You and I hear quite often, “Do not judge. The Bible tells you so.” I listened last week to an interview with a well known TV pastor who was asked by the host if Jesus Christ was the only way to eternal life. His response was, “I believe Jesus is the way, but I would not judge anyone who says that there is another way. Who am I to judge?” He was pushed by the host who said, “So, John 14:6 says, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me,’ you say what?” The pastor responded, “I am not going to judge someone who believes differently.”
First, we need to make sure we understand scripture and what it says about judging. Christians (as well as others) take the passage “Judge not and you shall not be judged” out of context. The passage is found in Matthew 7:1-5 and it reads like this:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
I received an article this week from a friend on this topic. Here is an excerpt from the article. “What Jesus is actually saying is to not judge someone when you’ve got the bigger sin in your own life. That is why Jesus said, ‘You hypocrite, first take the log… out of your own eye (life), and then you will see clearly to take the speck (your brothers sin) out of your brother’s eye.’ He didn’t say just ignore the speck in your brother’s eye or when you get the log out of your own eye, don’t bother your brother about his speck (sin). Jack Wellman, whatchristianswanttoknow.com, August 27, 2014
Look, I get it, no likes to be judged. I don’t like to be judged. But the scriptures are our guide in walking with Christ through this life. We MUST defer to His Word and not our words in this walk. In Luke 17:3 Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” He doesn’t say, if your brother is sinning, it’s none of your business. In fact in Matthew 18:15, Jesus gives us a guide on how to deal with sin (judge sin and forgiveness). “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” God’s Holy Word is the only basis on which to judge.
Paul writes to Timothy and says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Paul says the scriptures are to be used for reproof, correcting and training. Jesus didn’t say not to judge but to judge after you are sure you have taken care of your sins. When you are in righteous standing with God, then you judge by Scripture, not by personal opinion. Wellman states: “By the way, our own logs (sins) can blind us in seeing only the other’s specks in our brothers and sisters eyes and not our own logs (sin).”
So to our TV pastor who says, I cannot judge someone if they believe there is another way to the Father, to eternal life in heaven, I say, hog wash, wrong, incorrect! Yes, I am judging him. The Bible clearly states over and over again that Jesus is the way that leads to life eternal and any other way will lead to eternal damnation. Don’t you think that is important for us to point out to our wayward lost sinner who has a speck in their eye? Jesus said in John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” This is exactly why the righteous follower of Jesus Christ is to judge only according to Scripture. We are to share the Good News that the speck (sin) in your life can be removed and you gain life in Him who gives life. There is no other way!
I don’t like to be judged, nor I doubt, do you, either. But I welcome my brother in Christ to point out my sin, my short-coming, in walking with my Savior - for I never ever want to be a stumbling block to anyone.
Judging - folks we all do it. We ALL do it!!! Just remember to take the speck out of your eye before laying judgement on your brother or sister for their speck. The Bible is the standard by which we measure all, including ourself.
I hope this has been some food for thought and maybe clarifies why keeping scripture in context, to make a point, is so important. In judging, we are not to be critical but winsome for Christ.
Blessings, Pastor Marty
(underlining by me, not part of the text)