“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]
When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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.” [Matthew 7:1-5]
THE SLANDER BRIGADE
Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.
Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.
To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]
Now look at these verses:
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]
SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS
It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:
THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.
I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.
IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”
In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] 
By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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The Lord Jesus is available. He has never stopped being available. All things are possible with God.
THE FAUX BROS
The faux brethren are preaching a different Gospel. It brings no honor to the Lord. But it does bring them a living, and that is what they desire the most.
“Christianity” is very different behind the scenes. Once a Christian performer leaves the stage he or she can be seen for what they really are. I remember very well the early days when idealism gave way to reality. While the reality of the Lord was always the same the Lord showed me how the faux brethren change when away from the spotlight. I wondered then, just how a Christian performer is supposed to represent himself in public. There is obviously no way he can maintain the same persona and attitude as the one presented onstage.
Again, these were the very early days of my new Christian experience. Everything was brand new, holy, and pure. I had no reason to doubt anything presented as spiritual reality. The preaching I became associated with was powerful and convicting. It was obviously inspired and anointed.
But I began to realize that I never saw that kind of preaching outside a church venue, unless it was a larger church venue transported to a rented auditorium or something similar. Why did I never see that kind of incredible preaching out on the street in a non-official setting?
THOSE BRUTAL ROMANS
This is how the early believers did it. They had no church buildings. There were in fact no church buildings for almost three centuries and yet those powerful early believers turned the Roman Empire on its ear. One must keep in mind that the Romans were brutal. That is probably the best one word description of their entire culture. They perfected crucifixion, for example. Gladiators fought to the death as entertainment. Massive crowds came to the many entertainment venues to see human beings suffer and die. Once the early believers became more numerous and were seen as a threat, they too were sentenced to die in entertainment venues, often ripped apart by wild beasts. Imagine being one of those early stalwarts of the faith.
Despite all the persecution and barbaric brutality, the early believers actually brought the Roman Empire to its knees. They did it with love. They did it by making themselves vulnerable. They were never two-faced. What you saw was what you got whether they were behind closed doors, in small settings, or out in the public on the street. They learned all of this from the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the way He was and the way He did things. He was always the same and He is still the same.
Official Christianity, however, has been transformed into a stage production. Preaching has become an art form. Yet, such is not close to being new. The Lord called the Pharisees and those like them hypocrites. Though the word has a different connotation now, hypocrites were stage performers. They were actors. The Lord called the Pharisees actors. They were merely acting out a part. Their outward performance was never how they really were. Off the stage and out of their religious costumes, they were the opposite. They were as fake as the day is long.
It should be obvious that without church buildings and professional preachers most Christians would have no clue what to do. Yet again, the early Church never “went to church.” They had no “church” to go to. Today, most Christians go to church in order to have church. Back then, real Christians were the Church. They couldn’t hide once they were out of the spotlight because they didn’t want to hide and the “spotlight” was a 24 hour a day proposition.
There are still Christians that are like this. They are always the same. They can do the will of God wherever they are. However, they are not professionals. They can’t be fake. It is simply not in them. Because of this they usually don’t have an easy time collecting donations. People are so used to having only one out a thousand presenting themselves as worthy “official” ministers that they are conditioned to support them, even though the great bulk of Christian work—99%—is being done by non-supported nobodies who must work closely with the Lord to gain a necessary living doing whatever they must. These are the real Christians. There are a few real Christians on stage and before cameras but are very, very few. You will know they are real because they do not perform. What they are in public is the same as what they would be in your living room or on the street.
It is largely why most of the early Great Awakening is not visible—it is not happening in official venues in churches, on stage, or on television. The controllers of those venues do not want a Great Awakening. They oppose it. It is too threatening to their cushy status quo. Almost all of it is happening out there among the nobodies, the forgotten Christians, the rejected Christians—the ones who never have and never will make the grade to be prime-time players. They are all lousy actors. They can’t make a living that way. But they are real— just like the Lord.
OUR LOVING FATHER
And the Lord Jesus is with them. He is always available. He takes care of them all because they have each presented themselves to Him as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way He wants. These are true disciples. The one thing they have in common is their pure love and desire to help. Part of that involves believing the Lord for a miracle when a miracle is called for. They KNOW the Lord will always take care of them and one another and they have experienced the Lord’s miracles to that end. The Lord does miracles for them out of love and concern, however. He never does it as part of some twisted religious stage show. He blesses us in this way because He loves us and cares about us and because He can. He wants to meet our needs and if we let Him and obey Him and trust Him He can and He always will.
And sometimes He blesses us with a miracle not because there is a dire need but simply because He just wants to bless our socks off. He’s in love with us. He sometimes just can’t help Himself.
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
How does one identify a real Christian Pharisee? Like their spiritual forebears of the first century, a Christian Pharisee is initially known primarily by one thing. And this one thing is both an indicator of such a person’s heart, as it is at the core of his or her being, but is also on the immediate surface, and often boils forward to said surface in a rapid flash which defies any possibility of impulse control.
The first indicator of a real Christian Pharisee is therefore no secret whatsoever in that it reveals itself without restraint in all its unchecked fleshly power as it rises quickly for the kill in response to any perceived sleight or lack of absolute respect demanded by such a one for otherwise arbitrary reasons.
Here it is: CHRISTIAN PHARISEES ARE EXTREMELY AND VERY EASILY OFFENDED AND ARE WILLING TO FIGHT ANYONE ANYTIME ANYWHERE AT THE DROP OF A HAT TO PROTECT AND HONOR THEMSELVES AND THE BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS THEY HAVE BOUGHT INTO AND SOLD OUT TO WITH NO REGARD WHATSOEVER FOR THE GOLDEN RULE OR HONORING THE LORD JESUS.
They refuse to engage in any rational dialogue in the sense of arriving at greater truth because they believe they already possess all truth. They refuse and deflect any form of possible persecution by always beating the other person to said persecution and thus becoming the epitome of the persecutor. Their method is one of insistence that they are right, have always been right, and will always be right, and insist that anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe can just as soon go straight to hell.
They believe with all their hearts that they have captured and possess the very top of the pyramid, that they are superior to all, and that all others must comply with their religion or belief system and every part of it, both in dogma and practice, or be remanded to a state of total rejection.
They then project this attitude upon the “god” of their choosing and insist that “god”, their god, is absolutely on their side and only on their side and is also against the same people they are against. They will go to any lengths to destroy anyone who even slightly touches their massive sacred cows and golden calves as if simple murder is nowhere close to being good enough and doesn’t do proper justice to the immense offense perpetrated upon them.
This very thing happened to the real God, the only God, the God of all Creation, when He showed up here as one of us, as a human being, to save us and set us free. Of course, they couldn’t touch Him until He willingly laid down His life on our behalf. Once He made Himself vulnerable, however, His enemies wasted no time in inflicting upon Him the very worst they could offer and if they had the opportunity they would have tortured Him and murdered Him many times over.
It’s right there in your Gospels. It’s all over the New Testament. It’s infused throughout Christian history. It is why the real saints of the Lord always took it on the chin while doing the real work of the Lord and teaching the real Gospel. The incredible and completely unjustified persecution against them identified them as real disciples who acted out of love and for the truth, and it also perfectly identified the haters who would always rather gossip, slander, libel, and defame, and even murder, maim, destroy, and generally go stark raving nuts in defense of their evil hearts and ungodly agendas.
“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:33] 
LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8]
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [Romans 13:8-10]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
We are taught while growing up that there are certain borders we must never cross. There are boundaries established by the authority figures in our lives that are designed to protect us, but often do much more.
They stifle us. They destroy our dreams. They force us to conform to a very low common denominator in which everyone looks the same, acts the same, and lives in fear of the inevitable consequences of breaking the code.
It’s called culture. And the worst cultures are religious cultures.
There was a time in the American culture when almost everyone bowed to the dictates of a so-called religious moral code that superseded much of what our hearts were designed to experience.
Rather than being loved-based, it was fear-based. And the sad thing about it all was that it played right into the devil’s hands. Though there was undoubtedly limited success against sin in the code, there was also success against life. Proverbial babies were constantly being thrown out with the bathwater.
Have you ever wondered why the God of all creation made it so easy to sin? It did not matter how oppressive a culture might be, or how strict the mores of that culture might bind a person up into a little shell of being becoming too fearful to take a chance on venturing forth. If a person wanted to sin, a person could always find a way.
But while all the authority figures were displaying their very heavy hand at stopping any potential moral failure or embarrassing cultural code-breaking by the young deviants among us, where was God? Why didn’t God surround everyone with angels with big sticks ready to whack us all into kingdom come when we stepped out of line? Where was God when and if we decided to test the boundaries of our cultural arrangement?
Why does God seem to take the attitude that we can do whatever we want but He will get us in the end? Why does it seem as though God doesn’t seem to care all that much about our little lives but is taking big notes that He will use against us at our final trial?
And how in the world have Christians in general bought into this picture of God even though God’s great act of love blares out at us day after day and hour after hour through any one of thousands of reminders, most notably a simple cross?
God became one of us!
We must throw our false religious garbage and idiotic moral codes right out the window if they do not address this simple fact.
God became one of us, and He lived among us, and He knows how hard it is, and He knows how lonely people are, and He cries inside all the day long about how broken people have become and how our hearts are often destroyed by the very nature of this fallen world and the evil among us.
And He wonders how His wonderful perfect creation could all go so wrong…
But there was no other way.
There was no other way to create people just like Him unless He also blessed them with the freedom to choose their own path.
And that’s what this world is all about. It’s the simple answer to the philosophical problem from evil. Human choice creates bad stuff and sometimes some really, really bad stuff. And free will is why God does not stop us from making bad choices. Oh, He will try to convince us otherwise. He will try to reason with us. He attempts to tell us about the eventual fallout when what appears to be a good decision will turn into a complete disaster later on. He really does try to guide us and stop us from doing stupid things. That’s essentially what the Law of Moses is all about.
But at the end of the day He will not deny our free will. He will allow us to choose incorrectly. He will let us have the final say.
What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be!
For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. [Galatians 3:17-21]
But righteousness is not based on law. Tell this to all the moral cultural crusaders throughout history, especially in America, who tried to force compliance toward morality. Tell this to all the dimwitted quasi-Christians who refuse the fullness of a walk with God because it violates their religion and false Christian doctrines and stupid lame-brained attitude that continually attempts to force God to be like them, instead of surrendering their lives completely to be like Him.
Many people think America took a nose dive in the 1960’s but refuse to consider the actions of the previous generations that were the real cause of the cultural breakdown. The 1960’s in America was actually the time of a great Spirit outpouring and spiritual awakening in that Christians in all denominations and people everywhere were being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues and engaging in miraculous works. But most churches were against it all, and fought it, and opposed the Lord Jesus because He didn’t do it their way! And many fake Christians continue to oppose God and insist on their lifeless religion, negative attitudes, and dead churches to this very day.
How much of this is based not on the unconditional love of God, his unmerited grace, and one’s total dependence on Him, but on a giant misapplication of Scripture? Sound familiar? Though the Law of Moses seems to be filled primarily with Thou Shalt Not’s and that the heavenly author is a negative NO! God always preoccupied with stifling the free wills of His creation, the truth is actually the opposite.
A parent tries to tell a child, “Please don’t do this because if you do it will hurt you,” but then must watch as the child does it anyway and feels just as much pain as the child does if not more when the bad results come forth. Yet parents know the child will eventually have the final say.
Is it any different with God? He knows we will mess up. He knows we will mess up repeatedly. But He has the ability, the strength, and the means to clean up our messes. And this ability, strength, and means stems from His great and powerful love for us. He is able to cleanse our hearts with His precious blood spilled on our behalf, no matter how much we may be stained with sin. And He has the power to raise us to new life!
So why does God seem to be aloof and uncaring even though the direct opposite is true?
Because living right is not about force or religious compliance.
It is about love.
And no one can make a law that forces a person to love someone.
And God will never attempt to force anyone to love Him.
It is not about living a perfect life but finding a perfect love.
God loves us just the way we are. He does not condemn us for the sins we have committed. His great desire is to guide us as the Good Shepherd He is into the green pastures of abundant life where His grace and perfect sacrifice cleanses us and allows us to be free. Things are the way they are on this planet because it is the only possible means of allowing free-willed beings to love God as much as He loves them.
God is love, and—
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [Romans 13:10]
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.