Complaints Concerning Condemnation #1

From time to time we receive complaints concerning condemnation. People from the community will write or call to tells us we should quit condemning others and just try to reach the lost. We invite all, especially those who are want to complain, to read and carefully consider the following thoughts.

First, if condemnation in general is what turns you off, then may we suggest that you never read the twenty-third chapter of Matthew, where the Lord condemns the religious leaders of His day (scribes and Pharisees). Please don’t ever glance at 1 Corinthians in which Paul condemns an entire congregation. Further, never bother with the inspired letter to the Galatian churches, because the writer condemns Judaizing teachers who wanted to blend the gospel of Christ with the Law of Moses (much like those who, in our time, advocate instruments of music and/or observing the Sabbath). Likewise, if condemnation is what offends you, then you will want to remove the second and third chapters of Revelation. There, the Lord Jesus Christ condemns several churches for their toleration of sin and false doctrine, lukewarmness, loss of love for Christ, or deadness. Many, many more examples could be given (2 Peter, Jude, Matthew 15, etc.). Do you object to these? If not, why object to one who compares the practice of modern religionists to the Bible, and finding them lacking in faithfulness to the word, exposes that error?

Second, allow us to explain where we are “coming from.” We have the firm conviction that the only way to be a New Testament church and New Testament Christian, is to go back to the inspired New Testament. If it is not in there, then it is not authorized. If it is in there, then we need to believe, preach, and practice it. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:17). “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11).

It is the truth that sanctifies and sets us free from sin and death (Jn. 17:17; 8:32). This truth must be taught to all men (Matt. 28:19-20). Anything that is contrary to the truth is error, and must be exposed as such (Gal. 1:6-9; Eph. 5:11). This is done, not for the sole purpose of upsetting people or stirring up strife, but for the salvation of souls and glory of God in heaven. “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth” (Gal. 4:16)?

Steven F. Deaton