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Should Christians Judge Each Other?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by stephen, May 22, 2010.

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    One of the biggest problems in the Church is that some Christians are way too trusting. Jesus warned, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Mat 7:15).

    Far too many of the sheep do not heed our Lord's words. Even when believers are cautioned about certain false teachers, they blow off the warning and blindly follow these wolves.

    You've probably heard this many times: "The Bible says not to judge." What the Bible actually says is that we're not to judge a person's heart or motives. "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things," says Paul, "yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1Cor 2:15-16).

    According to Paul true followers of Jesus are of the same mind. When you have the mind of Christ you have spiritual discernment. Christians (who are walking with Christ) have the authority to judge people's words and actions.

    How do you know if someone is a false teacher? Go to the scriptures! In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

    No doubt some Christians will continue to complain that "judging" is unbiblical and play the Mat. 7:1-3 card: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

    What they fail to understand is that the Spirit of God abides in regenerate Christians. Hence we have the mind of Christ! As for the unbeliever, Scripture clearly teaches that the natural man [unregenerate] "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:14).

    So the unregenerate person does not - cannot - understand the things of God. Amazingly, a growing number of self-professed Christians think the things of God are foolishness.
    The good news is that believers who read and study the Bible are not easily taken in by apostates.

    But even mature believers can have the wool pulled over their eyes if they stop being Bereans. It was for this very reason that John penned this warning:.................................

    "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).

    Should Christians "judge" others? You betcha!
  2. A good post my friend! The key is indeed 1Cor 2:15-16 as when we are walking in the Spirit (in total submission to, only at the leading of and only in the power of) then our motivations will be only to see God glorified in the life of others. We are called to follow Him and Him alone and when we speak the truth it is spoken in love or it is no longer His truth at all. What is born of the flesh is flesh and will never produce godly fruit, what is born of the Spirit is Spirit and will always bring life and freedom.
  3. Good post Stephen, something very needed at this hour within the body of Christ.
    Good points Boanerges:wink:
  4. #4 shipwrecksoul, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
    Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

    A lot of people, Christians, hearts get hardened and they refuse direction criticism, positive that is, and guidance from their brother or sister.
    Because after they KNOW better. They tasted the sin so now they ignore the sin.
    "Who r u to tell me whats wrong in my life?" They say.
    Then when they reject you, because of the hardness, they go and claim you dont know nothing in front of others(divide and conquer) or you never experienced it or your ignorant, setting themselves up and not God as the standard.
    Another words they say you need to experienced the sin itself and not the power of the savior on how He could help.
    This happens in academics as well.

    God most certainly loves us, but equally the same He hates sin!

    So when an honest to goodness born again brother or sister tries to sharpen the other the other refuses help because of the hardness of the heart.
    I hope this makes sense?

    A lot of people don't want to be exhorted!
  5. Good post...We should not judge others as Christians instead we should be fishers of men. We are supposed to draw those who don't know God near to Him. Let us convert the none believers...:angel-animated:
  6. Have you ever sought to confront wrong-doing, or reprove someone, only to be met with, "You can't judge me!" or "Christians aren't supposed to judge!" What does God's Word say about judging?

    When the subject of judging comes up among believers, the first place most Christians go to is Matthew 7:1.

    Matthew 7:1.
    Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    Most people will stop right there, and conclude, "Jesus said don't judge." But we've got to read on to see this in context, so that we can determine what he was really saying.

    Matthew 7:2.
    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with the measure which ye measure with, it shall be measured to you again.
    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?
    Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thy eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thy own eye?
    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thy own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    Now it becomes clear. Jesus wasn't saying, "Don't judge." He was saying, "Don't judge your brother without first judging yourself." His exhortation was to remove the plank or beam from your brother's eye first, so that you can see clearly to remove the speck of sawdust from your brother's eye.

    Part of the problem we have with judging is that when people say "judge" they usually mean or imply "condemn." But judging means much more than that.

    "To judge" means "to make a distinction" or "to separate." You judge every day, in every aspect of life. You had to make a judgment in order to decide what clothes to wear today, or what to eat. You are also responsible for judging between truth and error.

    When we look at scripture on judging, it is important that we pay attention to who is being addressed.
    Romans 2:1.
    Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whoever thou art that judgest: for in that thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

    At first glance, this verse seems to forbid judging, and to warn that when you judge someone else, you are condemning yourself. But who is it talking to? Those who judge others for doing the same things they are doing. If you fall into that category, then you are indeed condemning yourself when you judge someone else! But this is not a blanket prohibition against judging.

    What God wants is not for us to avoid judging, but instead to judge rightly.

    Luke 7:40-43.
    And Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. And he saith, Master, speak.
    There was a certain creditor who had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
    And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
    Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said to him, Thou hast rightly judged.

    In this passage, Jesus invited Simon the Pharisee to make a judgment, then commended him when he judged rightly. God wants us to make right, or righteous, judgments.

    How do we do this? Let's start by looking at how not to judge.

    John 7:21-24.
    Jesus answered and said to them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
    Moses therefore gave to you circumcision; (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath circumcise a man.
    If a man on the sabbath receiveth circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have restored a man to sound health on the sabbath?
    Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

    Here Jesus answered some of his critics who had judged his works, but not righteously. What did they do wrong? They judged by mere appearance.

    Our goal must not be just to judge, but rather to "judge righteous judgment."

    Proverbs 14:12 shows us another way we're not supposed to judge.

    There is a way which seemeth right to a man, but the end of it [are] the ways of death.

    It's very easy for me to establish my own standard for right and wrong, and to judge others according to that standard -- but that, too, is judging wrongly. If we are going to "judge righteous judgment," we must not judge by man's standard, which is flawed to begin with, but by God's standard.

    Within the Church, disputes will arise from time to time. Settling these disputes requires judgment.

    I Corinthians 6:1-4.
    Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
    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?
    Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
    If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

    Ask those who are least esteemed in the Church to judge things pertaining to this life? Whoa! That's a different way of looking at things!

    If a dispute between God's people goes to the secular courts, to the legal system, who does the judging? Usually, men and women who don't have the spirit of God. By what standard do they judge? By God's standard, or by the imperfect standards of this world? By the world's standards, of course. And what kind of judgment can be expected? A godly decision, or a worldly one? A worldly decision, contrary to the Word of God, is almost guaranteed.

    In the Church, it should not be a big matter for any believer to settle a dispute or render judgment in a matter pertaining to the things of this life -- if the church is functioning properly, and not according to the world's standards.

    I Corinthians 6:5-6.
    I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
    But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers.

    Instead of insisting on believers judging between believers, the saints in Corinth were running to the world to settle their disputes. What kind of witness is that to the world: two Christians having it out in front of unbelievers? What does it say about our maturity as Christians when we can't be humble enough to be judged by our fellow believers, but we will submit ourselves to the judgments of those who do not obey God?
    I Corinthians 6:7-8.
    Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [allow yourselves to] be defrauded?
    But, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren.

    My flesh may cry out, "Wait a minute! Don't I have rights?" But the Word of God testifies that it is better to lose what is rightfully ours than to allow unbelievers to decide a dispute between believers.

    I Corinthians 11:28.
    But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

    Each of us is responsible before God to judge himself. Ask yourself: Do I have a plank in my eye? Even if someone asks me for my judgment, if I have a plank in my eye in that area, that is, if my walk with God is not right in that area, I should either deal with my own plank first, or decline to give judgment.

    The real key to judging righteous judgment is self judgment. Start with yourself; judge yourself first.

    I Corinthians 11:31-32.
    For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

    When the Lord judges us, He disciplines us. It's much less painful for you to judge yourself than for you to wait for the Lord to correct you.

    One of the fruit of the spirit is self-control. If a child does not exercise self-control in an area, discipline must be imposed on him externally for his own protection and growth. This may involve loss of blessings or privileges, or even physical discipline. That's the same way God works with us. If we exercise self-control ourselves, there is no need for disciplinary action in our lives by God.

    Ephesians 5:1-6.
    Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
    And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
    But immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
    Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not seemly: but rather giving of thanks.
    For this ye know, that no immoral, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
    Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    Let no one deceive you with empty words like, "Don't be judgmental," or, "You can't judge me."

    Ephesians 5:7.
    Be ye not therefore partakers with them.

    If you don't exercise righteous judgment, how will you know who or what to be a partner with?

    Ephesians 5:8-10.
    For ye were once darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
    (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
    Proving what is acceptable to the Lord.

    Everything doesn't please God! You've got to judge between what is of God, and what is not!

    Ephesians 5:11.
    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

    How do you expose darkness? By shedding the light of God's Word on it!

    Ephesians 5:12-17.
    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
    But all things that are reproved are revealed by the light: for whatever doth reveal is light. {reproved: or, discovered}
    Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. {he: or, it}
    See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
    Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
    Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].

    If we are going to be able to understand what the will of the Lord is, if we are going to walk in wisdom, we must "judge righteous judgment."

    Ephesians 5:18-21.
    And be not drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
    Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    What is to be my attitude if someone else in the body of Christ judges me? I am to submit myself to that person in the fear of God. But what if that person has a plank in their eye? What if they are not walking in a godly way in the area in which they are reproving me? If my ultimate subjection is to God, then I will subject myself to His Word, even when it is given to me in less than desirable circumstances.

    We must be careful not to use the "plank" in someone else's eye as an excuse for not accepting unwanted reproof from God's Word. If you look hard enough, you can always find a plank in the eye of someone you don't want to listen to. None of us walks perfectly before God.

    But nobody has a plank everywhere in their body! Don't look for weakness or disobedience in one area of a person's life to use as an excuse for ignoring their godly judgment in another area.

    The best rule for receiving reproof from other believers is this: Line up what you hear with the Word of God, and act accordingly.

    I Corinthians 4:5a.
    5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord shall come...

    Does this mean, as some have said, that we are not supposed to judge until the Lord returns? Keep reading!

    I Corinthians 4:5.
    ...who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make known the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise from God.

    What are we not supposed to judge right now? Men's hearts! God has not authorized us to judge other people's hearts and minds. However, we are responsible before God to judge the words and deeds of those within the body of Christ. By what standard? By the Word of God.

    Yes, we are to judge. And all of our judgment is to begin with judgment of ourselves. We need to judge whether or not we are in the faith; whether or not our actions are godly; whether or not our thoughts are godly; whether or not our motives are godly.

    We must not be satisfied just to judge; we must "judge righteous judgment."
  7. No i dont believe you should. I mean actually you should if there doing it the wrong way, but always help them doing it better!

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