Should we judge one another?
This question comes up almost on a daily basis. If there is one scripture that everyone is familiar with it is Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
What most people are saying is don't remind me of the fact that I'm transgressing Gods law. If you were to tell them that the Bible says this or that most people will take offence to what you say. This is because you bring conviction to their life.
You are exposing hidden sin and bringing it into the light. It says in John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. When you expose the truth and people are reminded of their inter-self or their dark side, they try to ignore it. Also, it exposes their true heart to others around them. This makes them feel very uneasy. So they will try to justify themselves by quoting pieces of scripture no matter how far out of context it is.
Lets take a close look at what the Bible has to say about judging one another:
Lets start with
Matthew 7:1 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. (3)
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4)
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of
thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5)
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and
then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy
In Matthew 7:1 We are told that we should not judge. Most people stop reading there because this allows them to prove their point. However if you continue reading to Matthew 7:5 it tells us that in order to judge someone else make sure that you are right with God first, then you can judge them.
Here in John we are told that we need to judge. John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. At first glance this seems to contradict itself. However, if you read it carefully you will understand the whole point of judging one another.
First we are told that we are not to judge by the appearance. Again this does not mean that a person dressed in ragged clothes is to be judge by them. This point out that a poor person who cannot afford the luxuries of this world should not be looked down upon. Secondly we are told that we should judge a person by using righteous judgment. What is righteous judgment?
Remember that no man is righteous, but God is righteous. So if we are to judge another person we are to use righteous judgment and not our own thoughts and ideas. We are to use the word of God as a measuring stick to tell right from wrong!
For instance if someone was committing adultery the conversation could go something like this:
person 1: Do you know that you should not be living in adultery?
person 2: you have no right to judge me, the Bible says that you should not judge someone.
If we are not to judge, then person number 2 is right. Because most people don't have a full understanding of the scripture the conversation will end there.
However, person number 1 should reply:
person 1: I am not judging you, but the word of God is judging you. The Bible says that you should not live in adultery. Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
By putting the phrase in the correct context, person 1 is not judging person 2 but the Holy word of God is the standard for which person 2 broke Gods commandment.
1st Corinthians chapter 5 also tells us that we are to use the word of God to determine if we should fellowship with people or not.
1Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: (10) Yet not altogether the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. (11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat. (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
If we were not to judge, how could we determine if someone was a fornicator, covetous, an idolater, a railer, a drunkard, or an extortioner? At sometime you have to say, I should not fellowship with that person because he or she is a drunkard. We must judge that persons life, in order to come to the conclusion that they are a drunkard.
If you were not allowed to judge then you would never not fellowship with someone who is a drunkard. This idea of not judging gives people an "easy out". You can do anything, go anywhere with anyone you like. This is pleasing to the non Christian or a person who calls themselves a Christian but their life does not bear fruit.
Continuing in 1Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. Again Paul is telling us to judge what he is saying. If we are not to judge then this verse would not make any sense.
Once again 1Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? Again we are to judge using the word of God.
Luke 12:57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? Here we are to judge what is right. In order to determine what is right we need to look into God's word and weight the deeds and actions against the Holy Word of God. We are not to determine by our own knowledge but refer to the Bible.
1Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Once again we are told to judge, to reason within our self. To find righteous judgment you need to refer to the Bible.
We as Christians are commanded to "1. To decide 2. To determine" what is "right" and "wrong" according to the word of God.
If you do not "judge" – "right" from "wrong" – you are traveling a blazing "one-way" course to "perversion" and "degradation" that will eventually land you in a "lake of fire"! read Revelation 21:8
A lot of Christians read Matthew 7:1 and say, "See, we’re not supposed to judge between right and wrong". And any sense of declaring someone, especially other Christians, to be wrong, is "judging" that person.
There are some serious problems with this interpretation. . .
For instance, if you keep reading Matthew 7, you’ll soon read in verse 15:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15
Notice these false prophets "come to you in sheep's clothing"-- in other words they are "masquerading" as Christians! And yet, according to the Lord Jesus Christ – "they are ravening wolves." According to the Lord Jesus Christ – Beware: some "so-called" Christians – are "ravening wolves"!
How can we tell the "sheep" from the "wolves" unless we "judge" or "determine"?
How can we do as our Lord commanded and "beware of false prophets" unless we "judge" them by the word of God?
If we do not "judge" or "decide" their error by the word of God, how do we even know they are in error?
Just because someone "sings" about the Lord Jesus Christ, are we to not "judge" their "songs", "conversation", and "testimony"? Because someone professes to be a Christian should we accept whatever they say and do as "right" and "pleasing to God"?
** Note all references are taken from the King James Version.