Judge Or Judge Not?
Either approach can be correct, depending on the situation and circumstances. There is a time to judge and a time not to. A large number of professing Christians misuse, misunderstand, and abuse this spiritual concept. The following is the key scripture concerning this doctrine:
Matthew 7:1-5 King James Version (KJV)
7 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 brother’s eye.
Many naïve people have made this scripture passage universal, and apply it to everything, and to many things for which it was not ever intended. For instance, one can easily observe that the passage is not “one size fits all,” by reading the very next verse! Matthew 7:6 reads as follows:
Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of Matthew 7:6.
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.
In order to follow the directives of this verse, I must make a judgment on what a swine or a dog is. Obviously dogs and swine are immoral and ungodly people who detest the Lord and His holy attributes.
Well, what does this passage mean? We judge people when we make value judgments on them and “play God,” as if we know what is best for them. Examples are legion and the following are a small cross section of them: You should be a missionary. A preacher should not be driving that kind of a car. He is well off financially and should tithe more. She spends too much time pursuing leisure. He is too hard on his children. She is unemployed because she really does not want to work. He is too introverted to be a pastor. There is no end to these kinds of broad brush statements and conclusions that we make about people. I thought a Lincoln Continental was not a car that a preacher should be driving. Of course, I had a pastor in mind as I thought on this. I learned later on, however, that the one who owned such a vehicle received it as a gift for his ministry. The car was not a “god” to the minister nor a status symbol, for he often used it in order to drive people around. Ouch! I had erroneous conclusions and motives in mind, and have been mistaken time and time again. If I do not learn from my blunders, then the Bible reminds me that the Lord will judge me in accordance with how I judge others.
When do we judge? When is it Biblical. Believers are actually admonished by the Lord to judge each other (I Corinthians 6:1-11), but WE are not really judging in these instances, God and His Word are the standard of judgment. If you see your pastor exiting a tavern in a drunken state, should you look the other way so as not to judge? No way! Any Christian should never allow themselves to be in a drunken state, and a bishop (pastor) is forbidden to imbibe in any alcoholic beverages whatsoever (I Timothy 3:3). If a believer is living in sexual sin, be it adultery, fornication or sodomy, he/she is to be disciplined in the order of Matthew 18. Likewise, one given to slanderous language or a talebearer is to be confronted as well.
The overall premier truth here is to leave value judgments to the Lord, and to allow the Word of God to judge the body of Christ within the Christian Church. We are to know God’s Word and His truth and apply it to one another. This way, God is doing the judging, not you and me.
In Christ, Pastor Steve
This category of “Grandmom’s Bible” addresses erroneous themes that are proponed to be Biblical truth but are not. They are usually diametrically opposed to the teachings of scripture. Another example came to me in the recent past. A gentleman said to me: “You know, I appreciate all beautiful women and look upon them because God created them in order for me to enjoy in such a way.” I am sure that this is not a novel quotation for you, since I have heard it on innumerable occasions. Let me state the obvious for starters: This mindset can quickly lead to lustful thoughts and even worse, we can miss out on the MUCH MORE IMPORTANT INNER BEAUTY in people. If we focus on the wrapper to the package we will miss out on the much more important contents. The Bible tells us that “Man looks on the outward appearance but God focuses on the inward heart.” (I Samuel 16:7). I have read in the book of Proverbs about the crafty harlot who intentionally makes herself look enticing in order to seduce young men and lead them to hell. (Proverbs 7:6-27). Just as the seasoned fisherman fools the fish through alluring bait (that is why the artificial bait are called lures), the painted lady makes herself look appealing to the baser desires of fallen man. There are a lot of beautiful things in the world that I want to be careful to avoid, such as Florida’s deadly poisonous coral snake. Part of the original curse in Eden is the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh. As always, God has the perfect passage for this theme in His Holy Word. I often share this verse on Mother’s Day: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30).
Below is an entry from the blogsite of Mrs. Knack. It is perfect for “Grandmom’s Bible” because it reveals all of the fallacious froth that people gravitate towards. I love the material on “itching ears” and the picture of the three snakes’ little tongues in the ear. It says it all. You can access her blogsite right here:
in Bible, Christian, Church, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life Tags: Bible, christian, Christianity, false doctrine, God, Itching ears, Jesus
2 Timothy 4:3&4: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Scratch my itching ears
Tell me what I want to hear
Do not tell me what I need
It might convict me to His will, heed
I want to feel that my sin is okay
That I will not reap the consequences of it one day
That God holds nothing against me
That overlooking my habitual sin is easy
That though I chose to remain bound, I am free
That that which I do but should not, no one sees
Tell me what I want to hear
The fluffy, warm and fuzzy stuff that my flesh holds so dear
Give no regard to my spirit and soul
Tell me that pleasing my flesh, on me will have no toll
My ears they itch so very much
Though they can be wholly healed by the Master’s touch
I refuse to receive it and His easy yoke
Despite the one I have being heavy enough to choke
I want you to tell me that I know what is best
That my choices did not cause all of this turmoil and mess
That the life I choose to live is okay with Him
The He does not see my living according to fleshly whims
So, come on, you can do it, scratch my itching ears
You can do it despite destruction to me drawing near
Add your thoughts here… (optional) Post toEven Steven
<img src=”http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?v=noscript” style=”height:0px;width:0px;overflow:hidden” alt=”” />
This entry is actually more serious than other erroneous conclusions that people come to which have no Biblical substantiation. We are talking about the absolutely incredible assertion, proponed in huge mega churches and even at times on the mission field, that a strategy for spreading the Christian faith is NOT SHARING THE GOSPEL AT ALL. If the “Gospel” is shared, it is often a weak and insipid version that omits the key elements of salvation: namely repentance, conviction, and turning from sin. It must be working rather well, as a great majority of professing Christians have never led a soul to Christ, as they fail to submit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Most Christians, in fact, never even share their faith. Satan’s favorite tools in the church today are marketing the Gospel, strategizing on how to do it, training on how to share, and emphasizing a new methodology. We do everything in the Christian church today EXCEPT what the Nike commercial says: “Just do it.” Sharing Christ is spontaneous as we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It comes naturally as we submit to the hand of God. Jesus had the following to say to Christians who lack fervor in Revelation 4:16: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Dwight L. Moody was a converted shoe salesman from Boston who became an evangelist. He planted a world famous ministry in Chicago, Illinois featuring the Pacific Garden Mission and the Moody Bible Institute. He went to an evangelism conference as a younger man and became bored and restless as he listened to hour after hour of strategy concepts and theorizing. So D. L. Moody went out to the streets himself and brought in a group of people to hear the Gospel. I have been in mega churches over the past several years who remove the crosses so as not to offend visitors, and they play secular music by rock groups at the beginning of the service in order to make lost people feel welcome. I have been on the mission field overseas and received a directive [that I disobeyed] to not share the Gospel with the local upper class people we were targeting, lest we scare them away. We were suppose to just invite them to church. When I submit to the Holy Spirit, it will be a cold day in hell when I do not share the Gospel as I feel the Lord open the door. So many people no longer really expect the Holy Spirit to convict sinners. By the way, what happens when people get used to coming to a church with a watered down approach to the Gospel? You have more unsaved church members; they are starched, ironed and pressed but not washed. How much training did the “woman at the well” receive, whose story is in John 4? Zilch, nada, zero, nihil, nothing. She dropped her water bucket and ran into Sychar and brought out the towns’ people to hear Jesus. This is Soul Winning 101. I am aghast that the professing Christian church would strategize growing the church through not sharing the Gospel. That is the church that I will run away from and FAST! I could quote legions of scriptures that command us to do this; such as Acts 1:8 (look it up if you do not know it), or the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20 (look it up if you do not know it). Witnessing is not a gift given to a handful of select Christians; we ALL have a testimony if we are truly born from above, and we understand the saving faith and can share the plan of salvation. If the following verse does not encourage us to be the soul winners that God intends for us to be, then nothing will: John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Does this rattle your cage? I hope so. I have a dream of serving in a church where soul winning becomes contagious. In Christ, Pastor Steve
Perhaps you are wondering whether or not it is the right thing to do by disobeying directives given to us. The Bible even tells us to submit to the authorities over us. The key is that we submit to the authorities UNLESS their orders conflict with the Word and the will of God in our lives. A Biblical illustration can be found in Acts 5:17-33. The high priest and the Sadducees ordered Peter and the apostles to stop sharing the Gospel. The apostles replied that they had to obey the Holy Spirit (vs. 32). The key verse is Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” I read my Bible and because of my faith, it is the priority of my life. If someone gives me directives, whether they are a professing Christian or not, I will submit to them ONLY SO FAR AS THEY SUBMIT TO THE WORD OF GOD. Amen and amen…
Is the following true? Jesus always bore a countenance of happiness with a smile on His face, especially in His interactions with children. Certainly this is the case, since His pictures on the covers of Sunday School literature and Vacation Bible School material usually indicate this. Folks, I do not believe in the pictures that I see of Jesus posing with children as if staging a Kodak moment. I believe that in Jesus’ expressions, He radiated God’s love for ALL of men, women and children, and He was very serious about the plight of all of fallen men as well. What does the Bible say? Let us examine the scriptures: Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 is clearly a prophecy directed at the Son of God. What could be plainer than “He was a man of sorrows”? Consider what the Lord said immediately prior to the Great Flood; that is after the entire human race plunged into rebellion, sin and darkness: Genesis 6:6 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Obviously, God must feel the same pain now, since “….as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26) Do not forget that when Jesus used a small innocent child as an object lesson of love, faith and trust, that He knew the eternal destination of that child! Can you and I possibly understand ANY of the burden He carried? Surely the one time Jesus would be “happy” would be when He rode the colt into Jerusalem, correct? He received the “red carpet” treatment as palm branches were placed in His path, and the people “…….began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:37b-38) What a happy and joyous moment, eh? Jesus’ response follows in verse 41: “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.” Jesus saw that Jerusalem would be downtrodden until the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. Jesus also foresaw that the Jews would be scattered, sin would dominate for thousands of more years on our fallen planet, and heartache, pain, trials and tribulations would be the plight of all men. Jesus also knew the fickle heart of man, and that in less than a week he would be crucified spread eagle on a stake outside the walls of Jerusalem between two thieves, suffering physically and spiritually in a way that you and I cannot possibly comprehend. We would indeed be remiss if we failed to share the shortest verse in the entire Word of God at this time. It comes on the heels of Lazarus’ death, Luke 11:35 “Jesus wept.” Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus as His most intimate friends and sympathized with their loss; and He understood the frame of all men on this fallen planet who experience death. The lesson of this entry is once again to simply let the Bible speak for itself, and not to make it say what we want it to say. Do not forget that the Word also says: “For my thoughts are NOT your thoughts, NEITHER are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8. We can further make sense of this teaching through our understanding of the blessing of “sadness.” Does not the Bible say in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted?” (Matthew 5:4) If you are melancholy you have a companion in our Lord! Still having trouble with this concept? Carefully meditate on this scripture: Ecclesiastes 7: 2-4 “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart; Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” You think about that. Blessings, Pastor Steve
This new category is based on a joke that we students shared while in Bible school/seminary. There are many things that are assumed to be spiritually true and Biblical, yet in reality they are no where to be found in the Word of God and they are actually unscriptural. We said these teachings came out of grandmom’s Bible. Here are a couple of simple illustrations that you are probably already familiar with. 1)”God helps those who help themselves.” If you and I had a nickel for every time we heard that saying in our lives, we could go out to dinner and leave a reasonable tip as well. The Bible says quite the opposite: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Helping ourselves is the height of human presumption and diametrically opposed to waiting upon the Lord in faith. This saying was made by one, no doubt, in order to justify their actions that probably went AGAINST the will of God. 2)”Cleanliness is Godliness.” It is a well known fact that some misguided people attempt to wash sin from their lives through prolonged showers and baths. This strategy, of course, does not work. Good hygiene and cleanliness is a positive attribute, especially when in a car pool or one who has limited office space and works with a lot of people in close quarters. However, immoral pagans can be clean as a whistle while some blessed saint can lack the knowledge and follow through of good hygiene. The Pharisees, ever diligent in their attempts to trip up our Lord and Savior, accused Jesus and His disciples of eating without washing their hands. Jesus responded that “…it was not that which entered a man that defiled him, but the things which come out of him defile the man.” (read Mark 7:1-15) Boy oh boy, I wish Jesus could have had a good talk with my parents when I was a kid. This would have made our appearances at the dinner table a lot easier. Ha Ha!
……more to follow