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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE CHURCH POLICE

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2)

Have you ever run afoul of the church police? These are your brothers and sisters in Christ who believe they have obtained the perfection that Paul did not. (Philippians 3:7-16) These are the people who judge quickly by external appearances. They share some similarities with the Pharisees. You can bet they know if you attend church regularly; belong to a Bible study; volunteer for church projects; or dress appropriately. They set Christian standards for others by their own interpretation of the Biblical principles of conduct which they believe they have mastered. They believe they have been called to set others on the straight and narrow path.

Unfortunately, many people set their own priorities in the place of God’s standards. It is a tendency we all have to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. We claim our assessment of others is a sincere attempt to encourage holiness. However, it is too often an effort to elevate our standing in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. Paul warns us:

For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (Romans 2:1 ESV)

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. (Galatians 6:1 ESV)

We see in Galatians that there is a place for church discipline and correction. Nevertheless, the spirit and attitude with which it is carried out make a huge difference in our lives and the lives of others. Those who encourage a brother or sister to walk rightly in the truth will save souls. (James 5:19-20 ESV) If we study the Bible, we find that judging and correcting are not actually forbidden. However, there is a wrong kind of judging that is offensive to our Creator. God hates the falsehearted condemnation of others. God demands a truthful judging that is loving but does not accommodate sin. Do not allow yourself to become obsessed with judgmentalism. Walk humbly with God and trust in the discernment found in His Word.

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3 Responses

  1. One of my worst experiences in my spiritual life was encountering and arguing with a man who claimed God called him to be part of the “ministry police”. Nearly made me quit believing simply because I couldn’t wrap my head around someone believing so strongly in a loving and forgiving God yet constantly belittling, verbally abusing, lording over, insulting, cursing, and judging everyone. Plus he claimed God was proud of him for being a jerk because he was an elder in the church and therefore anyone younger than him was immediately dumb as a rock and had no right to speak against him lest he be going against God Himself. Worst experience with another Christian I’ve ever had. Loving others as yourself means talking to them as you would want someone to speak to you. Glad you posted this, this issue is one that definitely needs to be addressed more in the church.

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    • I hear you!!!!

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  2. so true. The church should be welcoming of everyone. Check out my page for my current and upcoming theological posts. Throw me a follow! God bless

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