha, is completely misquoted and misused.

David Aikman's own site says he [All Emphasis Added]

    is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a best-selling author, and a foreign affairs commentator based in the Washington, D.C.-area. His wide-ranging professional achievements include a 23-year career at TIME Magazine with reporting spanning the globe of nearly all the major historical events of the time. Since leaving TIME, he has authored ten books. His latest, The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East (Regal 2009), released in September 2009, is a comprehensive overview of the nations and societies of the strife-torn region and the historical roots of the intransigent conflicts that have defied attempts to bring a lasting peace....

    With special expertise in China, Russia, the Middle East, Mongolia and religious freedom issues worldwide, Dr. Aikman is frequently invited to deliver expert testimony at Congressional hearings and is a popular speaker at conferences, seminars, panels and to academic, church and professional groups at events all over the world.

    Trained as a historian, Dr. Aikman is a professor of history at Patrick Henry College in Virginia, where he also coaches young writers. His academic career includes two decades of teaching international relations at the University of the Nations in Hawaii. Dr. Aikman also serves as a Senior Fellow for The Trinity Forum, a leadership academy that seeks to transform society by helping leaders examine issues in their personal and public lives in the context of faith.

    In 1998, Dr. Aikman founded Gegrapha, an international fellowship for Christians in the mainstream media. He is now its founding chairman and a board member. [6]

 What is particularly telling about this biography is that it places absolutely very little emphasis on Christianity, or Christian matters. Aikman had a "23-year career at TIME Magazine", has "special expertise in China, Russia, the Middle East etc." Is "Trained as a historian" and teaches "international relations". Only in 1992 did Gegrapha, the organization that Aikman founded, emerge from being "a small prayer group" [7]

One description of Gegrapha says it is [All Emphasis Added]

    not an evangelistic or a missionary organization, but it encourages journalists who are Christians to share their faith openly wherever this can be done without risk to themselves or the organization for whom they work, and wherever it does not offend standards of journalistic professionalism. Gegrapha encourages journalists to seek the presence of God in their career. "For wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20 [8]

This verse from Matthew is, more often than not, terribly misquoted and misused, because it is being treated as a stand alone verse, which it is not. Read in it’s context one draws a very different conclusion as to what the verse means. [Details]

On The Other Hand David Cloud

    and his wife "have spent 20 years in South Asia as church planting missionaries. Together with their co-laborers they have had the privilege of pioneering Baptist church planting there in the 1980s and they continue this ministry today. They make their home in Kathmandu".

    Way of Life have produces Bible materials in 12 languages

    In 1984, Way of Life began publishing O TIMOTHY MAGAZINE, a monthly publication with the aim of urging preachers to stand for the truth and to resist error. The burden of the magazine: urging men in these last days to keep the faith once delivered to the saints and to avoid error. One of the chief goals is to help protect churches from end-time apostasy through doctrinal preaching and carefully documented research.

    In 1994 Way of Life published the first edition of the WAY OF LIFE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE & CHRISTIANITY. The latest edition contains the equivalent of 800 pages of information, over 4,700 entries and over 5,000 cross references.

    In October 2000, Way of Life began publishing the FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES. These diligently-researched news reports are designed to help keep church members informed of news and events that are relevant to Bible believers and to help God’s people analyze the news scripturally.

    In 2002, Way of Life began publishing the ADVANCED BIBLE STUDIES SERIES.

David Cloud himself

    "has spent an average of at least six hours per day in study since his conversion in 1973. He has built a 6,000-volume research library, which is especially strong in the areas of church history, the history of the Bible, ecumenism, theological modernism, New Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism, the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement, contemporary Christian music, and the Roman Catholic Church. The library contains the vast majority of the Baptist and Waldensian histories as well as most of the books that have been published in the last 200 years on the history of the Bible and the Bible version debate. One of the many jewels in this library is a 1641 Fox’s Martyrology. Brother Cloud travels widely to research his subjects. He has done research at the British Library, Oxford University, Cambridge, and at many other important theological libraries and museums and at the headquarters of various religious organizations. He has visited every state in the Union and 30 countries. He has researched the history of the Bible throughout England and Europe and the apostolic churches in western Turkey and Greece. He has done extensive firsthand research into contemporary Christianity. He has attended many large ecumenical conferences with press credentials and has visited influential churches such as Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church in California and Bill Hybels’ Willowcreek Church near Chicago. [9]

Great Souls:
One of David Aikman's book is Great Souls: Six Who Changed a Century, an examination of the lives of six morally exemplary figures of the 20th century: Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela, and Elie Wiesel. Apparently he is one of the millions who have NO idea that

    Billy Graham was quoted as saying..

      “I used to believe that pagans in far countries were lost if they did not have the gospel of Christ preached to them.. I no longer believe that.” And there is more... much much more. [Details]

    Mother Theresa believed Hindus could go to heaven if they believed sincerely in their gods.

    Looking beyond the apologists, the official doctrine of the Catholic church does not involve salvation by faith. Instead the official position of the church is that salvation comes through grace, but the grace is distributed a little at a time through the official sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. [See Catholics and Protestants ... How Big Are The Differences?]

    That Roman Catholic dogma based upon tradition often flatly contradicts God's infallible Word, the Bible.

    That the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI placed his papacy into the hands of Mary. In his first speech as Pope, delivered on April 20 to the College of Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel, Benedict XVI said: “In support of this promise, I invoke the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, in whose hands I place the present and the future of my person and of the Church” (“Benedict XVI, a Pope of Christ, Communion, Collegiality,” Vatican Information Service, April 20)

    That it takes some very elaborate armchair gymnastics to prove from the Bible that the Lord Jesus appointed Peter to be the first pope, thus establishing the papal throne. Yet, transubstantiation, Purgatory, indulgences, the Immaculate Conception, and other doctrines because of papal authority, yet that authority is without foundation.

    That Hindu ceremonies, along with other interfaith ceremonies were conducted at Fatima [Details]. And on and on without end  See Section on Catholicism[PLACE IN TEXT]


End Notes
[1] The Purpose Driven Life. Day Twenty One: Protecting Your Church. Pgs. 163-164). Hardcover: Zondervan; 1st edition (October 1, 2002)

[2] David Aikman. Attack Dogs of Christendom... Is this how to bring grace and savor to a crumbling civilization? | posted 8/27/2007 http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/august/23.52.html

[3] David Cloud, Christianity Today's Cheap Shot At Biblical Warning Ministries. August 28, 2007. 
http://truedsicernment.com/2007/08/30/christianity-today%E2%80%99s-cheap-shot-at-biblical-warning-ministries/ OR

[4] Brannon Howse. How 'Judge Not' .. the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible.. is Destroying America. Posted may 2005 on WorldNetDaily.com Inc. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44270

[5] The Purpose Driven Life. Day Twenty One: Protecting Your Church. Pg. 268). Hardcover: Zondervan; 1st edition (October 1, 2002)

[6] http://www.davidaikman.com/bio.php

[7] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Gegrapha

[8] http://www.radioscribe.com/Gegrapha.htm

[9] http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/whatiswayoflife.html


Index To The Four Most Dangerous Mistakes Any Christian Can Make