Monday, February 20, 2012

Proverbs 30:10 commentary; don't judge other Christian's convictions

10 ¶ Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

Good advice to a busybody Hebrew but what does it say to a modern Christian? The accusation, by context, is a false one, as the accuser is the one who faces the curse.

Paul, in talking to Christians about not judging each other’s convictions, says this;

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

And again he tells us in the same context;

Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

(On a side note, “rather” is used to say “more importantly” as in the following;

2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.)

It is Satan who is the great accuser of the brethren.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

When it is a matter of convictions and not of a violation of God’s clear standards and open sin, then the Christian is not to accuse another of God’s servants before that servant’s only master; God. Standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10) we do not want to have Christ point out that we spent a great deal of time as a busybody sticking our nose into other Christian’s convictions and attacking them, accusing them falsely of disobedience to God when it was a matter of our liberty in Christ.

Christians, particularly those who claim to be Bible believers, tend to judge other Christians by their political beliefs, manner of dress, and personal convictions more than they do by their love for Christ through His words in His Book. When it is a matter of heresy or sin as defined in the Bible that is one matter but when it is a matter of a Christian’s personal beliefs and convictions that is another.

Here is an example for us Fundamentalists. Many of us know the exact day we believed, even the hour. Others know that they realized the truth about Christ during a summer Bible study or through a series of evangelistic meetings. The former think they can pinpoint the hour and minute they were saved and the latter simply know that before they were unbelievers but afterwards they were saved. The former often attacks the latter in a petty manner insisting if you don’t know the time and the hour you could not have been saved. This can drive people from the church assembly. It is unfair and unreasonable to assume that everyone knows the minute they believed. It’s not always that way. I do remember one Wednesday night in March, the 19th to be sure, in 1986, when Beth prayed with me for my salvation confirming what I already had come to believe by a process of the Holy Spirit’s working in my life. Was I saved at that point or was that a confirmation of my salvation at an earlier time when my soul believed who the Christ of the Bible was and that He died and rose from the dead for me?
What if someone said, I can’t tell you the date or day but during the Bible study with Pastor so and so I came to realize that I needed to believe and trust in Christ and that I did? Does that make them a faker because they can’t give me the time or day? I don’t think so. The question for both of us is do we believe? Salvation is predicated upon belief in Christ only. Read Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9-10. There is no mention of “and can relate the day and the hour it happened.”

Another peculiar notion is the one where our salvation experience is based on, in someone else’s imagination, if our life changed completely at the point we believed. Some had a tremendous change in their lives at that moment. Sins fell away like rotten clothing and they were completely changed. Others, like myself, struggled with sin and it took God’s words speaking to me over many years through His Book to relieve me of many of the burdens of sin under which I suffered. The first person might say, well you weren’t saved, if you didn’t immediately achieve perfection. They’ll point out 2 Corinthians 5:17 as if they no longer struggle with sin. And yet, Paul, whom they will say is the greatest Christian who ever lived, in Romans 7:14-25, still struggled with sin in his flesh. Since it is spiritually and intellectually dishonest to interpret one passage in the part of the Bible that is doctrinally applicable to your dispensational era in contradiction to another we aren’t warranted in saying that the person who doesn’t stop sinning when they are saved isn’t really saved. Some will say that once you are saved sin doesn’t have dominion over you but you still struggle with the wicked demands of the flesh, with victory only being possible in Christ, through prayer and through the Holy Spirit speaking to your spiritual heart through God’s words.

So, be careful in judging other Christians. It’s best not to do it at all. Judge heresy, sin, apathy toward the calling of God, and corrupting His word, but not conviction. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. People watch our lives, as they are the only Bible many people will ever read. Judge a righteous judgment and remember, as the oft abused passage in Matthew 7 teaches (and does not contradict anything in the books written directly to Christians), you may be judged by the same standard in which you use. In all things, remember this passage in James, a letter written to Jewish believers in the earliest days of the church after Christ’s ascension and applying also to the tribulation era to come but without any contradiction in our doctrine;

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

No comments: