As noted in our last article, we receive complaints concerning condemnation. Actually, we are condemned for “condemning” others. Those who do such are hypocritical — they are engaging in that which they criticize others for doing. Of this, Paul said, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things … And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Rom. 2:1-3).
Moreover, we are told that we turn more people away than we “win over” by being “negative” — exposing the error of others. We agree! However, we are in good company. Jesus turned, and turns, away from more people than He attracts. John 6:66, says, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Why did “many” turn away from the Lord of glory? It was because of the truth they found too hard, too difficult, to accept (Jn. 6:60). The Bible tells us, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). There is nothing noble in being liked by everyone (Lk. 6:26)! Remember, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).
Finally, we take some issue with the idea that WE condemn others. It is a fact that we point out where others are not in harmony with the word of God. It is true that we compare and contrast what the denominations and doctrines of men teach and what the Bible teaches. This is simply what the Lord did in order to show people the prevailing error of His time and point them to the right way (Matt. 15:7-13; 16:5-12; cp. Mk. 8:13-21). If others view this as the US condemning men, then there is little we can do about it. However, we view it as sending out the light of truth which condemns men in their sin, not us, per se. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn. 3:19-21).
Steven F. Deaton