Are We To Judge Others?
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Is ALL judgment forbidden? Do we never judge others when they do wrong? It is foolish; even dangerous to build a doctrine on one verse without considering the whole of scripture. Having considered other scriptures, we find, as with all else: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) So scripture mentions various times when judgment is not only allowed, but required and even commanded! But there are rules, qualifications, limitations. But there are rules, qualifications, limitations. We are to judge only if: We have considered 1 Co 13 a bunch and can judge in love We can judge in mercy “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (James 2:13) Have you, or do you do the same thing? “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:1–4) Can you judge “righteously”? “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) Are you spiritually discerning enough to be handling it? “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) Is it your place? “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4) Are they within the sphere we should be judging? “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.” (1 Corinthians 5:12–13) Are we not to scrutinize our leaders? 1 Timothy 3: The whole chapter suggests we hold leaders to a standard “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” (1 Timothy 3:10) Will you follow the Biblical pattern? “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:15–18) If the “Fruit”; the result is bad, should we not question the source? “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15–20) Does not oversight have a responsibility to watch for, and deal with wolves, and the perverse “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29–31) We need to keep from thinking too highly of ourselves, or others “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3) “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?. … ~ …I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.” (1 Corinthians 4:6–14) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” (Colossians 1:28) Are we to judge divisive people? “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17) Do we need to watch for, and react to those who get into sin; into disobedience to God? “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6) “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;” (Titus 3:10) We need to judge a person’s actions as sin so we can rebuke. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Timothy 5:20) We need to know who to “reprove, rebuke, exhort” “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2) We need to deal with those that are “unruly” “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14) 1 Cor 5 – if you see it, deal with it, if it is in the assembly We need to deal with blasphemers “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:20) Are you judging an action or a motive? The sap returns to the roots of the trees in the fall, and we cannot see it; and it surges up the tree in the spring, and we cannot see that either. This is a cause, a motive that brings about what we do see… the fruit. It is dangerous to say, or even think such things as “They just did that because…” Can we truly know a person’s motive beyond a shadow of a doubt? If we can’t, can we judge them? Are people guilty until proven innocent, or visa versa? In conclusion then, Judgment is allowed, even commanded when God deems it warranted, but conditions apply! Discipline Leader / Discipliner Instruct /Teach Model / Mentor Correct/ Punish/Chastise God to Person 2Tim 3:16, Rom 15:4 1Pet 1:16, John 13:15 Heb 12:5-11 Person to Self 1Cor 14:32, 2Tim 2:15 2Tim 3:16 1 Cor 9:27 Person to Another 2Tim 2:24-25, 2Tim 3:16 Mat 18:15-18, Jas 5:19-20 Php 3:17, Gal 6:1 Rom 16:17, 2 Thes 3:6 Father to Family, Mentor to Disciple Eph 6:4, Titus 2:1-10 Gen 18:19 1Sam 3 :13(Neg) Prov 3:24,22:15, 23:13-14 Assembly to Member 1Tim 1:3-7, 18-19 Titus 1:13 2Tim 3:16 2Tim 2:2 Heb 13:7,17 1Tim 5:20, Titus 3:10 2Tim 4:2, 1Thes 5:14 1Cor 5, Mat 18:17-18 1Tim 1:20 Employer to Employee 1Pet 2:17-18 Rom 13:1-7, Eph 6:5-8 2Sam 23:3 Government to Citizen Gen 9:6, Rom 13:1-7 Disciple / Disciplinee Learner/Follower Listen/Study Observe/Copy Submit/Reform