There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
1 Corinthians 4:3,4
3. “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.”
4. “For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.”
Christians, Judge Portrayers – It’s a shame that the church atmosphere I grew up in during the 70’s and 80’s has waned away like sand on a beach after a storm. Of course, the world uses the phrase “don’t judge me” as an attempt to ease their conscience for sin in their lives. That is, they are attempting to circumvent the reality of accountability to a God they need to know and the civil and social standards experienced. This old flesh without the quickening Spirit lacks the desire to be accountable.
Here’s the reality — A Christian lives with the desire to be accountable to a Holy God. The conscience that discerns right and wrong is made alive by the Holy Spirit. So, let me bluntly say, I do not require nor does any other Christian need judgment meted out by another sinful Christian. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Quite honestly, churches have a hard enough time maintaining a testimony of high esteem in our communities. Maybe if our pastors would preach “thus saith the Lord” instead of their preference (which varies depending on which pastor this year is behind the pulpit) the power, rejoicing, unity, love, sharing, and desire to be at church I witnessed as a child would return. We have moved — NOT GOD.
Here are a few examples of spiritual disagreement and power suckers in our churches:
- repentance and evangelistic practices, church growth practices, evolution, and abortion
- infallibility of the Bible (except there is a question of whether we have an infallible Bible anywhere today), female preachers, homosexuality
- universal church vs local church
- election, sovereign grace, calvinism
- music (piano only vs “canned music”), dress standards (skirts and dresses equal Godliness and pants does not), the Bible version-text issue, Baptist briderism or Landmarkers, charismaticism
- communion: open, closed, close
- alien baptism vs re-baptism (Baptist baptism is only acceptable)
- Pastoral authority i.e. unquestionable loyalty to Pastor (dictatorial) vs corporate church authority
- “old fashioned” doctrine of separation–modest apparel WHO DEFINES MODEST?), warnings about television, movies and pop music, no drinking, smoking, gambling–and others today having a contemporary (OF TODAY, PRESENT) position with dwindling concern for such things, and with every range of views in between these two positions.
- Peter Ruckman position that the KJV itself is infallible and unchangeable and even “advanced revelation” over the Greek and Hebrew, others holding to the King James Bible as a correct translation of the preserved Greek and Hebrew texts, and others using various modern versions and believing that the version-text issue is unimportant.
- ecclesiastical separation, with most being purposefully separated from Roman Catholics, New Evangelicals, Charismatics, Contemporary Christian Music while others are moving toward a more tolerant New Evangelical outlook and an inclination toward “conservative evangelicals.”
- pre, post, and a-millennialism; pre, post and mid-trib
- holidays: santa clause, easter egg hunts
- Christ crucified on a Wed vs Friday (observance of Good Friday)
- divorce and remarriage
- deacons as an advisory board or board of directors
It’s no wonder the IFB church has weakened during the past 30 years.
I challenge the local churches to conduct a verse by verse study in Acts and seek Holy Spirit empowerment. The revival we seek will not happen unless we return to what made the church great. Open Acts and look at our history. I assure you that God will bless and create a want to mirror the joyous instructions laid out in Acts.