I dream't death came the other night.
And Heaven's gates swung wide,
An angel with a halo bright
Ushered me inside.
And there to my astonishment !
Stood folks I'd judged and labeled,
As quite unfit, of little worth,
And Spiritually disabled.
Indignant words rose to my lips,
But never were set free,
For every face showed --stunned surprise.
For no one expected ME !!!
I found this little poem, typed in red ink on a time-yellowed piece of paper, inside a book while I was browsing in the "religious" section of a Hollywood bookstore, in my pre-Christian days. I have kept it to this day. It is, fittingly, anonymous. You may have seen some variant of it, too.
And this takes care of "personal, arrogant, petty judgement".
Quite another matter is, on the other hand, doctrinal judgement, a matter misunderstood by many (most).
I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
This is the Apostle Paul speaking, not just anybody. And notice carefully his directive! This verse, with many others that can be quoted, states clearly that we are to judge what we are being taught, and to expose error whenever and wherever found. Common sense, (a precious commodity in the Evangelical and Pentecostal community, it seems!) tells us that if we do not point out doctrines that are vague, that lack Biblical support, that are contrary or that try to manipulate the Word, what is then the purpose of having the Bible? Why did God bother with it at all? And why do translators (most of them) take so much pain in finding the right words to give us the closest possible meaning if then anybody can twist them to his own ends (and perdition)? Why should we accept anything an "Evangelist" or a "Teacher" dishes out, without testing it, just because he has a "reputation" or says it while holding a Bible in his hands? That's not the way of the noble Bereans.
If an IRS official would tell us that something is not quite right in our income tax return, we would immediately take out all our slips, receipts, and related paperwork and we would check every item ten times (praying), just to make sure we are in the right. How much more should we check out those who speak to us in the Name of the Lord?
Sadly, we do have our priorities all mixed-up.
Judgement is the result of a reasoning mind, a gift of God. That His gift is misused, abused or not soundly used, therein lies the real problem. In our daily life, consciously and unconsciously, we continuously judge matters which concern us. Whenever we choose one toothpaste over another, a car over another, any product over another, even a Church over another, we are exercising our judgement. All our actions and decisions are the direct result of our judgement. So let's stop this nonsense that we are not to judge. Yes, we must judge what we are being taught, because, once accepted and acted upon, it has the power to affect our spiritual, mental and physical well being. Or otherwise suffer the consequences.Pietro Arnese