AREAS OF JUDGING

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 2 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Justice)


"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 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. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Romans 14:1-6, 10

"How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. And ye answered me, and said, The thin which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him." Deuteronomy 1:12-16

Moses had too heavy a load, so God told Moses to choose judges in the land. Some men were capable of judging thousands of people. Some men could not judge thousands, but they could judge hundreds of people. Some men could not judge hundreds of people, but they could judge fifty people. Some men could not judge fifty people, but they could judge groups of ten people. Each judge was limited by his ability to judge. If a man had fifty people to judge, he was not to judge anybody in one of the other groups. That has always been God's plan, and that is still God's plan! Judges are to judge only in their own particular areas.

Every one of you adults has some area over which you are responsible. You are to judge in that area and not in any other area. A school teacher judges in his classroom, but not in the classroom next door. A principal judges in his school, but not in the school down the street. A pastor judges in his church, but not in the church across town. A father judges in his home, but not in the home next door.

Not only are you not to take any action about things outside your own area, but you are not to make mental judgments outside your own area. Each of us has some area or areas where we are supposed to judge. I want to show you a few of those areas.

1. The husband is to judge the household. Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." The household is the first area of judgment, and that is the husband's area.

2. Parents are to judge in the home. Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." This is another area of judgment. If God has given you children, He has given you that area to judge. If you have children, it is your job to judge in your family. It is not my job to judge in your family, because I am not in charge of that area.

3. The employer is to judge at work. Ephesians 6:5, "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ." That means if you run a business, God has given you that business to judge. That is your area of judgment. If someone else has a business, you are not supposed to judge in his business. You are supposed to judge only in your area.

4. The pastor is to judge in the church. Hebrews 13:7 says, 'Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief for that is unprofitable for you." There is a responsibility for the pastor to judge in the church. That does not mean the pastor is the dictator of the church. That means he is the leader. "Ruler" means "leader," and a leader has followers. If you don't have followers, you are not a leader. As pastor, I am to rule (lead), and my followers or members are to follow.

5. Rulers are to judge in areas of government. Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." This is talking about the government, because it speaks of paying taxes a little later in the passage. We will just call them rulers.

So far we have five who have areas of judging husbands, parents, employers, pastors and rulers. Each one of these has his own area. None is to go into anybody else's area. It is not the ruler's business to judge in the church, because that is not his area. It is not my business to judge in Washington, D. C. because that is not my area. When those in government talk about the separation of church and state, they are talking about the church not meddling with the state; they are not talking about the state not meddling with the church! But, God says everybody is to have his own area of judgment, and nobody is to interfere with anybody else's area.

Every problem we have in our churches and homes, is a result of someone wanting to judge in an area that has not been given to him. There are other areas that the Bible does not specifically mention, and that is why it speaks of "higher powers." Higher powers are those given to lead in certain areas.

Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." This is one of the most important verses in the study of justice. The first area of judging we discussed is that of husbands. Yes, the wife is to submit herself to the husband, but then it says to submit yourselves one to another. What does that mean?

That means that the wife should submit herself to her own husband. The husband, knowing that he will have the final decision, can then submit himself to the advice or counsel of his wife.

In any area of responsibility, when a leader has responsibility and the follower has submitted himself to the decision of the leader, the leader can then seek advice from the follower in making a decision. Whether it be a father, a mother, an employer, a pastor, or a husband, once the follower has submitted himself to the final decision of the leader, the leader has the liberty to submit to his follower's counsel or advice.

There are people who are under someone in one area and over that same person in another area. For example, your son may be your employer. Let me use Attorney David Gibbs, Jr. as an example. David Gibbs' father has some authority over David Gibbs as his father, but the father works for his son, so when they go to work, David Gibbs has the authority to judge, because that is his area. They submit themselves one to another.

That is what a good church is. It is God's people submitting themselves one to another, because in one area you will be over somebody, and in another area that person will be over you.

I was my mother's pastor. As her son, I respected her advice and honored her as my mother, but when she came to church, I was over my mother. So, we submitted ourselves one to another. Sometimes a pastor has to work secularly besides receiving a salary at church. He may work for a member of his church, so when the pastor goes to work, he is under the member's judgment. When the member goes to church, he is under the authority or judging of the pastor. They submit themselves one to another.

In Garland, Texas, the city manager almost ran the city. The mayor was more of a figurehead, and the city manager ran the town. One of the deacons in our church was the city manager of Garland. As a citizen of Garland, he was the judge over me, but as pastor of the church, I was the judge over him.

This is the source of many of our problems. We get accustomed to being over somebody in certain areas, and we don't want to submit to authority in an area when we do not have the right to judge. A person who has many areas of responsibilities and judging given to him by God will find it more difficult when he comes to a place where he is to follow. Every fundamentalist church in America that is having trouble has this trouble because somebody does not want the pastor to have the authority that God has given to him as the pastor! Usually it is caused by somebody who is wealthy or powerful and leads almost everything else that he is in. He comes to church but cannot take it, for he is to submit himself to the pastor at church. There are certain areas where you have the judging responsibilities and somebody submits to you. Then, there are areas where others have the responsibility and you, in turn, submit yourself to them.

I will give you an example. Brother Roy Moffitt is in charge of the "A" bus ministry in our church. Brother Jim Jorgensen is Vice-President of Hyles-Anderson College. Brother Moffitt teaches part-time in Hyles-Anderson College, so when he goes to the college, he is under Brother Jorgensen, because Brother Jorgensen has been given that area to judge. When Brother Jorgensen comes to the church and attends a bus meeting, he is under Brother Moffitt. What are they doing? Brother Moffitt is submitting himself to Brother Jorgensen, and Brother Jorgensen is submitting himself to Brother Moffitt.

A church can have perfect harmony if the people will go according to God's plan. A home can have perfect harmony if the family will go according to God's plan. A nation can have perfect harmony if the rulers go according to God's plan. It is not your job to figure out what the pastor ought to do in areas of his responsibilities. You are to judge only in your God-given areas.

A perfect example of this is found in Romans 14:1-3. "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things; another, who is weak eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him." We had a young man in our college who decided to pass out literature in the college on how to eat. He let everyone know that if they did not eat the way he did, they were of the Devil. He had not been given the area of telling students how to eat! That was out of his area! God is saying not to judge in any place that is not your area to judge.

Romans 14:4a asks, "Who art thou that judgest another man servant?" If a man judging back in the Old Testament had ten people whom he was responsible to judge, it was none of his business what a man who had 100 to judge was doing. That was not his area of judgment. It was none of his business to judge in his heart, mind or actions those who were not in a constituted area given to him by God Almighty.

Keep your nose out of someone else's area. This would solve almost every problem that you have. God has chosen different people for different areas.

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