*If new to this series, please see the introduction.*
Today we address one of the most quoted and most commonly misinterpreted passages in the Bible, a verse usually cited to mean that people shouldn’t judge one another but meaning something entirely different:
Do not judge, so that you will not be judged, since you will be judged in the same judgment that you make, and you will be measured by the same standard you apply. (Matthew 7:1–2)
This is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, usually in a context something like this: “Yeah, he cheated on his wife, but who am I to judge? Hey, we’re all sinners, right? Like Jesus said, ‘Judge not, lest you be judged,'” or “Don’t judge me—if you were really a Christian you’d listen to Jesus when he said, ‘judge not.'” That is, the verse is often used to defend against any declaration that a given person’s behavior is wrong—frequently by the person having engaged in the behavior in question. Effectively, when quoted as such, the verse is understood as a prohibition against declaring any specific action wrong, since doing so would mean “judging” someone.
Often this verse is thrown around after some church figure (like Ted Haggard, for example) is found to be doing the very things he thundered against in the pulpit. “See,” it is said, “he shouldn’t have judged—he’s no better than anyone else.” Though this latter interpretation is often considered to be an extension of the former, the first interpretation entirely misses the point of the passage while the latter one nails it dead center. Despite how it appears if one stops reading after the first verse, this passage in Matthew is not forbidding judgment but hypocrisy. Yet again, we find that a text without a context is a pretext—the primary exegetical fault leading to misinterpretation is neglecting to read closely the surrounding section of a key verse.
Jesus follows up his warning against judgment with an explanation—we will all be judged by the same measure that we use. If we cannot hold to the standard we use, we have no business applying that standard to others. There are two possible responses to this statement: one, operating under the assumption that no one can possibly live up to a high standard, holds to the interpretation mentioned above that no one should ever judge anyone else, since we’re all sinners. The second possibility is that we should all amend our own behavior and live properly before exercising judgment and helping others to do the same.
The former is a popular option in today’s culture, which emphasizes “tolerance” as one of the highest virtues, while the latter is the choice actually made in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus rebukes the hearer in the verses immediately following the ones we’re discussing,
Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. (Matt 7:3, 5)
There are several things to note here: the first is Jesus’ wry observation about perspective. The closer an object gets to the eye, the larger it appears—a splinter from afar is log-sized if it’s in one’s eye. So a fault in one’s own life is a far greater problem than the same fault in another’s life—the opposite of how we tend to think. But the point of the passage is to shut up only until one corrects one’s own life. And, contrary to much subsequent Christian theological development, the Matthean Jesus actually expects that a person can do so, ultimately living in a righteous manner. (This would often be labeled “self-righteousness” today, though it is simply called “righteousness” in Matthew.)
The second thing worthy of note is Jesus point that only after correcting one’s own behavior will one see clearly enough to make adequate judgments and help anyone else correct his/her own behavior. This is a recognition of the human tendency to judge based on our own heart; that is, we tend to see ourselves in others. (The postmodern recognition of essential subjectivity is closely related to this concept.) Just like a man with a splinter in his eye, we see that splinter (only much larger than it really is—as a beam) everywhere we look. If we are arrogant, we tend to see arrogance in other people. If we are cruel, we tend to suspect cruelty in others. If we are lecherous (an outstanding and underused word—isn’t that a great word, “lecherous”? Even better is the noun, “lecher,” as in “you filthy lecher!”), we tend to suspect sexual motives, desires, or behaviors in others. It is extraordinarily hard for us to break out of ourselves enough to truly empathize, seeing from another’s viewpoint, and Jesus makes the case that it is far harder—perhaps impossible—to do so when we are not pure hearted ourselves. As long as we hold to our own faults, we will see them in everyone else. But, as Titus 1:15 says, “to the pure everything is pure.”
So the passage is actually a condemnation of hypocrisy, not judgment. Jesus’ counsel is to tend to our own behavior and attitudes before attempting to help anyone else. If we attempt to judge before doing so, our judgment will be flawed by our own “splinters.” But the passage is in no way forbidding judgment. On the contrary, it asserts that judgment, like charity, begins at home.
It is extraordinarily ironic that this passage therefore condemns those who most vigorously accuse others of “judging,” since they are themselves condemning condemnation—the very hypocrisy the passage condemns! The very judgment they condemn is precisely what they themselves are doing—they see their own splinter in the eyes of those around them. This passage would say to them, “Don’t forbid others from judging while condemning their judgment or right to judge! You hypocrites! Far from forbidding judgment, you have made yourselves the chief justices!” The whole point is that Jesus here rebukes those who judge others for doing what they themselves do—like negatively judging someone for being judgmental.
In the immediately following verse, Jesus requires good judgment: “Don’t give what is holy to the dogs, nor throw your pearls before swine.” Wouldn’t this require identifying who the “dogs” and “swine” are? What about identifying the “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” whom we “will know from their fruits” in 7:15–20? Elsewhere in Matthew (chapter 18), Jesus lays out guidelines for dealing with a “brother who sins,” involving a progression from showing him his error in private to taking the matter before the whole community. In the same vein, Paul repeatedly emphasizes the church’s responsibility to judge its members (though, interestingly, not the world; cf. 1 Cor 5–6, et al.).
One thing that is often ignored in the “judge not” discussion is that judgment also involves (in fact starts with) a declaration of what is good. If we do not judge, we cannot praise anything any more than we can condemn it. Judgment involves making the distinction between good, bad, or indifferent, not simply declaring something to be bad. In fact, it is impossible to go through life without judging; every decision we make implies a particular value judgment underlying it. As such, in its common usage, the “don’t judge” mentality often actually means, “judge this as right and good!” While it is true that some things do not require a distinct judgment, others do require a position, and to take no position is to judge it affirmatively (tolerance of adultery is implicit acceptance of it, for example). Surely no one would assume that murder should be ignored and not condemned! Any society abiding by the “don’t judge” mantra would soon devolve into utter chaos.
Secondly, without judgment (and specifically negative judgment), forgiveness is impossible. Forgiveness assumes a previous negative judgment that is superseded by the extension of mercy towards another—and Jesus requires that people forgive one another as they have been forgiven themselves (by God). Again, this both assumes judgment and encourages a merciful response.
Thirdly, the actual message of this passage—deal with one’s own sins before looking at anyone else’s, since good judgment requires a pure heart—is critically important for understanding the rest of Matthew and even the Christian life itself. Likewise, it is critical to understand that Matthew’s Jesus emphasizes repentance and right action and assumes that once these things are in place, good judgment can be made and is in fact necessary. No one should ever let himself/herself be shouted down by cries of “don’t judge,” or accusations of being “self-righteous,” since such quotes out of context do damage to the intent of the passage as a pretext for defending behavior.
In summary, in this passage Jesus warns of the human tendency to judge based on our own faults and flaws. This warning is one that should be considered before any assumption about another’s behavior or intentions. Instead, the passage asserts that we should always examine ourselves first to see if the splinter we see is actually affixed to our own eye—and only if our eye is clean can we trust our judgment enough to begin the process of helping remove the offense from anyone else. This is an incredibly important point, both emphasizing the importance of good judgment and the steps necessary to acquire it.
The link to the "introduction" does not work (should begin with blog.www.jasonstaples.com…).
Great idea for a series, BTW – looking forward to the following 1,000 or so installments.
Would have loved to have read this about a month ago when struggling with this issue. Very good. Points well taken.
every person has no right to judge to other person because the law differs from one culture to the other.
Joel, though this is certainly not an uncommon argument, it is certainly not the one upheld in the NT. The idea there is that there are certain things that are wrong simply because God has declared them so and stitched them (and their consequences) into the fabric of creation.
Absolute Truth brother.
I like what you’ve said.
Right on Joel. Proclaim the truth.
So True Jason. We must continue to stand for what is right regardless of the consequences and opposition we encounter.
I understand I am probably in the wrong place, but I happened to be curious about the origin of the phrase and found your article interesting. While I don’t necessarily agree with your theological interpretation (I am an atheist who does not know for certainty god does not exist, so an agnostic(non-certain) atheist (non-belief) ) I found, as I always find, Jesus to be an inspirational character, and enjoyed reading the article. I commented on this question because I wonder if you might have a non-theological justification for objective morality. I admit I am a subjective thinker, but you have the calmness, sincerity, and intelligence to make me want to hear an argument from you. Thank you for your time.
Hi Logan, thanks for the comment. The question of objective morality is a difficult one, and it starts by determining what one means by “objective.” If by “objective,” one means impersonally empirically verifiable, I don’t think one can make a strong case for objective morality without positing the existence of a deity. But if by “objective,” one means morality is not arbitrary, that facts are relevant to moral judgments, and that people can be wrong in their moral judgments, I think a strong case can be made for the objectivity of morality at least within a given community (Alasdair MacIntyre is a good place to start for that). The problem arises when one compares communities that may differ on specific moral judgments—their standards are objective and agreed upon within the specific community but in conflict between communities.
Beyond that, the most thorough attempt to ground an objective morality above the level of specific communities was done by Derek Parfit, who argues that morality is akin to mathematics, in which moral judgments are independently true but not necessarily grounded in any divine observer. I find his assertion unsatisfying, and he provides no real argument for his case. In my view, the most compelling argument for an objective atheist morality was done by Nietzsche, who essentially bases his argument on the principles of natural selection and works forward from there. That said, his conclusion that, in the absence of a deity, the will to power is the ultimate objective basis for morality is a horrifying conclusion to me.
Fascinating conclusion to Nietzsche, especially in light of today’s Woke Christianity and ideological social justice….
As one who does not know, I would observe that whether or not God (god) exists (?), it really doesn’t matter what I believe…at least using human logic. What is, is.
As for theological morality, I ask myself, “what morality is necessary for society to exist.” That is the basic minimum.
I am an older Catholic, and still have many questions about my religion. I, at times, wonder if God exists, but I do believe that Christ existed; even Jews believe Christ existed. Then, I am brought back to the good deeds and teachings of Jesus which are portrayed in the Bible; and Jesus’s statement: “If you see me, you see the Father” (John 14:9). Sometimes I think, if God really does not exist, it’s okay. I think this, because the Bible and the Church teaches a good and moral way to life within society. Christ had his doubts about God and some of the situations he found himself in. And, he expressed his doubts and confusion to God, which we all should do. Christ even accused God of forsaking him.
According to the Bible, God is a loving God, who only wants what is good for all His children, including you. With or without belief in God, I like to think we live in a somewhat moral society, which is hopefully changing for the better, as we are not perfect. Growing up, I always treated others better than myself as it is my nature. I always helped and gave to others; sometimes I gave all the money I had, because the need was great. These things were based on my own judgment (or were they)? As a parent, I taught my children the best I could about right and wrong. I taught them to be good to others. If others were not good to them, they had the option to avoid them, which does not take away from the goodness of my child, or injure either person, What do you do to or for other people? Are you kind to them? Do you care about them? I think you can answer your own question about non-theological objective morality yourself. In most of us, it is an innate quality.
If for no other reason but for companionship, I suggest you join a Church; learn what they teach; volunteer in some of their ministries and projects. Then after a year or two, reevaluate your atheistic belief. It’s okay to not believe totally, as with many people it takes more than a lifetime. Struggle along with everyone else who is searching for answers, inside and outside of the Church. You may be surprised with what you find.
I will pray for you.
Jason A. Staples, great response, good /bad, right or wrong, the basics are obviously simple and the same world over.
Logan Moody, to look around, at our self and the world we live in, all of which is in every way is nothing short of amazing! Every single thing is without a doubt had to be made, created by someone beyond ourselves. look at nature, all creatures, all plants and everything in this universe, all miracles. we ourselves nor anyone else on earth crated us nor our world. How can this be explained? How do we and everything else exist? We didnt just accidentally happen. Some mindless mishap? No, possible way that we are of some happenstance. How can it not be obvious to see and understand there must be a higher power that explains our existence. since we ourselves had no involvement in creating our own existence, someone created us and the world around us with absolute perfection and amazement, down to the very smallest detail. To think of complexity, the millions of functions that just our own bodies alone are in constant action, performing nonstop without even our consciousness, understanding, awareness or knowledge. Same with all the world around us, how else can you explain all that? You tell me how else but GOD could explain the world and our existence?
LAWLESSNESS IS SIN. I am so thankful for our legal system that judges and condemns criminals who threaten our safety. Without it we would constantly live in fear. Judges were appointed in the Bible to judge righteously and justly. I agree with you Jason. Thank God for your wisdom.
Have you heard youself? I didn’t hear anyone else go where you have chosen. I hope my heart is at least open.
GOD doesn’t have boundaries from one culture to another culture
Maudie i completely agree
God’s laws and statutes are universal; all encompassing, and therefore, not limited to man made boundaries or countries.
To the contrary, I believe that it is right to judge people on what they have done, and sometimes our duty. But we should also remember Micah’s admonition to “do justice [not demand justice] love mercy [for others] and walk humbly with your God.”
FALSE! You are making a judgement contrary to Scripure. God doesn’t respect Man’s culture. He rejects it! ……and requires faith in His Son. Are you suggesting that God changes His righteousness to suit particular sins of a societies culture? What you are suggesting is that Man, through his culture, creates God in their image.
I’m new to this site. I was looking up this subject to better understand what it meant. I do understand now what it meant or means. No person is above the law, but the Law does not cover all actions, thoughts, feelings, etc.. Therefore one has to fall back on what they believe to be true and proper before they can condemn another or to put it another way, “judge”. Regardless of the culture, there is an expected way to act. And those that go against that “way” are judge, condemned, rejected or jailed for that unacceptable behavior. In short, I believe we should be more vocal in our “judging” about same sex marriage, murder, child molestation, improper behavior in public (being drunk, high, etc.). If we don’t start speaking out, “Judging”, then this behavior becomes the norm. In Law Enforcement I’ve seen about all that a person can see. Our liberal society is becoming more sick each day because people think they can do as they please and God help those that dare speak out. Then they are then “JUDGED” for speaking out against this improper behavior. We need to take the streets and society back from those that care not for what they do or to whom they do it to.
It’s basically simple to know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. With following the rules of right and wrong along with having trust in God, Jesus and having FAITH. FAITH that what we don’t understand, has a reason, God only knows and one day we will know too. Seems that the people who are speaking out the most and loudest have ill intent, spreading harmful misinformation and lies that divide us and spread hate. There is chaos from a shockingly large amount of people that are in positions of power who are morally bankrupt and have and will do anything to keep in power no matter the cost, to the point that our country has never seen. no matter whose side you’re on, we all share there same, mistrust in our government, division amongst our self and fear for what our future holds
The history of western civilization, both European and Western hemispheric is replete with hypocrisy and yes,
White skin privilege assertion.
Hey Jason, I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed the article, but I just need you to explain this one thing to me: If I see pride in a man, am I prideful? Here is the portion of the article that led to this confusion [not that you are confused, but I just need some clarification]:
“The second thing worthy of note is Jesus point that only after correcting one’s own behavior will one see clearly enough to make adequate judgments and help anyone else correct his/her own behavior. This is a recognition of the human tendency to judge based on our own heart; that is, we tend to see ourselves in others. (The postmodern recognition of essential subjectivity is closely related to this concept.) Just like a man with a splinter in his eye, we see that splinter (only much larger than it really is—as a beam) everywhere we look. If we are arrogant, we tend to see arrogance in other people….”
Good question. Jesus’ point here isn’t to say that we always have the same problem we see in others, just that we tend to see in others what we have in ourselves. It’s an injunction to repentance, which can then lead to righteous judgment. So once we’ve removed the beam out of our own eye, we can see clearly to judge righteously. So no, just because a person sees pride in another doesn’t mean that person is himself proud. But if a person tends to see pride in others, it may be an indicator that the person is indeed proud.
How can you know whether you’re removed from the beam in your own eye? You’re blurring together recognizing right and wrong in our own lives and in others’ with judging them as though we have authority to know their worth.
Once we become Christian, we are convicted in our own hearts, and we have a better grasp of right and wrong to help us find forgiveness and people who will be good for us, but we are still not in a place to judge others, because that leads to becoming blinded to the beam in our own eye. What would you think of a prostitute who came to church, Jason? Would you honestly wait to get to know her before judging her? Or what about a young single mom?
Prostitute comes to self-righteous Christian and offers love and faith and compassionate gifts: prostitute is condemned, because we around here are pure. A prostitute’s heart could never be as pure as a virgin who has followed God all her life, right? (Take a look at Matthew 20:1-16)
Prostitute comes to Jesus and offers love and faith and compassionate gifts: prostitute is forgiven and told to go in peace. (Luke 7:37)
Again, I hope your judgement is as spotless as your supernaturally pure heart, because one day that same judgment will be used on you.
1 Corinthians 5 answers your statements… Don’t judge people outside; that is for God v13. But in all verses that call us to help our brother/sister you must show proper judgement. (1/2 Timothy, Titus). In v3 of 1 Corinthians 5 Paul shows that he has passed judgement over someone who is sinning who is of the church. This passage uses the same Greek root word krínō as Matthew 7 for the word judgement/judge. Is Paul wrong here? No, by the spirit he has made an appropriate judgement. We must understand that the bible says that those that follow Jesus (truly follow) hear his voice and follow his commands. If someone says they follow Jesus but they are a prostitute(and continue to do so) are they following at all? The word “repent” actually means to turn away from or change ones mind… This is why we are not to be deceived in 1Corinthians 6:9-10… We are not to be deceived about those who say they follow or are we somehow deceived about someone who says they don’t follow Jesus Christ?
I think what Jason is saying is that instead of thinking judgement is negative it is positive, too. To judge someone or an action, you should not judge at all if you behave in the same way. If you live your life without making careless mistakes, or committing. crimes, judgements should come to help those who may need guidance to a more acceptable, appropriate passage to ultimately please God. We are all sinners but if I hadn’t met people along life’s journey who strived a better life for themselves no telling where I might be.
I see. Thank you. Again, excellent article Jason.
[…] plentiful on the web, for instance: Provocative Bible Verses: Judge Not Lest You Be Judged or https://www.jasonstaples.com/blog/2009/misinterpreted-bible-passages-3-judge-not-lest-you-be-judged-2… […]
Jason – thanks for this article – it helped me compress the space to explain and you offered some perspecitves I hadn’t run into. One of the best realizations is that Jesus didn’t denounce the judging of another – just the sequence of taking stock of your own house first.
What else did I like – your side trip to lechery. I find curiosity to be a fun trait.
Looking forward to reading other posts.
You nailed it. Excellent argument with supporting facts. My oldest son threw the “I don’t judge others” at me and I couldn’t convince him he was missing the point of the Jesus quote. I tried to explain to him that warning a sinner was a duty and a good thing, however my explanation fell on deaf ears. I will send him your article and see if he might change his opinion. Thanks.
You can clean your own house as best you can and you should but all…ALL men fall short of the glory of god. You and I are sinners we can judge the behavior but not the man he is as good as us.I would rather help when I can and take comfort in knowing only god can truley judge me.
Christ died to turn sinners into obedient saints. He is coming back for a spotless bride without blemish, not sinners. If we are all sinners still after knowing Christ then Christ died for nothing since all sinners go to hell and nobody was saved by His death. Thank God that we are not all sinners. Some of us have been set free from slavery to sin and are now slaves to righteousness and we obey the Lord, rather than sinning, because we love the Lord and those that love Him obey Him. So speak for yourself when you say we are all sinners because I for one am not a sinner anymore. I obey instead. I fall short of the glory of God because I have sinned in the past. I don’t continue to sin though because I believe in Christ. If you truly believe, you obey.
Anyone who tries to twist one of the actual noble quotes in the bible is probably just looking for an excuse to pass judgement on gays, mexicans, adulterers, or whatever “sinner” you want to feel morally superior to. The verse is clear: You are not god, so don’t act like you are God and judge other people because they will be judged by God when they die. Jesus also repeasted this verse in a different way later on when he said only a man without sin can cast the first stone. Again, he is saying man has no right to jugde another because he has sinned himself. So no matter what, judging is hypocrisy.
Your comment seems awfully judgmental.
Josh, in another passage, Jesus requires good judgment- “…judge with righteous judgment” -John 7:24b
Jason’s explanation is the way to reconcile Jesus’ commands to do both.
Can you truly judge what is “awfully judgemental” without being an awful judger yourself? (bud;dum chummp!) 🙂 …just kidding i found that your response to be perfectly said and hilarious!!! But setting all silliness aside, I can see Josh’s point, because, its not unreasonable to assume that this gives way to such acts of discrimination, that can be justified as “good” judging, which in reality is not “objective” thinking but rather “subjective” to what you believe to be
good , and what you believe is condemnable,, these beliefs are based on faith not reasoning. I just wanted to comment further on a point I happened to agree with, however, I enjoyed your article and looking forward to learning more. thank you!
you really missed what Jason was saying. We all judge, it’s in our nature, and without it we cannot give forgiveness. If we didn’t sin then there would be no reason for Jesus.
I suspect that one’s attitude and heart are what is being addressed here. When the Bible talks about one man sharpening another as iron sharpens iron, the image used implies friction and removal of material to make a sharper edge (if done properly). If done recklessly or carelessly, the edge is ruined. Judgement used properly and carefully is useful for “sharpening” each other, but if done recklessly or carelessly is harmful and can “ruin the sharpness”. Also, when we’re referring to the Bible, it is God’s word that is judging our attitudes and actions, not another person.
Thank you, Josh. My take, too. The word sanctimonious comes to mind. Again, thanks.
You say Jason tried to twist the scripture. I disagree. Prove it. There was zero twisting involved. He merely brought the context out for anyone with half a brain to notice the way it is being twisted by many.
You say Jason is looking for an excuse to feel morally superior to adulterers. What is wrong with having morals superior to an adulterer? Isn’t having morals superior to an adulterer a good trait? Does one need to seek an excuse to have good morals? What a ridiculous statement you make.
You say the verse is clear that we are not God so to not judge other people. According to your logic, I can’t tell my daughter that hitting people is bad when she hits someone because only God can judge her upon her death. According to your logic, God doesn’t judge anyone in this life in addition to at their death. According to your logic, any prophet throughout the Bible who called people out for sinning – like John the Baptist who called out Herod for marrying his brother’s wife – was in error and a fool. So John the Baptist, who Jesus praised as being the greatest man born of women, was actually sinning throughout the entirety of his ministry which called people to repent from their wickedness – judging their sinfulness. Do you realize how foolish your argument is?
Your pointing to the stoning of the harlot incident falls flat for many reasons. Stoning her was going to just be to trigger Jesus and see how he’d react, not actually done for justice or obedience to God in a genuine way based on the law. Were they to have been a holy people, really seeking God from the heart and genuine, Jesus would have still been with them powerfully, they would not have been governed by Rome in the first place, and the stoning would have been a greenlight. They were too wicked and far from God to have any standing to carry out stonings by this point in the history of the nation. But new covenant forms of corporate punishment did get reinstated once the people began to become holy again before God – Peter sentenced Ananias and Sapphira to death for lying to the Holy Spirit and God was for it since Peter and the early church were so holy that the “he to whom much has been given much is required” went into effect and the stakes were higher as were the consequences. Peter’s obedience to God by that point in time was sufficient for him to judge others within the church. If what you suggest – that nobody could EVER stone anybody under any circumstances if they ever sinned at any point in their past, then obeying the Old Testament law which commanded stoning certain types of offenders was always evil and obeying God’s commands was evil back then. Jesus didn’t say that. Just in that particular instance with all of the factors involved and the motives involved, Jesus made a challenge regarding that first stone throw – that anyone being without sin is to cast it Note how also he made no mention of the second, third, and fourth stone – just that first one. He didn’t say stoning people in accordance with the law was a sin if they had ever sinned in their past as you infer. He merely challenged the crowd on that incident regarding the first stone throw. In no way was he rebuking the practice of judging followed by stoning at large as the practice was instated by Jesus/God from the days of Moses and ordered to Moses. You infer that Jesus was rebuking Himself for ever commanding stoning as a practice which involved judging others. That is nonsense. This was a case specific thing, not a overarching command to never judge period under any circumstance. That idea is ludicrous. Paul judged people, he judged Peter (Galatians 2:11), Alexander the metalworker (2 Timothy 4:14), the man sleeping with his mother-in-law (1 Corinthians 5:5) etc. In fact, Paul commands us to judge people. 1 cor 5:12 What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” According to your logic, we should rebuke Paul for telling us to judge the wicked and expell them from among us! Paul, we are all wicked, who are we to first judge someone to be wicked – which involved judging them – a sin, then to act out on that judgement to expel them from among us, and even greater sin! Paul, are you commanding us to sin!? Jesus said don’t judge! Obviously, if you read Jesus’ verses this way, the entire Bible falls apart. It is utter foolishness to think this way.
To sum, your argument contradicts our command to judge those within the church (1 cor 5:12). The Bible cannot contradict itself. Jesus merely says that in that particular incident, let the FIRST stone be thrown by someone without sin, not the rest of the stones – the rest can be thrown by people with sin in accordance with the law. In other words, I will throw the first stone because I’m the only one without sin, or are there any others who can claim to be God as I do? No takers? Okay, then let God handle this one. Doesn’t mean humans cannot handle punishing wrongdoing forever going forward. Doesn’t mean humans cannot punish wrongdoing forever going backward. Suggesting that anyone in the old testament who punished wrongdoing was defying God who commanded them to punish wrongdoing is utter foolishness and it is what you interpret Jesus to be doing in this passage. How ludicrous!
As parents, we need to “judge” our child’s behavior and correct them. There is a difference between saying to a child “you’re just stupid” (judgment of the child) and saying to a child,”Wait a moment; what you did was wrong. [This] is what is right.” (judging the behavior not the person).
Sin comes forth from the heart. The behavior is a manifestation of the identity of the person. A man is as he does. To judge the behavior is then to judge the man. You’re trying to find a loophole that falls flat and is illogical.
Your example with the child is flawed. If the child lied, the child is a liar in their heart. Calling them a liar if they lied is just judgement. Saying what the child did was lie, but I won’t go so far as to call the child a liar is ridiculous. Saying to a person who murdered that murdering is wrong, but I won’t go so far as to call you a murderer because that’s judging is utter foolishness and that is what you are saying here.
“I love you, but I do not approve of what you said or what you did or what you are doing now.” Another way of bringing correction without “judging” the person.
Just because you judge someone after first letting them know you love them does not mean you are not judging the person. Not approving of what someone is doing is judging them.
Proof: lets say you walk up to a group of homosexuals at a gay pride parade and shout out “I love you, but I do not approve of what you are doing now.” They would shout back “don’t judge us”. And they would be correct in asserting that you were judging them. The question is can you judge them. Well, do you have sexual sin in your life that you are in sin lifestyle with? If so, don’t judge because you do the same. Let the one who is not living in sexual sin judge. Or better yet, let the one who is not living in sin period judge. If you are a true believer in Christ, you are not living in sin and you can judge them. Your attempt at redefining what is judging has failed.
That’s why I maintain that I don’t need to “judge” anyone, because God’s word does that. I once got talking to a man in the neighborhood, who complained how some of the “Bible thumpers” in the neighborhood were being so judgemental because he was gay (he said he wasn’t a drag queen- he didn’t like them). I told him that I too believed the Bible to be truth, and that according to it, the practice of homosexuality was sinful (as it went against God’s original intent for human behavior), HOWEVER, that did NOT mean that he was any less of a person than I was, because I had many sins and temptations of my own that I struggled with. I couldn’t view him as any less of a human being as myself because we were “in the same boat” so to speak. I told him that even though I agreed with what the Bible says, that part of me thought that life might be “easier” if the Bible didn’t say some of the things that it does. We talked for quite awhile, and before he left, he complimented me on not being so judgmental like the other “Bible thumpers” in the neighborhood.
– the point being that you don’t have to be mean or “holier than thou” about it. You can humbly point out what the Bible says and not treat the person like they’re a “worse person than you”. (I know we tend to judge ourselves and others by looking at other people, but in God’s eyes, we’re not that different- we all struggle with rebellion, disobedience and disbelief – it just shows in different areas of our lives.)
Ok, if Jesus believed as you intend that scripture to be interpreted then why did he break bread with a Roman tax collector & accepted a prostitute, Mary Magdalene, into his close group of followers. In Mark 2:17 Jesus said, “17 … They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” How can a person witness & call a sinner to repent, if judgement by man is put upon their past sinful actions prior to their acceptance of God’s saving grace?
Well, it’s meaningless to talk about repentance until the actions needing to be repented of are judged as needing of repentance. To say someone is in need of repentance is to judge that person’s actions in precisely this manner.
It’s also worth noting (although ultimately unrelated to your question) that Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, and it was not inherently unlawful to be a tax collector.
Can i judge somebody for smoking? Since nowhere in the bible it is mentioned ?
You’re going to judge things one way or another. The question is whether your judgment is right. If you’re using the Bible as your standard, smoking is not sinful, though it’s not wise either.
The bible says your body is a temple and you shouldn’t do anything that would harm it – smoking is harmful. I cannot give the verse, but I remember my mama quoting it to me.
I’m going to be judgemental because I’m stating what I feel to be true in my own heart – and we are all guilty of judging one another because we listen to our own conscience to measure others. There’s not a man alive today that is worthy to judge another man. Everyone has sin, and sin isn’t measured. Prostitution, smoking, cursing, greed, resentment, being judgemental, or being a hypocrite – sin is sin. Each person should listen to the convictions in there own heart and strive to do what they believe to be right by God. Again, there is no man worthy to do that for you. If a man believes he is righteous in today’s world – well, that’s just laughable. Vanity, materialism, self-righteousness; take your pick. We all have sin, which excludes any man or woman from interpreting how GOD and his holy son intended for us to behave. Remember, the bible was written many years ago. It was a different world back then. Sure we are supposed to behave in a way that we don’t shame our God, but no one is capable of telling you if you are good or evil, for we are all sinners. No saints among us. Listen to your own heart, and if God is in it, you will know what is right or wrong.
This entire comment is based on the premise that no one can be made righteous, which directly contradicts one of the central premises of the gospel proclaimed in the New Testament. You can of course feel free to believe what you want, but don’t mistake what you’re saying for anything resembling what is said anywhere in the New Testament. There is a big difference from “all have sinned” (past action), which is what the New Testament says, and “we are all sinners” (present condition), which is what you are saying here.
Jesus does say not to judge until one has removed the beam from one’s eye. But he does not say that the beam cannot be removed and therefore no one should ever judge. He finishes the passage by telling the hearer to remove the beam and then to judge (“you hypocrite, first remove the beam from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”)
So you are saying that there are men without sin? Or, are you saying you can sin all you want and ask for forgiveness and all is good? What is your point here? For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Who has been “made righteous” among us? If there is a righteous man it is a temporary state of being. He will sin again. Only God and Jesus are without sin.
God Bless You Jason!!!! Good Reply!!!!!
You ask if there are men without sin. The Bible says all men are with sin. The Bible does not say that all men are in sin. The Bible does not say that all men will remain slaves to sin. The Bible does not say that all men will continue to sin even after entering the narrow path. The Bible does not say that all men will sin every day. The Bible does not say that all men have to sin at least once a week. The Bible does not say that all men will sin at least once a year. It merely says all men has sinned at least once and therefore need a savior and therefore fall short of God’s glory. Makes no statement about sin frequency after coming to believe. It says go and sin no more (John 8:11, John 5:14). It says be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). It said God does not listen to the prayers of sinners (John 9:31) and that such prayers are an abomination to Him (Proverbs 28:9) (you, who claim to still be a sinner, that is talking about your prayers – they are an abomination to God if you are still a sinner). You infer you are a Christian that is still a sinner. Do you not realize that he who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34)? A slave to sin has not been set free by Jesus and so is not truly saved – for whom the son sets free is free in deed. Shall we go on sinning so grace will abound? Certainly not. How can we who have been set free from sin go on sinning? A slave to sin is not a permanent member of the family of God but a son belongs to it forever. A true Christian is a son of God. A slave to sin is not a son of God and not a permanent member of the family. You must be born again into a new nature. If you live according to the old sinful nature, ie are a sinner, then you are not born again by your own admission. Anyone born of God cannot sin. If they do sin, at the point in which sin entered their heart, they ceased to be born of God and are in need of being born again – again.
You ask if you can sin all you want and ask for forgiveness and all is good. Depends on if you meant it and are genuinely turning away from your sin – ie repenting genuinely. If you continue in sin and thereby are still a sinner, you have likely never repented in your life genuinely and aren’t saved.
You ask who has been made righteous among us? Anyone who is born again has been made righteous and goes and sins no more for a time. The duration of that time varies. For some it is for life. For some it is days. If you sin after having been born again, you go back to the old nature as a dog returns to its own vomit. You no longer stand by faith and are cut off by not bearing fruit of repentance. You are in danger of being burned. But we hope for better things in your case. It is impossible to return to repentance after being born again then falling away. But anything is possible with God so diligently seek Him anyways. If you have never gone a day without sinning, you most likely haven’t been born again anyways, so keep seeking and hopefully He will set you free truly from your sin slavery which you admit to having. You should be mourning and wearing sack cloth and ashes if you are a sinner, begging God for release from your wretchedness.
You say if there is a righteous man, it is a temporary state of being. I disagree. This is not always true. You are getting closer to the truth here though. First you said “who has been made righteous?” and now you admit maybe some have, but it must be temporary. Well, it is good you can see perhaps some have been made righteous. That is key. You are showing some faith there despite never having experienced this yourself it appears. That shows hope in you. Now, you then immediately assume it is temporary. Sadly, it often is. Many are called, few are chosen. The chosen few stand firm to the end and it is he that stands firm to the ends that is saved. That one is victorious and will be given a new name, a white stone, the morning star, will rule and reign over the nations with Christ. That is the prize to which we pursue. We do not claim to have attained it yet – the first resurrection. Of course, many incorrectly believe the sinners prayer means they have attained it though Paul was still attaining it. Saying that prayer and then living a life of sining every day makes them already “attained” while Paul was still “attaining” it apparently. How silly modern false doctrine has us. Anyways, you say if a man is made righteous he WILL sin again. I disagree. What if he was made righteous on his death bed. Does he have to sin again then? What if he spends his days fasting and praying and seeking the Lord diligently, praying unceasingly and laying his life down daily, putting his body under so that after preaching to others he will not be rejected? What if he fears the Lord and lives by faith and not by sight? What if he delights in persecutions and revilings and desires martyrdom and desires to lay down his life for a friend? Such a man are you SURE will sin again? Lets hope not. If so, he will be headed for hell if he doesn’t repent in time. If we put on the full armor of God daily, when the day of evil comes, we shall stand. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling and stay ready and dressed for service. If you sin on the day of evil, it shows you weren’t keeping your candle lit and lamp filled with oil and it shows you weren’t putting on the full armor of God daily.
You say only God and Jesus are without sin and infer that this means we will continually sin our whole lives after coming to know the Lord. I disagree. Just because we are with sin (have sinned at least once in life) does not mean we must go on sinning so grace will abound. Certainly not. How should we who have been set free from sin continue in it any longer?
Thank you for absolving me of my responsibility to not judge people. As such, I now judge you. You, sir, are an arrogant prick trifling in matters in which you have little to no understanding. In real modern world speak, they’re called civil rights. Buy a civics book. Read it. If you are not a state or federally appointed US judge, you, sir, have no right to pass judgement on anyone. And for anyone that is truly Christian that is reading this, be aware that this guy is pissing all over Jesus. He’s creating a fictional fantasy land where we throw out everything we know about civics, equality, and the teachings of Christ that impart kindness and understanding. By his logic, we now have a separate set of laws by which we are permitted to pass judgment on our fellow citizens without due process of the law — and worse, non-Christian brown people in foreign countries. Let’s just put them to death while we’re at it? Since we’re all so good at judging people, why not? Children are sinners too, right? Maybe next we install a religious leader as dictator, like the Iranian Ayatollah, but Christian instead! And if anyone is wondering why there are so many inconsistencies in the gospels, it’s because, for the most part, they were written a century after Jesus’s death by people that never knew Jesus or heard him speak. Matthew is highly suspect and was not likely a first-hand account of Jesus’s teachings.
The ignorance displayed above is astounding and it would take longer than I have to address all the different kinds of crazy seattle is spouting.
Amen Brother Ken! And amen to you too brother Jason. Thank you for this important work you do.
Mr.Staples, please delete Seattle’s comment for vulgarity.
Hi Scott, I agree it’s a message message, but i would prefer that Jason keep it on the website so we can see Seattle for who he is.
Please. From under what rock did you crawl up from. Wake up sinner…Repent! And let the light of Christ shine thru you. You have judged Jason. You Hypocrite.
Manuel De La Cruz
I’m an atheist and I can tell you, this is a really really crazy person
Seattle, there’s a difference between judging someone’s actions as wrong and calling them out on it with love as your motivator and with self-control and in a measure that is appropriate and judging them in the sense of punishing them as a vigilante, acting as judge jury and executioner. For example, if I see a man push a lady out of line as Starbucks and take her place in line, I can shout at the man, “Dude, that was very rude and you ower her an apology!” He could yell back “Don’t judge me! Who are you to say I am being rude?!” He would be in the wrong unless I had just pushed someone out of line myself and taken their spot myself – in which case I’m being a hypocrite. Now, you took judging to a whole new level inferring that it would be okay to knock the guy out who took her place in line and tie him up in my basement for a few weeks to think about what he has done. That is judging on a level I am not to do. So there are different levels of judging and you are assuming Jason is saying we can go berzerk in judging to an insane degree. He never claimed that and you took it there. Jason is just pointing out that we can judge but to judge justly, lawfully, within our lane, with good reason and logic and self-control and in a measure that is reasonable. Nothing crazy like this strawman argument you are making.
You claim there are inconsistencies in the Bible. I disagree. If you find something that appears to be inconsistent, it doesn’t make the Bible wrong, it makes the reader wrong in their interpretation. The Bible is not inconsistent and if you have been given proper understanding of even a moderate measure, there are zero inconsistencies. Then from there, the understanding has just begun and it will continue to grow and grow. The Bible is seemingly infinitely deep and the understanding you can have of it can go on for miles. Most of us are just a couple city blocks in understanding compared to the miles available for the taking if we seek and have the help of the Holy Spirit and meditate on the Word day and night. You still see inconsistencies indicating your understanding is at like the starting zone, one step past the starting line with one foot still behind the starting line of a marathon. That is how poor it is. Keep studying and you may find the inconsistencies begin to fall left and right.
You say the gospels were written a century after Jesus’ death when history shows otherwise, that they were written within the lifetimes of his followers by his followers within the same century of his death. So your facts are wrong.
You ask if children are sinners too. They are. However, if they are still unable to understand the law, then they haven’t been given the law. And before they have the law, though they transgress, no sin is imputed to them (Romans 5:13). In other words, they are still innocent before God despite being sinners and so are still saved if they die in innocence before God. To whom much is given much is required. Jesus automatically forgives them for they know not what they do.
[…] the subject of crime and punishment Parker distorts the meaning of one of the most mishandled Bible verses: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be […]
Excellent explanation! This clears up my understanding so much on the matter. Thanks!!!
As an agnostic passing by, it seems to me you Christians sure engage in a lot of mental gymnastics to interpret a pretty straightforward, and awesome, bible verse. Clearly you really want to judge others so you have to explain away why this doesn’t mean what it clearly says. No wonder the irritation you feel when non-Christians point out your hypocrisy. The writing in this article is what persuades me that your religion is hollow as you do not even truly respect the words of Jesus.
You must have missed the place where Jesus commands, “Judge righteously.”
If we had several days, we could review the many routes, various languages, multitude of translations, etc., through which the “Bible” has been to arrive, in English, in our hands. It is a most amazing task which only through the Grace of God that we have what we have. For the sake of brevity, all must surely know that the original authors did NOT speak English. Let me simply say here that there is a cleaner translation of what was originally said. It is, “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgement.”
It is simply this: We humans CANNOT, I repeat, it is impossible, to look upon any goings on around us without judging. And so it should be. We must constantly be judging, good vs evil, wise vs foolish, etc. Our wise, loving God is fully aware of this and so He here counsels us to simply judge righteously. What is righteous judgement? I’ll leave that to the individual level one wishes to rise in being taught by the Spirit. I will say, however, that “righteous judgement” is generally always NOT one of condemnation. We may view another’s action and not only gain knowledge, but learn wisdom. As in, “Hmm, I don’t thing that is something I wish to do in my life, or Hmm, I observe this in that person’s life and I don’t think it would be wise to have him as a bosom buddy.” Righteous judgement is almost always not one of condemnation, but of love, great compassion, and understanding. Unless I have been appointed as the official and actual “Judge, Jury, or Executioner”, then condemnation is above my pay grade. I’ll leave that for He who will do so at the appropriate time.
I have endured so very MUCH in preaching and writing of many who have tried to explain away, saying, in effect, “Well, He said this, but He really meant that, but we should do it anyway, but we shouldn’t do this, but…”
Isn’t is all SO very much easier to understand and share with others when we simply know what was actually said? I’ll leave it with that. No more excuses or preaching is necessary. That’s the way it usually is. Simple.
Kevin Humphries, you are the kind of “teacher” I would open my heart to.
Jack, as a Christian passing by your comment, I must say: you non-Christians are apt to interpret a pretty straightforward and awesome bible verse by itself without taking into account other scripture for balance. That is a way of not facing your own sinful behavior. Clearly you really want to avoid judging yourself, which you should do before D-Day when God will do it for you (if you have not done so yourself).
You have judged Jason with your accusation “you do not even truly respect the words of Jesus.” You, sir should respect all the words of Jesus, such as his command to “judge with righteous judgement.”
I have always looked at this in a different way. I’ve been impressed by your analysis and I wanted to run this by you.
Judgment always seemed to me to mean two things.
1. Identifying an action that is wrong.
2. Punishing the person for doing the action.
As a Christians I feel it its important for us to be able to express what is sinful. A judge hands out a sentence, I am not the judge so while I am obligated to let someone know they should change their behavior I will not act against them for it. Does this make sense or have I missed the boat on this one?
Generally speaking, the approach taken in the New Testament is that Christians are responsible to learn what is just and right and then to 1) assess and correct their own actions and 2) rightly assess and teach/correct the actions of others as a part of the the proclamation of the gospel. Within the church, these judgments may come with consequences—those who engage in certain behaviors are to be dismissed from fellowship, etc. But those outside the church are not to be persecuted or punished in any way, because they are effectively outside the jurisdiction of the church. The church is instead to set an example of love and service for those outside and leave any punishment or condemnation to God.
Thank you for your blog post on this verse ! I needed more understanding after a meme post of it on my FB page. After this reply of yours I started pondering about ” THE CHURCH” being in reality is each individual who is born again and our bodies are the Temple of God. So many different groups of believers in buildings (so called CHURCHes) fellowshipping and behaviors disciplined in so many various ways. excommunication & shunning. Jimmy Swaggart & Jim Bakker were treated completely opposite (loved/shunned) by many friends ! Men make so many rules, policies & laws for people ? No wonder the unsaved think they are crazy. Thank the Lord for his HOLY SPIRIT that brings people to repentance anywhere & at anytime ! I was saved in my Home…brought up just with knowledge of God & Jesus ( family nor I ever owned a bible ). Met a lady on bus & invited to Bible study & was filled with Holy Spirit for 3 days. Euphoric. Cried when I went back to normal feeling. Only stayed in that church for 6 mo. Witness Lee’s /Watchman Nee called ” The Local Church” in Los Angeles. False teachings. Got Baptised in the Holy Spirit ’09 speaking in prayer language. And have been learning God’s Word ever since “78 Thank you and God Bless, Sandy
To judge can mean merely to decide if something is right or wrong, just to make a decision. Sometimes it can extend to calling a person out on something if you did deem it was wrong for their benefit – ideally for them to realize they are in the wrong – with the intention of causing them to reconsider their actions for their own benefit. Sometimes, it can extend to actually punishing the wrong. This is the most extreme case of judging and is more rare. Judging does not need to always point to this more rare extreme. This extreme would apply to church leadership punishing someone in the church by expelling them for great evil behavior for example. It can be done between a parent and their child living under their roof. It can be done between a child and their parent in extreme cases – if the parent has been abusive, spending less time with that parent and opening up to that parent less is a form of punishment to reflect disapproval of the parent’s poor behavior. This can be righteous judgement sometimes, particularly if the parent is unrepentant. Can it apply to people in day to day life? In rare cases. If you are a football coach and your player punches you in a face, you may judge them by kicking them off the team. Well what if you are not in a position of authority? If you are a player and the coach punches you in the face, you can quit the team as a punishment to the coach. That would be just. So there are many righteous judgements involving punishment but they generally will be negligible in impact, legal, very fair, graceful, intending peace with all men, etc if they are truly wise and righteous judgements.
Read “Repenting of Religion” by Gregory A. Boyd
Boyd’s work there is certainly interesting modern theology, but it’s rather starkly different from Jesus’ approach, which emphasizes that everyone will be judged according to what he/she does and the necessity to repent not from religion but from sin.
“Go and don’t sin anymore” and “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” are the sorts of things Jesus said, while Boyd seems more interested in emphasizing the need for tolerance of sin since “everyone does it.”
Earliest Christianity was fixated on the efficacy of the Spirit to transform people into non-sinners. Boyd, on the other hand, is another link in a long chain of reformers who takes the paradoxical view that everyone (even the redeemed) is bound to sin and that an attempt to live or expect otherwise is worse than sin itself. As I said before, we can appreciate Boyd’s approach as an interesting theological option in the modern world, but it’s quite distinct from the earliest forms of Christianity studied by historians like me.
Wow! you understand what’s going on here. Great blog. Fantastic, I was just about to write the same blog and you did it for me. I shared this blog on facebook. I am still going to do my own version, even though you covered everything. I think I am going to use a lower reading level vocabulary. Thanks for following God even with persecution! Seem you are carrying your cross.
Great work. I really enjoyed your thoughts on this verse.
[…] so as to invite rebuke on the grounds of being judgmental. (By the way, I like what I read from Jason Staples concerning the verse: Matthew 7:1-2) I say these because I finally learned how valuable they are to […]
Jason- thank you so much for your thoughtful, erudite, and insightful writing and interpretation of said verse.
I always thought people used this shortened verse very much out of context.
I’d also like to note another use of judgment is knowing what a certain person is capable of, specifically being harmful to another human being.
In other words, a warning comes in handy. No one has time to judge everyone’s character out there in the world.
In fact, I greatly appreciate it if a friend knows of someone else and their character. If someone is dangerous to another person or a defenseless person in particular, (like a child or the fairer sex,) I would want to know that. To be forewarned is to be for forearmed!
I’m thinking there is a flaw in the logic that is the rationalization of permission to judge others. The quote of Jesus specifically notes that you don’t NOTICE the log in your own eye. The concept of not noticing would support the psychological use of the thinking errors of denial, projection, and shifting blame.
While a person functions with these thinking errors they have no right to judge others seems clear by the quotes. The difficulty would lie in how can we be certain that we are not functioning with these errors if we don’t notice them.
Judgement that identifies poor or sinful behavior is or equals discernment. Helping is not equal to condemnation. Hence the risk of becoming the righteous hypocrite. Tolerance is about understanding our own sinful nature thus having an understanding of others sinful nature allowing room for forgiveness instead of intolerance and condemnation. Tolerance should not be used as an excuse sin or that poor behavior is ok or good behavior.
Therefore; the judge not comment would have merit as a rejoinder to certain attitudes and arguments concerning behavior while engaging Christian faith based beliefs. The speaker of the judge not comment is merely pointing out that you, as the Christian, are unaware of your own log. We must always be vigilant of our own log or logs.
You claim the quote of Jesus notes that you don’t notice the log in your own eye. I disagree. Never does it note that. Show me what verse indicates you are unaware of the beam in your own eye. It is not there. People tend to be introspective and know very well what their flaws are. When they don’t notice, other people tend to be quick to point them out and often. If you have a wife, you would know that wives tend to list them off regularly, as do mothers, particularly when they are angry. So your claim that people generally have no idea of their flaws is false and dishonest and really is likely being used by you and inserted into Jesus’ words by you with the intention of twisting Jesus’ words to rationalize demonizing all judging of anyone. In your perfect world, if a murderer tells you “hey, I murdered someone today, was that wrong of me?” Then you are to say, “hey, who am I to judge, I can’t say if it was right or wrong, go in peace”. In which case we have nobody calling out sin. This just helps to make sinning all the easier and you likely have this agenda because you love your sin and don’t want anybody to tell you it is wrong.
You say we have no right to judge others. I disagree. We all judge others every day, the question is are we in a place to be vocal about our disapproval of their actions. If we are doing the same actions, being vocal about disapproving their actions just looks foolish and hypocritical. Better to let someone who is not doing said actions call them out. But somebody calling them out is a very good thing. Being called out when doing wrong is a great aid to cause that person to hopefully have a bit of shame and begin to second guess their behavior. Each time my wife would catch me watching porn and call me out on it, I felt terrible and really wanted to quit more than ever. If she just said to herself “who am I to judge” then I would have felt much better about continuing in my bad behavior because she never said anything – I might even assume she is okay with it! I thank God she called me out. He used her to bring conviction to my heart and cause me to fight my addiction harder and eventually overcome it entirely – to the point that I don’t even lust in a sinful manner any more in my heart.
Ironically, your entire argument that we don’t notice our own sinful behavior – which I disagree with – only supports all the more the need we have of others to help us to see our own sinful behavior that we are not noticing or are not taking seriously enough to stop doing it. Judging others then exposes their sins for their own benefit, bringing the darkness into the light and causing shame and repentance. It is VERY healthy. If the person doing the judging does the same things though, it could have the opposite effect when they call it out to the person doing it – the person doing it might double down by hardening their heart, thinking well this guy does it too, what a joke that they are shaming me for it! So this is why we need to first stop doing the wrongs then we can correct others without them having this reaction to fall back on as a defense mechanism.
You say helping is not equal to condemnation. I disagree. Condemnation means to strongly disapprove of their behavior. It is helpful to a murderer to have people strongly disapprove of their behavior because that can cause them to reconsider this behavior and hopefully stop doing it. It was helpful to condemn it. By extension, condemnation can mean punishment. When punished for wrongdoing, it is often even more helpful, there is a reason prisons are referred to as correctional facilities. They correct people in error which is by definition a helpful thing. When is it okay to go so far as to punish someone? That depends on many factors and requires wisdom to decide, but here are some general factors that would lend towards it: they are under your authority and/or it is done legally, fairly, with good measure, reasonably, justly, righteously, lovingly, gracefully.
You speak of someone becoming a righteous hypocrite. This is impossible. By definition, someone who is righteous does not do wrong things. Therefore, it is impossible to be a hypocrite and be righteous at the same time. You would have to first do wrong things to be a hypocrite.
You say tolerance involves understanding and forgiveness and infer that intolerance does not. I disagree. Intolerance for sinful behavior and strong disapproval of said behavior can be accompanied by understanding of the behavior and sin nature and can also be accompanied by forgiveness. I can understand anger and why someone murders, I can forgive them for murdering, but I can also strongly disapprove of their murdering decision and call them out for it. So your argument is false and ridiculous. Your argument also denies that Jesus, who is our high priest and understands our weaknesses, and is not tolerant of sin, has no room for forgiveness because of his intolerance and has no understanding of the sin nature because of his intolerance for sin. That is foolish to suggest.
You conclude that Christians are unaware of their own log and then say they must be vigilant of their own log. This is contradictory. If we aren’t aware of it and cannot be aware of it, then we also cannot be diligent nor ever take it out since it is unknown to us. There must therefore be the possibility of becoming aware of the log and removing it or else what Jesus said about removing it was wrong. We’d say, well Jesus, why tell us to remove our log if we cannot possibly know it is there let alone ever possibly remove it due to our unawareness of it. So clearly, it is possible to become aware of our own log, and it is possible to remove it or else Jesus would not have said what He said about removing it and helping others to remove their specks. Why tell us to help others remove their specks if none of us will ever possibly remove our own log first? That’s like telling a student they first must jump over the moon and then they are free to raise their hand in class to ask questions – this is foolish – jumping over the moon is impossible and therefore doing so first, prior to asking questions, is not possible and therefore meeting the requirement to ask questions is impossible – and hence asking questions within the requirements is impossible. The teacher might as well just say don’t ask questions period. Yet Jesus did not forbid removing specks. He encouraged us to do so and expected us to do so – just after removing our logs. This means that removing our logs IS possible and this means knowing what our logs are IS possible as well. This completely undermines your argument that we cannot know our own logs.
Thanks, Jason, this is a great read with lots of great points. I am sooooo sorry that it seems there are many reading this who misunderstand your intent. It is difficult these days to try to warn people when they are going in the wrong direction and have them understand you sincerely care about them. Many tend to think you get some satisfaction by pointing out their faults when really you want to help them. Along with the “don’t judge me” attitude comes the “so you’re think you’re better than me?” attitude. This is especially true with people struggling with addiction. This is often a sign that they don’t see a way out. Which is why it appears as judgement. They are already painfully aware they have a problem but don’t realize you are trying to help them find a solution, in fact, The Solution: Jesus Himself! By the way, I hope you don’t mind that I quote some of your insights in my sermon on this subject tomorrow. I promise to cite you as a source! God bless you.
Thanks for your very kind reply. And of course, feel free to cite whatever you’d like.
Good Morning, Min. Jason Staples!! God DEFINITELY led me to this site, as I am preparing to teach this evening, “Don’t Judge me (What we are REALLY saying!)!” Sir – YOU NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I, along with Shane will definitely “site you as a source,” and since I am taping this as well for The Terri Graham Radio Show, as well as for one of my 4 TV Shows – I am HAPPY to have you, along with the Word of God, as a source! I, too am sooooooooooo sorry for all of the negative, “judgmental comments” (lol) against you, when you are CLEARLY explaining EXACTLY what Jesus meant! Furthermore, I agree with Leah, that you are DEFINITELY “carrying your cross!” As I wrote in my message – “Judging” is to “form an OPINION or CONCLUSION about someone (online dictionary),” – that is totally different from stating a FACT or a TRUTH about a behavior! Usually, when someone says “Don’t Judge Me,” what they are really saying is “Don’t call my horrible behavior into question, and don’t you DARE hold me accountable for my wrong doing….!” Min. Jason, what gets me is that the people that say that “Only God can judge me” don’t realize that if they are standing before God – being “Judged” for their sinful behavior and DELIBERATE wrong doing – IT’S TOO LATE TO CORRECT THAT BEHAVIOR!!!!! We can’t say “Oh my bad, Lord – I shouldn’t have continued to KNOWINGLY and DELIBERATELY do wrong – I’ll get it right the next time!” THERE IS NO “NEXT” TIME!” I’m with Brad – “To be forewarned is to be forearmed!” The Bible in I Corinthians 6:3 tells us that we will be “judging angels;” that, we should definitely be able to (after we get the “beam out of our own eye”) judge or lovingly hold one another accountable for our behavior! Let me offer an entirely different perspective: think about the people that are in hell right now – I’m sure that they WISH that people had “judged” them, meaning held them accountable (in love) for deliberate, willful, and continued wrong behavior on their part! As they are forever being tormented (My Lord), I’m sure that they are remembering EVERY person that tried to “warn” them that, although God TRULY loves them, He will not tolerate willful, continuous sinning! I’m sure that they are remembering posts like Min. Jason Staples’ and messages and sermons BEGGING folks to REPENT! You all, we have breath in our bodies NOW, we can correct our wrong behaviors NOW! If you should ever meet me, or get to know me as a person, and you see me CONTINUOUSLY & WILLFULLY doing wrong behavior, and I have not repented – If you truly, truly love me, or halfway care about my soul at all, then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE JUDGE ME! Don’t just sit there and watch me go to hell – KNOWING that if I KEEP doing what I’m doing – that’s where I’ll end up! Please hold me ACCOUNTABLE for deliberate wrong behavior, so I can repent – and go on! God loves us all, and He is NOT willing that ANY should perish! Since I’m a preacher, this goes for me first, to get it right with God – whatever He is asking us to do, or telling us not to do – let’s just obey Him! Let’s “judge” or hold one another accountable for our behaviors now – while we can, WITH GOD’S HELP – correct those bad behaviors, before God has to step in and do it for us, because, trust me, “waiting” until God judges us – when we stand before Him, is NOT the time to find out that it’s TOO LATE!! Min. Jason – I may have to bear some of this cross with you, and some of the others on this post that supports your message, but you are “spot-on” and we love everybody, and we want to see EVERYONE – including ourselves, spend a WONDERFUL ETERNITY with Jesus Christ our Lord!!! I love you all – BAM! (BAM means that “Everyone has something Beautiful, Awesome, and Magnificent about themselves – BAM!”)
You know EXACTLY what Jesus meant? What an ego. LOL.
You claim that for someone to know exactly what someone meant while speaking to them is to have an ego. I disagree. If I tell you murder is bad and you decide you know exactly what I mean by that statement, it does not necessarily mean you have an ego. Just being confident of a thing does not mean you have an ego. It just means you are confident. It means you have faith in a thing. According to your logic, if anyone has a lot of faith about anything, then they have a ego problem. If I have a lot of faith in Jesus, according to you, that means I am prideful. That is a ridiculous argument.
The question is, who is more crazy, this guy, or Seattle? (a few comments up, go look!)
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Brother Jason and all other people that are in agreement with you as you are definitely in agreement with the word of God. I too am a pastor and at the risk of even being ashamed for not truly understanding the true meaning of this subject (which thanks to you) I truly do now! I appreciate you so much for letting God use you to help people like myself who truly desires to obey God’s word to the fullest extent in order to truly help to free someone that may be struggling from the strain of misunderstanding God’s purpose and intentions of his word. I thank you again and again! And may the Lord continue to use you and bless you, for you have truly been a blessing to me!
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Min. Jason, I posted your website, and my reponse to you on Facebook! “CONGRATULATIONS” on being an adjunct Instructor of Sociology at Duke, as well as being a Ph.D. candidate for Ancient Mediterranean Religious Studies (you go, sir!), etc. I posted my response to you, and I prefaced it by saying the following:
Evg Terri Dionne Wooten-Graham
1 min ·
Good Morning, Facebook Family! As you know, I will be teaching my SPIRITUAL HOT TOPIC for the day – “DON’T JUDGE ME (What we are Really saying…), and taping for The Terri Graham Radio Show! Come join us and bring your questions, comments, and insight into this very controversial topic, as we will open the floor for comments – after the teaching! 3428 Bankhead Highway LITHIA SPRINGS, GA 30122! I WELCOME your comments, after you read the following – my response to the AWESOME Jason Staples, http://www.www.jasonstaples.com, who also dealt with this topic! In continued preparation for today’s SPIRITUAL “HOT” TOPIC – God led me straight to Min. Jason Staples post! Here goes….. And then, I posted my above response!! Bless you for your courage, Min. Staples – BAM!
Jason, I take it that once a person repents, he never sins again?
That once he has found Jesus, he is in a place to condemn others?
We can know whether a person’s actions are good or bad, but what about our own? Are we fully aware of our own sins? I believe you took this passage out of context, as directly after Jesus warned about judging, he also warned that we are quick to point out the speck in our neighbor’s eye but we do not notice the log in our own eye. One can write an article to justify judging others, but are not all authors–even self-righteous Christian writers–sinners, too?
At what point is our heart pure enough to condemn the hearts of others?
We should do our best to stay away from people who are committing evil actions, but the problem occurs when we believe we are in a place to judge a person for their past actions–we do not know where an individual may be on their journey with God and everyone, from young single moms to ex-prostitutes to your next-door neighbor, deserves to walk into a room and not be judged until their present actions are visible. A Christian is not sin-free, but they try their best to be; their lives are no longer defined by sin, but are still forever less than even the least in the kingdom of God (Matthew 11:11).
You may judge your heart as pure and others’ as sinful and wrong, but I hope that judgment is flawless, because one day God will use it on you.
And I repeat, “At what point is our heart pure enough to condemn the hearts of others?”
It is foolhardy to condemn the heart of anyone. But there is no way around judging a person’s actions (indeed, Jesus commands doing so once one has removed the beam from one’s own eyes), and some actions are certainly worthy of condemnation.
You ask if once a person repents they never sin again. The answer is it varies. In some cases yes, they don’t ever sin again. In many cases, they do sin again. It depends on how diligently they are seeking God, how much they are willing to get up and fight every day to stand firm. How badly they want to attain the prize of the first resurrection. How desperately they love Jesus. How much are they willing to suffer and endure for Him? These factors vary. If your love the Jesus is small, your fight will be small, your faith will be small, your willingness to fight will be small, your willingness to suffer and sacrifice will be small, and that repentance, though perhaps genuine, will not get you very far. Maybe it will last half a day. So it depends. How bad do they really want it. With all of their heart, or just as long as it is fairly effortless and when the road gets really tough they quit trying to obey.
You ask if once a person has found Jesus, are they in a place to condemn others. People are always in a place to condemn others – disapprove of their behavior. The question is whether they are in a place to do it vocally and confront them about it. If one does not do said behaviors, they are in a place to confront that person on those behaviors. I wouldn’t even say one has to be perfect in all areas to confront someone on a area. If I still deal with selfishness toward my wife, that does not prevent me from being in a place to confront my coworker on sexual harassment he is exhibiting toward women in the workplace. We just don’t want to be on the front lines calling people out for the same stuff we do regularly. That is the main concern. It just makes us look like a hypocritical fool in that scenario. That is the point.
“We can know whether a person’s actions are good or bad, but what about our own?” – Yes, we can know our own actions are good or bad. If I murder someone, I am able to determine that this was bad. If I help someone from love for them, I am able to know that this was good. Are there more nuanced examples that might be harder to tell? Sure. That is where meditating on God’s Word can help and that is where others judging our actions helps. Hence the need we have for others to judge us for our own benefit. Although if we are diligently seeking God daily with all of our heart, and putting on the full armor of God every day, then we most likely will be diligently searching our heart and judging our motives and holding every thought captive and be able to do a perfectly adequate job of judging our own behaviors without assistance. Yet a person doing that would not mind assistance and would welcome the judgement of others to give additional insight and sharpening in a attitude of humility. Only pride causes one to not want to be judged – and it shows one is hiding something. The righteous are as bold as a lion and have nothing to hide. Bring on the judgement says the righteous man – it will only prove I am innocent or sharpen me further – a win-win.
“Are we fully aware of our own sins?” – It depends. If we are seeking God diligently, and seeking fellowship with other believers, between our own introspection, the righteous and sharp judgement of other believers, and the convictions from the Holy Spirit, each and every sin will be exposed for sure. This will give us full awareness of our own sins. However, if we blow God off every day, avoid fellowship with other believers, ignore reading the Word, and live like the world in sin, then it is possible we will become more and more unaware of our own sins – at least the less egregious ones. We may know of the really bad ones, but the ones like pride can be hiding. Some sins are of the heart and less easily detected. But as I said, every heart issue will be exposed if we are diligently seeking righteousness and holiness with all of our heart, soul, and strength like we are commanded to do.
You say Jesus warned that we are quick to point out the speck in our neighbor’s eye but not notice the log in our own eye. – This is just a warning and a indication that this is often the case with people. It by no means indicates that it is always the case and that we are unable to know of the logs in our own eyes and unable to remove them and we are unable to ever point out the specks in our neighbor’s eyes in the proper manner. We can remove the logs from our own eye or else Jesus would not have commanded us to do so. We can properly remove the speck from our neighbor’s eye in the proper manner or else Jesus would not have commanded us to do so. In no way did Jason take the passage out of context. Perhaps he didn’t bring up every single contextual factor in an exhaustive manner, but he didn’t take anything OUT of context, which infers he said something that contradicts something else that is involved in the context. Nothing Jason said went in opposition to anything not mentioned in the context.
You ask if self-righteous Christian writers are sinners. Of course a self-righteous person is a sinner. So your question already answered itself since being self-righteous is a sin. However, you fail to consider if there is such a thing as a righteous Christian. Not a self-righteous Christian, but a selflessly righteous Christian. The answer to this is fortunately a resounding yes! In fact, any true, born again Christian who is actively overcoming the world and actively following Christ, taking up their cross daily and a true son and disciple, who is putting on the full armor of God daily, who prays unceasingly, such a Christian is NOT a sinner and they exist. I am one. I hope to be one for life. By the sound of it, you are not. I hope you enter into the narrow path before it is too late. If you die a sinner, He will say He never knew you. Become a saint which is your reasonable service. He deserves it. Also, you calling (by inference) Jason self-righteous was judging him, which is ironic considering your entire post is generally pointing toward demonization of judging while you judge Jason yourself making you a hypocrite on full display.
“At what point is our heart pure enough to condemn the hearts of others?” – Even with an impure heart we are able to condemn the hearts of others which are revealed by their actions which in turn were caused by the state of their heart. A person who commits murder did so because they had a murderous heart. A person who lies did so generally on account of having a lying heart. The question is not how pure the heart must be to condemn the heart of another. The question is how pure a heart must be in the specific category of condemning of the other’s heart in question in a outward manner of condemnation. For example, if you see someone cussing out loud, you can say to yourself: “I know that cussing is bad, and they need to be called out on this, but I myself have a bad cussing problem of late and am not the person to call them out so I will hold my tongue on this and hopefully my husband will call them out for cussing because he literally hasn’t cussed in ages”. This is the proper train of thought. Also of note is that there are instances where someone may do something that appears immoral on the outside but is done with pure motive on the heart side and so we have to be cautious when judging their heart intentions. We should focus on judging the action moreso and giving the heart intention behind said action the benefit of the doubt as our preference. Although in some cases, the heart intentions are clearly shown. For example, if someone kills someone, we can assume they are a murderer, but we might be dealing with a self defense situation or accidental situation or crime prevention situation so we can’t be too sure about their heart condition. However, if that person were to go up to the mourning family and laugh and spit in their face, then it is safe to say that the person has a murderous heart intention as well.
“A Christian is not sin-free, but they try their best to be” – I disagree. A Christian can be sin free in the sense of the word usage you gave here. A Christian cannot be without sin – ie have never sinned, however, a Christian can be no longer sinning for long stretches of time that can go on for days, weeks, years, even for life. It is possible. You are denying the power of Christ to set us free from sin and the power of the full armor of God to enable us to stand firm when the day of temptation comes. This is borderline blasphemy of the Holy Spirit but I will assume your heart intention is good.
You say that a Christian is forever less than the least in the kingdom of God. I disagree. A Christian that is born again and walking according to the Holy Spirit IS in the kingdom of God in this life. The Bible says we are able to be seated with Him in heavenly places in this life (present tense) (Ephesians 2:6). John the Baptist was the greatest of men born of women and yet was less than the least in the kingdom of God because he was not in the kingdom of God since he was only born of women (Luke 7:28). However, Jesus died and sent the Comforter and we now can access being born again, no longer born of women but now born of God (John 1:13), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) – one with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), free from the power of sin and death (Romans 8:2). So now, if born again, we are no longer born of women but are born of God. This means we are now IN the kingdom of God if we are born again, which John the Baptist was not. So if we are born again and abiding in the new man, we are greater than even John the Baptist, even if we are least in the kingdom of God. Basically, if we are in Christ and one with Christ then because Christ is ruling and reigning in heaven, we are spirit linked to that ruling and reigning seat in heaven and seated with Him in heavenly places even now, ruling and reigning with Him spiritually. This is why we have spiritual authority over even Satan and can command evil spirits to come out of people and they must obey our authority in Christ. We are spiritually in the kingdom of heaven even now if we are in Christ right now.
You warn: I hope that judgment is flawless, because one day God will use it on you. I say amen to this. However, the fear these words put on us is a good fear – it is the fear of the Lord. We are to fear the Lord and His judgement surely. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Not fear and trembling of the power of Satan or what man can do to us – for they can only harm our bodies. We should fear and tremble before the one who can destroy soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28) Also, if I tell someone they should not be sexually harassing women, and am thereby judging/condemning them, I can be scared that my heart wasn’t pure enough to qualify me to call them out as you say, however, I am to also bear in mind that my love for my neighbor should compel me to call the guy out for his own reproof and for the protection of the women in my workplace. So barring me having an habit of also sexually harassing them, even if I’m not perfect in my heart in all areas, I will boldly call the guy out because I know my intentions are pure and I know God is fair and even if I wasn’t the most holy Christian, God will be pleased that I cared enough to stand up for what is right.
This is deeper than hypocrisy or that a self-declared pure heart justifies judging others. We need to recognize when a person is doing bad things, and yet we also need to recognize that since we have not lived their lives, since perhaps they maybe have not even found Jesus yet, we could be in the exact same place had we not been so blessed. We are blessed that we can know the word of God and do what pleases him. That is a BLESSING–what made you come to God, both author and all you commenters here? Were you raised Christian? Did you have significant spiritual experiences? Do you realize that not everyone is that blessed? We must choose to accept Jesus into our lives, and that is a choice, but I wonder–does everyone have an equal shot at finding God in the exact same way we have? Judging others is always hypocritical, unless you recognize their actions as wrong, unjustifiable, and the potential for what our lives could be if we forget to incorporate God into every fiber of our lives (and even then we will still be sinners). We also need to love them and forgive them.
There is no limit on how many times we forgive someone (Matthew 18:22). None of our hearts can be judged as pure except by God.
No matter how long we have walked with Jesus, we are still sinners.
The problem I have with this article is that it omits the love God wanted us to have for each other, and the love he has for us, and focuses on judging ourselves as pure so that we judge others, because somehow that is the only way to build the foundation for forgiveness. Forgiveness is what we ask for when we judge ACTIONS as wrong. You mentioned above that people should be condemned from the church?!? What if they ask for forgiveness? We follow God because he loves us, he doesn’t love us because we follow him. We do not inherently deserve his love. We do not earn his love. And we judge others’ actions but we still love them and we do not judge their worth.
Jesus also said that it is the way in which you measure others that will be used to measure your own life.
As in, the type of judgment you use will be applied to all aspects of your life, not just the facets where you took advantage of your strong areas to condemn others who were weak in those areas.
You make good points but are excessively loquacious. Certainly we should not excuse infidelity, murder, dishonesty.
But I found your entry after someone referred me to John 7:24. I think John 7 tempers the temptation to judge a little
“. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
And “Stop judging bymere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
I refer to judgment as a temptation because I am so prone to feeling ‘holier than thou’. That is speaking on my own. But judging to seek the glory of God is much more difficult. At least for this sinner.
How judgmental to label me as “excessively loquacious”!
And if you are agreed that infidelity, murder, and dishonesty should not be excused, you have also agreed that we all have an imperative to judge, and that rightly.
In your example about judging people who don’t know the Lord and reminding ourselves that we are just blessed to know him, I see wisdom. However, you are presuming that judging them means straight up rejecting them utterly, being super harsh and mean and disgusted in an over the top manner, and going out of our way to make them feel terrible in an excessive fashion, followed by zero display of sensitivity, understanding, grace, or patience whatsoever. You can’t just assume that is all judging will ever be. There are different means of carrying out of judging. If dealing with such a person who doesn’t know God, we can do so in a gentle, loving manner with sensitivity on one end of the spectrum, and in a rough, loud, aggressive, sharp manner on the other end of the spectrum. There isn’t even a strict rule on one being best for all occasions. When John the Baptist righteously called out Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, he was on the latter end of that spectrum. When Jesus shouted that the money changers were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves, it was on the latter end of the spectrum. When dealing with a depressed prostitute who wants out of the life who is coming to church for the first time in 20 years, you’d deal on the former end of the spectrum. Do they appear brazen and bold in their sin, rebuke harder. Do they appear regretful and sad about their sin? Rebuke gently and lovingly with sensitivity and forgiveness. Do they appear to be unaware of their sin? Rebuke more gently in this case as they don’t know. So really you have to use good judgement and wisdom in execution of the rebuke on a case by case basis. It just seems you assume all rebuke is going to be screaming in someone’s face full of hatred and always hypocritical and always out of line and over the top which is ludicrous to suggest.
You ask if everyone has an equal shot at finding God in the exact way as we have. The answer is a resounding no. They don’t. The Bible says many are called and few are chosen. This means some are not called. This means many are not chosen (Matthew 22:14). In fact, for some, God shuts their ears and blinds their eyes so that they cannot hear the truth, turn, and repent (John 12:40). They are not as blessed as we are presently. From the same lump of clay the potter uses some for special purposes and others for common use (Romans 9:21). This is not the same level of blessing for all. Some are reaping what their fathers have sewn generations ago and are dealing with oppression from evil spirits that follow a family bloodline generationally. So you are right in that we should all the more show great compassion for those not as fortunate in their spiritual lottery as we are. Remember, we did not choose Him, no He has chosen us (John 15:16). Yet this does not mean that we are to be silent about their sin such that they find sin more acceptable and are not warned. Isaiah 58:1 Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins. If we don’t warn them, nobody will and their blood will be on our hands. But you are right that we are to do so compassionately and with proper methods and proper delivery on a case by case basis with wisdom and good judgement and be very gentle at times so as to not push people away who need our help and encouragement.
You say that if we incorporate God into every fiber of our lives, we will still be sinners. I disagree. If we are truly dead to sin, how can we live in it any longer? If we are truly dead period, then we no longer live but Christ lives in us. This means that everything we do is no longer rooted in any kind of selfish motives but is now rooted in just trying to please and obey the Lord. That is the whole desire of our heart, by comparison nothing else matters, and that is the impetus behind every decision we make and word we speak. If this is the case, then we are truly no longer living for ourselves and sin is impossible to commit because our motives are pure and our heart is pure. No sin is imputed to that which is done by faith with pure intention and if this is our state of being at all times, no sin is imputed at any time. So again, you are dead wrong.
Note that when you say that every Christian is still a sinner – meaning they still continue to sin, you deny the truths of the New Testament. He that is born again cannot sin because God’s seed abides in Him (1 John 3:9). He that the son sets free from sin is free indeed from sin (John 8:36). He that sins is of the devil who has sinned from the beginning (1 John 3:8). Let the one who claims to know God depart from sin and sin no longer (2 Timothy 2:19). Go and sin no more (John 8:11). Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect(Matthew 5:48). If you love Jesus, you will keep His commands and not sin (John 14:15). He that sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34) and a slave is not a permanent member of the family of God but a son of God, one that does not sin anymore, belongs to the family of God forever (John 8:35). If you put on the full armor of God then on the day of temptation you will stand and not sin on that day (Ephesians 6:11). And when you claim every Christian is still a sinner, you are saying that God does not hear any Christian’s prayers because God does not hear the prayers of sinners (John 9:31)(Proverbs 15:29)(1 Peter 3:12) and in fact, they are an abomination to Him (Proverbs 28:9).
You say this article omits the love God wanted us to have for eachother. I disagree. If someone is in sin and heading to hell for it, then it is as though their house is on fire. If we don’t warn them that their house is on fire and get a bucket of water for them to help them put it out, but instead stay silent, then their house burning down is on our head. Judging them is then our necessary service to them if we want to express our love for them. Being silent and watching them burn is the opposite of love – it shows we hate them and can care less if they go to hell and that we hate God and can care less about winning souls for Him and fighting for what is right and for justice in the sight of God. Imagine somebody in hell asking us why didn’t we warn them, why didn’t we care enough to tell them how serious sin is if we knew the truth? Well we just didn’t want to annoy you or seem self-righteous in your sight. Bro, now I’m in hell, you should have annoyed me! Who cares about that, I’d rather be annoyed for a minute than in hell! You care more about your appearance in the sight of others than about their salvation!? Disgusting! So tell them. If you feel the need to whisper it and tell them you love them so much and please don’t take this the wrong way, then do that too. But tell them.
You say we can only judge ACTIONS as wrong. I disagree. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and so generally, if the mouth and body speak and do evil, and it came from the abundance of the heart, and the man is his heart, then judging the actions and judging the man are one and the same thing. A man is as he does. Actions define a man. You judge the actions and you judge the man performing said actions. Your argument infers that we can decouple the actions from the person doing the actions and in so doing we avoid offending them. This is nonsense. They may be offended and hurt and so be it. If they are humble, they will accept reproof. If they are proud, they will reject reproof. God resists the proud so let them reject it. Let the humble benefit from it. That is how this works. Do not care so much for how you will be seen by the world. Care for how God will see this. If you judge someone because you love them, God will know. They might think it’s because you are a self-righteous religious idiot – who cares. You planted a seed and God brings the increase. You did your part and washed their blood off of your hands.
You mention the idea of people being condemned from the church and put question marks and exclamation marks inferring shock and horror and disbelief at the notion. I turn you to the BIBLE on this. “1 Cor 5:12 What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” – So would you like to reconsider your outrage about condemning people from the church? Condemning means punishing or strongly disapproving. Paul says to expel the wicked person. That is a punishment and strong disapproving which means Paul is saying to condemn people from the church if they are exceedingly wicked. Would you defy Paul on this and thereby defy God’s Word? Paul said about one church member: 1 Cor 5:5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit might be saved on the Day of the Lord. – Now, you ask what if they ask for forgiveness. That is going to depend on whether they appear genuine and bear fruits of repentance of course. It is case by case. The man in 1 cor 5:5 came back humbled some time later and rejoined the church. The idea isn’t to bar someone forever. The idea is to cause them to become sober minded and realize the severity of their trespass and repent and then rejoin the fellowship.
You say that if you are strong in an area of sin, that you still cannot judge people in that because that is taking advantage. I disagree. If I am strong in not lusting after women sinfully, and I take a platform of telling people porn is wrong and telling them they need to stop looking at it, God is not going to be mad about this and try to point out that I am weak in regards to poor sportsmanship when I lose at board games. This would be God punishing me for standing up against porn watching. This would be unjust of God to try to “get me back” for trying to help people get out of porn addiction. God is just and would reward me for calling people out for porn watching provided that my motives were good and rooted in love for them. Your idea that everyone calling out everyone else is always just looking to feel better about themselves and “take advantage” of opportunities to judge like it is something they just love to do out of some selfish pleasure motives is ridiculous. There is such a thing as calling out sin because you hate sin and want to help people to stop sinning in that area. There is such a thing as pure and selfless motives. That you seem to not see this as being a possibility is very alarming.
I judge you as hilarious! Thank you for this very well written Blog. I hope it will help me in making my day to day judgments as you have explained many things the way I always felt that this passage meant them to be taken. I believe you have also helped draw my attention to my own hypocrisy.
Splendid! A great explanation of verses that are misinterpreted and also misused especially in the case of adultery.
I believe most of the people who are railing against this article is in fact confusing judgment, from righteous judgment, from condemnation. I think for most people the word “judgment” invokes some image of sentencing or condemning action, when in fact a Christian is called to examine their own character before examining another. Only then can one see clearly enough to come alongside another brother or sister to help them walk away from some sin. This involves, yes judgment.
You seem to differentiate the word judgement and condemnation and infer that condemnation is necessarily not righteous. I disagree. Condemnation means strong disapproval. It is a stronger version of the word judgement and synonymous but has an inference of additional emphasis is ALL. Judgement and condemnation are not separable, one being good and the other bad. Both can involve making a decision between right and wrong behaviors, both can involve either being silent or being vocal about it, and both by extension can also entail dishing out a literal punishment of some sort. To punish someone is an extreme version of judgement/condemnation but is necessary or at least just and righteous at times. For example, if you have a coworker that continually sexually harasses women in the work place and you have warned him about it, if he continues to do it, you can punish him by refusing to speak with him when he comes by your desk to discuss how hot the new intern is. That is a form of punishment. The degree of the punishment has to be just, fair, generally legal, graceful, rooted in love, rooted in patience, etc but there is a time and place for it. To imply it must always be unrighteous is a ridiculous argument. If that were true, the verse “spare the rod spoil the child” would be evil and the parent would have no right to punish a child because that is condemnation. Now, perhaps you think of condemnation as strictly the final judgement at the great white throne or a final judgement to never give the person another chance at a relationship with you no matter how much they apologize, sentencing them to the silent treatment for life and hardening your heart for life. Well then if this is your definition, that would be unjust. There should always be not only a willingness to forgive but also an eagerness to forgive, a desire to be at peace with all men and in a loving relationship with all men. However, if they are unrepentant and continuing in the harmful behavior, there is no need to forgive in that case. For example, you don’t need to forgive someone for beating your child every day on the way home from school if they continue to do so every day. You have just cause to be angry with them and to punish them by not allowing them to enter your home nor speak to them when you see them. If they repent, apologize genuinely and bear the fruits of repentance, then you should quickly forgive them and reopen your home to them and be kind and favorable toward them again. This should be your delight to do so. If you find you still have a hard heart, then you are unjustly condemning them after they have apologized genuinely.
I’d like to add that it is God who gives people eyes to see and ears to hear. Those who are railing against this article, which is biblically sound, are blind and cannot see that they are being fully judgmental while preaching against being judgmental. Some are even name calling. I see this type of confusion all over the Christian community and believe it’s a sign that God hasn’t given these people eyes and ears to understand His Word. It is the very thing that Matt 7:1-2 is about. One cannot argue these people into having their eyes opened. We can only pray for them.
It is the intent of the saying “judge not lest you be judged” that is important. It is about looking down on people without understanding where they are coming from. We are all at different places. Just because you are seeing the light doesn’t mean all of sudden other will just because you say so. You see people that have been immoral their whole life and now that they see the light, you are supposed to. It doesn’t work that way. Not judging others doesn’t mean you condone what they are doing. You are just focusing on your own path to God. Perhaps in their own time, they will also. You might be even be an inspiration for them but not by acting like you are better than them.. This will only turn them away. It is always best to be humble. The path to God is not for the faint of heart. It is a treacherous journey where you may fall but you keep picking yourself and not giving up.. It is, in the end, a personal journey between you and your God.
You say that not judging others doesn’t mean you are condoning what they are doing. I disagree in part. Supposing someone is sexually harassing women in your workplace. If you don’t judge them by telling them what they are doing is wrong and you are seeing this daily, and they know you see it and say nothing, they will think you are cool with it. This then gives the impression that you approve of what they are doing. Or at the very least it gives the impression that you find what they are doing to be wrong, but not particularly wrong, not terribly serious, and that it is not going to get them into trouble in the sight of God. This is very dangerous for us as Christians because we are the ones who set the bar. If lukewarm Christians and/or unbelievers see a strong Christian silent about their sinful behavior, they will assume its not a big deal and be more inclined to continue in that behavior. They may even increase to worse behaviors to see if you will say something, testing the boundaries so to speak. Children do this all the time with parents – they do increasingly wicked things right in front of you until you call them out – they are testing their boundaries to see what they can and cannot get away with. We must be mindful of this human tendency and err on the side of caution by calling people out early and often for sinful behavior so as to sharpen them a iron sharpens iron. If you are loose on calling people out, then people will be loose with immoral behavior around you and think you condone it. You may not really condone it, but that is the impressive this silence will give. Now, if you do the same behaviors and feel unqualified to say anything, then repent of those behaviors asap, stop doing them, and then, having removed the log, call them out for them. If they say they see you do the same things, you can assure them that you quit doing them because you were convicted about it and hope they will quit too. Win win. This is what Jesus wants. Just saying “well I’m focused on my own path to God and perhaps in their own time they will too” is not loving your brother. It is saying ah well, let them sin, I can care less that their salvation is at stake and that they are breaking God’s heart, I’m not going to obey the Bible which says to cry aloud, shout from the rooftops, call out the sins of people (Isaiah 58:1). So you are basically discouraging people from obeying the Lord to call out sin. Yes, we need to stop sinning in that area first before we can do so, but after we remove that sin in our life which we are commanded to do, we must also call it out in other’s lives which we are also commanded to do.
You say that calling people out for their sin is acting like you are better than them. I disagree. You infer that if you obey God, it is because you are better than others. This is a false inference. If you obey God righteously, it is because He chose you (you did not choose Him) (John 15:16), and it is because you no longer live but Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). It is God that gives us the will and the ability to do His good pleasure, not us (Philippians 2:13). So if we obey God righteously, it is not because WE are better than anyone but rather it is because Christ is manifesting himself through us and we are submitting to Him and letting Him take over our lives. He gets all the glory, not us. So you assuming obeying God makes us better than others and calling out sin is all to make ourselves look better than others demonstrates your lack of understanding of how righteous obedience works and what it means to lay down one’s life for the Lord and even what it means to be born again. It is very alarming.
Your suggestion that calling out sin only turns people away is not necessarily true. John the Baptist and Jesus were regularly telling people to repent and drew the masses. This idea that we have to never call out sin in order to be attractive to the world is evil. This is a satanic form of tolerance for sin. Yes, we have to be tactful. Yes, we have to have grace. Yes, we don’t need to be over the top screaming in people’s faces about their sins constantly and refuse to speak about anything else. However, that does not mean that calling people out for their sins should be a taboo thing to do nor should it EVER be suggested that doing so is necessarily contrary to the Bible or to bringing new souls to the kingdom. According to your logic, the sinners prayer should be changed to something more like this: nothing in your life is a sin as far as I’m concerned because who am I to judge what is and is not a sin – so don’t bother repenting of any sins because we can’t judge what is a sin and what isn’t, only God can judge. So just ask Him to come into your heart, which we assume is already a perfect heart because who am I to judge. And we can’t exactly say you need a saviour because we can’t judge whether you are a sinner or not because who am I to judge, only God could determine that. It is just ridiculous to think this way.
You then go on to infer that judging others indicates you are not humble. This is not necessarily true. You are able to be humble and still call out sins others are doing that you are aware of. Can someone be prideful and call out sins? Sure. Can someone be humble and call out sins? Yep. Calling out sins does not indicate humility level.
Lots of interesting “insught” and comments.. I think God must like so much interest in her/his existence.
I am probably way off base here. I always thought that the log/bean in my eye could be a sin/trait that I possessed or a sin that was committed and affected me. If someone does something to me I tend to judge it very harshly the next time I see it elsewhere. I guess this could be a combination of the log and not forgiving people. Like I said I could be way off base.
A log/beam in your eye is a sin/trait that you currently possess and express and have not repented of – have not stopped doing and apologized for, determined to never do it again and fighting hard to keep it that way for good. Your suggestion that it is something you did in the past only infers that even if you stopped doing it and apologized for it and are committed to never doing it again, that log/beam remains in your eye forever and there is no removing it because it happened. According to this logic, being a changed man is impossible, you can never be righteous and clean in the sight of God even if you do repent and mean it, and your past defines who you are today even if you have truly changed and started following God for real. This is a false understanding. If that were true, then Jesus telling us to remove the log/beam from our own eye and then, now seeing clearly, remove the speck from our neighbor’s eye would be a impossible command. We would have to tell Jesus – what do you mean remove the log from my own eye – what is done is done and this log is impossible to remove because it happened in the past and I cannot rewrite history. This is a foolish argument. Clearly, we can remove the log or He would not have said to remove it and therefore clearly the log is not something that happened in the past but is rather something we can change – it is some type of wrong attitude or ongoing behavior that we are able to stop doing and clean up so that we can then help others stop doing their bad stuff without being a hypocrite in that judgement.
You mention if someone harms you, you judge it harshly when you see it elsewhere. This is nothing to do with logs in your eye necessarily. It has more to do with you learning to sympathize with the victim of said harmful thing since it happened to you and you remember how that felt and now you hate that harmful thing more and judge it harshly just like God judges it harshly. This appears to be a good thing. We should hate sin with a passion and judge it harshly. We just have to carry out that judgement with wisdom, grace, self-control, proper measure, tact, patience, etc.
Jason, I enjoyed reading your post! I was wondering if you could provide me with references, quality sources and documentation interacting with how current Christians justify the miss-application of this text. I’m actually working on this passage too as one of my class requirements in Hermeneutics and one of my goals is to show the interpretative fallacy associated with the misused or misunderstood interpretation.
Hi Matthew, the examples are sundry, but unfortunately I don’t have sufficient time to do a literature review for you. The examples shouldn’t be too hard to find, however.
I think I finally have it. Once I examine myself and correct my flaws, I can then pass judgement on others. I like it. Thanks.
The purpose is not to “pass judgment” on others but rather to help them through their own problems. Remember that the final step is to help one’s neighbor remove the speck, not to condemn it.
I can here because of how Journalist love to judge everyone else, but they don’t want their lives put under a microscope.
You say that anyone who publishes content that calls out sin noticed in others necessarily does not want their lives put under a microscope. By this you infer that they have things hidden in their lives that they are ashamed of and wish to hide. I disagree in part. This may be the case in some instances, but it is not necessarily the case in all situations. I personally publish content judging wrong behaviors and I delight in people putting my life under a microscope. If they find anything unworthy of a servant of God, I owe them a debt of gratitude for they have given me something to correct in order that I might be even more pleasing to God. If they find nothing wrong and find that I am blameless, which is a requirement for the position of overseer of a church, then they merely affirm my walk is blameless and bring glory to God who deserves all the credit for having made me blameless when I submitted to Him my entire life and all my desires which is what we are all commanded to do. So really, we should ALL be VERY eager and delighted to have our lives under a microscope and if not, then we need to repent of some things so that we can be righteous and prepared for judgement. I’d rather have you inspect my life with a microscope now and help me get rid of any flaws now then to have God do it on judgement day when it is too late to change them.
Enjoyed reading the Interpretations and I agree that hypocrisy, not judgment, is the problem. Aside from that the whole issue of “Personal Judgement” has been in my prayerful thoughts and calls me to be NOT a hypocrite. When I judge, I ask myself this one thing and try to live up to this:- Is the judgement I make destructive or constructive to me or another person(s) either psychologically or physically?
Wow! What fun it has been to read the post followed by comments that made me laugh at least a dozen times. I think Jason hit the mark, but our current “do not judge” culture cannot handle it.
This was and excellent explanation. I work in law enforcement and many people do not understand, just as there are laws which govern and are the basis in which we are able to determine if a person has broken or violated the law, God’s word is the standard which we are to govern our lives and assist other in adjusting to or correcting theirs. Judgement is identifying and giving the determinate to what is right and what is wrong. The concept is not to point out everyone else’s wrong, but to live out as an example that direction God has governed for their life. We aid and provoke each other to good work. Can a person who does not steal, tell a person who does to stop….absolutely, because they are able to put into practice that which is correct or righteous for their lives…..this is the beam which has come out. We tend to make excuses for things we really want or do not want to do.
Paul also covered this issue in 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, giving his judgement in a matter of an unrighteousness brother and how they should be able to determine right and wrong themselves. Great clarity in a day which confusion is diluting truth and men are calling right wrong and wrong is right…….
Shannon, can a person who commits adultery, is vain, is a bully, or is a control freak, tell a thief not to steal? Absolutely!, Will the thief listen to the hypocrite? Absolutely not! We ALL have “beams” which need to come out.
…and once those beams come out? That’s the point here. The idea that the beams cannot be removed goes against everything Jesus taught. You may disagree with what Jesus says in the Gospels, but if the discussion is about interpreting the New Testament, that idea isn’t really an option.
Romans 3:10 KJV: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.
You are not worthy to judge another, and neither am I. Yet, we do anyway, because we are human, and humans cannot be without sin; therefore, you can never remove those “beams”.
The fact is, you think you’re “special” in God’s eyes, and that you can judge anyone who doesn’t live the same lifestyle you live. Probably a political agenda behind it.
You reference Romans 3:10 KJV: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. and you conclude that we are not then worthy to judge another person. Your understanding of this passage is wrong. Paul is not saying that we cannot be perfect in Christ (Matthew 5:48) and righteous in Christ (1 John 2:29). He is saying none are righteous and perfect without first being in Christ and set free from sin by Christ (John 8:36). He is saying that apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5) and we cannot please God apart from Christ (Romans 8:8). He is not saying that even after we are in Christ we can do nothing. He is not saying that even after submitting to Christ we must go on sinning. He is not saying that even while born again we can’t help but to sin. He is not saying that everyone born again is still a sinner actively and ongoingly and cannot help it because they are a slave to sin. To suggest any of that is to completely undermine the New Testament. What Paul is saying is this: I am a filthy sinner without Christ, but since I am in Christ, I no longer am sinning because Christ has set me free. If I now live righteously, refusing to sin, I get no credit, it is Christ in me that gets all the credit (2 Corinthians 10:17). Apart from Him, even now, if He departed from me, I would be utterly lost and still the same sinner (1 Timothy 1:15). But in Him, if He continues to remain with me, aiding me and covering me and helping me, I cannot sin because His seed remains in me and this makes sinning impossible for me (1 John 3:9). In order for me to sin going forward, sin would have to first enter my heart, displacing Christ from sitting at the throne of my life, and then, no longer born again and no longer in submission to God, I can now go forth and sin once more (Hebrews 6:6). That is what Paul is saying.
You say nobody is worthy to judge another. I disagree. Jesus commands us to remove the log in our eye and then remove the speck in our neighbor’s eye (Matthew 7:5). If we were not worthy to judge another, it would be a sin to remove anybody’s speck because that is judging their speck to be a speck and telling them about it which we, according to you, are not worthy to do. In other words, according to your logic, Jesus commanding us to remove specks from other’s eyes is Jesus commanding us to do something we are unworthy to do and therefore is a sin for us to do. In other words, Jesus is commanding us to sin. What a foolish argument. The Bible says Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Does that verse say you are unworthy to judge another and doing so is a sin? No, it commands us to judge others on their sins. In fact, if we don’t judge them for their sins, their blood will be on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18)! So you are dead wrong. As long as we aren’t doing the same sins we are judging them on when we confront them, then we are not judging them hypocritically and we are obeying God in doing so – provided that our motives are to benefit them from a place of love for them.
You say we judge others because we are human and by this you infer that judging others is a sin. In other words, you are saying that obeying God’s command to judge righteously (John 7:24) and to call people out for their sins and to warn people about their sins (Ezekiel 3:18) is in fact sinning and that means obeying the Bible’s commandments is a sin to do. What a foolish argument.
You say that because we are human, we cannot be without sin and go on to infer that to be without sin means to stop sinning. In other words, you infer that if we are human then we cannot help but to keep on sinning no matter what Jesus does or says in our hearts or in His Word and that the power of God working through us is too weak to overcome the temptations of this world and the sinful nature. In other words, you are saying that with every temptation there is not a way out. In other words you are saying that even while wearing the full armor of God, when the day of temptation comes, we will surely fall because we are human and the full armor of God is not strong enough and has holes in it that the enemy can pierce. You are saying that the full armor of God is faulty and needs to be returned for a refund. This is borderline blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but I will assume your intentions are good. The truth is, God’s grace is sufficient and whom the son sets free is free indeed from sin. The truth is, we can go and sin no more and we can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect because Christ has sent the Comforter to empower us and enable us to do God’s will faithfully if we but surrender completely and lay down our lives for His life to reign in us. The truth is, the full armor of God is sufficient to enable us to stand firm on the day of temptation and not fall and not sin on that day and to overcome the enemy by the strength the Holy Spirit gives us. The truth is that he who is born again cannot sin because God’s seed remains in Him. The truth is we can go and sin no more. The truth is we can be perfect in Christ or we would not have been commanded to be so. The truth is we who have died to sin are no longer slaves to sin and our mortal members have no power to make us sin but we can rule over our bodies, putting them into subjection to the authority of Christ. The truth is, we can tear down every argument that comes against the obedience of Christ. The truth is, God is more powerful than Satan and the Holy Spirit is God and the Holy Spirit empowers us to have authority over Satan and overcome his attempts to deceive us and cause us to sin against God. Yes, humans are with sin because we all have sinned at least once in the past. But that by no means indicates that we will surely sin again in the future even with the help of the Holy Spirit on our side. We have the ability with God’s help to stop sinning. 1 Cor 15:34 Sober up righteously and do not sin, for some have ignorance of God. I speak to your shame.
You say as humans we can never remove the beams from our own eyes. I disagree. Jesus commands us to remove the beams from our eyes and would not tell us to do so if we were not able to do so. If Jesus told us to do something that is impossible, then Jesus in us will make it possible for us. The Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. One of the things I can surely do as part of “all things” is to obey things Christ commanded me to do – such as removing the beams in my own eye. So to suggest that we can NEVER remove the beams from our eyes is to suggest that we can never be born again, that we can never be redeemed, and that all humans are 100% going to hell. If we do not remove those beams from our eye, we will 100% be going to hell. That I can assure you.
You accuse others of thinking they are “special” in God’s eyes. So what if they do? Every single person ever created is special in God’s eyes and you want to know why they are special? Because God loves them enough to have let them be created in the first place and God will be worshiped by them in the fullness of time. This gives them created value and a purpose in the sight of God. Isaiah 45:23 By Myself I have sworn; truth has gone out from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow before Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24Surely they will say of Me, ‘In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.’” All who rage against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 1 Cor 15:28 And when all things have been subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all. – Now if you infer that someone thinks they are more special in the sight of God than others, perhaps that is a pride thing. But who can know for certain? Apparently you think you can know that for certain.
You show disdain for someone who judges people who live a sinful lifestyle. This is wrong to do because we are commanded to hate what God hates and love what God loves (Proverbs 8:13). God does not love sinful lifestyles and so we are commanded to judge sinful lifestyles and hate them.
You say we are not to point out everyone else’s wrong but to live out an example. I disagree. We are to live as an example as well as point out their wrong. Pointing out their wrong is taking the splinter out of their eye as we are commanded to do and living out an example is taking the log out of ours which we are commanded to do. You don’t just get to pick one when both are commanded of us. In fact, the Bible explicitly tells us to call out people’s sins and gives us this example over and over. Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. In fact, if you do not call them out for their sins, YOU will be held accountable by God for them! Ezekiel 3:18 If I say to the wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him or speak out to warn him from his wicked way to save his life, that wicked man will die in his iniquity, and I will hold you responsible for his blood. In other words, if we do not judge people, then we will be held responsible by God for their blood. What a powerful command that is and warning that we MUST judge people. It is not even optional. We just have to do so in the proper manner, with respectfulness, with good motives, with grace, with love, wisely, in proper measure, etc.
I came here because the scripture has changed here and in the Lord’s Prayer. It’s changed for me at least. I remember forgive our trespasses. Debts makes little sense to me and I’ve never heard in my life irrespective of the “older” interpretation. I am coming back around again to try and understand the Jesus/God/Holy Spirit paradigm. I’ve always tried to follow Jesus’ path without ever identifying as a Christian besides when I was a child. However, the recent obvious changes in the fabric of my reality has me awake and suspiciously alert.
I believe a tribulation and a judgement is coming. I believe I’ve been given eyes to see and ears to hear. I spent most of my life caring for handicapped adults. I try to feed the poor amd clothe the homeless through charitable giving. I have a great deal of empathy for all of those suffering in this world, enslaved my the demons running this simulation. So, that being said, I am a sinner. My nature in and of itself is sinful. Now, maybe that’s because it’s corrupted, but I can’t escape my nature, I simply can’t. What I can do is work every day to be more perfect, more Christlike and more loving in my approach. So, me judging anyone is out of the question, My intention is simply to wake people to the truth. We’ve been misled from the start about what this world is and the truth. It’s restrictred before you, not behind you. Once you understand THAT, in my case at least, real spiritual joy and comfort is bestowed upon thee. It’s pretty cool, too.
The prayer hasn’t changed. There are different ways of translating the Greek word underlying “trespasses” in the KJV, which is why you’ve heard different English wordings.
You are right, the Bible is supernaturally changing, look up Exodus 34:14 for example. God is a Jealous God but His name was not Jealous. But now most Bible say that it is. What I cant get over is the King James Bible I was brought up on is so different. Wheat is now CORN. Corn wasn’t even around in Israel back then. There are so many thousands of changes. But most people just blw them off.
This is ridiculous. The text isn’t changing. It’s your memory that is the problem. For example, you are conflating Exodus 34:14, which says, “whose name is Jealous,” with Exod 20:5, which says, “I, YHWH your God, am a jealous God.” You’re more familiar with Exod 20:5 because of its placement with the Ten Commands passage, and then when you read 34:14, which is less familiar, you mistakenly assume it has changed.
And the KJV has never referred to wheat, because what people in the USA call wheat has always been called corn in the UK (which is where the KJV was translated). You just remember wheat because you’re an American. Again, the problem is your memory, not the text.
You say that your nature is sinful and that you can’t escape your nature. I disagree in part. Sure, your nature is sinful, and sure, you alone apart from Christ cannot escape it, but with God’s help, you can escape it. Escaping that sinful nature is what it means to be born again, having a new nature (Colossians 3:10), no longer of corruptible seed but of incorruptable (1 Peter 1:23), no longer born of women but born of God (1 John 3:9). This is what it means to be dead to sin (1 John 3:9). This is what it means to no longer live but Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). This is what it means to have your old self that has a sinful nature crucified with him and the body that was laden with sin become powerless so that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). If you have not experienced this new life, freed from your sinful nature and ruling in victory over your body, ruling over it (Genesis 4:7) and refusing to sin successfully (John 8:11), then you have not yet been born again. You need to cry out to the Lord for this experience so that you can enter the narrow path and live a victorious life, overcoming the world and living a crucified life with Christ, a life of righteousness and holiness that we are commanded to live. Don’t tarry because if you don’t do this then you are on the broad path leading to destruction and hell.
You say that because you are not utterly perfect, you judging anyone is out of the question. I disagree. Even if in some areas you are imperfect, in other areas you are surely doing great. If you find people sinning in the areas that you are doing great in, then in that instance you can and must judge them or else their blood is on your hands because we are commanded to warn people about their sins or else their blood is on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18).
Calling a spade a spade isn’t judging. We are all held to the same standard – which is the Word of God – and sometimes it takes a quick rebuke to get us back “on the path”. I’ve been thankful in the past for rebukes that helped me turn away from sinful behavior. Galatians 2:11 – 21 is a perfect example of one believer correcting another in the Truth of the Gospel. The reality is most people today hate correction in any form or fashion. As Proverbs 15:32 goes, “Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds instruction gains understanding.” Take it from someone who has experienced a lot of correction. It is a beautiful thing to be shaped into the person God desires for you to be.
“Judge not lest ye be judged “is no longer in scripture look it up
On the contrary, it’s still there just like it always was.
My KJV of the bible now states ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’… I have had this same bible for over 25 years, and it used to say ‘Judge not, LEST YE be judged’… now it is different… something is amiss… I also am missing the passages where Jesus spoke in the KJV: DO NOT WORRY….. now it reads ‘take no thought’….
something is amiss
I agree with you, the text is changing in the bibles we’ve owned for years
Yes, Jennifer, you are correct and very observant. There have been many supernatural changes to the bible in the past year from about Sept 2015. The changes seems to be specifically targeted on the KJV, which has always been the more accurate translation. (not anymore)
This phenomenon is called the “Mandela Effect”, where Isaiah 11:6 changed from “Lion and the lamb” to “Wolf and the lamb”.
I believe it is part of the “strong delusion” of the end times that is mentioned in 2 Thes 2:11.
It is a two step process of the dark side:
1) The enemy slowly introduced small changes into the bible by introducing ALOT of new and different translations. Over the course of a few decades people accepted these changes and actually favours new translations because they are written in more understandable English. The changes aren’t really critical and still conveys the correct message of salvation. The point is that people don’t read the KJV anymore but do sometimes fuss about small changes between different newer versions of the bible.
2) Now the enemy found a way to supernaturally do slight alterations to the old KJV, while we are not looking and memorizing scripture, especially the OLD version of the bible. (No one understands the old English anyway, right?). These changes are very subtle, but in some cases does change the meaning of the scripture quite significantly. Then when people do want to reference the more “correct” KJV of the bible they will find all kind of strange truths like unicorns (Num 23:22) and aliens (Heb 11:34) etc.
I strongly urge everyone to memorise the scripture before it is all gone. Imprint the Word of God on your heart as David in Ps 119:11:
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” Ps 119:11
The Word of God should be written in our hearts. (Deut 11:18)
But we should actually have a relationship with the living Word, who is Jesus, as it says in John 1:1-2 (NKJV)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
Keep hope, as we know that the dark side loses in the end. John 1:5 (NLT)
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
This is ludicrously false, and it is difficult to fathom how anyone could believe such tripe as this so-called “Mandela Effect.”
The Bible has been “changed” many times over the past thousands and thousands of years. The KJV you hold in your hand has been translated many times over from the original text. Sorry to disappoint.
No, Doug McLeod is correct and Jason A. Staples is wrong.
The phrase “Judge not lest ye be judged” occurs no where in any scripture that I can find, although like most I seem to remember it that way .
The closest that I can find is “Judge not, that ye be not judged” and occurs in Matt 7:1 (KJV)
The terms “lest ye” would only occur in a King James translation as all other modern translations would not use that term, and older translations are substantially different.
I see the problem now; you’re looking for the exact English words “lest ye,” which is the old wording from the Tyndale version that has continued to be quoted for centuries. The English word “lest” just means “so that not,” so more modern translations (including the KJV) use the more colloquial phrase. But the verse is still the same it always was; nothing substantive has changed.
Nope. The Tyndale version says, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”
Sigh. No, you’re mistaken. The 16th-century Tyndale version has the following rendering: http://biblehub.com/tnt/matthew/7.htm
your judgement is irrelevant. your opinions are irrelevant. You say everyone judges, but that is a lie. Do we have opinions? Sure. that is not the same thing as passing judgement on another. Judgement requires one of two things- legitimate authority, such as a magistrate or elected judicial official- or hubris.
If you are not an elected or otherwise legitimately authorized official – or your judgement is actively solicited from the parties involved- you have an opinion. Your “judgement” is nothing but an over extension of ego applied to your opinion.
There is indeed a distinction between legal judgments and those that do not carry the weight of government, but judgment does not require civic authority by definition. Any assessment of a situation involves a judgment. Opinions generally involve judgments as well, some of which may be right or wrong.
I thank you for the explanation. For a few weeks or a month now, I have been having this internal dialogue about judging. Going by the hypocritical, double standards of those around, it could not clearly distinguish. “Don’t judge” got stuck in my head, and I started to feel bad (guilty) for judging things that were clearly wrong, even things that I was not guilty of.
I mean, I’m an advocate for the truth, no matter what. And when people lie around me, I challenge them. Often times, the response is “judge not” or something similar. If I were a habitual liar, and I judge others for telling lies… that would be the double standard or hypocrisy that the verse addresses. I know better than to judge people for things I’m guilty of… something inside me will not let me do that. However, when I see people do things that I know to be wrong, things I do not indulge in because I know they are wrong, I will speak up!
This makes it all clear now! I have been struggling with this for a couple of weeks now and I feel relieved to finally understand, and know the difference. I was not crazy after all lol
Thank you so much!
If you are a thief and your neighbor is a liar, you still cannot judge your neighbor. You are no better. This is just an example. I’m not calling you a thief. I hope you understand. It is indeed very simple.
You say a thief cannot judge a liar. I disagree. If the majority of people have at least one sinful area in their life, according to your logic, none of them could judge anybody else. For example, if someone in the office is sexually harassing women, as long as everyone in the office has at least one sin in their life, nobody in the office can approach the person sexually harassing women and tell them what they are doing is wrong and they should stop. The entire office would just ignore the harassment and the person doing the sexual harassment would feel emboldened by this, thinking it must not be a big deal to anyone that he is sexually harassing women and he might as well continue, maybe even increase the dirtiness and frequency to see if anyone minds enough to say something. And according to your logic, since confronting the man is judging his actions, everyone should continue to be silent about it, refusing to judge him for it since they might get a fleshly anger sometimes when they lose at board games on family night – or some other sin in some other unrelated area. So everyone remains silent. The man, amazed that nobody seemingly cares, filled with boldness now in his sin and convinced what he is doing must not be bothersome to anyone at the office decides to actually rape a woman right in front of everyone. One person stands up to stop him, they have had it and can’t hold back their silence any longer. But then they recall that we cannot judge our neighbor unless we are utterly perfect in every area of our lives, as Teresa suggests. So he begrudingly sits back down and goes back to typing at his terminal, ignoring the lady’s cries for help. This is a disgusting and ridiculous argument Teresa. What a foolish understanding you are presenting here. The truth is, the people of the office should have called him out for sexually harassing women right away the first time they saw it, barring someone at the office also sexually harasses women often and decides they are not the one who should call it out. It doesn’t matter that everyone in the office might have at least one area of sin in their life, we are commanded to call out people on their sins and stand up for what is right – only to stop doing that particular sin first and ideally, yes, stop doing all sins first, but supposing you aren’t there yet, that does not mean you should always say nothing and tolerate evil and not warn people when you know the truth. Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. – these people being asked in this verse to call out sins – do you think they were without sin? No. They surely had some sin in their life since Jesus had not yet even sent the comforter and none of them were therefore born again. Yet here they were, being told to call people out for sin. This proves your point is wrong here.
I think the implication of the Gospel verse.is more than a warning against hypocrisy. I am inclined to believe that it also indicates the reality that we are all unique and we do not fully understand the other person and his issues to pass judgments. The Biblical verse “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) is relevant here. So, leave all judgments to He who sees the heart. We make subjective judgement based on our own preconceived notions. If we have to see, we have to achieve innocence of heart. Remember the words of Jesus, ““Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 18:3). Thus, the words ‘Judge not’ is pregnant with too many profound implications. Let us not seek to oversimplify it..
This still doesn’t properly account for Jesus’ commands elsewhere to make judgments.
You infer that we have to fully understand a person and their issues prior to passing judgments and that fully understanding is impossible to do and we must therefore never judge anyone. I disagree. According to your logic, if I see a coworker sexually harass a woman, I cannot confront him about it and tell him that is wrong and he should stop because I don’t fully understand how horny he is and how many lust issues he has and how he was sexually harassed many times in the past and is acting out of past hurts. This is a ridiculous argument. None of those excuses make sexually harassing women in the workplace right or acceptable and barring me often also sexually harassing women in our workplace, which I do not, I am going to call him out on his poor behavior and tell him he should stop and tell him that sin is wrong and he should seek God’s forgiveness for this as well as apologize to the women he sexually harassed. I don’t need to see this man’s heart to know that what he is doing is wrong and unacceptable and needs to be called out. I should care enough about this man to warn him that what he is doing will send him to hell if he does not repent and may cost him his job as well as any respect from anyone at the office.
You say that we make subjective judgement based on preconceived notions. I disagree in part. Right is right and wrong is wrong in many cases and most would agree on sexually harassing women at the workplace being wrong. I don’t have to dismiss it as being my own opinion and completely ignore God’s commands, assuming we are all the subjective arbiters of good versus evil which you are suggesting here. According to your logic, everything God said in the Bible is pure subjectivity and we are not held to it, we can choose to disagree with impunity, and if called out by God for dismissing it, we can tell God that these things He said were wrong are only subjectively wrong, that He has the right to His opinions but that you happen to disagree with Him and that is just God acting self-righteous with His preconceived notions and you’d rather He kept His opinions to Himself going forward. This is blasphemous logic you are presenting.
You say that in order for us to see the difference between right and wrong we have to first achieve innocence of the heart. I disagree. God wrote His laws upon the hearts of men so that nobody is with excuse. Deep down we know to some extent some idea of right versus wrong on at least some topics and are held to this by God. We don’t have to have a perfect heart to be able to see right and wrong to some extent on some topics. Also, this notion that we can achieve a innocent and perfect heart is flawed. Only Christ can give us a new heart that is innocent and pure. This is something we must beg and plead for desperately if we do not have it and can identify we still have a impure heart. This indicates we are not born again and are heading for hell. If, however, He has given us a new heart that is clean and pure, then we are born again and we must strive to guard our heart because from the heart flows the issues of life and this new heart must be protected. If we do not guard it from the evil one, it may be tainted and ruined and we will then surely sin once more and become once more enslaved to the patterns of this sinful world. If that happens, we must once more beg and plead for a new heart and to be born again, again.
Oh just stop. I just love people who know what Jesus meant. What do you know? Were you there? Did you had a sit down with him? Were you him? Are you him? When someone says “who am I to judge”, it is kind of rhetorical. Does it mean that that person excuses someone of another’s wrong doing? I don’t think so.. It is almost or maybe it is -AN IDIOM!
But, who am I to judge?!
The problem is that if we cannot process what the passage means by good interpretive methods, then there is no reason reading anything at all. Thanks, though, for your judgment on the matter.
You infer that we cannot know what Jesus means when we read His Word. I disagree. There is a reason the Bible says “for those with eyes to see and ears to hear” (Matthew 13:16). What this means is that some will not understand the Bible because they have a hard heart and reject God and so He blinds them and gives them over to a reprobate mind and removes understanding from them. If we humble ourselves and seek God with a good motive, the door will be opened to us and we shall find the truth about things. God reveals the truth about things in His Word and is able to give us a sound confirmation within that we do in fact understand some things thoroughly. You seem to suggest that claiming to understand a thing is just pride. I disagree. We can be humble while still strongly believing we understand a thing. I can understand that black is not white and light is not darkness without having to be prideful about it. You infer that we can’t know anything unless we were present with the speaker on the day the speaker said something which was later recorded for us to read. This is a ridiculous argument. According to your logic, if I read a wikipedia article that says racecars are fast, I cannot understand racecars are fast since I was not there to see the racecar driving fast and only read about it and therefore I cannot be confident that racecars are indeed fast. This is a ridiculous argument.
You ask if someone is God or was God inferring that you have to have been God or be God in order to understand something God says in His Word. This is a ridiculous argument. According to your logic, if God says: on the day He settles accounts, He will punish them for their sin – unless I was or am God, I cannot understand what God means when He says when He settles accounts, He will punish them for their sins. It is not that hard to understand what punish means and what specifying a future date entails. These are basic concepts to comprehend without needing to be God to comprehend them. Sure, the date I may not know and the manner and length of the punishment I may not know fully, but I can understand generally the meaning here without being God.
What about when Jesus said “he who is without sin cast the first stone” and then everyone leave except him? In that moment, if your interpretation is true about clearing the sin from your own life before judging another, Jesus should have thrown a stone. But he didn’t. In fact in John 8:15 he says “You judge by human standards; I pass judgement on no one.” How does that fit into your interpretation of this passage?
It’s irrelevant to this passage. But in any case, Jesus’ command to the woman “go and do not sin anymore” presumes that she was sinning in the first place—that is a judgment. Jesus also follows his statement in John 8:15 with the declaration, “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you.”
Make sure you read things in their full context rather than proof-texting a single verse. It’s an important practice.
You say that Jesus should have thrown a stone and infer He had every right to do so. I agree in part. Jesus, who is God, did command the Israelites to stone people if caught in the act of adultery. He was without sin and He proposed that on THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE he that is without sin cast the first stone. Note that He is not saying that nobody with sin should ever have cast stones in the past nor ever in the future mind you. If that were the case, everyone who obeyed His commands throughout the history of the Jewish people from the days of Moses till present to stone adulterers were all sinning by obeying Him. Such an idea is absurd. So why the exception in this instance? He wasn’t creating some new rule here. He was just using this as an occasion to remind the crowd of their own sinfulness – which worked, remind us that He is the only one without sin who ever lived – which works, and remind everyone that He is a merciful God and there are times where He gives unmerited mercy and grace according to His perfect timing. He also was demonstrating that He isn’t robotic about judgment but sometimes just does unexpected acts of grace as an exception to the rule. Remember that He can see the heart and consider that perhaps He noticed that she was genuinely remorseful and regretting her adulterous ways. Imagine that she was crying, fearful, and regretting ever having done what she did and wishing she could take it all back. He showed mercy this time is all. If she were to have stood up and started pacing back and forth, neck outstretched, shouting to the crowds, “so what if I committed adultery, I do what I want and I am not afraid of God nor any of you so kiss my butt!” – I imagine Jesus would have just let them stone her no questions asked in that case. Also worth considering is that He was about to go to the cross soon to die for everyone while they were yet sinners, so it made sense to forgive a sinner on this occasion, seeing as He was about to pay the ultimate price for the sins of the world shortly thereafter anyways. We also can assume that this woman went on to accept the free gift which Christ was about to go offer on the cross and we can presume this in particular considering this epic encounter she had with Jesus who saved her from being stoned – which presumably would melt the heart of anybody were they in her shoes. So this passage really doesn’t condemn the practice of stoning nor judging, which the Father instated for sinners to carry out – which is sinners judging other sinners is it not? Of course it is. This story is then not a commentary forbidding judging others either. If it was, it would contradict the commands we received to judge others repeatedly throughout scripture: (Isaiah 58:1)(Matthew 7:5)(Ezekiel 3:18)(1 Cor 5:12)(1 Cor 6:3)(Galatians 2:11). It would also conflict with the very command for sinners to stone adulteresses that they were carrying out in obedience to the Mosaic Law.
You point out John 8:15 where Jesus says he judges no one, conveniently leaving out the very next verse where He says that even if He does judge, His judgement is true because He’s not alone. – which indicates that at times He does judge and further it indicates that when He says he judges no one, He is referring to this particular incident – that in this particular incident, He is choosing not to judge the adulteress via stoning her, nor call down fire from heaven to destroy the wicked men who were looking to somehow trap him in this incident by dragging this woman out in front of Him to see how He would react. By no means does this statement entail that Jesus never judges anybody nor ever will. By your logic, Jesus, who is God, never has nor ever will judge anybody, the Great White Throne of Judgement is just a joke guys, the flood never happened, Soddom and Gomorrah is still thriving in their sins, Jesus judges no one! Eat drink and be merry in sin because Jesus judges no one! This same Jesus said the blood of His enemies will be up to his horse’s bridle (Rev 14:20). That sounds like Jesus judging people. 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad — this sounds like Jesus judging people too. You say, yeah, well that was the old Jesus and the future Jesus, not the earthly ministry Jesus – the earthly ministry Jesus never judges anybody! – Oh is that so? He threw over tables and scattered animals with a whip and told the money changers they were turning His Father’s temple into a den of thieves (Matthew 21:13) – which was judging them and inferring they were thieves. Sounds pretty judgmental and sounds pretty harsh and not so gentle and lovey dovey to me. Or how about when Jesus called the Pharisees a brood of vipers and called them evil (Matthew 12:34), causing them to want to kill Him. That sounds highly offensive, hurtful, certainly judgmental, and not too gentle to me. So clearly you are misinterpreting Jesus as though He is claiming He doesn’t judge people at all under any circumstances and that we also are not to do so in order to follow that example.
This is great insight. Very enlightening
I read your blog titled Judge not, lest you be judged”: Misinterpreted Bible Passages #3 at https://www.jasonstaples.com/bible/misinterpreted/misinterpreted-bible-passages-3-judge-not-lest-you-be-judged/
It was excellent.
I hope you do not take what follows personally, but there was one part that I found to be a stretch. That was “If we are arrogant, we tend to see arrogance in other people. If we are cruel, we tend to suspect cruelty in others. If we are lecherous (an outstanding and underused word—isn’t that a great word, “lecherous”? Even better is the noun, “lecher,” as in “you filthy lecher!”), we tend to suspect sexual motives, desires, or behaviors in others.”
Though I do not wish to make the email a political one, I feel compelled to say that I often make reference on Facebook to the fact that Hillary Clinton is glorifying homosexuality and pandering to homosexuals for votes.
(1) Record number of LGBT delegates at 2016 DNC | MSNBC
(2) Former WH staffer becomes first transgender woman to address DNC …
I assure you I have no homosexual tendencies.
Homosexuals spread many diseases. Heterosexuals with multiple partners do the same.
(1) Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm where you will read “All gay and bisexual men should be tested at least annually for common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).” and a list of the many sexually transmitted diseases for which they should be tested.
(2) Lesbian and bisexual health fact sheet | womenshealth.gov” at http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/lesbian-bisexual-health.html where you will see the sexually transmitted diseases lesbians can get.
I think there no more subtle, crafty and despicable way to get votes in order to win an election and maintain political power than to use homosexuality.
Thanks for your fine article.
None of this disconfirms the principle—which is well established—that people tend to see their own flaws in others.
You seem to infer that because Jason points out a tendency for people who have certain flaws to see those flaws in others, that therefore anyone who sees a flaw in others must therefore also have that flaw themself. This is a false conclusion to draw that Jason never said nor implied in any way. In other words, you completely made this up and draw dangerously close to bearing false witness here.
WHERE DID THAT VERSE GO????
iT DOESNT SAY THAT ANYMORE IN MATT 7:1?
That wording comes from the old pre-KJV versions. It hasn’t been phrased this way since the King James Version was translated in 1611.
You can be a fruit inspector, though!
Great point. According to the logic of the judge not crowd, we cannot judge a tree by its fruit because to say a tree has bad fruit is judging that tree which only God can do. Therefore, to obey the command to judge a tree by its fruit is a sin and God is therefore commanding us to sin when He tells us to judge a tree by its fruit.
I thought Jason’s discussion was particularly accurate, insightful and appropriate. I will be referring people to it.
I did not read all of the comments but did scan some. No where did I see mention of the psychological concept of “projection” because that is what is going on. And projection grows out of the “dark” side of the psyche, that is, it forms from all the things that we don’t like about ourselves. Our ‘splinters’.
Because we are largely Unconscious in the spiritual sense, we project our own issues onto others, or other groups, or other nations, That enables us to attack them for having what we abhor in ourselves.
We become more pure the more we realize that the Realm of God is within and without us. When we know ourselves, we will be known and we will know we are children of the Living Spirit. But since we don’t know ourselves, we live in poverty and are poverty. (I prefer Realm to Kingdom since the latter implies a physically existing space.)
That teaching comes from the 3rd verse of the Lost Gospel of Thomas, known to the early church in fragments, but discovered in whole at Nag Hamadi, Egypt in 1946, buried in earthen jars. It has been published separately and also as part of the Gnostic Bible that contains all the codices found at Nag Hamadi.
There are many paths to becoming Conscious but few travel them. The parable of the Sower is quite accurate. In our time, rampant individualism, greed, etc., take up our life’s time so we fail to realize who we are. In all the teachings about wealth (Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu) for instance, it is not the wealth itself but the focus of gaining wealth that prevents one from realizing that the Realm of God is within and without, encompassing the entire Universe. Our life task is to be able to hear the still, small voice within.
Here is an example:
When the world’s on the Way,
They use horses to draw manure.
When the world gets off the Way,
They breed warhorses on the common.
The greatest evil: wanting more.
The worst luck: discontent.
Greed is the curse of life.
To know enough’s enough,
Is enough to know.
Lao Tzu, #46. Translated by Ursula LeGuin, As beautiful a translation as I know (I have 4), A result of a 20-year effort. It keeps both the meaning and the poetry.
Addendum: I forgot to make the point that the world is off ALL the Ways of Lao Tzu, The Buddha, Jesus, etc. There have been many great teachers, all relevant to their time and ours. The West is largely Christian and Jewish. That is our Way. My wish is for myself, and each human being, to find it before we die.
Judge not, lest ye be judged. Jason “your ” interpretation is laughable. Judgement day hath not come yet. Hope you, as a sinner is prepared. God is our judge.
That’s a very judgmental thing to say.
I believe that Jesus was telling us not to judge or condemn others, but to love one another. We are only to judge for ourselves that which is right and good. Just as Jesus did not judge or condemn the woman at the well, nor the prostitute about to be stoned, we are to show compassion. i think the passage you quote is about more than hypocrisy, it is also about agape.
You infer that judging or condemning others is not loving. I disagree. If you care about someone, you would warn them if what they are doing is wrong because you do not want them to go to hell and would rather that they repent and be saved. By refusing to judge and condemn others, you deliver them to hell in silence, showing you hate them, and their blood will be on your hands because you refused to warn them about their sin. The Bible commands us to judge others by warning them in their sin. Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. The fact that you don’t warn people about their sin, which is disobeying God, and you teach others to do the same, shows a lack of wisdom and understanding. Matt 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. — God commands us to warn others in their sins, not let them perish in their sins without warning. You should not teach others to disobey God on this issue.
You take two examples of Jesus choosing not to judge and infer that Jesus is therefore not one who judges others and neither should we. I disagree. Even if Jesus did show grace at times does not mean he didn’t judge ever. He judged the pharisees calling them a brood of vipers and evil and he judged the moneychangers calling them thieves and dumping over their tables and chasing their animals out of the temple. He even judged an entire generation calling them a wicked and perverse generation (Matthew 16:4).
There are several scriptures also which use the word “admonish” which is not as harsh as judgement. Rather it is the act of telling someone else that they need to correct some of their behaviour. Thus 2 Thess 3:15 – Yet count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. In other words approach him or her and say “My dear there are some parts of your character/behaviour which I believe you need to correct as you continue in your walk with the Lord.”
The idea that “admonish” is “not as harsh as judgment” is mistaken. On the contrary, “admonish” simply means “to warn” or “to reprimand.” As such, admonishment requires judgment as a prerequisite. One cannot correct someone or warn someone of their behavior without first making a judgment about that behavior. Judgment is therefore necessary before admonition.
You are confusing judgement with discernment, discerning a situation or a person’s motives, or actions is not judgement . we need discernment for social, emotional, etc. reasons. For that you must have wisdom! But judgement, in the sense that , I’m better than you,,is what is in error!
Nope, not confusing anything. Discernment is a subcategory of judgment, which is precisely what Jesus is talking about in this passage.
You infer that judgement must necessarily carry with it a message that you are better than someone else. I disagree. You can judge someone for doing something wrong and call them out for it without suggesting, inferring, or even considering yourself as being better than they are. What if you just care about them and want them to repent before they end up in hell? What if you hate sin and want to see people do less of it? Couldn’t that be a motive? No? So the only reason to ever dislike sin and call it out in others is to proclaim your own superiority over others? This is a ridiculous argument. This entire argument is merely a trending lie designed to attack people for correcting others in their sin in order to protect sinfulness and it reeks of a sinner’s hatred for correction. A fool despises correction but a wise man welcomes it.
You gotta love it when Christians find ways to do the very things they are commanded not to do.
No, I get to judge you and use the O.T. to support my judgment of you; while ignoring all other passages that would render the use of that one particular passage, in ignorance of the others, absurd,. Yes, I just said all these hurtful things about you and I did so knowing it would hurt you deeply, but its because I love you but hate the sins… Uh, that’s not your line, that’s God’s line. Or, “those people” over there have different, and therefore worse, sins than we do. We’re supposed to love our neighbors, treat others the way we would like to be treated- with the exception of “those people” over there; because their sins are worse than mine, and let me find somewhere in scripture that I can take out of context to justify my ignorance and inability to understand them, and blame them for natural disasters and blame them for the missing children in my village (who are later discovered to have been eaten by bears). But lets blame them for everything that goes bad in our lives anyway because it says right here they are really, really bad (just ignore the part in the N.T. where Jesus explains this OT story differently because we all need someone else to blame. Its easier than to blame God or each other. Yes, those people over there, living next door, have brought the wrath of God upon all of us, so it is now our duty to pass laws to oppress them, strip them of their right to live next door; and lets not feed them when they are hungry, clothe them, or care for their sick lest they are able to lure us next door (which happens all the time- particularly to little kids because their sins are so much worse then ours). Lets make their beliefs and practices illegal, and oppress them, refuse to sell or rent to them, and throw them in prison if they complain, so we wont be punished for their sins.
Fascinating post. Not sure how it’s relevant to anything in the article you’re commenting on, but fascinating nonetheless.
WOW!!! LOL Jason exactly.
I actually will be doing a teaching on this subject tomorrow, the holy spirit had revealed to me these very things a while back, but I was curious to what others may teach on this, I’m glad there are others who have solid teaching, If anyone is interested in the podcast tune in tomorrow here’s the link, A new podcast is posted every Thursday. I know for certain that God would never have sent his comforter to us, and not show us through scripture and his spirit how to judge and discern. The issue is people don’t want to accept that God has a standard and we are to hold each other accountable in love that is.
Why can’t one simply interpret this verse along the lines of hating the sin and not the sinner? For instance it is reasonable to say that a person should not be doing this or that sin when it is plainly being committed, but it is not reasonable to pronounce oneself judge and jury and say this person is not a Christian, that is God’s call. I think the hypocrisy point is also valid, but all have fallen short, so who is a truly righteous holy judge among us? So hate the sin, love the sinner and be thankful there is only one true judge to be accountable to.
You infer that because all have fallen short by sinning in the past, none of us is righteous and holy. I disagree. This contradicts the NT. 1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked. – that means walk in a righteous and holy lifestyle – this is the narrow path. By your own words, it appears you admit to not being on the narrow path, claiming not to be righteous, holy, and perfect in Christ in your walk. Then this means you also should not claim to abide in Him because if you did abide in Him, you MUST walk as Jesus walked – which you admit you do not. This means you are not born again by your own admission and instead are walking on the broad path that leads to destruction. Let us hope you repent and become righteous for as it is written, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and pharisees, you shall by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20). Anyone who is born again is a righteous and holy judge among us and does not practice sin at all because God’s seed abides in him (1 John 3:9). Therefore, anyone born again and abiding in Him can judge righteously and for such a person, hypocrisy is impossible because they do not sin.
You say there is only one true judge but that is not written: 1 cor 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? This directly contradicts your claim that there is only one true judge – all the saints are also judges. We are seated with Him in heavenly places on the judgement seat (Ephesians 2:6)
Jason….You have hit the nail on the head. God revealed this to me last week, and I couldn’t get this off my mind. ! 1 Cor. 2:14, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. THE SPIRITUAL MAN MAKES JUDGMENTS ABOUT ALL THINGS, BUT HE HIMSELF IS NOT SUBJECT TO ANY MAN’S JUDGMENT; For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ…..Thank you, and God bless you!!!
Compare: Matthew. 7:1 (Judge not); Ezekiel 3:17-19 (If God’s servant fails to warn, God holds him responsible for blood of the one who is lost); Jude 22-23 (duty to snatch them out of the fire)
Jude wrote to a fellowship plagued in the earliest days of the Church (just like now) by false teachers who wormed their way into the various fellowships (and seminaries?) in order to subvert and influence people to “be tolerant” of sexual immorality in every form. Their goal then, as now, was to pervert the pure Gospel and teaching of Christ who came to reconcile us with the Holy God who hates sin. Jude had no qualms about “judging” the evil of these false teachers. He knew the truth and boldly stood for it—as we also should in our own age and sphere. But Jude insisted this must be done, not with harsh criticism, but “with compassion and fear, pulling them out of the fire.”
If I see a building on fire and don’t try to warn occupants of the danger…shrugging and saying, “Who am I to judge them ignorant of the danger?” then I am guilty if they die. However, if I warn them, and they ignore me, I’ll not be blamed for their death…just very sad.
To give appropriate warning of danger is not only kindness, it is my duty. And just think: If I have a duty to warn of physical danger, how much more to warn of spiritual danger? That is what Ezekiel and Jude both taught. Responsibility, duty and compassion are consistent with sound judgment. Let’s not confuse this kind of judgment with judgmentalism–gossip and criticism.
Among believers, tolerance/indifference to sin is neither responsible nor compassionate… because “the wages of sin is death”—eternal death—far more to be feared than physical death.
actually the ‘log’ reference is not at all what you are interpreting. You are not the only person to have read the Bible. I assure you, that’s not what he was doing. Perhaps revisit literary devices, like allegory and metaphor. You are deeply confused and entirely too literal for the meanings herein.
The relevance of log to splinter is that the import of healing yourself to be a healer is vast. You cannot really heal others until you yourself are in good order.
Thanks for your comment. I suggest re-reading the article so you can better understand what it says.
We will never be able to show the love of Christ to this world by judging them! I don’t know why so much of the church decided that it’s ok to judge if you don’t happen to have trouble with a certain kind of sin. We all fall short of the glory of God, and pointing out someone’s failings is only going to push them farther away! THE FIRST TWO COMMANDMENTS ARE LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF! WE HAVE NEVER BEEN CALLED TO JUDGE ONE ANOTHER! Jesus called us to love, and I for one will love anyone who God puts in my path, regardless of how sinful they are. I challenge all of you to do the same.
This is a very judgmental post. I suggest you rethink your position as it appears you cannot abide by your own standards. Judgment is inevitable; you will make judgments (whether positive or negative) all the time. The question is whether your judgment will be just or whether it will be unjust and hypocritical.
You miss understand my intent. I am not judging anyone, I only wish to share loudly what I know the word says. I know that no one aside from God himself is pure enough to judge justly. 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. So you see, no man can judge. We are called to love. Regardless of whether of not you agree, I will love you 🙂
We are not commanded not to judge. It says: John 7:24 KJVS  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. You said nobody can judge righteously, which makes the command issued to us to judge with righteous judgement impossible to follow according to you. The Bible says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) – how much more the things he literally commands us to do – which you in your unbelief say are impossible. Remember that God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Is God not strong enough to work in us the ability to obey His direct commands to us? Are you denying the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do as God tells us in His Word? That is borderline blasphemy.
You claim that no man is pure enough to judge justly. Who are you to call unclean that which God has made clean? If when a man is born again he is given a new heart, are you telling me that this new heart is impure just as the old heart was? If that is true, then Christ died for nothing because no man can enter heaven unless they are born again with a pure heart and abiding in Christ, walking as He walked. According to you, we are all going to hell for sure. This is a lie. Some of us have been made pure and are walking on the narrow path, obeying God, and have been made righteous and holy. Just because you have not experienced this transformation, do not presume to deny the new birth experience in others. You need to pray for a new heart if yours is not pure – and judging by the fact you say no man’s heart is pure enough to even judge righteously, your heart certainly is not pure and you need to be born again and are heading for hell unless you repent. You who claim we cannot judge have just judged every Christian who ever lived to be impure hearted and unable to judge justly. That is the biggest unjust judgement I’ve heard and evil.
By the way, when you say nobody is pure enough to judge justly, you defy Deuteronomy 16:18: Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. — Wait God, according to Aaron Pearson, it is impossible for a human to judge with just judgement because they are all to impure to do so.
Let me throw in another quote of Jesus which I think relates to the matter:
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6,37-38).
This means to me that whatever we judge in other people reveals what binds us, and as soon as we accept others as they are we are released as well.
Paul is saying the same:
“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” (Romans 2,1-2)
This means to me that ultimately there is no way to judge anyone without hypocrisy, because God himself will make sure that we fail where we judge others.
This does not mean that we should not evaluate other peoples behaviour. We have to do this in order to decide for ourselves if we want to follow their example – or teaching – or not. But not to condemn anyone.
Luke’s version is just an adaptation of this passage, which came first. Paul says the same thing, yes.
But neither means it is impossible to judge without hypocrisy. You’re reading the passages backwards. What they say is that those who practice the same sorts of things they condemn are hypocrites, and unless a person is first “justified”—that is, made righteous—that person’s judgment will be impaired and hypocritical.
The injunction is to ensure one has been cleaned up and is living justly before judging anyone else’s behavior.
Humans cannot judge as Jesus taught. They, Unlike God, cannot know the attitude of the Heart. Thus their judgents are based on outward appearence and more often then not Unjust. Now God Judges as The Creator with intent on restoring not dissembling or seperating but reconcilling and repairing. This is the case as He is The Great Physician, discerning and correcting a problem in the person That Has come To Him. Men if they be TRUE MINISTERS called and Activated By God and Directed by The Holy Spirit will not be novices about the Subject. To many so called in the ministry simply operate by their heaped up teachers and thus thier own understanding and lack any real Restoring and Reciciling Power to Affect The Creation. This is seen in their multitude of words and very little action or Power to see people Restored. Shunning sinners and excommunicating those who dont agree with them is their only power, a false mammonite mindset and powerlessneess of the flesh. These are those who should not be juding as they do not good only damaging others in their path.
Interesting then that Jesus commands his followers to judge then, isn’t it?
One more verse I’d like to throw in the mix is John 8:15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. Jesus did not come to judge, and neither should we. God calls us to himself with his love and grace, and works on our hearts when we have become his followers. He loves us where we are, and then brings us to where he wants us. That’s love, and it is freely given to anyone who will accept it.
The problem with your comment here is that Jesus explicitly commands his followers to judge.
So on your death bed, are you going to look back at your life and wish that you had judged more people? I know that at the end of mine I will know that I loved the people that God put in my life, and be repentant for when I fell short of that calling.
On my death bed, I will know that the number of people or things I judged would be the same whether I tried to judge or not. Judgment is unavoidable and inevitable. Every moment of every day involves judgment, and every interaction with another person always involves judgment.
There is no prohibiting or avoiding judgment. The only questions are whether that judgment will be hypocritical or not, just or unjust.
Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends….That is why Christians are told NOT to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. C.S.Lewis
By any man’s standards, king David would be called an adulterer, and a murderer. But the Word calls him a man after God’s own heart. We can’ not judge rightly because we do not know the heart of a man. We can barely know our own heart.
1) Christians are in fact commanded to judge, and to judge rightly when they do so.
2) There is no option not to judge. Every moment consists of numerous judgments being made, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Choosing not to condemn is a judgment in the same way choosing to condemn is a judgment. The question is whether one is judging rightly, not whether one is judging at all. There is no option as to the latter.
For example, in this discussion, in order for you to comment at all requires that you judge the merits of what has been said so far (and judge your own reaction to it). In challenging what I have said, you have judged that I am incorrect in what I have said. This of course exposes the problem in your reasoning: You are by definition judging while arguing that people should not judge. Your position is inherently self-refuting.
As a result, you have a choice: you can either recognize the futility of your position and concede that the only viable option is to do what Jesus says in this passage (and elsewhere) and learn to judge rightly or you can persist in self-deception and inconsistency, choosing to judge while denying you are doing so. The choice is yours, but I do hope you have good enough judgment to choose wisely.
Jason A. Staples. I have read a lot of your posts. Your responses are lacking. You are like a drowning man grasping at straws. You interpret Jesus’ words any way you want to, but I interpret “judge not” to mean “judge not”. So easy yet if it suits your agenda you try to put a spin on it. People aren’t buying it. Oh, and I know I’m being judgemental, but I will repent before I leave another comment.
You may interpret “judge not” to mean “judge not,” but you apparently do not believe in reading the rest of the passage. More importantly, how do you account for when Jesus commands his followers to judge?
I would say that you’re getting caught up in semantics, and ignoring what I’m saying. Yes, I disagree with you whole heartedly, but I do not think less of you for thinking the way you do. That’s what I have meant when I said that I do not judge you. If we (the church) appear to hate/look down on those who think differently then us, then we are not showing God’s love. Accepting and loving those only after they agree with us is worthless. John 3:16 and 17 For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did NOT send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
I’m hearing exactly what you’re saying. But you continue to conflate “judging” and “condemning,” which leads to the problems in your argument. “Judging” does not mean “thinking less of someone.” Judgment can be positive or negative, and it can involve correction without condemnation.
The problem with everything you’ve said so far is that you have not properly made that distinction but have instead treated “judgment” as though it were synonymous with “condemnation.” They are very different. Jesus commands his followers to judge and to do so righteously.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you LOVE one another: just as I have LOVED you, you also are to LOVE one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have LOVE for one another.” The verse that you point at to say that Jesus “commanded” us to judge, is a STRETCH when he so blatantly on numerous occasions told us to love one another. I realize that I have used judgment and condemnation interchangeably, and I believe most people do. That’s the danger of focusing more on one verse where Jesus told us to judge rightly, instead of the multitude of verses where he COMANDED us to LOVE. If nothing else I would hope that we can agree that we are to love more than we are to judge.
Love and judgment are not opposite to one another. Jesus commands that people judge with love—he commands that people do everything with love.
You’re right that many people use “judgment” and “condemnation” interchangeably, but that does not excuse it. Making the distinction between the two is critical to understanding what Jesus is saying about judgment when he discusses it in the New Testament.
Love and judgment are not opposites of one another. Yes, but one is enormously more important than the other.. We are COMANDED to love many times, whereas Jesus only says to judge rightly once. Everything that Jesus spoke while here on earth is extremely important to pay attention to, and when he repeats himself over and over again as he does with loving one another. We need to make that our main focus.
Judge righteously? Not possible. Only God and Jesus are righteous and therefore they are the only ones who should be doing any judging. We better make sure we are ready when the time comes.
This statement violates both the passage in question here and Jesus’ own command to his disciples to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
The idea that no one can be made righteous and therefore no one can judge also violates Paul’s presentation of the gospel, which is all about God making people righteous. That transformation is in view throughout this passage and is a significant theme throughout the New Testament.
That does not preclude you from holding another opinion and believing that the New Testament authors are wrong about this, but if we’re interpreting the New Testament, your perspective is not a viable interpretive option.
A collection of perspectives that I gathered over time that I refer back to from time to time…
Jesus said that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. In other words, the Old Testament law, even in Jesus’ day, was still in force and Jesus accepted it.
You say, “Judging a person does not define who they are….it defines who YOU are.”
You say, “Never judge.”
You say, “Judge me when you are perfect.”
You say, “Judging a book by it’s cover lately?”
You say, “Don’t say anything or cause trouble, even if they are wrong. Don’t make waves, turn the other cheek”
You say, “Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you.”
You say, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
You say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
You whine, “No one judges me harder than I judge myself”
You whine, “If you can’t be positive, then at least be quiet.”
You whine, “Stop labeling meeeeee!” (Just another way of saying; “Stop judging me.”)
There are many times that “things” need to be said for the safety and/or well being of society as a whole. Not saying them is where the problem is. “Nice” is really only relevant to who the statement is being said to. It’s really simply just another way of someone saying “Don’t judge me.”
And most people misunderstand these messages. They attempt to twist it and tell you that you should not judge them at all. God DOES intend for us to judge our fellow man.
I say, “Twist not Scripture lest ye be like Satan.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The Church has always taught that only God can judge if a man SINS but men can (and are mandated by God to) judge ACTIONS.
Deuteronomy 16:18-20 “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes; and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”
Leviticus 19:15 “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment. Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty, but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.”
[This means that you do NOT cast your judgement with favoritism or heed to the rich or allegedly powerful nor do you pity the poor and allow that pity to affect your just judgement.]
Deuteronomy 25:1 “If there be a controversy between men and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked.
AND…God makes clear that we WILL be judged by the same standard that we judge our fellow man.
This is a GOOD thing because it gives us REASON to cast our judgements appropriately and to judge justly as GOD intended. Therefore I judge others as I wish myself to be judged also. That sounds familiar does it not? As in “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Yes…judgement of others DOES tie directly in with the Golden Rule perfectly.
It is in THIS light that the quote is correct because YOUR ability to judge with JUST judgement does in fact define who YOU are as a person……and has absolutely nothing at all to do with the nonsensical liberal ideology of not judging at all. Not judging at all is Satan’s desire….not God’s.
Romans 13:4 “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
It is high time that we return back to judging our fellow man as God intended and return back to the path of setting forth clearly our expectations of decency and morality.
I will not judge your sins for that is God’s providence but I WILL JUDGE your actions as God demands.
I have read many of the comments here and need to ask this question about the passage that no one seems to be addressing.
Rather than looking at this from a do or do not perspective, can the passage be referring to not judging motives behind an action rather than the action itself?
Because there certainly are things a Christian is required to judged. Such as adultery those sins specifically declared as sin because God has declared them sin.. yet there are those things that may or may not be sin depending on the circumstances. And is it judging the motives that we are being warned against in this passage rather than judging the actions themselves? Let’s take Westboro Baptist As an example. We certainly see many of their actions are sinful. But are we judging them on their actions or their motives?
To Mark Cox: Motives result in ACTIONS. If Westboro Baptist is under scrutiny for their actions (and I have no idea what the Westboro issue is about), then you can be sure that they had impure motives that led to these actions, This is an axiom of the law which is stands true.
This is not necessarily true. Solomon ordered a child cut in half. His motives were to cause the real mother to be unveiled, not to slaughter an innocent child which was the appearance of the command but not the true motive upon further inspection.
We are all sinners. Thus, passing our own judgment on another is in fact hypocrisy. Judgment is reserved for one entity alone, There is i believe 37 passages touching specifically on the issue of one judging another. It is frowned upon. For better clarity, sit down and read Paul’s epistle to the Romans several times. It will become clear what is sin and what is not. It will tell you how you should live your life. But is also quite clear that judging another in any respect is sinful. Stop trying to play God.
You are gravely mistaken. Your first statement goes against the gospel put forward in the New Testament, which nowhere says, “we are all sinners” but rather says “all have sinned.” The gospel is the good news that those who once were sinners can be made into righteous people who are no longer sinners. This is why it refers to a time “when we were dead in our transgressions” (Eph 2:5) rather than suggesting that everyone remains in their transgressions.
Moreover, your statement itself is judgmental, demonstrating that your interpretation is both flawed and hypocritical.
To Bilbo Baggins: The entire Bible is about judgments of many types, starting off with a band with Adam and Eve. Genuine Christians will face a different judgment (pertaining to their stewardship) than the condemned (The White Throne Judgment). God gave Israel JUDGES over the people, in case you’ve missed this fact. We judge and are judged one way or another on a daily basis: Our employers, acquaintances, etc., all make judgments about us, and we judge them (whether or not we admit this to ourselves).
I openly ask God to judge me and correct me daily because quite often I am blind to my own sins. This practice has enabled me to righteously recognize when others are transgressing, and, if given the opportunity, I will correct them. The universe itself is governed by LAWS; how much more so the people of God… and the non-regenerated, hardened enemies of the Cross?
as always any topic/ saying can come under scrutiny but Christ’s words really have to be taken within the whole concept of being a TRUE christian and as he said to be like me you will never achieve even if you were born again. it is about striving to be perfect like the father in heaven is failure in any aspect of life is the road to redemption
Jesus never said anything close to “you will never achieve” being like him. In fact, he said the opposite.
To Haydene Dunsford: I agree with Jason. The whole point of sanctification is to transform the ‘old man’ into the ‘new creature’ who has the ‘Mind of Christ’, Philippians 2:5. Other verses mention our goal as new creatures: to become like the Master.
You choose to interpret the bible with the consistency of Trump. Everything has it’s own interpretation based on what you are attempting to sell. Most attempt to use interpretation based on a literal translation rather than a continuous one. Finally, most only understand English language structure of thought. Consider most ignore, no?
It’s not clear what you’re trying to say in this comment. Could you try again in English?
To RJ Ti: Trump has openly admitted that he is NOT a genuine Christian, only a church attendee. His honesty in this respect is refreshing. Why you drag him into this discussion is questionable at best. Jason is not selling anything; God’s Words and ways cannot be sold or bought, a good example being Simon the sorcerer in Acts Chapter 8.
The Scriptures are unabashedly literal; even Christ’s parables were related to literal, everyday events like the sowing and reaping of crops, the breaking in of thieves into a household, the receiving of seed (The Word) into different types of soil and ground, etc.
It is very common for this ‘judge not’ verse to be thrown around by people who are unsaved, i.e., not born again, and know nothing about the FULL COUNSEL of God. Actually, it’s normally the ONLY Bible verse they know! I have heard ‘Churchians’ use this verse as well because it’s all they have to fall back on, as they are not interested in knowing what the Word says in its ENTIRETY. They sit and listen to a ‘pastor’ and take his words over the words of Christ. (the traditions and teachings of mere men, which Christ strove against through His entire ministry.
Many of these church leaders are not born again themselves, so can we count on them? No!
. Jason has expounded Jesus’ Words correctly. Christ cannot contradict Himself, and, none of the epistles contradict Him either.
Christ is going to the very heart of hypocrisy here; I totally agree with Jason.
Someone asked why Christ sat with a Roman tax collector. Newsflash, read it again; the tax collector was a Hebrew…..MATTHEW HIMSELF!!!
And Mary the hooker REPENTED and was born again.
The total ignorance of Scripture in today;s apostate, end times ‘church’ is appalling. However, Christ said it would be so.
You can only judge righteously if you have walked with Christ and He has rid you of your own sinful habits,
Every day courts JUDGE defendants based upon the preponderance of evidence that the defendant has committed the crime. Our civil and criminal justice system, albeit loosely, have been put in place by the laws Moses received from God.
If we followed the Old Testament penalties for crimes that we now take rather lightly, the crime rate would drop exponentially. The death penalty was given for crimes that we now give a mere 5-10 years for. Read Deuteronomy carefully and you will be shocked to see what crimes carried the death penalty (and still do, one way or the other, because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Great blog post. So true- but one question, why the heavy emphasis on the “perspective aspect” of the log and splinter being the the same sin or problem?
I know Paul said it was sometimes the same sin that exposes hypocrisy (Romans 2:1), but this passage in Matthew 7 could just as well be speaking about a larger sin (log vs twig), instead of the same sin viewed with different perspective. Yes the perspective thing is cool and preaches well, but why present it as though that is the only, or obvious meaning? It seems more obvious from the passage that one sin is simply larger than the other in reality-not perspective.
I love you brother, and love this post–Not trying to be picky, just wondering if there Is a contextual or historical reason you leaned that way?
I focused a good bit on the point about perspective here because that’s a major point of Jesus’ discussion here. The idea that one sin is larger than the other would presume that one person is much larger than the other. Beams do not fit in eyes, but splinters do. Splinters, however, are effectively as large as beams when they are in one’s own eye. And, as Jesus warns in this passage, the one who passes judgment before cleaning out his/her eye will simply see that splinter in everyone else. That concept and metaphor governs much of the meaning in the passage, so I spent a good bit of time on it in the article for that reason.
P.S. I did not read all the comments, I apologize if you already answered this. Related to the first question, I know “the same measure” could mean the same sin, but you can measure different items with the same instrument.
Paul writes in 1 Cor 5:11 “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
How were the followers of Paul going to obey this without judging sexual immorality among them? The second part of verse 12 implies that they were already used to judging those in their own ranks. In today’s world with free access to sexual immorality, how are we in the church going to keep ourselves pure if we don’t judge, starting with our own selves as in 1 Cor 11: 30, 31.
Jason A. Staples
Posted at 20:36h, 12 July Reply
‘I see the problem now; you’re looking for the exact English words “lest ye,” which is the old wording from the Tyndale version that has continued to be quoted for centuries. The English word “lest” just means “so that not,” so more modern translations (including the KJV) use the more colloquial phrase. But the verse is still the same it always was; nothing substantive has changed.’
Ayko: Then explain why the old wording of ‘lest ye’ is also not in the Tyndale versions anymore including the older publishings (in libraries for example) that once had them…
…and how is changing the Lion (that feasted with The Lamb) to a Wolf making it more colloquial?
…and also, the phrase, ‘lest ye’, has not been used for centuries so why begin to translate with a ‘better colloquial’ term now, if that’s what is happening. The publishers deny any such ‘colloquial’ changes.
No publisher denies that modern versions have changed to account for differences in the English language today versus in Tyndale’s day or in the 17th century. Even the preface to the 1611 KJV explains that they are publishing a new translation to update the Bible to more colloquial language than the versions available in their own day (such as Tyndale). This process needs to be done regularly because languages change over time.
That’s a simple matter of a passage regularly getting misquoted. It has always been the wolf that will graze together with the lamb, while the lion eats straw like an ox. That’s the case in all the Hebrew versions, and that’s how the translations worked. But because of Jesus’ identification in Christian iconography as “the lion and the lamb,” many Christians have misremembered and misquoted Isaiah due to memory interference. Nothing has changed in the text here.
It hasn’t. See here for example: Tyndale New Testament.
This is terrible rhetoric and the worst type of Christian sin — Pride: to presume to know better than yer own God. I’m not judging you or condemning you, I’m critiquing yer essay., For example, you substitute the act of murder for the condition of being a murderer. The Biblical passage says nothing about judging acts — “Judge not child molestation lest child molestation be judged” does work as well as “judge not child molesters but do judge child molestation” — which by default puts child molesters in a bad frame, but not one of yer making, one of God’s making. As an atheist and believer in quantum physics and a buddhist (not the “religion” of “Buddhism”) I won’t quibble with dogma. As a veteran wordsmith, I just wanted to comment on the semantics and rhetoric, which I judge to be deeply flawed. I would not judge you as a person based on that, or on anything else, even if I did know anything else about you. Apart from one commonly embraced translation of Luke (King James’ s committee’s one where Jesus forgives the prostitute because she needs and wants forgiving) the relevant portion of Matthew is probably my favorite piece of Christian dogma. I embrace it as an iteration of humility — no one is better than me, no one is worse than me. Even if they were, how would I know that as I am no one to judge others. Period. Judge not. Not, Judge not except when and or it…. Just don’t judge others, full stop. Actions, on the other hand, are judged by whatever social contract any given society chooses to live by. For me to condemn all murderers would be for me to say that a gal who murdered Hitler in 1928 was “bad.” Admonished in all dogma not to kill, humans do a hell of a lot of killing. Thus, the need for social contracts and governance, which are meant to, though they usually don’t, to relieve all of us of any need to judge anyone on an individual basis. I don’t need to judge or condemn a murderer; it’s illegal because the survival or our flawed and failing species needs it to be illegal. Not because I don’t like it. Thank you for inspiring me to think fresh thoughts. Best to you.
This is total nonsense and rife with errors.
The passage does not say “do not judge others.” It says “do not judge.” Full stop. Then it explains what is meant by this controversial statement, explaining that if a person is to judge, that person must first judge him/herself and clean him/herself up before being able to judge rightly as Jesus commands everyone to do elsewhere. Your distinctions are not present in the text.
Judging others can be risky as
many times “things are not what they appear to be” in our human perception.Only God;s perception is infallible so let us leave that judgement to him.
Practical example: I have tendonitis in my right arm,Extremely painful but not so bad I cannot attend Church.While in Church the suggestion is made to get u`p and hug each other.Brothers and sisters come charging at me to give me a hug….I keep dodging each one not wanting to suffer extreme pain. to the individuals I am dodging I could be judged as proud,arrogant and disobedient. But they are wrong I am simply trying to avoid pain! How would God judge me? Quite differently because he knows my heart is clean and my shoulder is hurt. In the matter of judging or reprimanding others it is useful to remember that things are not always what they appear to be!
I don’t know who is more pure now, you or Steven L Anderson.
But you do know he pees standing up.
If we are to say nothing to address non-christian behavior, especially with those who claim to be believers. Are we then not holding each other accountable when we, as christians, fall into sin. In the sermon on the mount, the theme and context is behavior which reveals the heart and intent of the individual with regard to their actions. This behavior exposes whether or not that particular individual is truly following the guidelines of the bible, or if they are truly not a believer.
I am often confronted by people, christians and non-christians, as to what my opinion on this or that. Or, whether if they do this or that, God is displeased and their going to hell.
what i often say is that, as a christian, (Christ-Follower) it does not matter what “I think” but what does God’s word say about such and such behavior. My charge is to raise up God’s word and this teaching, not provide an opinion on a matter.
Pulling the beam out of my eye is a reminder to take care that we who, from a humble and loving standpoint, are pointing out something to another, are ourselves examining whether or not there is something in our life which needs to be addressed. Even the strongest among us are made fools by the Devil. But to simply ignore or not address something against God’s word makes a lost and dying world feel secure in their fallen state. Remember, we are still in an imperfect state, bringing a perfect message to a lost world. That’s why when we stick to God’s word for answers and rebuke, we do it from a standpoint that we all are sinners saved by is Grace.
A bit wordy, but nonetheless important.
God’s Least In The Kingdom Sinner Saved By His Grace.
you people are playing with the definitions of words and confusing the entire topic.
I think that, maybe first, before talking about a topic. First key/vital words must be defined specifically. did Jesus define exactly what he meant by the word ‘judge’?
Does anyone know what Jesus meant by the word ‘judge” I ask myself honestly.
I think this is the secret key: **judge RIGHTeously”/Correctly vs judge UNRIGHTesouly/Wrongly. Yet having said this, it is important to understand first what is meant by the word ‘judge’ and what it entails. Let me see if I can clear up this confusion caused by the vague definition of a word with a paragraph; (But first, I will tell you what ‘judge’ does not mean nor entail: to judge does not mean to condemn nor to punish nor to lift oneself up over another figuratively speaking). Ok, now with the paragraph:
First I want to clear something up; One man cannot know the heart nor the entire life experiences of another, and so therefore, is rendered incapable of condemning another man for his sins, but even if a man did know the entire story and the man sinner in question, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the first stone…”and it is well known and accepted that there is not one man without sin. Now all this refers not to ‘judgment’ but to ‘condemnation’ I believe many have gotten confused between the two, so I just wanted to clear this part of the mess up. many will bring up the punishments mentioned by God to be dispensed for certain sins, but lets just not go there yet,. lets stay on topic.
Moving forward; on judging:
Whether a man is a good man or a bad man, who are we to judge the heart of a man? Fore, we do not know the heart of man, not even of our own heart which hides many secrets from our own eyes, much less can we know the heart of another man. Only God knows all things – including the secret motivations of our ideas and actions, and the reasons and pressures of why someone has acted in a way or in another way, and so therefore only God can judge us for who or what we truly ultimately are at the root. core – whether we be completely rotten no good harvest or a good viable harvest. Putting ourselves in the lives of others, makes us see the pressures that different people are pressured by to commit certain sins, and so enables us more to forgive, and to show mercy, and to be compassionate, and to not judge who or what others are or are not and what they deserve or don’t deserve.
Actions are a completely different thing. Actions are not a man; A man is not actions. Do actions define a man? Or does a man merely act? Surely a man acts, in essence, out of certain necessities or pressures based on learned experiences and on a root motivating idea, but this is by far the most knowledge one man can have of another man or of himself. (some men simply have not learned much. And this is why God holds into greater account those that understand his word over those that are ignorant of it, so tread carefully all). ACTIONS CAN CERTAINLY BE JUDGED and should be in order to judge/determine whether an action or idea is biblically right or wrong – again, hence the verse, “judge righteously,’ which indicates not judging through our own standards but by the standards placed by God himself for example in the ten commandments. judging by our own standards would be judging unrighteously. Thus, a man can make a judgment about another man’s actions and say, “your actions are wrong, my brother, according to God’s word, not my own. We are all sinners brother, no man is sinless/faultless before God, but do not think, brother, that thoughest not sin, fore it is written, ‘though shalt not (fill in the blank),’ yes, you have sinned greatly against (fill in the blank), why not brother, come to your senses and acknowledge your wrong doing and perhaps repent and even apologize for your sin against (fill in the blank), which entails a whole new set up make-up actions on your part brother to show your sincerity apart from your words.” hence the verse, “judge RIGHTeously” (between what is sin and what is not sin according to God and between what is the right thing to do vs what is the wrong this to do, based on God’s word). As far as the phrase goes: “judge not that though be not judged,” Is it possible that Jesus is simply referring to the judgment of God upon a man. In other words, God speaking: ‘judge not the heart of your fellow man’, (implying judgment about a mans intrinsic character, which is entirely different then judging a mans actions as sinful or not sinful), fore which judgment you judge, oh man, I the LORD God almighty your creator will judge you.’ (God will utterly be saying, ‘you made this man to believe that he is a bad, unworthy, lazy, perverted, undeserving, unrighteous, unholy, lowly, what not man compared to yourself, thus, now I will make you believe that you are a bad man according to my own standard, which you used UNRIGHTeously against your fellow brother. Now I God will do the same to you, as perhaps even shall your fellow brethren meanwhile you are hopping around on Earth trigger happy shooting at the lilies and sunflowers, which I, too, have created’).
I hope you all understand clearly now, that the confusion stems mainly in the non-defining of words parameters.
“Judge not lest ye be judged” does not exist in that wording anymore, and according to current physical reality, it never did. Even old King James bibles from the 1600s do not state that anymore (although we know it did because the truth is written on our hearts) Please look into the #MandelaEffect. Also, the”lion shall lay down with the lamb” is nowhere to be found in any bible anymore either. Now it says “the wolf will dwell with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6)
The so-called Mandela Effect is a farce. The “judge not lest ye be judged” wording comes from the Tyndale New Testament, not the King James. It means exactly the same as what the KJV rendering says, however, as “lest” means “so that not.”
As for the “lion shall lay down with the lamb,” that wording never appears in any Bible, but it is often misremembered by people due to interference from the lion/lamb imagery that appears frequently throughout the Bible. This is a common memory phenomenon; most people, for instance, think The Empire Strikes Back includes the words, “Luke, I am your father.” But in fact, that line never appears in any Star Wars movie, despite it being the most often-quoted line from the Star Wars series. There is no such thing as the Mandela Effect, but human memories are very faulty and many people will find all sorts of ways to explain why their faulty memories are right and the facts are wrong.
does anyone want to reply to my very recent posts? just wondering why everyone suddenly got so silent?
So a murderer may judge a thief, but not another murderer?
jimmy Snyder, what r u talking about? hahaha 🙂
Academics like to ruin the basic message.
God of light knows.you by name.
In small groups of.2 or 3 is where he.will be.
Do you feel confused? Intimidated? Dumb?
Thats not god.
Are you at bible study? Thats not god either.
such a shame, no one responded to my posts. 🙁 smh
No one responded to your post because your post is the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
Jason you wouldn’t post my comment to adam atoms. Why not?
I am an atheist, once a fundamentalist christian and like another atheist who comment, I appreciate your open mindedness, well sort of open and your discussion here.
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open!” – Frank Zappa
Seems no one thinks it’s worth commenting on!
Give it up!
Jason, I appreciate your write up. I understand this passage is loaded with ambiguity however I did want to bring up the fact that it is not up to human’s to judge other humans. The is the realm of God. We are not fit to judge others.
This is not to say that we should ignore sin and evil. I think that it is appropriate to judge the actions of others but to remain mindful of the fact we are in no position to judge anyone else’s soul. Which is ultimately what is important.
After all, all of us are sinners. And almost all of us sin and justify it to ourselves. It’s scary how often I have done that in my life, and sadly continue to do. That is the ultimate point, who are we to point out the faults of others when we have the same ones as we are all sinners and can only ask and before for forgiveness.
Also interesting is the end of this passage, “Do not give dogs what is sacred. Do not throw your pearls to to pigs.” If you judge another individual they will ordinarily defend themselves and mock you and your beliefs. Even if you are right you may be manipulated into feeling wrong. This is why it is inappropriate for a Christian to pass judgment on others.
I appreciate your comment, but you are mistaken about it not being a human’s place to judge. In fact, the New Testament commands judgment: “Judge justly” (John 7:24) and “Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more the matters of this life?” (1 Cor 6:3).
The New Testament also assumes (indeed proclaims) that those who follow Jesus will cease to sin and justify themselves. Justification by the spirit is the essence of the gospel.
Yes, it is true that God will judge everyone’s final fate; but humans are commanded to judge in the here and now.
Sorry if this question/comment was already made… What about the meaning of the scripture suggesting the one among us without sin to cast the first stone? This scripture seems to not only address hypocrisy, but sin and the error of judgement in general. No?
No, that’s mistaken and relies on reading the “let the one without sin cast the first stone” statement, which is not a general statement about judgment but rather occurs in a specific context. That context involved people bringing a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus and asking whether she should be put to death as the Torah requires. But the Torah also required that both parties—both the man and the woman—caught in the act be brought to judgment. Jesus’ statement challenges those who brought the woman to him for violating the Torah themselves. Basically, the woman gets off on a technicality due to a mistrial. But Jesus elsewhere commands his followers to judge rightly. Judgment is not forbidden but is instead mandated; hypocrisy and injustice are forbidden.
Wow…..I that is some information not taught or mentioned and I’ve heard that passage of the “woman” caught in adultery. I always did think to myself she didn’t commit adultery alone….that explains it. Thanks Jason – you are a wealth of information.
Who interpreted the Greek text from the Aramaic? In fact, who decided which testaments were put into the New Testament those 500+ years after the events? If you are not aware of how fast a language (and a dialect of that language) then try reading Chaucer. I’m quite certain the life of Jesus has been recorded with some degree of accuracy but I am also aware that we have simply no way of knowing exactly what was said.
Shouldn’t it be the right action that guides us?
1) The text was originally written in Greek, not Aramaic.
2) The Gospel of Matthew was already widely used in Christian churches by the late first century.
3) The Greek of Matthew is basic common, imperial Greek of the first century CE. Any Greek reader from the next 1000 years would have little difficulty with it. It’s not at all equivalent to Chaucer from a modern English speaker’s perspective.
4) How does one determine right action? Such determination requires good judgment.
This passage does not need to be interpreted. It is stated quite clearly. Judgment is for God. You are a sinner.
99% of the time, when I hear someone talke about “Interpreting” the Bible, it means that they want to use their fallible mind to twist God’s infallible Word. As Charles Spurgeon put it, “The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.”
I admit, there is a lot of difficulty reconciling the plain meaning of this with some later passages in the epistles. If an open and notorious sinner will not desist, he should certainly be confronted and urged to stop, and even removed from a church. Yet, we still cannot judge him, because we are no better than he.
Fascinating. You insist on your specific interpretation of this passage while simultaneously claiming that interpretations are inherently invalid. Talk about sawing off the branch upon which one sits!
“I admit, there is a lot of difficulty reconciling the plain meaning of this with some later passages in the epistles. If an open and notorious sinner will not desist, he should certainly be confronted and urged to stop, and even removed from a church. Yet, we still cannot judge him, because we are no better than he.”
Your statement isn’t consistent with your position… To be put out of the church is the church is doing as Jesus said (Matt. 18) and judging one to be unfaithful and and unrepentant in their sin. And those faithful obedient saints in the church are better than the unrepentant sinner, that’s why the sinner needs to repent. 1 Cor 5 is Paul getting on the believers in Corinth for not judging the sin (sinner) in their midst and commanding them to deal with it by handing that sinner over to satan for the destruction of his flesh.
Quite possibly the best explaination of this passage I’ve ever read! I saw this as you stated conceptually but you articulated it in a way that brings clarity to the passage!! Thank you!
John 7:24. Your turn!
Jason, Really appreciate and agree with your article and your interaction with several of the responses!
Do you think some of the frustration and even anger from some on this topic is the understanding or misunderstanding of the word “judge”?
Me experience has been that so many see “judging” as condemning the individual, as opposed to identifying behavior as sin according to the standard God has set forth in His Word. People seem to jump from having their behavior judged (which is a must for churches, families and societies to exist) to having their character and motives (things only God is fully aware of) judged and condemned….. Which isn’t what I believe you were saying at all. I believe we have a deceitful Enemy who loves to encourage a defensive attitude in any of us when we find ourselves “falling short” / engaged in behavior God calls sin. I also believe that in a healthy, biblical church, there are brothers and sisters who love us too much to be silent and let us continue in that destructive behavior.
Sorry, I’m rambling here… I just know that in my own life, needing correction is embarrassing and my first response is to be defensive. But if I want to be right (by God’s standard) I need to swallow pride and recognize that correction from imperfect people pointing out my sin is ultimately from the loving hand of God, Who desires me to walk in righteousness, truth and freedom.
I do think that conflation of “judge” with “condemn” is a big part of the problem here. It’s important to be able to distinguish what is required and what is prohibited here.
Far too often Matthew 7 gets used so flippantly. Anytime someone points out something in someones life we throw this verse at them to show them why they are in the wrong. But we are supposed to offer correction to other Christians. We should not condemn; that’s not our job. But we should point out blindspots and potential errors. Not only is that okay, that’s what love requires isn’t it?
This is what Jesus is getting after in this verse. Jesus never says we should not point out the speck. Rather that we should deal with our crap SO THAT we can help others deal with their’s.
I wrote an article about this verse.
There is a fine line between having an option to help someone and placing a judgment. The word Judgement in the Bible is actually referring to condemning. According to psychology we see in others that which lives within ourselves. That’s why you recognize it. Read the Lords prayer. Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us. It’s about forgiving!
The statement that “the word judgment in the Bible is actually referring to condemning” is completely wrong. The word simply means to “judge,” as in to make a judgment or distinction. Condemnation can be one form of judgment (and there’s a different word for “condemn”), but it’s not the only verdict.
“Judge not, lest you be judged”
You say this passage mostly relates to condemning those (person A) that vigorously accuse others (person B) of judging, since they themselves are condemning condemnation, the very hypocrisy the passage condemns.
Firstly can I ask you when you last sinned ?
When do you believe a person can rightly judge others ?
If we are all sinners, or have sinned in the past, who has authority to sit in judgment ?
Is it possible to have recently sinned and have authority to judge ?
Is it possible to be a Christian and reach a point in life where you NEVER EVER sin ?
If Christians slip up and sin,are they still Christians ?
It seems you’re saying judging is fine as long as you aren’t a sinner yourself, or haven’t sinned recently might be more accurate, because as humans we’ve all sinned.
Looking forward to your reply.
1) Sure, you may ask.
2) That’s addressed in the post itself.
3) That’s also addressed in the post itself.
4) Yes, provided repentance.
5) According to the New Testament gospel, yes. That’s basically the point. God’s grace (the gift of the spirit) saves people from their sin, giving them power to do what is right rather than being enslaved to sin. Otherwise it’s no different than being under the law.
6) According to 1 John 5:16–17, that depends on the nature of the sin.
7) Jesus is saying that a person needs to forsake sin prior to judgment. One can’t help another if one has the same problem.
Hey there. I’m not a christian myself and have never read the bible, but I wanted to make sure I was using this correctly. Funnily enough, I was! It really was the perfect use of it too. Thanks for making this well written article about it.
I’ve been involved in some deep study of the Bible and I’ve run into a lot of people who have preferred beliefs of what some versus say. or mean. I think the verse Mark 10:25 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” is probably the best example of people dissecting and spinning it so it doesn’t reflect poorly on them or their benefactors. I was in a small church where the main contributor was one of the richest people in town, the pastor couldn’t afford to offend him .
I won’t attempt to debate this or say that you’re incorrect. I do disagree that Jesus wasn’t saying not to judge one another, I believe Jesus taught that and other very closely related topics to question that part. There are also far too many translations to dissect grammar and word placement, I doubt everyone back then was highly educated and used perfect grammar at all times, to say because this word was placed in this spot it means this not that. If you get a book showing multiple translations you’ll see that the choice of wording can’t be a deciding factor to say that it doesn’t mean what it says. I believe Jesus taught that and other very closely related topics to question that part. I think judging and hypocrisy are very closely related and intertwined, And are far to closely related to say judging is okay, just don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t forget that people that make a living writing and teaching and promoting specific doctrines aren’t doing it without some conflicts of interest, such as making a living from it. If they can discuss and debate something to no end they can write a lot of books and sermons.
It’s not about specific wording. It’s about the fact that Jesus explicitly commands to judge that confirms that you are mistaken here.
Great post! I am grateful to have found it. I read all of the comments. I find it amazing that many of the people who condemned your article kept trying to throw other bible verse at you but they did not read the verse before or after such as James 12. You really need to read James 11 before you try to say we are not to judge each other. I find it odd how they also could not seem to understand that this type of “judging” so to speak is done out of LOVE not condemnation for Pete’s sake. Keep up the great work Jason Staples! God bless you and yours!
Wow, great interpretation of Scripture. I recall when I hypocritically judged actual Christians when I shouldn’t have made such presumptuous judgements. I thought I was making things right with my self-righteous hypocrisy. Of course, I was unable to see I was doing what I was judging others for.
I am just thankful for His patience, mercy, and forgiveness. May every hypocrite be so blessed to see the error of their ways, in Jesus name, Amen.
Why would a holy book be subject to various interpretations and not be clear and concise?
Every book is subject to interpretation. That’s how communication works.
Thank you Jason Staples, This is an amazing exposition on this grossly misinterpreted passage. I was involved with a conversation last night on FB with a relative who is fiercely determined to defend addictive substance use. In “moderation” of course. She is sitting under the teaching of a minister who holds the same perspective. She shared a brief message of his with me…initiating the banter.
By the Grace of God I worshipfully walk in sobriety. Seems I may have delved into waters too deep for me. I was deemed self-righteous in thinly veiled innuendos . The exchange was disturbing to me and has grieved my heart today. I’m concerned I may have sounded contentious. As we were exchanging thoughts, verse 5 leapt off the page to me. I had not given it notice before.
Part of my end of the exchange went like this:
“If I were able to practice addiction in moderation it would not be addiction and destruction to me. Unfortunately, the familiar spirits that operate in my family, and around me, and the addictions, whether rooted in nature or nurture, put me in bondage…not in a mind set to be moderate. I’ve proven that to myself through painful errors. “All things in moderation” is not scripture…the thief looking for a way to steal, kill or destroy is. If Satan can find a way to convince us to destroy ourselves and ruin our testimony he can move on to another case.
My life has been a hot mess of mistakes, sins and addictions. I have no rocks to throw at anyone…no how. A little leaven leavens the whole loaf. Christians are to strive against vices…strive for righteousness…strive for peace. I know for me, it is an on going fight hence the need for the armor. I Tim 3 outlines the qualifications for leadership. I am not looking for loop holes…I am seeking thirst for Him, His Kingdom, His righteousness and His freedom.
I know what a Triumph is…and I thank Him for He always leads me in it. Drinking alcohol is not sin…drunkenness is (Ephesian 5) as is riotousness. This passage does not say don’t judge…the Word tells us to judge ourselves. This passage tells us to get delivered ourself (vs 5) so we might then be able to help others find freedom from the tyranny of sin.
The word hypocrite has roots meaning “actor”…This passage is referencing people talking the talk not walking the walk. I don’t judge others in bondage…I pray for victory for all men…in Christ. If we walk after the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. This is a war we are in. If we are hearers only and not doers, we deceive ourselves. (James 1:22). My desire is for all men to find freedom from sin, peace in Christ able to live In the world, but not of it.
Honestly…if we see one stumbling we are supposed to tell them so…and help them. Please pray that I will remain sober, not self-righteous, malleable, gentle and hungry for His presence. I have a great desire to live a life pleasing to Him A life that is a fruitful one. I am trying to seriously get on task with His desires. I know many of mine have been vastly self-serving”.
I am so glad for the conversation last night as it as led me to your writings. Hopefully you are well and still sharing as I am looking forward to reading many of your articles. This has been a moment of a word spoken in due season.
(to Linda Tipton (May 15, 2019 1:01 pm) Wonderful post. Addiction would be a great topic. Disapproved habitual behaviors of many kinds are called addictions. You have embraced an “addiction” (in the world’s eyes) to the gospel that reveals the Righteousness of God. Romans 1:16.17. Christ is our righteousness. 1 Cor 1:30 and context vs. 23-31. Keep on being faithful to the foolishness of God.
I see some grammatical errors…my apologies. I was referring to Matt 7:5 leaping out to me.
Spot on! We are to “judge all THINGS, but we are not subjected to anyone’s judgement” in other words we judge actions, words ..etc, but not people. There is one Judge for that. The object of judgement is the splinter, not the eye. Seeing the splinter leads us to repentance as we need clean eyes to see, but judging the person leads to hypocrisy.
Great post and discussion. Like someone wiser than me has said we all cry “Mercy! Don’t judge!” when we’ve failed but “Justice! Punish them!” when we’ve been wronged! This gets to the heart of the problem. The same person that would cry out “Don’t judge me for this” will be equally quick to condemn the same behaviour in another when they are the victim..
“Despite how it appears if one stops reading after the first verse, this passage in Matthew is not forbidding judgment but hypocrisy.”:
You are right, at least, in-part. The writer/speaker is condemning hypocrisy. The true meaning of the passage equates to more than the sum of that particular part. He condemns hypocrisy by saying that when you judge people you are claiming that you know better, or behave better, or are “closer to God”, than another, and, to use an American colloquialism, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. Meaning that most people, at the least, have done unrighteous things at times, and even sometimes have done those things after having condemned themselves by their own words. If you attempt to point out unrighteousness, you are condemning yourself by your own words, because no one can truthfully claim that they have not transgressed before, and therefore pointing out your brother’s transgressions damns yourself by the same “measure”. I find it interesting to note that one interpretation of the name of Sa-am-a-el is: one who measures according to God’s image. We should refrain from comparing ourselves with each other’s righteousness. There is only one “measure” to be “meted out” that “measure” is God’s. Mere men are not wise enough to understand God’s law, but He gave us fairly clear instructions. If you are studying His word, and ancient history (seek and ye shall find) it will become clear to you too. There are other interpretations of course, but I like to keep that in-mind when I’m discerning between concepts in the Holy Scriptures. Keep studying. Good luck and Godspeed. :*)
I must say that I rather enjoyed your article and completely understand where you were going with it and what you had to say. However, at the same time I don’t agree with everything that you’ve said, but this could be because I’m an objective thinker and a realist. I have a tendency to see things as they are.
I’ve never been a person to sit here and judge others; however, I am able to differentiate the difference between good and bad. I don’t believe that everyone who sees someone else as arrogant or cruel are that themselves. That to me is a fallacy and can be somewhat misleading. There are some truly arrogant people in this world, as well cruel, and you don’t have to be either of those to be able to ascertain who those people are (e.g. a faithful battered spouse or one that is mentally abused, a bully’s victim, or a murder victim). Also, there are many people in this world who see no fault in their own behavior or actions. It’s ingrained in them (e.g. a narcissist—not the good kind, or some individuals with certain mental disorders). Even though I work in a correctional environment, I’ve always had a unique perspective. I imagine my traumatic childhood shaped it, but I believe that it was my education in psychology, counseling, criminal justice, and sociology that brought my perspective where it is today.
I’m not a very religious person, even though I was baptized as a Pentecostal almost 30 years ago. As a teenager, I could see many of the hypocrites that faithfully attended church. It seems that today, there is still no difference—many still faithfully attend church. Over the years, I’ve come to question many things that were taught to us. I would love to know what your thoughts are on how Jesus actually died (cross vs. stake).
It seems pretty clear cut to me “Do not judge….” because this MAKES you a hypocrite.
Luke 7:38-50 is a remarkable illustration of real world Judgement.
* Simon the Pharisee Judged both the sinful woman and Jesus v. 39.
* Jesus did not take offence but asked him to make another judgement about two debtors. v. 40-43.
* Finally, Jesus Judged both Simon and the sinful woman v 44-47 by comparing their behaviors toward Jesus.
* Mercy is Judgement. v 48.
* “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7.
John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (I see this as a warning that we cannot plead ignorance of any law that we choose to apply to others.)
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 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. (Since Jesus here speaks to hearers that he calls hypocrites, I believe that Jesus is addressing willful blindness as in Mark 4:11,12 and in John 9:39-41)
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Here Jesus is warning us of the dangers of speaking the truth. He and many prophets before him spoke truth and paid for it with their lives. Don’t be shocked if the world hates you for speaking truth. Jesus spoke truth and he fully understood the price that he would pay for it.)
I wish that my comments on the biblical text (in parentheses above} were italicized for clarity, but that option is not available.
It also would be nice to be able to edit ones comments for several minutes after posting. (A website feature)
That’s a remarkable attempt at cherrypicking. Remember “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?” Remember “Be ye perfect as our father in heaven is perfect”?
The point here is that judgment IS hypocrisy unless you, indeed, are perfect.
“Do not resist an evil person”
What you are doing is precisely what Jesus counseled against – making a public spectacle out of your righteousness and the failings of others. You can practice forgiveness and mercy without making a show act out of it.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
That’s a remarkably judgmental comment. Bravo for such a demonstration!
That’s a remarkably empty retort. Given the point of your whole article is an exercise in being judgmental of others who do not share your interpretation, that empty retort speaks loudly about the very kind of hypocrisy you mention in the article.
Context matters. Whether you like it or not.
Hypocrisy would require that I claim judgment is wrong and then make judgments or condemn someone else for doing something that I am doing myself. But neither is the case here.
In your case, however, that is exactly the sort of hypocrisy on display. Thanks for the object lesson!
I enjoyed this thoughtful article (which of course is my judgement of it and by extension on you for writing it). Could it be that the root of the problem here is a poor translation of the first verse? Would a translation that says something like “If you judge, you will be judged…” be viable? I don’t know Greek so it could well be that it’s not but I was just wondering.
So if there’s no getting round it and this passage starts with Jesus definitively saying “Don’t judge” but then his words in context show that actually he doesn’t quite mean that it’s a sin to judge and we should never judge, then why did he start his speech by saying “Don’t judge”? Was it some rhetorical device like shock value to get people’s attention? Or was it some form of irony? Or could Jesus have been responding to what someone else had just said e.g. Peter said “That guy’s such a …” and Jesus says “Don’t judge” to tell Peter not to judge that guy in that way, rather than this being a blanket condemnation of ever judging anyone or anything, then Jesus goes on to give more general teaching about judging but the conversation that triggered it didn’t make it into the bible (I’m still waiting for the Director’s cut myself)
I guess where I’m coming from here is that it just doesn’t make sense to me for humans to be told not to judge (how can we decide who to vote for if we don’t judge their policies and trustworthiness; should Christians never sit on juries or job interview panels; surely it’s not always wrong to judge a stranger behaving unpredictably as a potential threat to ourselves, our families and whoever else we have a duty of care towards; and a million other examples) yet I struggle to fully square that with a bible verse that clearly seems to say that Jesus starts his point by saying “Don’t judge” even though the rest of the passage and other parts of scripture give a very different picture.
If someone starts with “Don’t cross the street” and finishes with “without first looking both ways”, that does not make what they said irony, shock value, or rhetorical device. This is a foolish argument.
I understand your points Jason and I agree that God’s laws are universal to all, but I really don’t think it is the role the church to enact judgement – except in very rare cases. In those cases, the new testament gives us specific instruction on how to handle these situations. We are to help our men pursue Christ through relationship building and sanctification. Think about Jason, how were you won to Chris ?. Did someone throw a bunch of laws and scriptures at you, or did they use loving kindness to describe God’s plan of salvation and restoration ? Did you feel uplifted when someone judged you everyone time you fell short ? Did that help you ? … I think not.