DO NOT JUDGE

(Mat 7:1&2 NIV)  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 

This verse is quoted often by both Christians and nonbelievers. It is thought to mean do not say, or imply anyone else is wrong in what they say or do and if you think that they are then do nothing about it. It may come as a surprise, but that has to be an incorrect understanding of the verse.

 

First we are supposed to become like Jesus. He certainly pointed out the errors of others.

 

If that is too vague then consider 1 Cor 5&6. These two chapters clearly say that we should judge others: even angels. Paul had already judged the sexually immoral man in chapter 5 (5:3) and that man was to be turned over to Satan; not protected.

 

It is not possible to obey the instructions spelled out in chapter five without judging others. It is clear that it is other believers that we must judge and not unbelievers (5:12&13). Nonbelievers do not have the Spirit to guide them as we do. God will judge them because they would not turn to Him, which leaves the penalties of all of their other sins.

 

Could the common understanding of 7:1&2 come from Satan? If we follow that interpretation no one can be chastised for leading others astray. We can not be held responsible for not confronting someone; which is an unpleasant task. A priest can take advantage of a child to satisfy his sexual perversion and others say “Do not judge lest you be judged” and God is dishonored. Satan and his followers are the only ones who benefit from not speaking up when wrong is committed in the Church. The Church is disgraced and by implication so is God.

 

Jesus had zeal for his Fathers house, but we are too afraid or weak to speak up. There is no zeal here. If you think that you should be silent because you sin, then we all should be, because we all sin. If that were the case no one could speak up and 1 Cor 5&6 is nullified.

 

If you think that I am wrong I would be interested in how you reached that conclusion. Make no mistake; every man does what is right in his own eyes. The trick, if you want to call it that is to make what is right in God’s eyes the same as what is right in your eyes. Do you think that it is right in God’s eyes to let someone continue to preach in error without at least saying something about it? If someone says that you are wrong be very careful that your pride of what you think you know doesn’t keep you from considering you might really be wrong.

 

Because Mat 7:1&2 can not mean “do not determine others are wrong and take action against it” what do you think it means?

8 Responses to DO NOT JUDGE

  1. Mike says:

    I keep coming back to the mote/log parable: If we have a log in our eye, how can we ever see these motes to judge them?

    That being said, it appears we *can* remove our log, because scripture seems to give us that hope. Is it just me that feels I can’t ever judge because of my own lack or worthiness?

  2. astudent says:

    Mike,
    If you are worried about the beam in your eye then you do not have one. The hypocrite knows there is a beam in his eye and he knows the nature of it. His criticism comes from his own pride and it is not only to help his brother, but to exalt himself.
    It is our responsibility to judge our brothers. 1 Cor 6:3 (NIV) says, “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” If an angel is only a messenger (Strong’s definition), then a preacher is an angel, just as you and I are, and when we judge what he says we are doing right.
    We all have specks (NIV), or motes (KJV) in our eyes, but not all of us have planks, or beams.
    I personally don’t think judging what a man says is judging the man. However judging what a man does is close to judging the man. The man has the option to change anytime before he dies and if he sins greatly it is our responsibility to warn him. If that in tales judging the man then we must.
    (2 Tim 4:3&4 NIV) For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
    That time is now and it is up to us to be critical of everything that is said. You must be critical of me just as I must be critical of you. Like spanking a child, it hurts at the time, but later the benefits become apparent.
    To answer your direct question as best as I can; no it is not just you as I for one do not feel that I am worthy to judge anyone. Nevertheless I am commanded to do so and I will try my best to correctly judge my brothers as I hope and pray they will judge me.
    If someone judges me and I determine that they are correct I benefit greatly and because I pass the understanding along to my brothers they also benefit. If someone judges me and after considering it, using the Bible as the standard, I determine they are not correct then how does that affect me? Actually it will strengthen my understanding and I will benefit from it as well.
    The problem comes when someone is proud of what they think they know and they become angry, because someone says they are wrong. If we could reach understanding from our own effort then we would possibly have some right to be proud of what we know, that is if we disregarded the fact that God made us, gave us the mind to search out truth, allowed us to breath His air, eat His food, drink His water, etc. (This line of thought could go on and on) However the Bible says in Prov 2:6 (NIV) For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. It does not say that we can figure it out by studying: even though I for one love to think about truth. If we do not ask God for understanding we will not receive any.
    To get back to the original line of thought judging someone’s understanding is a good thing and only pride brings a negative reaction.

  3. G says:

    I appreciate your thoughts, and am currently in discussions with some other brothers about this very thing. I feel, too often, that we shy away from our responsibility to HELP our brothers IN LOVE (1Cor 16:13-14; 1Cor 4:21; Eph 4:7-16) because of our own imperfections. We will never be perfect in our humanity, but Christ perfects us, and it is in His love and power that we can lovingly help our brothers and sisters see where they need strrengthening (Prov 27:17).

    At the same time, I think it’s easy for us to hide behind passages that allow to live and think the way we feel is right – but isn’t that exactly what Christ saved us from? I believe it’s Proverbs where it’s said “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Christ saves us from ourselves and our pride and foolishness, and then we continue to think that way sometimes. Passages such as Matt 7:1-5, 1 Cor 8:7-13 and the all-too-popular Rom 14 are not giving us freedom to be “who we are” without challenge, but the Romans and 1 Cor passages are in reference to folks who are getting hung up on trivial things such as whether meat is OK or not. It doesn’t determine our salvation, but if it hinders the striving of another, then we shouldn’t add to his/her struggles.

    Here are some additional passages that may help, but again – seek God and His truth, not my feeble words.

    Phil 2
    1 Cor 5:9-13
    Heb 10:24-25
    Eph 4:7-16
    1Thess 5:11-15
    Prov 27:17
    1 Cor 16:13-14
    1 Cor 4:21

  4. astudent says:

    aah G,
    I understand from the general tone of your comment that I do not display enough love in my posts. I may be wrong because I am basing this on the tone of the comment. I would much rather everyone stated clearly what they are saying, as the truth of the matter is easer to determine.
    The truth of the matter is I don’t always or even usually display a lot of love on the surface. I usually am trying to correct, or rebuke, because in many ways the Church is not doing what is right in God’s eyes. What I say is open for correction and I will compare anything said to God’s word considering that I might be wrong. If I find error I will admit and correct it as it is my goal to HELP all my brothers.
    It should seem obvious that it is not possible to correct, or rebuke and show a lot of LOVE doing so.
    We are not called to show only love. We also are charged to correct and rebuke.
    Consider this (2 Tim 4:2-4 NIV) “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”. THAT TIME IS NOW and one can see that encouragement is only a third of our charge.
    (Prov 14:12 NIV) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
    (Prov 16:25 NIV) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
    Now there is a verse that can seem confusing. Actually there are two verses that are “exactly” the same. That is unusual to say the least.
    Just what is the way that seems right to a man? IF IT SEEMS RIGHT TO A MAN CAN HE, OR WILL HE RECOGNIZE IT UNLESS SOMEONE POINTS IT OUT?
    If studying the Word of God and pointing out possible errors is “a way” then I certainly am doomed: though it can not possibly be “a way”. I will admit that others do not feel the same as I do. It seems as if anything can be said if Jesus, God, or love is mentioned along with it.
    Paul speaks of Christians being lead astray in 2 Cor 11 and he certainly is not quiet about it. Not judging what others say opens the Church to Satan and allows his servants to masquerade as servants of righteousness.
    As far as “a way” that leads to death, I am saved by the grace of God and there is no way that leads to death for me. It may be that my works will be burned up, but I will be saved (1 Cor 3:11-15) and I am willing to take that risk, because I believe only good will be the final out come of close scrutiny of everyone’s doctrine.
    G, you seem to think that I am a proud man and I am. I am proud of God and His Word. Perhaps it is that underlying pride that you attribute to me, but I am not proud of what I understand, because it is a gift from God and not something that I accomplished. At the same time I am not ashamed of what God has allowed me to understand.
    I believe one must “put the first thing first” and the first thing is to understand the Word of God. Am I to encourage someone if they are teaching my brothers something that is not true? I will not. Well, let me rephrase that. I will encourage them to think about what they are teaching, using the Bible to judge it. If that bothers them, then they are teaching wrong doctrine on purpose, or they are entirely too proud of their understanding.
    I would agree that we should encourage our brothers, but not at the expense of truth.
    I feel that I must defend myself and yet I can not. I am only a man and men error greatly and often. As I study the verses that you suggested I came across the verse that states my position about as good as any (Eph 4:25 NIV) “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
    Somebody must speak up. It is a shame that it has to be someone that is not a leader in the Church. Sometimes speaking the truth is not so encouraging, nor can it be.
    We are told not to judge our brothers, but not everyone in the Church is my brother. Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light and it is not surprising, that his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness also. How could I tell if someone is masquerading or if they are genuine if I do not judge what they say and what kind of person would I be if when I find error I do not say something? And it is for the benefit of others that I do speak up. The new Christian is easily led astray by false doctrine: which is why Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
    I pondered all of the verses that you suggested and found if I read some verses before or after I got a better understanding of what God is saying. Take your last verse (1 Cor 4:21), if I read the two verses that precede it then it does not say Paul is coming in love.
    (1 Cor 4:19-21 NIV) “But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.
    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?”.
    It seems to me that he is coming with a whip: if they do not change.
    Being the disagreeable cuss that most think I am I would slightly disagree with your statement “Christ saves us from ourselves and our pride and foolishness”. Actually, he saved us from the penalty of those things. It is up to us to change.
    Ok, OK, I’m working on it.
    Anyway thanks for the comment. It really helps if we speak truthfully to each other and I know you are trying to help others as well as me. It would help if you could explain to me and others just how someone can tell others it seems they error without angering them. It seems as though when I try few examine the context of what I say and most only spend their time examining my flaws, which I agree there are many. That is not to say that I can not benefit from a good examination.
    This time, as I examined myself I reached agreement with you. I do not show enough love, but I do not yet know how.

  5. tminut says:

    It certainly seems that scripture tells us to judge the body but not unbelievers. We’re told to accept judgment from none but the body:

    2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:
    2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of the Messiah.

  6. tminut says:

    G is worried that these are trivial things but I disagree. Of course it doesn’t determine our salvation but do we “get saved” and then sit there stagnating? Of course not, we grow and learn obedience, the fruit of the Spirit in us grows and shows – these are the works that come from a living faith (faith without works is dead; if your faith is alive and real, there WILL be works following – not because you’re proving anything but because that is what is produced by faith.) We are told to lovingly restore a brother who isn’t demonstrating this because we LOVE him!

  7. astudent says:

    Well, I apologize to everyone for placing my comment in the wrong place. I will not bore you with how it happened. I trust you are as confused as I am now.

    tminut,
    I didn’t get the impression that G thinks these things are trivial, though I don’t think he believes they are as important as we do. I think G is trying to do what he thinks God wants and that is all any of us can do. Actually I believe we need more people like G and I for one am grateful for his efforts (As I am sure you are also). I agree with you that we should lovingly restore our brothers, but one has to consider the goal more than the method as the end result sometimes justifies the means.
    It seems less than a loving thing to do if you scream at someone. However if he and his friends are about to be struck from behind by a car that he does not realize is coming, then by all means scream at him: and as loud as you can. If he hates you it will only be temporally. The Bible says, “rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” Now, if you have a sense of humor you can see that if I rebuke someone and they don’t appreciate it I can always claim they were not wise in the first place. (OK, OK, I know. I’m still working on it.)
    (Psa 141:5 NIV) Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness; let him rebuke me–it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;
    (Prov 15:31 NIV) He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
    (Prov 17:10 NIV) A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.
    (Prov 19:25 NIV) Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.
    (Prov 25:12 NIV) Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.
    (Prov 27:5 NIV) Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
    I suppose that I am still trying to justify some of the things that I say, but the CAR IS COMMING: GET YOURSELF AND YOUR FRIENDS OUT OF THGE WAY.

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