I need to apologize for posting this a day later than I usually do. There were many factors militating against my putting it up on Friday (yesterday). But thank God those factors have been overcome today.
In my last post, REDEMPTION – A Second Chance, I told you about the experience of heaven in Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye. My prayer for you still holds true even today; that you find faith in the Lord Jesus today for a second chance.
“What was meant to be our instrument of damnation became our salvation.”
~Man Of Steel~
Brad Lauwers was in the locker room, showering after a gruelling football workout, when he first noticed the lump. He bent down and fingered his ankle gently, cupping his hand around the swelling. He felt no pain or stiffness. “Perhaps it’s just some fluid,” he thought. “It will disappear in a few days.”
But the swelling didn’t disappear, and a month later Brad lay in a hospital bed awaiting amputation of his left leg. The lump turned out to be a malignant tumor that was sending runners out in several directions in Brad’s foot. The next day a surgeon removed Brad’s leg just inches below the knee.
Judgment, like Brad’s surgical amputation, can be tragic but yet needful, for it is meant to chop off the little corrupt member in order to redeem and preserve the whole body.
The same principle applies to the Body of Christ. There are certain moments when we are called upon to make judgment calls on compromising and pervasive issues in the Body. Unfortunately we frequently don’t. We fail to take responsibility for the redemption of the Body because religion has stolen the original purpose and meaning of what it really is to judge. And this is what happens when we fail to judge rightly when the need arises; we suffer a greater loss than we would have if we had done the needful. Very much like the fate of Bob Marley.
In July of 1977, Marley was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe, a symptom of an already existing cancer. Marley turn down his doctor’s advice to have his toe amputated, citing his religious beliefs, and instead the nail and the nail bed were removed and a skin graft taken from his thigh to cover the area. Three years afterwards, his health began to deteriorate steadily as the cancer had spread throughout his body. As a result Bob Marley the legend died at age of 36 in the prime of his life, and all for what? Religion! Religion said he couldn’t chop off a toe to save a whole body. This is the same religious spirit behind the “do not judge” mantra raving through the church of God today.
There is a myth out there that no one is to judge. And yet the very essence of having the concept of right and wrong is based on a judgement call. The “Do Not Judge” verse often referred to, in context and intent, means, ‘Do not be a hypocrite. Do not point out others who are doing exactly what you are doing’. The Bible’s instruction is to not have a condemning spirit, but to rather go to someone else in love, with restoration in mind. Judgement is necessary. We are told many times to make ‘Judgement Calls’ – too judge. It is our responsibility, as believers. If not, we are aimless, unethical and irresponsible blobs. Again, the “Do Not Judge” mantra is not the 11th commandment. It does not cancel out the other 10. In fact, it is not a commandment at all. It is simply a cloak of religion for people in denial shying away from the responsibility to confront wrong when they see it.
When we read (Matthew 7:1-5) we notice how the Lord first established that one should not judge another when one is guilty of same crime in question as that would be hypocrisy,
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite . . .
Then the Lord moves to instruct how one should judge;
. . . first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Hence the Lord doesn’t say not to judge but HOW to judge ethically.
Now you can understand what 1 Corinthians 2:15 means by – The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
It is the carnal man who doesn’t know how to judge constructively. For the spiritual man, redemption is always in view. A spiritual man will consider the speck of dust in his eyes before judging. He would not judge to condemn, but to salvage whatever is left.
There are days we go through tough times and wonder if God is angry with us when on the contrary He is actually doing a redemptive work in our lives. Like the birth pangs that preceed every blessing of child birth, we too often go through painful experiences before we receive great blessings.
This is also true in matters relating to the house of God, as sometimes judging may be tragic and painful as in the case of the amputee, Brad. But it would save a lot more than what is lost. There are bound to be casualties, sometimes as small as the loss of a toe, other times as much as a leg, but the lot of the body will be saved. There is so much cancerous scandal in the church in Nigeria today sending runners out in several directions in the Body of Christ. This will continue if not confronted and will result in greater loss in the long run. We need to confront the issues facing us instead of folding our hands in the name of false religious immunity that we place on the ‘sacred cows’ of leadership, if not for anything, for the Body of believers that would be led astray if nothing is done.
Finally, each time you chant the “Do Not Judge” mantra for the sake of one sacred cow remember the words of the preacher:
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8:11.