CRITICISM OR CHURCH DISCIPLINE?
Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God....Romans 14:10 AMP
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” -Benjamin Franklin
Is it wrong to point out a transgression to a brother/sister/friend or your spouse/child or even parent? Of course not! What is wrong is doing THAT while you yourself are guilty of the same, or similar, sin! Jesus said to remove the lightpole from your own eye, before you call someone else out! He also did say to make a righteous judgment.
Each human, from eternity past to the end of time, will be called up before the Lord to give an account for our lives. This day - called the Day of the Lord (or Judgment Day) - is for real, and will only go well for those whose sins have been forgiven.
However, church discipline is allowed and this is a case where a Christian has to be in COMPLETE knowledge of the Full Counsel of God, or you will be trapped by one verse. Matthew chapter 18 lays out Jesus' procedure of how to deal with a wayward, sinning brother or sister in the church and it is not pretty.
“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” – Abraham Lincoln
In a nutshell, it tells us to have senior men in the church approach, for example, a person having a immoral sexual affair, point out they're married and ask them to cease etc. If this person rejects this initial gentle intervention, he/she is to be called up for church discipline in front of the entire church. If this continues and the behavior continues, he/she is to be treated as a non-believer. This hardly happens anymore, except in conservative circles. However Jesus' commands stand!
So in the long run, see the entire picture.
Call sin for what it is.
Do not be deceived and accuse people wrongly.
Do not be a cause of dissension in the body.
It is better to bite your tongue, walk away and let Jesus handle it.
Walk in Grace and Truth.
Handle the Word of God carefully.
Do not neglect to call on God in Prayer.
Prayer gives direction. Therefore, if a Matthew 18 discipline arises, as it is more frequently today, handle everything with Love, Fear and Trembling, that you and I may win our brother and sister back to the Lord Jesus.
In His Name, amen.
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