ExhortationsThe Message

Usurpation of Authority

The View –Usurpation of Authority.

Humans are prone to judge people even before the sin has been committed. People become judgmental because of gossip or hearsay because a critical person is sometimes stereotyped as a racist. A judgmental person sometimes belongs to elite families that do not trust others except their own. Being judgmental is very close to being prejudiced. Sadly, some Christians are labeled as one of those molds that break the foundation of Christianity.

Some world organizations made their movement so powerful that they even changed what is written in the Bible; there is less to say about the government that bows down to their demands for equality and is more likely to use race cards to get what they want. We are all guilty that we cannot avoid being judgmental to someone for some reason, either the color of the skin or the physical appearance and the way they speak, or perhaps we blame it for being a cause of nature. The worst thing to be judgmental is when we deny and usurp someone’s right to live side by side in the space God created just because they have different preferences or priorities.

The Bible mentions one restriction about the usurpation of authority. 1 Timothy 2:12: KJV—”But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” RSV—”I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” NIV—”I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

Could we stay silent when we catch someone in the act of transgression, or do we have to act quickly and make a judgment before we even approach the violator to confirm our appraisal? We can testify before God what we see, but we cannot act as a judge and make a judgment, which is an act of usurpation of authority. Our assessment doesn’t matter, as God’s judgment matters most.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. “… Matthew 7:6. Jesus warns his disciples to preach only to people willing to listen and receive the gospel. In this passage, we are advised not to judge the itchy ear that listens more than those that can understand but do not spare time. When we hear the gospel being preached and it does not sound right, do we have to judge whether a man is a false minister? When we hear someone’s prophecy, and we have already heard it before, are we to judge that he is a false prophet?

Many in this generation come to us in groups and clothed in fancy church outfits with books in their hands. Do we have to stop them even before they open their mouth? Or do we have to reject them after listening to their false teachings because we are commanded to be aware of false prophets and teachers who come in sheep’s clothing but are ravenous wolves inside? Our wisdom will ultimately decide, even without a second thought, the right things to do in a situation like this.

Jesus did not advise us that we should not judge at all. On the contrary, in Luke 6:35-38, Jesus urges us to love our enemies, not to judge or condemn them, and at the same time to be generous and merciful to them. This is not the enemy that is being protected but us. It is a warning that we might fall to self-righteousness and condemnation.

This passage is not to zip our lips but to be patient,  humble, and judge with love and care as we approach the neighbors. If our appraisal is correct, we must bring it to Him, who will care for the rest. James 4:11-12 says: who are we to judge? There is only one lawgiver and judge, and God. So we cannot think of our neighbors or brothers because we are not that one. When we judge an unavoidable situation, it is not us who make that judgment but the wisdom God has given us through the Holy Spirit, as God Himself is the rightful judge.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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