A Critical eye?

Posted by Lyndon V Bechtel on Sunday, February 27, 2011 Under: Christian Living
A “CRITICAL EYE” The following is excerpted from  (Friday Church News Notes, February 25, 2011, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - and posted on manifestedbythelight.com on February 27-20011
  Recently a graduate of a fundamental Baptist Bible college told me that he had learned at school not to have a “critical eye.” He learned that he shouldn’t be critical of the music that was played, because the important thing is to “have a heart for God” and to be “edified” even if the music is questionable. I believe this gets at the heart of the philosophy that is taught in many IB churches and schools which is helping break down the walls of spiritual discernment and open people to wrong influences. A critical eye can be good or bad, depending on how it is defined. A critical eye is wrong if it is a product of a carnal attitude and a bad spirit. It is wrong if it is judging according to personal opinion and feeling rather than the clear teaching of God’s Word. To judge things in the churches by one’s opinion and tradition and background and feelings and to set my conscience up as a law for others is the sin that is condemned in Romans 14. Paul said, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4). He was talking about judging others in matters in which the Bible is silent. This is clear from the context, which is diet and holy days (Rom. 14:1-6). The New Testament sets up no laws about diet and holy days, so it is wrong to judge other brethren in such things. There is personal liberty here. To set my conscience up as a law for others, when I do not have clear Scripture to back me up, is legalism. In those two ways, it is wrong to have a “critical eye” (judging with a bad attitude and judging on my own opinions). But to judge godly judgment is not wrong. In fact, we are commanded to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We are to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). We are to imitate the Bereans who tested everything by Scripture (Acts 17:11). We are to love God’s Word and hate every false way (Psalm 119:128). The Scripture is given for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Paul had a critical eye toward false teachers and worldlings like Demas. I remember when I went to Bible School at Tennessee Temple in the mid-1970s. I was only one year old in the Lord, but I had a powerful dose of salvation and I had devoured the Bible during that year and I knew that God wanted me to test everything by it. Psalm 119:128; Acts 17:11; and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 were as precious and real to me then as today. I began to see things that I felt were wrong, particularly the shallow, unscriptural soul winning (I have since labeled it Quick Prayerism), the man-centeredness, the carnal over exaltation of man, the big numbers big church bragadociousness, and the refusal on the part of the leaders and visiting speakers to speak out plainly on some important issues (and men). I had a “critical eye,” and insofar as I had an ungodly attitude and lack of mercy and compassion and “balance” I was wrong, but insofar as I was identifying things that were unscriptural and wrong, I was right. By God's grace, I have grown in the depth of my spiritual life over these past four decades and I believe and hope that I am much more merciful and compassionate and gracious than I was when I was a new Christian, but I also thank the Lord that I have not given up my “critical eye” in a biblical sense. I still reject the things I rejected 35 years ago, because they are still unscriptural. If ever there were a time to have a critical eye in a right sense it is today. It will keep you protected spiritually. It is the devil who wants everyone to give up all criticism. If we do that, we have no shield. I am concerned that many IB churches and schools are putting humanistic eye wash in the biblical critical eye. At the same time, I have often emphasized the importance of not having a carnal critical spirit, of always giving the church leaders the benefit of the doubt, etc. Consider, for example, the sermons “Keys to Fruitful Church Membership” and “I Am Not Your Pastor,” which can be found with the search engine at the Way of Life web site.

In : Christian Living