“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5.
Brothers and Sisters,
It is sad to see how some who claim to be followers of Yeshua Mshikha condemn denominations and individuals who are different than their own over what they feel are “heresies.” Such hatred has caused countless divisions within the churches and the world looks on at those churches with a bad after-taste. No wonder many people of the world refer to Christians as the most hypocritical people in the world. That is the spirit that many who claim to be within the Church are giving. Their condemnation and pure hatred is frowned upon by Our Lord in the Scriptures.
These are the very ones who lack a willingness to understand the faith or practices of their fellow brothers and sisters. Instead, they accept what has been told to them through the writings and publications of others who share a similar hatred and lack of an open mind. There are those who understand the Biblical doctrine of “righteous judgement” – which is always done in love and never with a spirit of condemnation – and then there are those who judge those whom they claim are not fellow believers. This is the wrong and sinful type judgement.
There is a difference between judging and exposing. If one calls down condemnation upon a group or denomination they are usurping the throne of Messiah and taking it upon themselves to be both the Lawgiver and Judge. When one exposes a dangerous religious group that is known for its mind control techniques or for certain practices that may cause bodily or mental harm to their members, this is more acceptable and on the lines of apologetics and research for the public good. Simply calling down judgement upon a denomination is sinful and prideful. Remember, pride was the downfall of satan.
As long as those who call themselves disciples of Mshikha continue to judge other religious groups of people there will never be unity – only division and schism.
More focus and emphasis needs to be placed on uniting believers rather than attempting to divide them with judgement. Condemnation and judgement on other denominations accomplishing nothing good and only causes further division.
It is not your place as individuals to call down condemnation upon fellow believers or others, regardless of their religion, or judgement on the world. Constantly belittling, deriding, causing hurt feelings and overall judgement of others is a sure sign that the individual causing such trouble has no regard to the pure and holy teachings of Our Lord and Saviour Yeshua the Messiah. He told us that we must first remove the obstacle from within our own eye before attempting to remove that which obscures the eye of our brother. We are told to lay out our sins on the altar first, before attempting to show the sins of our brothers to him or others.
Each individual within the Body of Messiah needs to re-examine their motives and thoughts before speaking about their fellow believers, about Christians or Jews. One should never use the excuse that “God told me to” or to inappropriately use the Scriptures referring to Our Lord chasing out the money changers from the Temple. Such reasoning is pathetically lacking in force and demonstrates the immaturity level of the one who is passing judgement.
Some individuals and groups cry out judgement on other denominations stating that the one they are judging is not authentic. If you believe they are not authentic then they must be a part of the world – and if they are a part of the world, then you have no Scriptural authority to judge them! If one feels that their brother is sinning and they pass unrighteous judgement on him, the person passing judgement obviously has issues of their own to deal with as far as forgiveness. We can not expect our own sins to be forgiven if we have not forgiven the sins of our brothers.
“Beware of practising your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1). “If you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14, 15)
No single denomination has a monopoly on truth. No individual on this earth has been given the authority to judge other denominations. This type of judgement is clear evidence of a lack of both genuine, Godly love and common intelligence.
We individuals are not on the same level as Our Lord and have no such authority to judge others as this is only the right of God Himself – not ours! The Assembly of Jerusalem, however, in her reclaiming the Biblical definition of judgement, does have the responsibility of keeping itself pure and without stain. Therefore, the Assembly must take the responsibility in removing those from within who cause strife and division. This includes all ministries in connection with the Assembly and other such groups that have certain members whose only goal is to deride, hurt feelings and cause division.
The Assembly does not condemn in hateful judgement those she finds erring within her midst. Rather, it admonishes those who attempt to usurp their authority or those who challenge the Divine guidelines given in Scripture in how to deal with those who sin or err in doctrine. The Assembly then removes those who do not correct their ways. The same should be said for any local body of believers. The Body of Messiah must remain clean and without the presence of hypocritical individuals who are not willing to return to the proper understanding of judgement.
I ask each person to take these words to heart. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” – Matthew 7:1. May none of us be among those whom the Lord says He never knew. (Matthew 7:15-23).
Given at Our Patriarchal Residence in Mishqana on this 1st Day of February in the Year of Our Lord, 2005.