Judging With Righteous Judgement

Have you ever had song lyrics run through your mind? What about a very well-known expression? What about a certain Scripture? How about when it all happens at once?

Song: One Bad Apple of the Osmond Brothers fame. “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.”

Expression: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” I can remember Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin saying this one a lot.

Scripture: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24

The other night I was the guest of my fear friend Apostle, Don Hughes, on his Facebook Live broadcast. During the broadcast that lasted about an hour and 10 minutes, we discussed many things. Some of which included topics about why certain things are the way they are in the church, especially when it comes to Ministers and Leaders.

We were wondering and speculating with all of the progress we have seemed to make, how in the world we seem to still have so many hangups and concerns both between Leaders, as well as with the Body of Christ towards Leaders.

Enter the song. The famous song says that – “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.” But, unfortunately, that is exactly what seems to be happening in far too many cases. We have an isolated case or cases of a bad apple (s) or actor (s), and we want to ‘tar everyone with the same brush’ whether justified or not.

Enter the expression. The famous expression says – “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” The implication is that the water gets dirty and you throw it away or let it go down the drain, but you don’t get rid of the baby at the same time. Yet, it seems that is what we do in many cases. We want to throw the good away with the bad, not taking the time to do what the Scripture says…

 
Enter the Scripture. The well-known Scripture says – “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24 To do this requires some time. Because we live in such a fast-paced, ‘rat race’ society, most of us don’t want to take the time required to do this.

It is much easier to just discount and do away with everything than to judge each instance or case on its own merits. Just because one Preacher was manipulative when receiving an offering, doesn’t mean all preachers are. Just because one “Prophet” was in it for “Profit” doesn’t mean all prophets are.

We must learn to judge with righteous judgment. We must examine the fruit, motives, and character, of each leader we encounter. I have encountered some leaders that make my skin crawl, but that doesn’t mean all Leaders make my skin crawl.

Jesus did say: “By their fruit, you would know them.” He never said: “By their gift or anointing, you would know them.” It is time we become fruit inspectors and judge with righteous judgment.

I refuse to label all prophets as bad just because there are some charlatans out there. I refuse to label all preachers as money-grubbers because some are. I refuse to view all leaders as power-hungry individuals trying to control people’s lives when I know there are true Servant-Leaders out there.

Do you understand what I am saying? It is time we evaluate everyone on an individual basis. Just because one doctor is bad, doesn’t mean all doctors are bad. Just because one lawyer is bad, doesn’t mean all lawyers are bad. Just because one cop is bad, doesn’t mean all cops are bad. Just because one salesman is bad, doesn’t mean all salesmen are bad. And, just because one preacher is bad, doesn’t mean all preachers are bad.

Folks, “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.”

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

It Seemed Good To The Holy Ghost And To Us

 

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us…” Acts 15:28a

 

Oh how I have longed for the Leaders in Ekklesia to come to the place that they could actually say this and mean it. The sad truth is, we have been so splintered and fractured that we could never even get a quorum of Leaders to come together in mutual submission and accountability to ever make such a statement.

 

We really do have our work cut out for us. How is it that these Leaders in the early church were able to speak with a unified voice, that was respected, listened to, adhered to, and followed?

 

I believe the next phase of what we must work towards in our Regional Alignments is to get to the place where we can have Leaders speak just like this…a unified voice…that is respected, listened to, adhered to, and followed.

 

How do we begin? That is the Question! We must start somewhere to get from where we are to get where we are going. I am sure most of us would agree that this is where we need to go…but we surely are not even close now.

 

The Work Has Already Begun: in many regions, including my own here in NJ, we have seen leaders begin to come together. We are beginning to see that we must cross-pollinate and bridge the gaps of race, gender, generation, and doctrinal camp or stream. This is a good start…but in and of itself…will not get us to our goal.

 

Not Every Leader In A Region Is A Leader Of The Region: we must come to the realization that all leaders in a region do not carry the same measure or metron to their sphere, nor the same mantle to their assignment. This does not make one greater than another, just coming to the place that we live in accordance with Romans 12 and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. I often tell those that I mentor that if you want to determine your metron or mantle, just look at how others perceive and receive you, it will give you a realistic understanding.

 

Competition Must Die: in order for us to move forward to where we are going, we must get to the place that we realize that we are Not In Competition with one another. We must get to the place where we realize that we do not Compete with each other, we Complete each other. We all have things that we are good at, are gifted for, have strengths and weaknesses; where one is weak another is strong, and as we apply our strengths to other’s weaknesses everyone is always shored up as no one is weak anymore.

 

I Don’t Have Anything To Prove: we must get over our own insecurities, where we feel like we must always prove who we are by comparing ourselves to others with the “me too” mentality. (not talking about the “Me Too” movement, but I can do that too or am that too) Usually, these thoughts stem from an orphan spirit, and not understanding one’s place as a “Son”. When you have been around for a while in ministry, you know who you are, what you are, you just get to the place that you don’t have anything to prove.

 

Know Those That Labor Among You: this scripture has been used often in negative connotations through the years as a way to keep folks from participating in ministry and has produced nepotism and cliques, which were not the intended purpose of this verse. Rather it was meant to be a positive where you come into relationship with others you no longer know them after the flesh, but after the spirit, recognizing the gifting and grace that is on their life…”what they bring to the table”.

 

Next Level Leaders: as we have begun to come together across our regions, we are now tasked with beginning to know those among us. Who are those that are respected by all that have a larger mantle or metron? Again, this is not a place for ego, but who has the consensus of recognition as Leaders Of The Region…not just leaders in the region? As these Next Level Leaders are recognized in the Region, they can meet together, pray together, become a “Counsel of Elders” or “Regional Apostolic/Prophetic Counsel”.

 

It Seemed Good To The Holy Ghost And To Us: once these Next Level Leaders are recognized, they meet together, pray together, discuss together, they are ready to speak with a unified voice and make this declaration…but not until.

 

Are we there yet? Absolutely Not! Are we in the process? In many regions we are. Some are more advanced in the process than others, but we can all agree that we have a ways to go.

 

Some need to come to the place that they understand that not every leader in the region is a leader of the region.

 

Some need to come to the place that they learn to let competition die.

 

Some need to become secure in who they are with nothing to prove.

 

Some need eyes to see who the hand of the Lord is on with greater measure and mantle.

 

Wherever we are in the process, we all must walk in mutual submission and mutual accountability to other leaders, or we will never get to the place that this declaration could be uttered from us. Oh, that we could come to the place that we could utter: “It Seemed Good To The Holy Ghost And To Us!”