By Rich Vermillion
A few days ago, someone used my contact form to send a note to Donna Vermillion and I about her post about "Lifting Up Their Faces (Surgically)." It was so strikingly hypocritical, that I had a hilarious time responding to them. I thought it would be fun for this group to see what kind of people we deal with at times, and to see how (when the mood strikes me) I often deal with such nutty people (though oftentimes I ignore them).
[Here is what "Lineo" wrote us:]
"Guys, guys, guys! Opinion is one thing but lambasting other Christians? What aboutthe scriptures where JESUS says we are NOT to judge?
"What makes your opinion so right? Are you holier than Gloria Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White and those you are lambasting?
[And here is my reply:]
Please forgive me for being rather frank in my reply, but you are hilarious! Do you realize that you just "judged" us, and then told us to "repent"…which is exactly what you are criticizing us for doing???? You don't even believe your own doctrine! LOL!
😉 [Rich Note: My email had a winking smiley emoticon included here. LOL!]
Of course, by hypocritically doing the VERY thing that you accuse us of doing, you have negated your "correction" — and demonstrated that it is in error. You negated it, by "correcting" us for what you are doing — which means that either what we are doing is actually RIGHT (and thus, that is why you are doing it too) or what YOU are doing is equally wrong (and thus, you have a plank to remove from your eye).
However, your doctrine is in clear error, because Jesus NEVER said what you think He said:
** Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Note: Jesus said that we ARE to remove the "specks" from our brothers' eyes…but ONLY after ensuring that we are NOT hypocrites, doing the same things ourselves! (See also Romans chapter 2.) Thus, your doctrine is FALSE, and you actually violated the very passage you professed to be exhorting us to follow. Here are a few other passages that clearly indicate your doctrine is wrong, and thus, why — in your heart — you do not even believe the silly "do not judge" doctrine that you profess yourself:
** John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
** James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
** Galatians 2:11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed…
What do these passages above demonstrate? That we are to TRULY judge people according to their deeds and actions, and to bring godly correction when they are in error — even REBUKING them when necessary:
** 2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
The Greek word translated as "convince" in the NKJV above is Strong's #1651, and means "to convict, to prove to be wrong, to the point of bringing them to shame" (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition). Sometimes it is translated as "reprove" or "rebuke," but "convict and prove to be wrong" would be the best phrase to use, with "convict" being the best one-word equivalent.
It is used in many places of the NT in regard to confrontation of sin and error in others, to include this passage in 1 Timothy 5:20, "Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear." In other words, such "convicting" is often done even publicly. Here is another place (in bold) where that word is used:
** Titus 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Oh, wow! Paul sure is being "judgmental" is he not? He even told Titus to do the same thing!
Obviously, your professed doctrine is silly, because the New Testament (NT) is FULL of people "judging" other people ACCORDING to God's Word, and trying to do something about their error — even PUBLICLY confronting them! In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, TRUE men and women of God have done that throughout ALL of history!
Moreover, the Greek word translated as "rebuke further above in the 2 Timothy 4 passage is Strong's #2008, and means simply a REBUKE regardless of the effect on the other person (i.e. regardless of whether it brings them under "conviction," which the first word emphasizes). So we are to REBUKE people (i.e. the act) and do our best to bring "conviction" upon them for their error when we do — but regardless, we are to confront their sin and error in TRUE biblical love, if we are to "turn them away from their error" as James said above. (See also 1 John chapter 3 in its entirety.)
ALL OF THIS requires us to first "judge" the fact that their behavior is CONTRARY to biblical precepts. Thus, your professed doctrine is VERY unbiblical, but also ungodly — and you do not even believe it yourself anyway.
I hope you will appreciate the fact that I took the time to reply and to point out your hypocrisy — which, by the way, is true love for me to do, as I just explained above. So my behavior in replying to you so bluntly is not only biblical — but it is without hypocrisy.
As Paul said in Romans 2:1, "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." So I would suggest that you re-evaluate your OWN behavior before attempting to tend to our own any more (see again Matthew 7:1 above too).
I also encourage you to also consider soberly the warnings of Paul in 2 Corinthians:
** 2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
His warning above, was in the light of the SINS of the Corinthians that he had just described in chapter 12 previously, and his concern for their OWN eternal destiny. This, of course, is perfectly congruent with Jesus's teaching LATER in Matthew 7, in regard to making sure that you are truly SAVED, and not following "wolves" down the "broad way that leads to destruction."
** Matthew 7:13 “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. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
In the light of your email, I have the same concern for YOU that Paul did for the Corinthians. So please be prayerful about that, for your eternal welfare depends on you getting through the "narrow gate" that leads to the "difficult narrow way" which itself leads to "eternal life."
Oh, and in answer to your question at the end, "Are you holier than Gloria Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White and those you are lambasting?" Yes, we are. And the documents that detail the sins of these people on that article about them, as well as on KennethCopelandBlog.com (in regard to Gloria), attest to that fact.
Just like Titus was holier than the Cretans, and needed to rebuke them for their error, we are ourselves much holier than these wolves — in the biblical sense of the word — for we are not "wolves in sheep's clothing" as they demonstrably are. Thus, we are not being hypocritical in our analysis of them (i.e. as you were regarding us). And, in fact, we are demonstrating TRUE LOVE toward them, as we "convict, prove to be wrong, and shame" them for their many sins PUBLICLY — in hope that they will eventually repent of their error (and in further hope to warn others to stay way from those wolves…as TRUE ministers of Christ are supposed to do).
Always in Jesus,
(Of course, I am not sure they made it past the first couple of paragraphs reading my reply…but I am quite sure they were not inclined to forward it to all their friends. LOL!)