The Truth Behind Judging
Source: EX Times
“Judge not, lest ye be judged!!!!” “He who is without sin, cast the first stone!!!!”
How many times have you heard Christians spout off these cliches? Yes I called them cliches because while they are indeed scriptures, most take these scriptures out of context causing them to be, as I said, cliches. These statements are found in sermons, conversations, blogs, posts, comments, and the like, often in response to ones who are believed to have judged someone or something. However, what does the bible say about judging? What does it say about judging the believer and unbeliever? Is it possible that we have failed to allow God’s word to be the final authority on this matter as opposed to our opinions? Let’s delve into this and see what we can find.
The first scriptures we will look at are found in Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV) which say, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete it, 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? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou, hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Too often are these scriptures taken out of context resulting in what Jesus was saying here to be diluted. The words “judge, judged, and judgment” all come from the same Greek root word. “Judge” in this passage is the Greek word “krino” meaning to punish, condemn, damn, call into question, and pronounce an opinion on. Jesus was saying, “condemn not, that you be condemned, for with what condemnation you condemn, you shall be condemned.” It’s not my responsibility to condemn because God’s word takes care of that for us. For it says in John 3:16-18 (KJV), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Why does the scripture say Jesus did not come to condemn and that the unbeliever is condemned already? Because Adam took care of that for us when he disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam disobeyed he allowed sin and death into the world (see Romans 5:12) causing mankind to then be born into sin and condemnation. Clearly I don’t need to judge the world at this time (however see 1 Corinthians 6:2-3) because they’ve already been judged and will be judged. However, notice what is said in Matthew 7:3-5 regarding your brother (fellow believer). Jesus says before you pull the tiny stalk out of your brother’s eye, first remove the beam in your own eye. Perspective is something else I tell you. Why? Because a beam is much larger than a stalk, and outweighs it greatly. I disqualify myself from removing your stalk if my beam is in the way. Once my beam is removed the scripture qualifies me to remove my brother’s stalk. So the bible tells me that I should judge but that I should not judge hypocritically. The problem believers create for themselves is that when they throw out the “judge not, lest ye be judged’ card, they have no idea as to whether I already removed the beam from my eye. This causes them to judge my perceived judgment thereby responding with exactly what they’re accusing me of. The word judge here also means to separate, select, choose, determine, and resolve. When my beam is removed, I am then given biblical permission to call you out on yours or remove your stalk. If it’s done in a motive of love (even tough love) it will be received.
Secondly, we’ll look at communion over in 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 (KJV). Observe what is said in verses 27-32 specifically which state, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 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.” My goodness did you see the enormity of what was just stated? We are called to examine and judge ourselves before we eat and drink of the table. HOWEVER, notice in verse 30 that it says, “For this cause many are….” Which cause though? The cause is the latter part of verse 29, which says, “not discerning the Lord’s body.” What does that mean exactly? Well first we must ask ourselves who is the Lord’s body, and the answer is not difficult to come across: we are the Lord’s body. Now, though, how do I discern the Lord’s body? By applying to the Lord’s body what you apply to yourself. Verse 31 says if we judge ourselves we not be judged and that word “judge” is the Greek word “diakrino” which means to discern, to separate THOROUGHLY, discriminate, and to contend with one’s self. The word “discerning” in verse 29 is also the Greek word “diakrino”. We can then read verses 29-31 this way, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation (or judgment) to himself, not JUDGING the Lord’s body. For this cause (or reason) many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (or die prematurely). For if we would DISCERN ourselves we not be judged. Say what? Did Jesus just tell me to judge His body? He absolutely did! As a matter of fact your life depends on it. Judgement (discerning/diakrino not condemning/krino) begins with you and then the rest of the body. These words work together efficiently, therefore when I discern and contend with myself I locate my beam so I can then remove my brother’s stalk if he’s yet to remove his beam. Remember in your eye it’s a beam; in your brother’s eye it’s a stalk, yet it’s reciprocal. And the icing on the cake is that the word “judged” in verses 31 and 32 is the Greek word “krino”, so it would read “For if we would discern ourselves we would not be condemned. But when we are condemned, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned (Greek word katakrino) with the world. Our condemnation or judgment as the children of God is His chastening, admonishing, and rebuking. The judgment for the world is much more frightening.
Lastly 1 Corinthians 2:15 says, “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” The words “judgeth” and “judged” here in this verse are both the Greek word “anakrino” meaning to examine, investigate, inquire, sift through, and question. If one calls him or herself a believer then their words should line up with scripture. No one is perfect nor does anyone know all things, yet somethings are easily discerned or examined. Discernment and examination ministries (EXMinistries for example) are often falsely accused of condemning, and while there are a few that make it their aim to demonize everyone, most watchmen are truly doing their jobs righteously. Jesus and Paul both called out individuals on their mess when their mess clearly interfered with God’s truth. The goal should always be to get someone to repent and head in the right direction. However, that discernment and examination that we’ve been called to do will require us to sift through the words of those that could be honestly wrong about something, or those that are without a doubt false prophets and ravening wolves. Am I wrong for calling out homosexuality for what it is? A blatant sin and abomination? Christians ask the question why harp on homosexuality to the neglect of other sins. The response is not that other sins are being neglected, but that an abomination is being presented as civil. If President Obama endorsed fornication among teens, the true church would be on him like white on rice. Yet you don’t see marches for adultery, lying, and murder therefore we have to ask ourselves the question why is that the case for homosexuality? Why is it the one sin that has a voice, a vote, and the nerve to consider itself equal with ethnicity? There’s something wrong with this picture. And the “why” is simple. Homosexuality attacks the very first institution that God ordained for the earth: the family. If the family is broken and confused, it’s then weak and exposed thereby causing that to be reflected in society. The Bible and history shows us that when a civilization embraces the abomination of homosexuality, the abominations of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia soon follow which leads to the demise of that civilization. So when there are those that judge believers for judging President Obama and his words regarding homosexuality (mind you he claims to know Christ), it creates hypocrisy in the accusers of the so called accusers. John 7:24 tells us to judge with righteous judgment, that’s every believers responsibility, especially the leaders.
In conclusion the word judge and similar words like it can be verbs or nouns and have a plethora of meanings depending on the scriptural context. To sum it up, however, remember these three words and corresponding definitions: krino(condemn), diakrino(discern), anakrino(examine). We must, as believers, do our homework before we judge someone of judging.