JUDGING AND TOUCHING THE UNTOUCHABLES
By: Victor T. Stephens
"If an offense comes out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed."
~ Thomas Hardy
"Do not judge me!" This blanket statement represents the political correctness of our day. During these last days we live in a weak, spineless, unethical society that tolerates and makes accommodations for almost anything. Many people would rather compromise truth for the sake of evading controversy. We're all supposed to just love one another and be united together in camaraderie. And those who express strong views that rock the boat of today's immoral policies of appeasement, are labeled as "judgmental", "divisive" and "unloving".
Unfortunately, this wicked, reprehensible line of thinking is very prevalent within many of today's churches. And it is disheartening to encounter numerous professing Christians who are unaware and indifferent to the importance of judging, exposing and correcting false teachings. Likened to the secular world, they would rather dodge controversy.
Let's bear in mind, however, that controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. But controversy for the sake of truth is a biblical mandate. No believer should stand by in a state of indolence and allow fellow believers to be deceived by false teachers. Concerned and loving Christians will guard the purity of scriptural doctrine, judge all circumstances by the Word of God, and smoke out errant doctrines propagated by false teachers. Solomon stated:
"Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you." (Proverbs 9:8)
Jesus says in the Book of Luke:
"Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division." (Luke 12:51)
As of the time of this writing, Eddie L. Long, professing pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has been accused of sexually molesting four young men who were members of his church. On account of Mr. Long's high profile status, this controversy has created a storm of media coverage and public debate. At this time, I will not comment on the validity of the accusations against Mr. Long; but for the record, I will state that he is a Word-Faith advocate, and thus, qualifies as a false teacher. This holds true for other well known "celebrity ministers" such as Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, and Joyce Meyer – to name a few.
These counterfeit church leaders have crept in unnoticed to take advantage of their supporter's emotions, lack of spiritual discernment, and financial resources. Through a combination of subtle mind-control techniques, Scripture twisting tactics, and an appeal to itching ears; they have hijacked the minds and hearts of many people. They carefully acknowledge Jesus, Paul, and other great teachers of God's Word, yet promote a deviant gospel. The fact that they have thousands of followers supposedly indicate the veracity of their messages. As a result, their false doctrines are allowed to be disseminated without challenge.
It is clear that the dissemination of false doctrines by Eddie Long and other false teachers is not an issue that should be left uncontested. Correction, exposing, and judging false teachings are dominant subject matters throughout Scripture … particularly in the New Testament. The writings of Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude exemplify the main corrective doctrines that pertain to the church today.
In spite of these facts, many people within and outside the Word-Faith camp will not take kindly to an evaluation of their "pastor's" doctrines. When false teachers are dauntlessly interrogated by those who are proficient in sound biblical exegesis, they resort to a variety of tactics to avoid exposure of their erroneous teachings. One such stratagem involves the inappropriate use of Psalm 105:15 ("Do not touch My anointed …") and Matthew 7:1 ("Judge not …"). Such a tactic was demonstrated among the allegations of sexual transgressions by Eddie Long where legitimate questions arose from media forums regarding his doctrines --- particularly the "Prosperity Message".
Arguments based upon the "Touch not-Judge Not" strategy are notoriously suspect. The true purpose of this form of spiritual abuse is to halt opposition, suppress the truth, and prevent legitimate criticism from shining the "dazzling light" that would successfully uncover the darkness of their false ministries.
In order to maintain the loyalty of their followers, false teachers mentally condition their devoted supporters to parrot Psalm 105:15 and Matthew 7:1 upon those who daringly question their "man of God." Although not surprising, I found it fascinating how congregants of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church cried, misused, and abused "Judge not …" and "Touch not My anointed …" in their efforts to protect their beloved pastor from a biblically legal critique. This method of brainwashing is commonly identified among those who are identified with extreme cult leaders.
Nowhere in Scripture do we find any Christians and great men of God crying, kicking, and screaming "Touch not My anointed" and "Judge not …" when their teachings were held up against the authority of God's Word. As a matter of fact, Paul considered the Berean Christians as "noble" because they searched the scriptures daily to discern his doctrines (Acts 17:11). True men of God welcome an examination and critique of their teachings; for they are established above all by their immaculacy of character and doctrine.
Consider the statements from the following Word-Faith teachers regarding those who judge their doctrines:
"There are people attempting to sit in judgment right today over the ministry that I'm responsible for, and the ministry that Kenneth E. Hagin is responsible for …. Several people that I know had criticized and called that faith bunch out of Tulsa a cult. And some of 'em are dead right today in an early grave because of it, and there’s more one of them got cancer." (Kenneth Copeland, "Why All Are Not Healed")
"I think they're damned and on their way to hell and I don't think there's any redemption for them …. I say to hell with you! Oh hallelujah. Get out of God's way, quit blocking God's bridges or God is gonna shoot you if I don't."
(Paul Crouch, TBN, April 2, 1991)
"Let Him (God) sort out all this doctrinal doo-doo. I don't care about it." (Paul Crouch, TBN, "Praise The Lord")
"You hear this. There are men and women in Southern California attacking me. I will tell you under the anointing now, you'll reap it in your children. You’ll never win. And your children will suffer. You're attacking me on the radio every night; you'll pay, and your children will. Hear this from the lips of God's servant. You are in danger."
(Benny Hinn, Melodyland Christian Center)
"Dear God in heaven, I wish I can just … You know, I have looked for just one verse in the Bible, I just can’t seem to find it; one verse that says, 'if you don’t like them kill them….' Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun, I'll blow your head off!" (Benny Hinn, TBN, November 8, 1990)
Jesus would certainly find this form of conduct appalling. And so should you and I. It is expected to hear such reprehensible statements from radical Islam and their supporting terrorists. However, an alarm should sound if they are emanating from those who supposedly come in God's name. The fact that numerous professing "Christians" would rather applaud and say "Amen" instead of rebuking this ungodly behavior illustrates that many are walking in self-imposed blindness.
Let's now examine this issue in greater detail.