Yes, We ARE Suppposed To Judge


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) 

 2Or (A)do you not know that (B)the saints will judge (C)the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

 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) 

 10so that you may (A)approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until (B)the day of Christ;

James 5:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)

 19My brethren, (A)if any among you strays from (B)the truth and one turns him back,

 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will (C)save his soul from death and will (D)cover a multitude of sins.

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).

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17 Responses to “Yes, We <b>ARE</b> Suppposed To Judge”

  1. 1 Neil March 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Amen! The favorite verse of liberal theologians is Matthew 7:1. If they would only read a few more verses they’d realize how badly they misuse it.

  2. 2 Ann Brock March 30, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Great post and great points.

  3. 3 mel March 30, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Thanks for this post. Man I have been accused of “judging” lots of times because I am quite outspoken about false teachers with their lavish lifestyles and doctrinal error, Doctrine is a dirty word to a lot of christians LOL . I geuss thats why I don’t have many christian friends I tend to freak people out with my outspokeness. I tell you what though, the Lord has put a few unsaved people in my path who ask me about the TV evangelists and it is such an honour to give them the truth and to tell them not to judge Christians according to what they see on TV.
    Thank God for blogs like yours where we can learn(I am a very young Christian) and fellowship with like minded brothers and sisters.

  4. 4 mel March 30, 2009 at 5:12 am

    “…tell them not to judge Christians according to what they see on TV”
    OOPS There is that word again but in a good context, I think mmm

  5. 5 Pastor Jim March 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

    This is a thorny issue ST, especially in our day and age. Truth is not popular – at all.

    It appears to me that there are at least two different categories of times when folks pull out the ‘you are judging’ card (thereby committing the very foul they are calling me on, but that is a different reply).

    First in public proclamation of God’s Word. Second in personal interaction.

    In public proclamation of God’s Word, I found it is worth listening for my own sanctification to check my motivation (granted often MY judgment is slipping through and showing – for which I do need to repent). But if this charge is leveled against God’s Word of Truth – then who I am to try to change God’s Word? Lots of times people are so upset by God’s Truth that they lash out at the one who is saying it out loud. This is one of the sufferings of being God’s servant. I vaguely recall Jesus assuring us that people will hate us on account of him.

    In personal interaction, often times when someone accuses me of being judgmental, they are right here too. I am guilty of judging when it is the Lord’s place to do so. I AM NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.

    When I am wronged – which happens occasionally, He promises that He will set everything straight and many many times I want him to judge NOW! This shows me my need of continual mercy! O me of an arrogant and judgemental heart! Lord have mercy on me!

    So if the interpersonal matter is not urgent (i.e. no one’s physical life is in danger) as a spiritual discipline I am learnING to withhold my immediate judgment and let the Lord season it with His lovingkindness. Then opportunities to speak the truth in love open up. Doesn’t always happen, but out of deference to either a younger brother who professes Christ or an unbeliever who may end up becoming a brother or sister in Christ I am learning to not defend myself and let the Lord.

    As I process ‘out loud’ on your post (am I wasting precious space??) one last lesson learned comes to mind.

    As a missionary to our culture, I seldom use the word ‘judge’ because it has been kidnapped and infused with meaning that confuses the word in a biblical context. I more often tell people to ‘discern’ – which connotes the similar idea, but takes some of the edge off such a ‘taboo’ word in modern culture.

    Am I kowtowing to our culture by altering my language? Should I be more bold and brash? I’d be interested in your reply.

    Well, ST thanks for bringing this up. It is a good starter for the week. May yours be blessed for real. I am graced.

  6. 6 Pastor Jim March 30, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Hey ST, you got me going so much I took my reply and posted it on my blog.
    Blessings my brother!

  7. 7 Lady D March 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Amen! Amen! Amen! IST, I too am tired of being told not to judge. This non-judging foolishness started a long time ago and because of the sins and down low living of the church, people have been able to get away with it. Several months while ministering in jail, a young lady told me that I could not judge another Christian (speak against someone knee deep in sin). After I got over my shock, I gave her a simple analogy-does a apple tree grow oranges? Does a pear tree grow apples? She responded no-then I said that person claims to be a Christian with no godly fruit, am I judging or simple stating the facts according to scripture? She said okay, you’re not judging. I refuse to let anyone shout me down on this issue-if someone is in danger of losing their soul, I have to say something~

  8. 8 prayrwarrior March 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Judging in this day and age means: “Do not call me out on my sins at all. You have sins of your own and I don’t say anything about them to you.”
    Well, you are in violation of the Word of GOD because you do not call me out on my sin. I fell out with a Christian friend because I used the Word of GOD properly and called her out on some things I saw her doing. Not in a ‘holier than thou’ way, but in a loving way. And she took her mouth and cursed my entire family, and told me I wasn’t a Christian. The world doesn’t get as riled up with the truth of GOD’s Word (even though they do not know it or HIM) as much as these so-called Christians do. If you TELL me you are about to rob a bank, I will let you know you are wrong!! If I was going to rob a bank would expect you to do the same thing!!

  9. 9 gcmwatch March 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    There’s a entire book of the Bible called “JUDGES”. I guess we’d have to x that one out if we follow the “judge not” mantra.

  10. 11 Michael Pharr March 30, 2009 at 8:23 pm


    Fella this post is cool. I hear this all the time. Not only do most of the people who spout off about not judging read past the first verse, if they read the whole chapter, they’d see that Jesus even told us to judge false prophets. So guess what that means…..when a person’s favorite prophet (let’s say Juanita Bynum for instance) tells another false prophecy we are called to judge their fruit. This is what JESUS said:

    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
    “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matthew 7:16)
    “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17)
    “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:18)
    “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)
    “So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:20)

    Based on the context of the statements, “fruit” is synonymous with one’s character. Henceforth, what is the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. Read Galatians 5:16-26.

    – Michael Pharr

  11. 12 escapeetoo March 30, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    In order to Judge we must first become transparent (We become transparent in order to see) with our own sin. transparency coupled with confession and repentance enables us to judge. As the rest of MT 7:5 says:

    “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”.

    Few people say not to judge because they are dealing with “secret sin” of their own. Therefore if you have rightly studied the word and you see a blatant error or lie being taught you have the right to call error on this!

  12. 13 speaking truth March 30, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Great thought provoking comments from Everyone so far. I want to underscore a common thread that I see across most of the comments: we must be prepared to confront our own sin, and to judge with the intent of restoring sinners and drawing a stark contrast between God and His enemies.

    I struggle speaking truth “in love” – primarily because that too can often mean “meekly”. I contend that my love for God and His Word – and His sheep – drives me to blog in the first place, so I am speaking the truth in love.

    Like all of us, however, I need to work on my humility. That’s a tough one, particularly when you are confrontented with combative people (and the false teachers get upset when you flip the light switch on regarding them as well). I still believe that God’s truth will make you free, so we can’t be afraid to “judge” in declaring that truth – straight up with no chaser.

    • 14 gcmwatch March 31, 2009 at 7:16 am

      IST, I agree heartily.

      Reading Jude’s epistle, one would have to admit he did too. His language was sharp, direct, confrontational, loving and truthful.

      Yes, you can do it all despite the critics who claim either one or the other. As a matter of fact, love without truth isnt love its pandering. And truth without love isnt truth, its hate.

  13. 15 hiscrivener March 31, 2009 at 7:32 am

    GCM, OK. Time to get the new “Green” Bible so I can burn my book of Judges and help recycle. Har har. Nice post.

    ST, and the rest of us who don’t mind pulling back the crushed velvet, gold embossed draping curtain of megachurch to help shed some light in the blind spots of Christians, … nicely done!

    Do you realize how many times all of us get this excuse? Yeah, yeah, how dare we judge… THINGS NOT PEOPLE!!!

    ST is right and this is Gospel. Jesus never held a person in judgment, but he didn’t offer one excuse for holding their actions under a magnifying glass. The Bible should never be altered to “keep up with the times.” Truth is truth, and just because you are busy hurling up cement to build another Tower of Babel doesn’t mean I have to applaud you for volunteering?!

    Come on! Posts like need to be said in love (as ST did) more often. Maybe then, people will wake up, stand up… and quite possibly shut up!

    Peace, my brother.


  14. 16 Denny April 2, 2009 at 2:15 am

    I get admonished not to “judge,” too. Thanks for sharing this subject with us.


  15. 17 ItsHellWithoutJesus April 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    well said. and God bless you

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