This post is an illustrative response to the often used refrain of the biblically ignorant:
“Who are you to judge anyone?”
Frankly, I’m tired of repeatedly typing the same response every time I read that sentence – and if I had a dollar for every time it has been hurled at me like an epithat, then I could retire and blog full-time. So, this post is for selfish reasons so that I can simply copy the url address to respond to my critics, but since it is biblically sound I pray that it educates once and for all.
Contrary to public opinion (which has no place being in the church in the first place), God calls His children to judge. He is the Ultimate Judge – He judges our eternal souls, and He also gives us the right – no, the responsibility to call it like we see it in accordance to His Word…especially when what we confront is NOT OF GOD.
Matthew 7:1 is where most of the biblically ignorant like to stay: “thou shalt not judge”. When we read in context, however, we see the totality of that statement:
Matthew 7:1-5 (New American Standard Bible)
1“(A)Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and (B)by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
3“Why do you (C)look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4“(D)Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
5“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.
Jesus set a pretty clear standard – don’t judge someone for something that you yourself are guilty of…that’s called hypocrisy. In fact, this particular passage of scripture is written specifically to admonish against rash judgement (judging a brother or sister without any ground or evidence). In other words, don’t call someone out on their foul mouth when you curse like a sailor yourself.
Using the “judge not” defense in any other situation is SCRIPTURALLY UNSOUND. It has become a knee-jerk reaction to calling sin sin. That same twisted logic means that we should stop prosecuting all criminals and we should NEVER speak out against ANY WRONGDOING because we would be judging…“and we’re not supposed to do that”.
Simply put, we are to judge righteously and use sound wisdom - specifically:
1 Corinthians 6:2-3 (New American Standard Bible)
3(D)Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
Proverbs 3:21 (New American Standard Bible)
21My son, (A)let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
John 7:24 (New American Standard Bible)
24“Do not (A)judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Jeremiah 22:3 (New American Standard Bible)
3‘Thus says the LORD, “(A)Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his (B)oppressor Also (C)do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not (D)shed innocent blood in this place.
Philippians 1:10 (New American Standard Bible)
James 5:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)
As believers, it is our duty to confront sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, this is pointing out the truth in order to bring repentance to the sinner and to restore them to the fellowship. A believers job is to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 clearly states the intent of those who present God’s Word. Our purpose is to judge sin; not just to exercise biblical acumen, but to present the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).