A recent quote in a local magazine caught my attention. A spokesman for a secular organization critiqued a Christian for speaking his convictions, but that’s not the part that caught my eye. What stood out to me were the additional comments made by the organization’s spokesman, in which she said (paraphrase), “the convictions this man has spoken are judgmental, which is a direct contradiction to Christianity.”
OK, so here are a few quick thoughts:
1) It’s strange to think a non-Christian has the wisdom to define what is and isn’t “Christian.”
2) To state that something is or isn’t “Christian” is a judgment.
3) While certain “judging” is warned against in Scripture, there is plenty of admonition to “judge” and make “judgments” (but that’s a different subject).
The whole issue heightened my awareness that the world is not leaving Christianity alone. Instead, many non-believers are trying to redefine the message of Christ’s gospel.
What’s worse is that many who claim to be “Christians” buy into false teaching and begin to propagate a false gospel. Whether or not it is because of their lack of knowledge, lack of conversion, or desire for worldliness (or a combination of all three), believers are called to be on guard against false gospels. Paul wrote to the Galatians:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).
Wow, that’s some pretty strong language Paul is using. The call to guard against “other gospels” is crucial to the Christian life.
The best way to be on guard against false gospels is to know the real gospel. The more your life revolves around the gospel, the more aware you will be of errors in false teachings.
Further, you must never allow your faith to go into “cruise control” where you cease to test ideas and teachings. One of the most dangerous things a Christian can do is to stop thinking. Test everything you read and hear against Scripture. Ask whether the teaching exalts Christ and reflects the gospel accurately.
Don’t be tempted to think that, “I’m saved; that’s all that matters, so I’ll leave the deep thinking to scholars.” Every message you hear has the power to impact your heart. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
So when it comes to filtering incoming messages, good judgment is a must!
Copyright © 2021 by Scott Attebery @https://scottattebery.com/christian-living/when-judging-is-good/ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.