by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 5 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Justice)

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" James 4:8-12

This chapter is going to be built around ten statements. Most of what I will cover will be new, but some will overlap things in a previous chapter.

1. Originally each man judged and protected himself, his own family, his own property and his own freedom.

2. As the population centralized, we chose people from among us to protect the rest of us.

3. We have groups, and appointed people lead each group. For example, we chose pastors to lead the churches, a ruler to lead a nation, a governor to lead a state, a mayor to lead a city and a principal to lead a school. Each has his own area where he is to judge.

4. The body politic does not judge. It is not the responsibility of a judge in one area to judge in another area that is someone else's area to judge.

5. The body politic chooses the one to lead or judge, and the one chosen does the judging or leading. For example, our nation does not vote on how to punish every crime. We choose some to do the judging, and they are responsible for judging those who commit crimes. The same is true in a school or in a business. There are delegated authorities whose responsibility it is to judge for the rest. That is God's plan, and it has always been God's plan. 

Christians desperately need to learn this. We judge each other, criticize each other, slander each other, and spread bad about each other, and in so doing, we despise the law! We are entering into an area where we have appointed people to do that for us.

6. We vote about the lawmakers, but not about the law. The lawmakers are chosen to create the laws by which we live. It is not our job to decide the laws. If we do not like the laws they make, we can choose new lawmakers. I may not like all of their laws, but they make the laws.

7. If we take it upon ourselves to enforce the law, we despise the law and go against those whom we chose. Parents who go to their child's teacher to complain every time their child gets in trouble are despising the law. The rules were already established by those who were delegated by us to set them and are to be enforced by those who were delegated by us to enforce them.

8. Most of us have an area in which we are to judge. We have been chosen to judge in that area.

9. No one is to enter our area, and we are not to enter anyone else's area. Romans 14:4, "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."

Who are you to judge someone else's classroom? Who are you to judge someone else's church? Who are you to judge someone else's family? You have no right to interfere in the judgment of another's area. The master of that area is to decide; no one else is to do so! We are not to sit in judgment of anyone who is outside of our jurisdiction to judge.

A few years ago I submitted an ad to The Sword of the Lord. Dr. Hutson sent it back to me and said that he could not run the ad. That is his business, so I had no right to tell him how to run his paper. That is his area. Every organization has to have a leader, and that leader is responsible to judge that area. No one else is to interfere with that judgment. The chosen authority must run the organization, and authority needs to be supportive of other authority, lest all authority becomes weakened.

You cannot succeed without this principle. A family will fail without this. A country will fail without this. A church will fail without this. A business will fail without this. Somebody must be given the responsibility by the rest of us to rule and allowed to do so without the rest of us interfering. This is why so many of our churches are having trouble. We call a pastor to lead us, and then we want to tell that pastor how to lead. We judge him for the way he leads. When he doesn't do things the way we think he should, we cause trouble or leave the church.

10. We are not to speak evil or judge outside of our area. This is what we read in James 4:11 and 12. James says we are not to speak evil of our brother. The words, "speak evil," in the Greek are "katalaleo," which means "to speak evil based on hearsay." James goes on to say not to judge our brother. The word "judge" in the Greek is "krino," which means "to judge based on facts." James was saying that we are not to make judgments of each other based on hearsay or on facts, unless it is within our area of judging. To do so, James says, is actually to speak evil and judge the law.

The Bible is telling us not to go into the other person's area of judgment and criticize, even if we know the facts concerning a situation. You are not actually criticizing or judging that individual; you are criticizing and judging the law, and this is anarchy. Judging by hearsay and judging by fact are both wrong if it is outside of your area. This is the only way you can have law and order!


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I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years. Billy Sunday