(This post was written by Mike Vermeer)
One thing I wrote in the last series, as an attachment to the first blog, may have caught your eye. In my letter to the school board—as well as in several other private letters that I sent around the early spring of 2021—I wrote the statement, “I judge no person for their decision to stay within the PRC or to leave it.”
Depending on who (and where) you are, you may have taken this statement differently.
If you remain in the PRC, you may read that statement and allow it to work as a balm on your conscience. You see “many problems” in the PRC. You may even agree that there is false doctrine being taught in the PRC. You may claim to be fighting against these errors in the PRC and experiencing trouble for all your efforts. For you, you read that statement as an affirmation that because I don’t judge you, that you do not need to fear judgment.
If you are in a position where you are leaving or have recently left the PRC, you may have found yourself using a similar expression. You know there is error in the PRC, and Christ has pulled you out of the fire, delivering you from that false doctrine that displaces Christ. For you, this expression is a bit of an olive branch. We think, “well, what if they just don’t see it? We need to give them more time and let them think about it a little more. We cannot judge them because they will stop seeking the truth.”
Let me explain my statement so that there can be no confusion. This is its meaning: I am not only carnal but also an unjust judge.
You ought not to seek my judgment or give any weight to it. You ought not even seek the judgment of a man who is accounted to be wise. You ought to only seek and give any weight to the judgment of God. When I judged, I did so according to my own wisdom and what would make my life here on this earth easier. As was explained in the series, I did everything possible to remain in the PR schools. A part of this was refusing to judge rightly and deliberately adding this statement as a balm on those who remained in a church that Christ had left. A part of this was also a desire to salvage relationships by glossing over the truth.
If you pressed me at that time, I might have defended the statement by saying that I cannot judge the eternal destiny of any person. That is true. That is a matter that remains with each individual and God. I do not judge the eternal destiny of any person. Only God knows.
However, not only is God the judge of all the earth, but he also calls us to judge—not the heart, but the actions and confession of men. When Christ was accosted by the rulers for healing on the Sabbath, he gave them and the people the calling to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Likewise, the Spirit calls us to judge one another even as we will judge the ungodly and angels (I Corinthians 6:1-6).
When I claimed to judge no person for their decision to stay or to leave, I was judging according to the flesh, and according to appearance. It was in no way aligned with the judgment of God. God has shown that the truth of the Gospel is not and cannot be in the PRC.
Regardless of whether I judge you for staying within or leaving the PRC, you ought to seek true and righteous judgment. The truth is that God is judging the PRC and will judge those that remain in it. The truth is that all the emphasis on “a balanced gospel” and “but you really must do good works” is crowding out the gospel of Christ so that the gospel cannot remain in the PRC. The gospel is a gift. It is not a matter of your intelligence or ability to understand. And when Christ is kicked out of the PRC, his gospel cannot remain in it. The truth is that if the gospel has left a church, the kingdom of Man has replaced it. And the destruction will be terrible.
Do not let my unjust judgment be a balm on your refusal to seek the Kingdom of God.