What is Non-Judgementalism?
According to non-judgementalism, it is supposedly wrong for Christians to judge others because of the Matthew 7:1-5 mandate.
In the dialogue below, someone (I presume a fellow Christian) proceeded to comment upon my blog entitled “Head knowlegde vs. Heart knowledge – a false dicotomy”. In this article, I respond to his accusations and then end with a challenge against non-judgementalism.
Who may I ask is the un-named individual that has publically critized a person he has called Pastor?
Why is my name relevant?
I wonder if he brought his concerns to the LORD before he started to sow tares amongst the wheat? before he started to spread disharmony in the church of the Living God? before he willfully allowed the bitterness of his soul infect others with bitterness and strife against a man he calls PASTOR? I think not!
In your diatribe you have committed some errors in reasoning. One of the fallacies you commit is known as “The Question-Begging Epithet”. This fallacy occurs when an individual uses biased (often emotionally charged) language to force home an otherwise unsupported argument. Phrases like “sow tares”, “spread disharmony” and “infect others with bitterness and strife” are simply assumed without any effort on your part to prove these accusations. Another fallacy you commit (similar to the question-begging epithet) is called “Complex Question”. This is considered an error in reasoning because you are attempting to persuade by asking a loaded question. A classic example of this fallacy is: “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Either a yes or no answer would seem to imply that the person beat his wife, which may not be the case. The question is “complex” because one can divide it into two or more questions:
1. Did you ever beat your wife?
2. If so, have you now stopped doing this?
Much in the same way, your argument would contain less errors if you posed it as follows:
1. Did you bring your concerns before the Lord?
2. Are you guilty of sowing tares amongst the wheat by spreading disharmony in the church of the living God?
3. If you partook in both question 1 and 2, which order did you partake of them in?
4. Do you have bitterness in your soul?
5. If so, has it infected others with bitterness and strife against your pastor?
Besides, how would you know if I did or did not bring this concern to the Lord or what disharmony has occurred? After all, you aren’t God. Can you see my heart? Perhaps, on the contrary, harmony has increased in the church? This is just as arbitrary as your point. Also, since when is the 2 Corinthians 10:5 mandate to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God , and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” equivalent to “sow[ing] tares amongst the wheat”? I have a zeal for the words of my Father; in fact, I tremble at every one of His words (Isaiah 66:2). Please do not confuse this with “bitterness of the soul.” While other’s are apparently content with compromise (i.e. why don’t we all just agree that salvation is REPENT! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!) I have a burden to challenge my brethren to not discount or twist God’s word.
Before grandstanding on this internet blog did the un-named man first go to the “Pastor” in PRIVATE? I think not!
Once again, you commit the same logical fallacy of the Question-Begging Epithet by your inclusion of the word “grandstanding”. Also, how would you know whether or not I consulted with my pastor? You condemn me without knowing the matter fully. If you are going to judge, I believe that the scriptures require you to judge righteously (John 7:24). You also confuse grandstanding with destroying arguments raised against the knowledge of God.
Or, may I ask, did the un-named author go to the man, HE calls PASTOR, with 2 or 3 others brining their concerns to the PASTOR; asking the PASTOR to repent and seek the forgiveness of GOD before he went public – before he went before the world with his thoughts? I think not!
The scripture that you refer to in Matthew 18 says: “if thy brother shall trespass against thee”, since my pastor did no such thing then the verse you cite is not applicable and thus wholly irrelevant to the issue of questioning the teachings of public figures. Neither is this a dispute. I love, respect and support my Pastor, I believe he is sound in his teaching, however, since he is fallible, all Christians are called to test every teaching (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1) and if necessary to demolish ungodly arguments therein (2 Corinthians 10:5). Have you ever looked at these verses? If so, I urge you not to overlook them. Remember, as a Christian, defending any misapprehension of the scripture is your responsibility. Incidentally, why do you keep saying “I think not”? I could very well and as easily respond, I think so. What would that prove? Perhaps you should just admit that you don’t know instead of accusing me without any details or defense.
I don’t know Pastor Lon Solomon and I don’t beieve [sic] I know the un-named author of rebellious murmurings who seems eager to divide the CHURCH; nor do I even know what Church Pastor Solomon pastors… but I need to. I know, may I say I believe that One best be very careful, very sure, very burdened before criticizing the Man of God. God’s Word tells us how to handle situations where a brother in Christ has done something wrong. I have pointed out what we are to do in my introductory questions.
Here we go again with these fallacious arguments. Let me point them out to you: “rebellious murmurings”, “divide the Church”. When you communicate using fallacies it is hard for an astute audience to take you seriously since your arguments contain error; also, there is a distinction between sinning against someone and preaching error.
As for HEAD KNOWLEDGE vs. HEART KNOWLEDGE it is obvious that the author may have proven the very point he argues against. IT appears as if his head is full of knowledge but his heart appears to be like that of his father, the DEVIL.
Apparently, you did not read my article. If you did you would understand my contention that there is no distinction between the head and the heart. By the way, you have committed your favorite fallacy again. By now you can probably guess what the fallacy is and why your sentences above are in error. Also, if by obeying the scripture I’m called the son of the Devil, who’s son shall we call a person (like yourself) who (apparently) does not heed the bible and it’s admonition that we test all teaching (1 Thessalonians 5:21)? Therefore, your words shall be your judge.
Bitterness, back bitting and back stabbing and bad mouthing a man he calls PASTOR are the works of darkness.
Fallacious argument detected. Ignoring the rest of the sentence for time sake.
Why don’t we all just agree that salvation is REPENT! For the Kingdom of GOD is at hand!
Because, according to scripture, salvation is more than just repentance. It is also acknowledging and obeying the gospel. The gospel is comprised of a bunch of propositions, which, if affirmed, is accompanied with the promise of everlasting life. This affirmation occurs in the heart which is synonymous with the mind, soul and spirit. This is the summary of my article. Did you actually read the full article?
The following passage is a combination of good rebuttal material that was adapted from the following sources:
There is a common misapprehension that non-judgmentalism is the highest goal for a Christian. Jesus condemned only hypocritical judgment, as is clear from Matthew 7:1–5:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Indeed, Jesus commanded judgment in John 7:24, a passage we hear much less about:
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Indeed, the respondent’s comments were in itself a judgment. And if we are not supposed to judge, then how can we judge anything as ‘good’—including non-judgmentalism?
Is it wrong to criticize the teaching of others, especially pastors? Since all Christians have an anointing from God, we don’t need to accept whatever someone says simply because he claims to be God’s anointed (1 John 2:26-27).
“Nobody’s teachings or practices are beyond biblical judgment — especially influential leaders. Biblically, authority and accountability go hand in hand (e.g., Luke 12:48). The greater the responsibility one holds, the greater the accountability one has before God and His people.
Teachers should be extremely careful not to mislead any believer, for their calling carries with it a strict judgment (James 3:1). They should therefore be grateful when sincere Christians take the time to correct whatever erroneous doctrine they may be preaching to the masses. And should the criticisms be unfounded they should respond in the manner prescribed by Scripture: to correct misguided doctrinal opposition with gentle instruction (2 Tim. 2:25).”
There is of course another side to this issue: criticism often can be sinful, leading to rebellion and unnecessary division. Christians should respect the leaders that God has given them (Heb. 13:17). Theirs is the task of assisting the church in its spiritual growth and doctrinal understanding (Eph. 4:11-16). At the same time believers should be aware that false teachers will arise among the Christian fold (Acts 20:28; 2 Pet. 2:1). This makes it imperative for us to test all things by Scripture, as the Bereans were commended for doing when they examined the words of the apostle Paul (Acts 17:11).
The Bible is useful not only for preaching, teaching, and encouragement, but for correcting and rebuking (2 Tim. 4:2). In fact, Christians are held accountable for proclaiming the whole will of God and warning others of false teachings and teachers (Acts 20:26-28; cf. Ezek. 33:7-9; 34:1-10).
We would do well to heed Scripture’s repeated warnings to be on guard for false teachings (e.g., Rom. 16:17-18; cf. 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:13-14; Tit. 1:9; 2:1), and to point them out to believers (2 Tim. 4:6). With so much scriptural support, such actions can hardly be considered unbiblical.