The answer is obvious to any genuine believer – our response must be that of God, with certain exceptions. For example, we have no right to condemn a person to hell: nor is it within our power. Also, we have no right to punish a man physically or mentally because he is an unbeliever (we leave that to the fake Roman church). Another difference is that we cannot withhold salvation, nor give it.
There are other ways in which we may not act or speak like God. Even so, we have a responsibility to respond properly to sin in our midst, and in these circumstances we must be godly. It is surprising how some who claim to be Christians disapprove of the way we at BTM respond to sin, even when what we say or do mirrors God’s own judgments! How, then, do we respond?
Sin remains sin, no matter how emotive or empathetic we might be towards the sinner. It does not matter if the sinner is ourselves, our nearest and dearest, friends, or strangers. All sin is worthy of death, and that must be our response to it. We have no right to be judgmental, however, which causes us to react badly to sin, or to apply our own human standards to the sinner.
We must learn how to respond rather than to react. A reaction can often be poor or bad, or even sinful itself. Rather, we must respond – with carefully judged biblical standards, not our own. That is, we look at sin as God looks at it, and we apply the necessary discipline, as He requires.
Discipline is NOT what so many think it is – punishment! True discipline covers every aspect of our Christian lives. It means we read scripture, pray, and act according to God’s word, in all things. When it comes to sin, discipline arrives at genuine conclusions found in the evidence, and applies the remedy as we perceive God to demand it. This might be compassion, or dismissal of our thoughts, or punishment. If it is punishment we must ensure it is action we see in God’s word, or is compatible with it. This explains our whole attitude towards the grave sin of homosexuality, which God hates totally. At no time should we allow emotion, anger, or punitive lust to bring us to conclusions concerning sin in others.
And always, we must punish with love and a desire to help the sinner put things right. If he refuses, we must issue a warning. Only after this can we cast a person out of fellowship or shun him, all as God demands.
The difference between 'to judge' and 'to be judgmental'
Some think that when we at BTM judge persons or movements in articles, we are being ‘judgmental’. They send us warnings that we must not judge! Their indiscriminate use of the words proves they are ignorant of the truth. To judge is not the same as to be judgmental! They are two different, if not opposite, words and actions. To judge is to examine the facts/evidence, and to arrive at proper conclusions as permitted or given by God. It is objective and does not include our personal desires or wishes, and when we judge we do not come to a conclusion based on anger or prejudice. To be judgmental is not the same. It means to be prejudiced from the start and to come to a bad or poor conclusion based on nothing but hearsay or emotion. Very often judgmentalism arises from one’s own sinfulness.
So, sin is sin. We must respond wisely and carefully, relying on scripture for our conclusions. That is, we judge a person or situation AS DEMANDED BY GOD. Scripture clearly tells us that we MUST judge others and situations, before the world does so. In other words, we must ‘nip it in the bud’ before sin becomes obvious to unbelievers, who will then mock us.
One article published by us, on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) received multiple angry letters/emails/web site comments! Those who wanted an excuse for their ‘BPD’ did NOT want an honest, objective appraisal of their psychiatry-invented ‘diagnosis’. The article pointed out that those with supposed BPD were actually just sinners who refused to act in a disciplined manner. What anger this attracted! In almost every reaction was the idea that because we had been honest and scriptural, we were being unloving and lacking in compassion. Nothing was farther from the truth and there was no evidence to enable one to come to such a conclusion.
The fact of psychiatric gobbledygook can be proved time and again. Psychiatry has covered many sins with pseudo-medical classifications, so sin grows rapidly. Thus, we identify the sin and dismiss the psychiatry. For many this is unloving and ‘judgmental’, though they cannot say why. They fail to identify sin and to treat it as such – as something God hates. In this way they give an excuse for sin and do not respond to it properly. For this reason millions today, even Christians, continue to sin because they have a ‘diagnosis’ (which is, really, an excuse to commit sin).
Is saying this ‘judgmental’? Of course not! It is just telling the truth! Do we say it with spite or malice? No, we do not. Do we smirk or laugh at such sinners and their predicament? No, we do not. We know that we, too, are sinners – but we are saved by grace and must show such grace in our everyday lives. We have compassion for all who struggle with their sin but who repent. We have no such compassion for men and women who continue to sin even when they have been shown their folly. In this we are acting in godly manner, not judgmentally. If sin is found in us, and we are shown it from scripture, we will repent and change. This is how we should live as fellow believers.
Judge, or be judged by God. Sin is loathsome and cannot remain.
© September 2014
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
Please 'Make a Donation' to support the work of Bible Theology Ministries