|We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What is our U.S. Constitution?
The basic document by which the United States is governed, is the Constitution; and it was drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, and was ratified the following year.
The Constitution divides governmental powers between the national and state governments in a system known as federalism.
It also divides the national government into three independent branches-executive, legislative, and judicial-which can serve as checks and balances upon one another.
In addition to listing the powers of the national government-which include the power to collect taxes, regulate trade, and declare war, the Constitution also enumerates the powers forbidden to the states and to Congress; and the procedures for electing and appointing government officials as well as procedures for amending the document.
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was ratified in 1791.
These amendments, which were originally intended to protect individual liberties from the power of the central government, guarantee freedom of speech, the press, religion, petition, and assembly; and specify the rights of the accused in criminal and civil cases.
In these times in which we are living today, there is much deception and pressure to compromise.
No longer are the dividing lines between good and evil as clear as they once were; because we as a people have drifted far away from the God of our forefathers, and from His Word.
In our present world, and especially here in the United States of American, where our government was founded upon the Bible and faith in God, and obedience to His laws, these lines between righteousness and unrighteousness, have long since been blurred, through something called “Political Correctness,” and moral expediency.
Christians need not fall to this deception.
There are many people today, who are Believers, who say that as Christians we shouldn’t be critical of our government; but that we are to submit to whatever is done by our governing officials, because the Bible says there is no power, but such as is ordained by God.
Well, this is my opinion on that. We are NOT living here in the United States of American under the rule of a monarch, but rather our political leaders rule under a contract with the American people, which they swear to abide by before they are even allowed to take office.
The highest law of the land, here in the USA, is in fact our U.S. Constitution; and any public official who fails to abide by that law, and fails to abide by his or her oath of office, and the dictates of our U.S. Constitution, they are themselves in violation of that Law; and since we are in fact a government (under our U.S. Constitution) that is made of “We the People;” and as such, are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, then our governing authorities, whom we vote into office, rule by our permission, and are themselves working for us.
They are our servants; and it is not the other way around, as is the assumption of so many today, who are in positions of power, where in their pride and arrogance, whereby it is their assumption that we exist for them, to be subservient to them… this was never in the mind of our founding fathers!
This arrogance that is so pronounce today, among so many of our governing officials, these little demigods, and self-appointed potentate “wanna be dictators,” who feel that they know what’s best for us, has got to go!
No it is not at all against scripture for us to discern between good and evil, godliness and ungodliness… in fact the scriptures instruct us to do this!
It is no more wrong for us to clean house, within our government, and get rid of dishonest and unethical people, be they Congressmen, Senators, and or even Presidents, then it would be for us to get rid of dishonest and unethical employees, who are stealing from our company!
As an argument for this position, I’d like for you to read the following:
Most Christians are familiar with the Bible verse “Judge not, that ye be not judged“. (Matthew 7:1)
This is the first verse that many of us learned to memorize as children. In reality, even many non-Christians are acquainted with this verse. What is surprising however is, that while many of us are very familiar with this verse, some have completely misunderstood what its message is!
Some have used this verse to either criticize others, or justify their own lack of personal responsibilities.
In this article I will examine the teachings concerning “judging” that are found in the Bible, and explore what God is teaching us on this particular subject.
I will begin with an exploration of a very general concept of “judging”, or being “judgmental”.
Many people, especially in today’s environment of hyper political correctness, will proudly proclaim “none of us should ever be judgmental”.
On the surface this may seem to be a rather noble thought, but the reality is a bit more complicated. We are all “judgmental”.
We all use judgment in order to evaluate the world in which we live, and we use “judgment” in order to exist in our world effectively.
We “judge” that it is safe to cross a street before we cross, we judge that a restaurant has the style of food that we are interested in before we go inside to order, and we “judge” a church’s statement of faith before we become a member of that particular church.
“Judgment” is simply an act of “evaluation”. If we never exercised judgment, we would have a difficult time surviving our day-to-day existence! How would we know what was an edible food rather than a poison, unless we “judged”?
How would we avoid getting in a car accident, unless we “judged” the traffic patterns on the road that we are driving on.
We compliment people for using “good judgment” in their lives, but the root word of “judgment” is “judge”!
So perhaps the act of “judging” isn’t truly what many object to, but rather it is the conclusions that are drawn from those “judgments”.
In other words, when we “judge”, what conclusions are we attempting to determine through our “judgments”?
If we are “judging” the traffic patterns on the street that we are attempting to cross in order to establish when it will be safest, we are in fact engaging in appropriate and necessary “judgment”.
If on the other hand we “judge” an individual’s potential value for friendship, and bass this “judgment” on the person’s race, then we are exercising “judgment” inappropriately!
During our evaluations, we should be “judging” those bits of information that have a direct affect on the end result of what we are attempting to determine by our “judgment”.
If we are attempting to determine the safest point in which we can cross a street, then “judging” the traffic patterns on that particular street will have a direct effect on our ability to determine the safety of our crossing. But if we are determining who is appropriate to establish a friendship with, a person’s race will have no direct affect on their ability to engage in sincere and lasting friendship with us. So it is not actually the “judging” that is of issue, but rather what we are hoping to determine by our “judgment”.
When examining scripture, we must look at the criteria that God instructs us to use, in order for us to exercise appropriate “judgment.”
When considering what scripture has to say on the subject of “judging”, we must examine when the Bible tells us that we should or shouldn’t “judge”, and then what determinations or evaluations we should or shouldn’t assume as a result of our “judgment”.
Let’s look once again at the verses found in Matthew 7:1:
” 1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “.
In this passage, if we read it in its entirety, the Bible does not give a blanket condemnation of proffering judgment.
What it does seem to be telling us is that if we are about to exercise a judgment, we should first apply the criteria of our judgment to ourselves.
In other words, before judging another person, we should reflect upon our own status concerning the issue on which we are about to judge the other person. “first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then you shall see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye.”
What the scripture is saying is that we may at times appropriately judge, but when doing so, be sure that we are, ourselves, standing up to our own judgment.
“3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” ”
The condemnation is not directed at the act of judging, but rather it is directed toward “Thou hypocrite“. Scripture is not saying for us to never judge, but it is clearly saying for us to not judge hypocritically!
When we judge appropriately and not hypocritically, what are the criteria that we are told to base our judgments on?
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
This is one of many verses that clearly advise us to in fact judge others, but it is the actions, behaviors, and influences of others that we not only should, but are commanded to judge.
Verses such as given above tells us to judge the “fruit” of others. If we are to judge the “fruit” of others, what does scripture tell us our motivation for such judgments should be?
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Romans 6:12
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:18
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6
” Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Romans 16:17
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
” And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11
” If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” 1 John 1:6
What do we conclude from these passages?
It is clear that we should judge activities, situations, behaviors, and in fact other individuals to determine whether or not they are in agreement with God’s word, or whether they are aligned with anti-Biblical teachings.
In other words, we should “judge” to determine righteousness.
We often hear people say things like “I shouldn’t judge anyone”, or “who am I to judge another person?”
In reality, these statements are a form of rejecting of God’s teachings.
When we read scriptures we see that God tells us to avoid all unrighteousness and in fact to flee from it!
If we are to follow this instruction, we are in fact, expected to judge situations and behaviors that we come in contact with, based upon their overall righteousness!
In order to determine when it is safe to cross the street, we must judge the current traffic patterns on the street that we are attempting to cross.
If we are to judge whether a situation behavior or action is righteous, we must use Godly judgment.
What exactly are the things that we are commanded to judge, and what are we clearly commanded not to judge?
Scripture is clear that we are not to judge the state of an individual’s salvation, since no one knows what is in the heart but God.
We are also not to judge, and condemn the total being of a person. What we are to judge are those actions behaviors and individuals with whom we come in contact with, in order to evaluate their negative or positive influence upon us.
In short, we are commanded to remain righteous and to in fact pursue righteousness, so therefore, anything that will work to maintain and increase our own righteousness we are to embrace!
On the other hand, scripture clearly and directly commands us to flee from all things that are unrighteous!
This is not a suggestion from God, nor is it a statement of God’s wish! God commands us to “flee” from all unrighteousness, and in fact scripture tells us to not even “speak” of things that are unrighteous!
“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret”. Ephesians 5:12
At this point, we should look at another aspect of judgment that is clearly addressed by scripture and should not be ignored!
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James 1:19
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” James 4:11
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6
“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” 1 Peter 3:10
These are only a few of many scriptures that speak extremely strongly against those who do not control there speech, and use others as fuel for idle conversation and gossip.
So if we are to judge those things that we come in contact with for their righteousness, but we are strongly commanded to hold back our tongue, what is it that we are expected to do with the information that we gather via our judgments, and what is the purpose for judging in the first place?
The body of scripture is clear in its directives on this topic. At the root, we exercise judgments so that we can “avoid” and “flee from” unrighteousness!
We are not instructed to talk about it, discuss it, gossip about it, or even always assault the unrighteousness. We are simply to avoid when possible, and flee when we have been unable to avoid!
So what does all of this mean in practical terms?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
This passage gives a clear directive to us. We should have no fellowship with unrighteousness!
This is perhaps one of the toughest directions that God has given us, demonstrated by how difficult we find it to obey.
At the core, we are to judge things as either righteous and Godly, or unrighteous and ungodly.
These are our only two options! We often attempt to interject a kind of gray area. “I am in a unrighteous place, but I believe that God will be with me“, or “I know this is sin, but I know that God will understand“.
Such statements are contrary to God’s word, and come straight from the lies of Satan.
Equally sinful are statements such as “I know that this is against God’s scripture, but who am I to judge“.
God clearly has explained that something is either for Him, or against Him, with nothing in-between.
If we are in a situation or are participating in a behavior that is not strictly for God’s glory, then we are directly operating against God!
We often try and make a kind of bargain with God.
“I will do this thing that I know is sinful, but I will not allow it to corrupt me.”
“I know that this person isn’t Godly, but they are still a nice and good person.”
“I know that I am acting against God’s laws, but we are in love, and I know that God understands.”
“I know that this situation isn’t of God, but I don’t want to appear to be rude by leaving.”
“I realize that this situation isn’t righteous, but I only do it once in a while to relax.”
These are all lies that Satan tells us in order to get us away from God’s words!
It is simple but effective more often than not. Satan gets us to believe very tiny lies about God, and then we become more open to medium sized lies.
If we believe in medium sized lies, then we will fall victim to larger and larger lies.
As Christians, we often tend to forget that Satan lives in the gray area that exists between light and dark.
We forget that if it isn’t God, it is Satan!
God gives us a clear indication of how He views “this gray area”. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
As with most things in life, judgment is a tool that we can use to bring glory to God, or to increase our own spiritual corruption.
It is up to us as individuals to decide how we will use this tool.
Scripture tells us to use judgment in order to discern those things that are righteous, from those that are unrighteous.
Once we have discerned the division, we are to embrace righteousness, but flee from unrighteousness!
Only by using appropriate judgment, are we able to fulfill God’s commandment to us of living in his will!
So in conclusion, it is my belief, and also I believe it was also the intent of our founding fathers, that our job as citizens, and it is even our responsibility to make sure, not that our public officials are following some “Politically Correct” ideology, or even what may be considered popular opinion, as we are not a Democracy; but rather we are a Constitutional Republic, and as such we are not ruled by popular opinions, but rather we are ruled by Law, which law is our U.S. Constitution!