Seems everywhere one turns today someone is admonishing us to not judge the doctrine, practices, behavior, and words of others. What does the Word of God have to say on this? Let us look at the verses in Matthew seven that are most often cited by those who say a Christian or anybody else is not to judge others. After a careful reading we will then compare that to a careful reading of similar verses found in Luke six.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 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? 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 brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. ~ Matthew 7:1-6
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. ~ Luke 6:37-40
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:31
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. ~ 1 John 4:1
In other words the men of this world are quite easy to get along with if one does not mention their sins and short comings and if we please them then they can be generous, very generous. If we want to get along with the unsaved of this world then we have to
go along and tell them what they want to hear. Then Jesus makes the statement in the form of a question, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? Implying that if we go along to get along we are as blind as they are and will receive the same condemnation because we have erred from the way of life.
Those who do not know or show others the way cannot lead the blind. However Christ is telling those who would be His disciples that we are not to be as the blind, but be as He is in speaking truth and judgment according to the Word of God. Don’t seek the approval of the lost, their acceptance, or those things they may give us if we are one of them. Instead, be salt and light as is Jesus our master.
Jesus tells us what we can expect when we follow His course of action and go against the lost and spiritually blind of this world.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my [Jesus] name's sake... ~ Matthew 10:22a
In spite of the anger and hatred directed at Christians, Jesus has some encouragement for those who seek to follow Him;
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. ~ John 15:18-19
So we see that not only are those who are disciples of Christ hated by the sinners of this world, but the Master Himself was first hated before we even came along. If we are walking in truth and speaking truth and the sinners of the world hate us, then we know we are where we should be and are like our master.
So this brings us back to our text of Matthew and Luke. Give the world smooth and soothing words and they will love and reward you for it, or give the Lord what He has called you to do, and wait in faith for His eternal unending reward.
We must be about the Father's business of reproving the world of sin, of judging all things and all people by the Word of God for it is our duty. Why do you think the written Word of God is called a
sword? It is the WORD OF GOD that judges! We are to be the sword bearer seeking to be like our master, hated in this world because we follow righteousness.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. ~ Matthew 5:11
What about those who say they are a Christian? Some, nay, many, say we have no right to judge them or question their salvation. Our authority as Christians is the Holy Bible, the revealed Word of God given for ...doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Timothy 3:16). Therefore when we turn to God’s Word for instruction in this we come to this admonition;
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 an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. ~ 1Corinthians 5:11-13
Clearly Christians are to judge the words, beliefs and behavior of those who say they are Christians. If we do not judge then how can we obey this command to know when the other is not walking as a Christian and to put them out? There are other verses that tell us to do this as well and the dangers of failing to do so. These verses even warn us that if they are not following the truth, not striving to walk the Christian walk according to God’s Word then we are to put them from among us. The part of the verse stating that God judges them that are outside the church does not conflict with our statements and verses from earlier. Those outside the church will be judged by God and His Word on Judgement Day yet this in no way prevents our responsibility to speak the truth of God’s Word to them and to point out their error toward the Christian faith and doctrine.
Often those who resist being judged most stringently are those with a Christian profession. Either they are immature in the faith and do not know that they are accountable Biblically for their profession of beliefs, or they have never truly been converted. Their words most often betray them as not being truly saved but as having only a form of religion.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ~ 2 Timothy 3:5
Too many folks today are trying to serve two masters because they don't want to
offend anyone. Such persons and doctrines are of no use to God and bring Him no glory even though they think He is well pleased with them.
It is a numerical fact that there are more unsaved in this world than there are saved. Why doesn't every Christian have more people who
revile them than people who
gush over them? Could it be we are worrying about offending the wrong one? Whose praises do we seek? The choice is ours but the answer is yes, we are to judge all things (1 Corinthians 2:15)