Discernment Detractors: Calling Good Evil

By Warren B. Smith

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
 —Isaiah 5:20

In the first book of Kings, God comes to Solomon in a dream and tells him he can ask for anything that he wants:

“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.” 
—1 Kings 3:5

Solomon asks for discernment: He wants to be able to discern the difference between what is good and bad—between good and evil. He answers God:

“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” 
—1 Kings 3:9

God is pleased with Solomon’s request, noting that he asked solely for discernment rather than selfish things for himself:

“And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;”
 —1 Kings 3:10-11

While our Adversary furiously attempts to undermine the importance of discernment by ridiculing it, we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

SOME OF THE MANY ACCUSATIONS MADE BY DISCERNMENT DETRACTORS

1) If you hate deception and evil and try to expose it, you are a hater—but the Bible says:

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil:” 
—Proverbs 8:13

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved [exposed] are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
 —Ephesians 5:11-13

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” 
—John 15:18

2) If you contend for the faith, you are contentious—but the Bible says:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” 
—Jude 1:3

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 
—1 Timothy 6:12

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 
—Ephesians 6:11-13

3) If you sound an alarm, you are an alarmist—but the Bible says:

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” 
—Joel 2:1

“If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;” 
—Ezekiel 33:3

“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.” 
—1 Corinthians 4:14

4) If you try to expose heresy, you are a heresy hunter—but the Bible says:

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…”2 Peter 2:1

“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” 
—1 Corinthians 11:19

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
”Ephesians 5:11-13

5) If you critique false teachings, you have a critical spirit—but the Bible says:

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose] them.” 
—Ephesians 5:11

6) If you name the names of false teachers, you are a name caller—but the Bible names names:

Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” 
—2 Timothy 4:14

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” 
—2 Timothy 1:15

“And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred…”2 Timothy 2:17-18

7) If you exercise righteous judgement, you are considered judgmental—but the Bible says:

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” 
—John 7:24

8) If you separate yourself from the things of the world, you are a separatist and into separation—but the Bible says:

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 
—2 Corinthians 6:17

9) If you think the way is narrow, you are narrow-minded—but the Bible says:

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” 
—Matthew 7:14

10) If you think Jesus is the only way, you are exclusivistic and way off—but the Bible says:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 
—John 14:6

11) If you mark them which cause divisions contrary to doctrine, you are divisive—but the Bible says:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” 
—Romans 16-17

12) If you warn about deception, you are a deceiver—but the Bible says:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
 —Isaiah 5:20

“Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.”
 —Matthew 27:62-63

13) If you warn about the wild grapes, you are sour grapes—but the Bible says:

“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
”
 —Isaiah 5:1-4

14) If you believe Jesus’ prophetic words in the Book of Revelation that the battle of Armageddon will happen one day, then you are a “Doomsday Deceiver”—but the Bible says:

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
 
—Revelation 16:16

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
 
—Revelation 1:3

15) If you say “no” to the false teachings of the world, you are a “naysayer”—but the Bible warns:

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
 
—Matthew 5:37

16) If you expose Satan (Beelzebub), you are called Satan (Beelzebub) too—but the Bible warns:

“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
”
 
—Matthew 10:25

ENCOURAGEMENT

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:

”
 —Matthew 5:11-12

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
”
 
—2 Timothy 3:12-17

10 comments

  1. Excellent! Thank you Warren!! Keep fighting the good fight, sounding the alarm, pointing out apostasy and warning the saints. He who has ears to hear will – those who don’t (or won’t) will have to answer to God.

  2. Leroy Perry

    Clothe yourself in Gods mighty Armour so that you may defend yourself against the devils evil tricks…

  3. Thanks Bro. Warren,
    May GOD ALMIGHTY that gave us his only Son JESUS CHRIST our LORD and SAVIOUR give you even more wisdom.
    What a Great Joy to be Born Again.

  4. Robert Scarpati

    May The Good and Faithful LORD give you grace always to proclaim His Truth inn humility, love, and wisdom. Here’s a verse about hating false ways: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” – Psalm 119:104

  5. thank you Lord for your truth that surpasses all understanding! thank you for those who dilegently seek your truths. thank you for shining your light on the lies of the enemy!

  6. Bob Tabone

    Oh thank you Lord Jesus for raising up brothers who speak the Truth in gentleness and kindness!

  7. Thank you! This is so helpful, and scripture based. I am encouraged and strengthened by this collection of scriptures. Amen!

  8. A wonderful piece you have written, Mr. Smith! I’ll add one more well-known example–Paul publicly corrected Peter: Gal. 2:14; and for why it is happening: “For this know…that in the LAST DAYS…men shall be…false accusers…” II Timothy 3:1,2,3; and comfort can be found in “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” I Peter 3:16. When Dan Cathy defended traditional marriage, I think the Lord used this incident to cause many to realize from what quarter that America’s freedom of speech is truly being threatened.

  9. Your article is so timely and spot on. It appears the road is getting narrower and narrower by the day. Pastors and teachers (along with their flock) are falling by the wayside onto the broad road in record numbers. It really grieves me. And it seems like there is an increased hostility in the air towards truth. You have provided scripture that I can quickly reference when I am shot down for exposing apostasy and deceit to others (Christians!!). God Bless you!

    • Robert Scarpati

      May The Good and Faithful LORD give you grace always to proclaim His Truth inn humility, love, and wisdom. Here’s a verse about hating false ways: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” – Psalm 119:104