In a thread in the politics section the issue of which presidents have been Christians is being discussed. The general feeling at this point of the discussion is that no one can know if someone else is saved or not. I disagree. For one thing, Scripture tells us to examine ourselves to be sure we are of the faith. 1 John was written so we can examine ourselves and know if we are saved. If we can look at Scripture and look at our life and determine that we are saved it stands to reason that others can do the same. Scripture also gives us a list of qualifications for elders. Paul told Timothy that it was not to be a new convert. That means that a determination had to be made as to whether or not the man in question was saved. Others had to be able to see evidence, or fruit (for example, fruit in keeping with repentance). In Acts 6 we find the account of deacons being called to minister to the widows. These were to be men, according to verse 3, were to be men full of the Spirit and of good reputation. That means others had to be able to determine whether or not they were saved. I know this is not a popular thing to say. We have been led astray by a misunderstanding of what it means to love others and a misquoting and misapplication of Matthew 7:1 that says to "judge not lest ye be judged". We need to keep reading that chapter. A discerning of what is and what is not sin is required. A denial of sin on ourselves, and in others, is dangerous. Church discipline requires the examination of people and events. The beginning of this discipline is the determination of whether or not we are dealing with a brother or not. We are told to reject the false teacher and that implies a rejection of the false convert based on their acceptance of a different gospel. A careful, prayerful, evaluation must occur and it must be done through the lens of Scripture. Perhaps so many churches are on dangerous ground because they fail in this. We have bought a lie that we are to have a spirit of unity at all costs. The truth is we are to have unity in the Spirit, and at a high cost. Also, many are given pulpits and opportunity to teach others who have not been properly assessed. The foundation of the Christian character required for church leadership is that relationship with Christ. We lack a fear of God and rather fear men.