One of the least used ‘names’ of the 2x2 church used by 2x2s is “the Faith.” And the use of that term even in thought let alone vocal expression to refer to the 2x2 church is not confined to 2x2s. Many members of the denominations and Bible-based isms refer to their particular group (church) as “the Faith.”
Where this base error comes sharply into focus as a huge error is in interpretation of passages of Scripture such as 2 Crinthians 13:5 and context:
3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
The very common and easy (almost automatic) interpretation is ‘examine yourselves’ by how you measure up to the appearance, rules & c of your group. And THAT is not what “the faith” refers to in Scripture.
“The faith” in Scripture refers to complete trust and dependence upon God our Savior for all things, including salvation, not trust placed in churches.
And that clears up the Scriptures that instruct “righteous judgment” – the ONLY righteousness anyone CAN possess is the IMPUTED righteousness of Jesus Christ because our very best ‘righteousness’ is “filthy rags.” Therefore to pass “righteous judgment” upon anyone (including self) one is entirely limited to application of God’s word ALONE.
For easy example, supposing two church members are caught in the act of physical adultery, observers could quote God’s word in judgement of that observation. And in doing so, such judgement is NOT judgment to hell – even passing such judgement at all has the purpose of warning the sinners of their sin, and nothing more.
Another easy example but of much more complicated nature is passing judgement on a church member who smokes tobacco – try to find God’s explicit judgement on tobacco smoking in His word, and you will be limited to piecing together bits and pieces of Scripture which speak regarding doing ‘harm to your own body’ – i.e., not "righteous judgment" or even reasonable judgment in my opinion.
Now, with this easy base-error of application of “the Faith” as a handle of a church, carry that error forward to the instructions in the Bible to each believer that are immediately and INDIVIDUALLY to precede participation in corporate communion, and it becomes abundantly clear that NO ONE in any church has any right or authority to examine some other person and deny such a person participation in corporate communion. Error begets error – fix the base error according to God’s word, and the second error shows up so bright as to be sin if not corrected. And of THAT sin God warns:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
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