Preachers of L.A. is back for Season Two and is already full of action! We’re sharing with you about Episode One: “Judge Not.” In Season One, Gospel singer, Deitrick Haddon, was recovering from his recent divorce, the birth of his first child–out of wedlock, and a speedy engagement. All which had suspect timing and, understandably, tarnished his position as a Christian minister. Midway through the season, he embarked on a secret wedding to his now wife, Dominique. But what they did not reveal until after the public wedding in the season finale was that they were already expecting Baby #2!
This naturally put Pastor Jay Haizlip, the last-minute wedding officiant for the public wedding, in an extremely awkward position which he lovingly confronted Deitrick about in this first episode. Drama ensued.
Later, we see Loretta, Bishop Noel Jones’ “special friend,” hijack Dominique’s sip-and-see baby shower to tear into First Lady LaVette Gibson about some comments her husband had made to Noel Jones.
Bishop Ron Gibson, as we saw last season, felt “some kinda way” about the “long tenure” of the 16-year relationship between Jones and Loretta. He felt it wasn’t appropriate for her to have a position in Bishop Jones’ ministry without first having the position of “wife.”
Bishop Gibson’s concerns had less to do with singles in ministry and more to do with the question of whether or not there were some (potentially mounting) indiscretions in the relationship. Let’s be honest: 16 years is a LONG time for anyone to date. Namely a pastor. Lady LaVette later summed up these concerns by stating:
Can a man take fire to his bosom, and…not be burned? (Proverbs 6:27)
And in case there is any confusion as to the “fire” being discussed in this context, the Apostle Paul made it plain for us 2,000 years ago.
For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (I Corinthians 7:9)
But this is not a debate about fornication. The Bible is abundantly clear on the fact that any sexual activity outside of the marriage bed is a sin. Neither is this a conversation about self-control. We are to crucify and discipline our flesh. However, this is a conversation about judgment versus being judgmental. Are they the same? Is there a difference? Is there ever a time judging is acceptable?
SEE RELATED: Open Letter to the Producers of Preachers of L.A.
We live in a society where choruses of “Don’t judge me!” “God is my Judge!” and “The Lord knows my heart!” sound aloud everywhere. On Preachers of L.A., it’s Deitrick who most often croons this tune, yet in this episode, we hear a fair amount from Loretta as well. So how do we as the Church deal with judgement?
Pastor Jay expressed,
Unless there’s sin that I’m not aware of, I don’t see sin in anything.
To which Deitrick quickly responded,
We don’t know that, Jay. But that’s none of our business though..!
Well, is it our business? The Apostle Paul said yes.
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (I Corinthians 5:9-13)
And Jesus said:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Yet most people these days seem to read this passage as:
that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
We are to judge:
- Ourselves (I Corinthians 11:31)
- Fruit/Actions (I Corinthians 5:9-13, Galatians 5:16-26)
- Prophecy (I Corinthians 14:29-30)
- Those We Ordain (I Timothy 5:22)
We are to employ the “righteous judgement” Jesus mentioned in John 7:24. And that judgement is made according to the righteousness of God and includes grace. If we follow God’s pattern, then judgement should be employed in wisdom for the benefit of all parties involved. And while we do not judge for the sake of disgrace, we shouldn’t feel bad as leaders when we recognize that a person’s own actions have placed them in an ungodly position of [public] disgrace. As in all things, having the heart of the Father is key.
What has been your own experience with judgement and being judgmental? Where do you think we as Christians get it right and wrong?