The Righter Report

The Bible – Is it Wrong to Judge?

“Judge not, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

Jesus is not saying that we cannot make judgments about people’s actions, he is saying that we should not be hypocrites if we do. In Matthew 7:5 he says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brothers eye.”

God acknowledges the legitimacy of civil authorities to judge:

Romans 13:1-4: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For he (the reigning authority) is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of God’s wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Also note Matthew 5:25; Acts 25:10-11)

God has commanded the church to make correct judgments:

John 7:24: “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

Matthew 18:15-17: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses (note Deuteronomy 19:15). If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector .”

I Corinthians 6:4: “Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church.”

God commands us to judge according to one’s ‘fruits’:

Matthew 7:17-20: “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit…..every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

The Saints of Christ will judge the world, and angels:

I Corinthians 6:2: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?”

I Corinthians 6:3: “Do you not know that we will judge angels?”

Should no one ever be rebuked?

Jesus rebukes the teachers of the law and the Pharisees:

Matthew 23:27-28: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

John the Baptist rebukes King Herod for adultery and other sins:

Luke 3:19: “But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.”

Stephen rebukes the Jewish leaders:

Acts 7:51-53: “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him – you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”

God uses people to warn others to turn from their sin:

“When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.  But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.” – Ezekiel 33

Also note all the Old Testament prophets who condemned sin and corrupt moral leadership, and who were persecuted for their discernment and duty.

Finally, when someone accuses you of being judgmental, are they themselves not being critical and judgmental in making that accusation?

But stay quiet, and evil will abound:

“The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to (say and) do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

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August 19, 2007 - Posted by | Theology

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