You Shall Judge Rightly and Forgive When Authorized

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matt 7:6)\

“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:57)

One of the most important interpretive guides to Christ’s teaching is that he himself told us he taught in riddles and parables to deliberately confuse those who have been darkness since the beginning. There is a plainly ironic paradox presented by a Christ who says, on the one hand, “Do not judge, lest ye be judged,” and tells us to “know them by their fruit” so that we will identify and shun the dogs and swine of this world. Those who are darkness foolishly ignore this paradox, and simply gravitate toward the first statement, ignoring—at their peril—the second statement.

When we look at how Christ related to darkness and light, we see a perfect man who did not hesitate to tell the men of lawlessness in his day that they would die in their sins and be cast into hell. The religious authorities clearly were warping the Scriptures to serve their own interests: building religious platforms the same way that Cain arrogantly built his cities. Christ clearly despised them and refused to forgive them. For Christ was the man of Psalm 1, who meditated on the Law day and night so that, even at 12, none could dispute with him. Consider what Christ believed, by fully embracing the Law and Prophets:

“Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless…who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD.” (Psa 15:1-2,4)

“I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word.” (Psa 119:158)

Make sure there is no man or woman…whose heart turns away from the LORD… When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, ‘I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.’ This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The LORD will never be willing to forgive him.” (Deut 29:18-20)

“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.” (Prov 10:20)

Because most “Christians” in the last millenium have prostituted their minds and hearts to the arrogant, anthropocentric humanism of Cain’s world, they have become the blind leading the blind, and have dragged many into the pit of human arrogance, asserting falsely, that man, made from nothing, has any value in himself. Against this, the Scripture plainly testifies that man is, by himself, worth nothing:

“dust you are and to dust you shall return.”

“A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” (Psa 49:20)

“Take heed you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?” (Psa 94:8)

“But since you rejected me when I called…since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm… Then they will call to me but I will not answer… Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.” (Prov 1:24-29)

The Scripture shows no pity for those who engage in the stiff-necked folly of asserting, contrary to truth, that they have any good apart from God and can do anything without Him. “God opposes the arrogant.” The sentimental charm of the humanists, who have seized the Church in our day, covers willful deceit and malice, even seven abominations (Prov 26). They are toxic through and through. They are pigs, dogs, vipers, darkness.

Every member of the Kingdom is called to identify them, “shake the dust off their feet” at such men and women, and “let the dead bury the dead.” This is particularly true with regard to religious frauds, the “man of lawlessness”—described in Deuteronomy 29—who now sits in pews and stands at pulpits. Christ calls his sheep to identify and assiduously avoid them:

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (II Tim 3:5)

Christ clearly calls his people to judgment, to “remove the offending member,” even when it comes to shunning all around us, as God’s people have frequently been called to do throughout history:

“They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.” (Heb 11:37-38).

“If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.” (Jer 15:19).

Why does Christ utter the paradox of “judge not” and “stay away from dogs and pigs?” The answer comes most clearly in John 5:45-46:

“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. You accuser is Moses, uon whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”

The Law is the just accuser and judge of all men. Written by the same Spirit (Matt 12:28, Lk 11:30, Ex 34:18), Who descended on Pentacost both to Moses in the Exodus, and to the Apostles after the Ascension, the Law is the judge of all men and women. Christ, when he says “judge not,” is instructing us to refuse to judge apart from the Law. He is calling us to submit ourselves to the Deuteronomical commandment to “conduct a thorough inquiry” (Deut 13, 17, 19), to determine the Law’s application to wrongdoing and judge rightly, applying discipline to the offender and mercy to the offended. By such inquiry, as Psalm 119 passionately attests, we gain a wisdom greater than our elders and teachers, from that same Spirit of Wisdom Solomon and Christ told us was “the Counselor.”

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.” (I Jn 2:27).

Calling a pig a pig and a viper a viper may seem harsh to modern ears, which have been steeped in the erroneous assertion that people have inherent worth and value, and that such value is equally distributed and equally valid. But history proves humanism to be the cruelest of paradigms: the “triumph of humanity” was the mantra and main goad of every major genocide of the past century. “Fraternity” yielded fratricide. Nobility yielded oppression.

Humanism is openly the raison d’être behind William Harper’s blasphemous thinking. He penned his pro-slavery argument to support chattel slavery on the basis of “civilization and property,” the same values of that murderer, Cain, who–with his progency–tried to lift himself above God by building towers.

The inability to distinguish between just and unjust, between oppressor and oppressed has led to great injustice in the past millenium as sound doctrine gave way to the “renaissance” of Greek Philosophy and its blasphemous atomism, dualism, anthropocentricism, and inescapable rationalization of an elite class which “rules it over others.” We have spared adulterers and condemned their victims not only to suffer a rejection worse than death, but tortured them with the lie that they must forgive an impenitent person whose act accused them of being worthless. We have forgiven murderers and honored vile men and women. In all of this, the modern and pre-modern world is guilty of a great and unforgiveable sin which has brought the wrath of God upon the “civilized world” so that it has once again become “babel,” “confusioon.”:

“By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.” (Ezk 13:19).

I have seen the effects of the prostituted church culture, which gives darkness for light and evil for good, on those who have suffered great and painful betrayal. I could rend my heart in half as I see a friend who was once luminous and laughing as the sun, darkened in a morass of doubt and depression because she has been robbed of wise and assuring counsel—counsel which ought to sustain her in the face of a man who has trampled on her. The man is worthy of death, and indeed is dead according to the Scriptures, for inflicting something worse than death on her. Yet he is spared, while she is sidelined and crushed by that glib lie: “God is willing to forgive everyone.” Yet the Scripture testifies that God is never willing to forgive the impenitent. So my heart cries with the psalmists:

“Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”

“Oh that you would bring to an end the violence of the wicked!”

“Oh that you would slay the wicked!”

I am convinced both by the testimony of Scripture, and seeing her plight, that the forcefulness of “show no pity” to the impenitent, is a coup de grâce, not a form of violence. Violence is failing to honor the Law which gives relief to the betrayed and says to the betrayer: “Woe to the betrayer who is not yet betrayed!” For violence and force are distinct, so that God is justified even in dashing the heads of Babylonian infants (Psa 137), as He works to restore the beautiful responsiveness of justice, lifting up those who, in poverty of spirit, acknowledge the Law is the details of love, because love is the summary of the Law. They walk before God, hearing His voice behind them, and are blameless because yoked to Christ and joyfully sharing in His good and just work.

I have personally been through the baptisms of Jeremiah and Micah, experiencing deep betrayal by those closest to me: from the one appointed my “helpmate,” who has stood as my accuser for 24 years, to “shepherds” and “elders” who did not hesitate to delight in a thief and swindler who, in the wake of our tragic cabin fire and desperate housing plight, robbed my children of their education, backed one who called CPS in like the gestapo four days after the fire, and robbed my family and North River Valley of its peace.

I can say “amen” to the God who drove my accuser away with cabin fire and betrayal by lawless hypocrites, and Who promised in a dream to trample that viper in the mire (Micah 7:10). I can honestly and faithfully plead that He will do it soon, for her deceit, contempt, and spite only rage the more with every passing day. “The day of death is better than the day of birth,” for it is the end of the violence of sin.

I can pray fervently for my true enemies following the Psalmists’ lead: “Oh that you would slay the wicked!” “Oh that you would bring to an end the violence of the wicked!” I can do this with confidence and without hesitation because I know that Christ came and died to save the world from sin, so that even wrath and hell, which both bring sin to an end, are the best condition the wicked will ever experience. For sin is far worse than hell (Matt 18:6), and hell is not only “very good” (Gen 1:31), but “beautiful” (Eccl 3:14), being the cessation of sin’s annihilating folly and the restoration of a sound mind which acknowledges, even if incapable of participating in, good. I can read Psalm 69 and know it was, along with Psalm 22, Christ’s true and trustworthy prayer against the impenitent dark ones, even as He implored the Father to forgive the shrouded luminaries who attended his awful death. I can do all these things because the testimony of God’s word is true and reliable, and His Spirit, who laughs fools to destruction, is my comforter and counselor in my affliction.

With the prophets, psalmists, Christ, and the apostles, I am empowered to reject the perverted teaching of this “church” which overlays humanism as a veil over the Scriptures. “How the faithful city has become a prostitute!” I am empowered to “recognize them by their fruit” and soberly reject those whom God has forever rejected and consigned to salvation from sin by wrath and indignation. The same God who spoke through Isaiah, “do not forgive them!” spoke through John: “There is a sin leading to death. I am not saying that he should to pray about that.” There is a great difference between light which dwells among darkness, among the “tents of Kedar” and darkness itself. Those who are made light in Christ, who have been his from before time and existence, are called to clearly judge the difference and act with prudence to avoid “casting pearls” before swine. We are called to uphold the righteous and break the arm of the wicked, and there is simply no way this can be done without identifying the dogs, the swine, the vipers, the darkness.

I will end with final instructions from Christ himself, given as He prepared to ascend to the Father. These words clearly make judgment and forgiveness a matter of Deuteronomical inquiry and prayer, and not a matter of simplified obligation. Not one man or woman on earth possesses the authority to forgive or withold forgiveness without inquiry into the Law and the Holy Spirit Who gave the Law. We have no authority to judge, i.e. to lift up or cast down, on our own apart from God’s Word and Spirit. Yet we are called to judge with both Word and Spirit, for we shall judge even the angels:

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23).

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