Saturday, August 06, 2005

Should We Christians Judge?

One of the most misinterpreted Bible verses is Matthew 7:1-2. It is written: "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." What many fail to realize is that it is a warning against hypocritical judgment. It is not against judgment per se.

In many parts of the Bible, Christians are called to judge and to discern between right and wrong teachings, as well as to discern between true and false prophets. In Luke 7:43, Jesus said: "You have judged correctly." And in 1 Corinthians 10:15, "I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say." The original Greek word krinoĢ„, which means to judge, is used in Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 7:43 and 1 Corinthians 10:15.

In 1 John 4:1, it is written: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Ephesians 5:11 says, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, it is written: "Test everything. Hold on to the good."

If we Christians are to obey these Biblical teachings, then we are to judge. It would be impossible to do so without judging.


Blogger Yaevlejunce said...

23/8/05 4:38 PM  
Blogger FreeThinker said...

Judging seems like a reasonable thing to do. I agree with you ... and this is from the perspective of a non-Christian. (There's a dialogue on this topic over at my blog)

8/11/05 8:42 AM  
Blogger Mockingbird1954 said...

I know this is an ancient blog entry, but I would love to discuss this further. "Judge not" is so often used as a shaming technique, thanks to society's pressure on everyone to embrace all people, especially those who would've been considered "deviant" 50 years ago. (On a side note, "judging" people who call themselves "Christians" has grown in acceptance-- very strange to me, and yet I catch myself doing it... and I AM a Christian!!!)

The word, "judgement," has so many shades of meaning, as you mentioned. Would you devote a little of your time (I'll really try to keep the discussion as brief as possible) to helping me sort out exactly what Christ meant?

When someone says, "Judge not!" it's usually in response to someone expressing an opinion about a "type" of person (race, creed, sexual orientation, criminal record, scruples, religion, general mindset...) or a specific person. It seems to me that what that person actually means is "Don't criticize" or "Don't express a negative opinion." Question #1: Could that possibly be what Jesus meant? Question #2: When IS it, if ever, appropriate or needful to criticize a person?

8/9/13 1:51 AM  

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