Friday, September 10, 2010

Should Christian's Judge Others?

“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)

Jesus tells us to examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others. The traits that bother us in others are often the habits we dislike in ourselves. Our untamed bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while excusing your own? If you are ready to criticize someone, check to see If you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor.

Jesus’ statement, “Do not judge.” Is against the kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears others down in order to build oneself up. It is not a blanket statement against all critical thinking, but a call to be discerning rather than negative. This restriction does not mean that a believer never judges. After all, some kind of judgment is required in order to obey the command in Matthew 7:6. The point of this verse is that a Christian should not have a spirit of carping criticism and fault-finding.

Paul taught that we should exercise church discipline (1 Cor. 5:1,2) and trust God to be the final Judge (1 Cor. 4: 3-5) and Jesus said to expose false teachers (Matt. 7:15-23). To pronounce another religious group to be false can seem a pompous undertaking, especially in a culture that preaches tolerance for everything from homosexuality to a mother's "right" to kill her unborn child. Tolerance is the banner that unites much of our culture and anyone who points a judging finger at someone or something is often ridiculed.

But Christians are told in the Bible to separate themselves from the sinful practices of man and to expose error. "Examine all things and to hold fast to that which is true" says God's word (1 Thess. 5:21). So we do.  What does it mean to examine if we do not judge what is right and wrong? Jesus judged the Pharisees as hypocrites. Peter judged Ananias and Saphira as liars (Acts 5:3-4). Paul judged the Galatians as fools (Gal. 3:1).  The reason something can be said to be right or wrong is because the Bible has laid out before us a moral and doctrinal standard that is clear. It is wrong to lie. So, we are able to say to someone who lies, "What you are doing is wrong." That is making a judgment.

Likewise, with the cults, as Christians we are commanded to be able to give answers to everyone (1 Pet. 3:15) and to contend for the faith that was delivered by the apostles (Jude 4). If we do not fight for the faith, the faith will be lost. If we do not expose the errors of the cults then the cults will move unchecked in the world and lead even more into eternal destruction.

To make a judgment means that we must recognize that there are absolutes. In a world that worships relativism, absolutes are not welcome and the cults that espouse their demonic doctrines beg tolerance.

Father God, it is my prayer that I show wisdom and love if I ever need to correct or criticise another believer regarding the truth of Your Word. Lord give me the courage and wisdom to stand strong to fight against false teachers and cults that twist and manipulate the Truth of Your Word to justify their perverted and misguided lifestyles and religious doctrines. I pray this all in Jesus' name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible and CARM.


MTJ said...

Hi Lloyd,

As you said, we live, "In a world that worships relativism..." --A world that emphasizes tolerance and indifference.

As followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to "contend for the faith...", sharing the light of truth in a world darkened by sin.

Thank you for encouraging all of us to stand against doctrinal error, secular humanistic philosophies and religious cults that turn many hearts.

Blessings and peace.


Terri said...

Good Day Lloyd,

This was a great post and I've echoed your prayer in agreement with you.

I believe it was G. K. Chesterton that said;
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.

Truth by definition is exclusive.


RCUBEs said... rampant everywhere...And watered-down faith. Sounds so true yet many are deceived...

May the Lord always give us discernment and the courage to proclaim the truth, yet everything be done in His love. How true...that war starts within ourselves...Blessings.

Zimbabwe said...

In my opinion Christians should judge, but in the health way. How can we, for example, distinguish real prophets from the false? Bible says about Bereans, who were fair and they checked Scriptures.

Shoshi said...

I agree wholeheartedly with MTJ!

Lloyd, thank you so much for your continuing comments on my blog, and for your prayers. They are a real blessing to me. I pray that your blog will also be used to reach out to others with the love of the Lord.


Debbie said...

We shouldn't judge the world who doesn't know Jesus as their Savior. Why would we expect their behavior to be any different?

However, as Christians we are gently correct one another. There are specific passages about how to speak in love and a variety of steps to bring one back from foolishness and sin.

r L n ! said...

There no such thing as 99% truth. This kind of truth is adulterated, compromised, and a "white" lie. So what Lloyd writes is that to find the True TRUTH, the 100% unadulterated Truth, we must go to GOD -- His very own WORD -- which has NO COMPROMISE, nor shades of gray, nor errors.

To judge rightly, one must use GOD's Word as the Standard by which to discern right or wrong. And the world no longer lives by GOD's Standard, which makes CHRISTians narrow-minded judgmental in their eyes.

Lisa said...

I've enjoyed looking through your some of your posts...especially this one...thank you for finding my blog and directing me to yours so I could read your wonderful thoughts on God's's been a real blessing to me thank you and God Bless.

Amrita said...

Not judging is negative.
Somehow the word haqs a bad connotation attatched to it.

Judging in the sense of decerning and assesing someone or their actions, examining their fruit, separating the wheat from th e chaff is necessary.

We should not judge others by presupposing things, or in a spirit of condemnation or prejudice.

AndHe said...

Hi Lloyd,
I've been checking out your blog for a while now.I find that you have very strong views. They seem to focus quite a bit around homosexuality.I find that interesting.I look forward to commenting on your blog.

Barbara said...

That is so true, and not to be critical of others either, but help them pray for them, and teach them the Godly ways of the lord, let us be fruit inspectors, Christians produce other Christians, just as apple produce apples, they do not produce oranges, it is impossible to produce any other fruit except that of which the root is planted.

AndHe said...

Hi Lloyd,
concidering we are all sinners and have all been saved by grace(which none of us did one single act to deserve). I believe we all need to look at the word tolerance with a great deal of respect.Saying Jesus was tolerant with mankind is an understatement.We should try to follow his example. Thanks for letting me comment on your blog.
You sound like a man with the patience of Job,Lloyd.But Job is not our Saviour.

One Heart said...

Touchy subject and I much rather pass up on judging others; HOWEVER, according to God's Word:

"It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning."--1 Corinthians 5:12

In 1 Cor. 6 believers are told that one day we will judge the world and even angels. If I have to make a mistake with the subject of judging, I most certainly prefer to err on the side of mercy over judgment...doing unto others what I'd like done unto me, but I am to judge sin in my midst coming from other believers because a little yeast will spoil the whole batch. (1 Cor. 5) I think it's interesting how Paul stresses to not even eat with a believer in blatant sin. 1 Corinthians 5 has always been a very interesting teaching to me.

dfish said...

Good job. While we are to compare what we see and hear with the word of God, the purpose is never to prove we are right, but to correct what is wrong, both in our own lives and in those around us. Even when they are wrong, the goal is to correct, not to punish. If they refuse to correct the sin, separation is not for punishment, but for preventing others from going along. Punishment is God's responsibility.

Denise said...

Blessings to you brother.

Simplegirl said...

Following your blog, love blogs that spread the word of God.

Lloyd said...

MTJ - Thanks for the visit and comments. One of the hardest things for a believer to do is to stand up for Jesus because it will always be viewed as being "judgmental" or "narrow-minded" by those who believe in religious tolerance. The statement, "If you are a Christian, you are narrow-minded and judgmental." is true, because Jesus is the only way for a person to get to heaven. God bless.

Terri - I want to thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. How true is the quote from G.K. Chesterton...Thanks for sharing with us. Blessings.

RCUBEs , Denise, Simplegirl, RCUBEs, Zimbabwe, and Shoshi. Thanks to each of you for your visits and gracious comments. Shoshi, thank you so much for your prayer.. God bless.

Debbie - You are right, that we shouldn't judge the world because Jesus will do that when He returns. However, we are commissioned to go out into the world and witness for Jesus and proclaim the truth of the Gospel. Thank you so much for your visit and comments. God bless.

rLn! - Thank you for your visit and comments. I agree with you that we must use the Word of God as a standard by which we discern right from wrong. Throughout the centuries Christians have always been viewed as being narrow-minded and judgmental when it comes to other worldly religions and beliefs. Blessings too you.

Lisa and Amrita - I want to thank both of you for your comments and visits. Blessings.

AndHe - Thank you for your visit and comments. I would hope that even if I do have "strong views" that they are backed by the Word of God. And yes, there seems to be several posts that are focused around homosexuality probable because this sin is running so rampant in the world that we live in today. May God bless

Barbara - I want to thank you so much for your comments and visit. You are right when you say, "let us be fruit inspectors, Christians produce other Christians". Blessings.

One Heart - Thank you my friend for the visit and comments. You are right, this subject is a very "touchy" one indeed. Thank you so much for your insights and sharing scriptures with us. God bless.

dfish - Thank you for your visit and comments. If Christians today had the attitude that the purpose of judging is never to prove we are right, but to correct what is wrong, there would be no disagreements regarding this post. We as Christians need to stand firm on God's Word and not let the world silence us. Blessings too you.

B. Niles said...

Great post! I appreciate those who tell it like it is; who stand for truth based on the Word of God and don't compromise to be politically correct.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

A truly intriguing post Lloyd. Many of the questions you posed have lead me to seek truth in the book of James. James 2:8 states "You shall love your neighbor as yourself", but if we are discerning of whom amongst our neighbors are sinners, then are we not already looking beyond ourselves? James 2:10 "For whoever keeps the whole law, but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it."

I also feel James 3:1-12 is a passage that all of us who wish to spread the word of God be familiar with. We christians have no doubts that the word of God is is the absolute truth, but would it not be blasphemous of us to assume that we are able to know this truth absolutely? The questions you often pose on your blog are great examples of what may seem to be dichotomies in the teachings of Christ. The outlet you provide for discourse and conversation is an important role in understanding the congruencies of his teachings, but should we claim to fully know or understand them? I know that my understandings of the bible have evolved greatly from adolescence through adulthood, and I pray that they will continue to do so. What I have found to be right or wrong has changed over the years, and undoubtedly it will continue to change, in my search of the truth. Though I may never know what is truly right or wrong, my understandings of them will help guide me.

James 3:13 "For Judgement will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement."

Peace be with you : )

Lloyd said...

B Niles - Thank you so much for your visit and encouraging words. God bless.

Anonymous -

I want to thank you for your visit and scriptures out of the book of James. I particularly enjoy reading James 2:13, "For Judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment." This verse is about not being judgmental of another's "Liberty" he has in Christ. The perfect law of liberty is the law of love. Loving God and loving one’s neighbor sums up the Law (see Matt. 26:36–40). But it is Christ’s love (Eph. 3:17–19) which frees us from our sins to truly love others (John 8:36–38; Gal. 5:13).

All believers will be judged by the law of liberty, which is the law of love. Believers who do not practice partiality, but who practice love and mercy, will triumph at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Those who have not shown mercy will not receive mercy.

Only God in His mercy can forgive our sins. We can't earn forgiveness by forgiving others. But when we withhold forgiveness from others after having received it ourselves, we show that we don't understand or appreciate God's mercy toward us.

This post is not about being judgmental regarding a believers "Liberty in Christ", it is about being able to discern what is right or wrong by using the Bible to make any corrections that need to be made to ourselves or others. I think dfish's comments pretty much sums it all up. God's blessings too you.

AndHe said...

So many sins are running so rampant in our world.Pride being the worst.From it stems most if not all other sins including murder.When we as human beings finally give all the glory to God, sin might become a thing of the past.
Thanks for having this blog Lloyd.
Thanks for posting my comments.

Lloyd said...

AndHe – It is true that sins are rampant in our world, but only because mankind has a “sin nature”. Only true believers can give all of the glory to God. However, sin will always be a part of this “world” and a temptation for God’s children. There will be a time when there will be no more sin, and that is when our Lord returns to claim His Church. God’s blessing.

From The Heart Online said...

Powerful post! Thank you for that encouragement and challenge. I pray that I will, in God's strength, walk an upright life that brings glory to His name, and that my words will be annointed with love, wisdom and truth to bring others back to Him.

Thanks, Lloyd, for your comment at my place. Thanks for reading! I enjoy your blog also :)


lioneagle said...

Greetings -

Debbie said, "We shouldn't judge the world who doesn't know Jesus as their Savior."

Please help me on the following scripture:

The Acts 13:10
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Was that not an instance of judging someone in the world?

What about the scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:6, "And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."?

And lastly, what about the scripture in 1 Corinthians 2:15,
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,..."?

I completely agree that we are not to judge in malicious unspiritual ways but as led by the Spirit - speaking the truth in love.