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View Full Version : The difference between "judging" and "calling a spade a spade"



TransformedSon
Jan 5th 2009, 03:42 AM
Can yall help me to understand what "judging" truly means? There seems to be a very thin line on this issue.

On the one hand, we are called not to judge others by Jesus. The pharisees were very judgmental of Jesus, his disciples, and sinners; Jesus was hard on them as a result of this. He called them out and rebuked them for this sin.

Matthew 7:1-3 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye.

However, in the same sense, we are called to not close our eyes to the world.

Matthew 10:16 " Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. So be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves."

Somehow, that is an illustration of the balance we have to keep. We have to always be aware of our surroundings and of what's going on, but at the same time we might remain innocent in not judging them.

1) If someone is living a sinful lifestyle, is it wrong for me to believe they are sinning?
2)Is it wrong for me to tell them they are sinning?
3)Is it wrong for me to get angry/frustrated at them for this sin?
4)Is it more about the attitude and manner in which I approach them?

I suspect that an overwhelming amount of the time people that feel "judged" are just being defensive, probably because they know they're wrong. However, it takes a very mature person to accept reproof, so I don't completely blame them; it's a very human reaction. An equal amount of the time, the person reproofing them is probably overly harsh.

I feel like trying to be obedient to God and his laws almost inevitably brings out this judgmental spirit in me because I look at other people and they are not following certain things Jesus said (obviously, I don't follow his laws completely either...Sinner like anyone else). This especially irks me with people who call themselves Christians. Not so much with people who claim to not know God.

Sorry for the long post. This is an issue I feel like I have a fairly solid grasp on, but I would love more guidance.

SammeyDW
Jan 5th 2009, 04:35 AM
Here is how I understand it.

Matthew 7:1-3 speaks of judging / condemning the person.

While Matthew 10:16 is referring to the actions of people.

So to answer your questions,
1) If someone is living a sinful lifestyle, is it wrong for me to believe they are sinning? NO as long as you stay focused on the fact that we are all sinners and don't condemn the person, just their lifestyle.
2)Is it wrong for me to tell them they are sinning? No, but when you do you must be careful, not to sound like you are condemning the person.
3)Is it wrong for me to get angry/frustrated at them for this sin? No, as long as you are not condemning them, and want what is best for them.
4)Is it more about the attitude and manner in which I approach them?
Yes, you must judge there attitudes, but NEVER condemn the person.
And you must not give someone reason to believe that you are condemning them if you are not.

"I suspect that an overwhelming amount of the time people that feel "judged" are just being defensive, probably because they know they're wrong. "

This is true.
But it is also true, that a person may have been 'judged/condemned' when they had a lifestyle that someone didn't approve of.
We can only judge/condemn lifestyles/actions but only God can know a person perfectly and judge/condemn the person.

Diggindeeper
Jan 5th 2009, 05:25 AM
TransformedSon, I have a different take on your question of judging than some. I know I do, but its how I see this problem of Thou shalt not judge." You see, it appears to me that a lot of people throw on their brakes at verse 3 in Matthew 7. They stop reading too soon. You said:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

But if we only continue on, reading through verse 5, we see CLEARLY WHO Christ Jesus was talking to. He was addressing HYPOCRITES!

4 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?

5 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.

We could actually start back in Matthew chapter six and see where its the same crowd he told:

1- Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them...

2- When thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men...

3- And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men...

Yes, he was definitely speaking with hypocrites!

I offer that we have to judge. Or if not, how are we to warn them of the wrath to come on evil doers? How are we to lead someone out of the darkness into the light; out of sin, evil and corruption and into the paths of righteousness? How will that drunken, foul mouthed, skirt-chasing husband EVER know anything else if some saint of God does not come along and warn him, and tell him there is a better way. How will that meth-addicted, no account, horrible excuse of a Mother EVER find her way out of destruction if every saint of God says, "I'm not supposed to judge."

1 Corinthians 6:2-3
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?

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?


We shall judge the world!
We shall judge angels!
We are to be fruit inspectors!

Matthew 7:20
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It seems a lot of people never heard Jesus say this:

John 7:24
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Sweetie, if you know someone who is living in wickedness, warn them of the judgement to come. Tell them there is another way. Don't just look the other way, or say, "Judge not."

This is truly how I see this matter of "To judge or not to judge."
I'll go now, before folks start throwing rotten tomatoes or eggs at me....

kenrank
Jan 5th 2009, 03:27 PM
Unlike what is often taught, we are indeed to judge!! How can we not have fellowship with evil, if we can't judge whether or not something is evil? How can we use the Word of God to reprove, rebuke, correct, or instruct in righteousness, if we can't judge the need to reprove or rebuke?

The "thin line" isn't really that thin. It comes down to this...we are not to judge unto condemnation. In other words, we can't say "you are going to hell unless you do ____." We can't see a man's heart, only the fruits he produces. Since only God can see the heart, we can not make any type of eternal judgement call relating to any individual. Correct a brother who has erred in his way? Sure....but not condemn him to eternal separation from God.

Peace.
Ken

awestruckchild
Jan 5th 2009, 03:55 PM
This is a matter I am really torn on.

I hear what DigginDeeper is saying and I agree and am not disturbed because of one thing she said: Go to God.

But I have heard a lot of people approach the matter differently. They are harsh about it and their approach is: You have to stop sinning or you are going to hell. This is leading them (if they desire your approval) to change some particular outward behavior.

It doesn't really point them to God, but to certain behavior - the outside of the cup. But it is very possible for us to do this and never know God. I have met some very pious and religious people who are very caught up in appearances who have never met God! If we truly care for someone, we won't do anything really but shove them toward Jesus because we will know that no matter how clean their outside looks, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they meet Jesus and then by cleaning them inside, the outside falls into place.

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2009, 03:59 PM
We can only see the actions of another, but God sees the heart. Judgment is the Lord's, and that He will do according to the heart. Even though the actions of one come from the heart, we cannot condemn a man eternally. We are simply to help another who is lost, when we see their actions we judge as not Christ like. The rest, their heart, they must take up with God.

TransformedSon
Jan 5th 2009, 04:14 PM
Unlike what is often taught, we are indeed to judge!! How can we not have fellowship with evil, if we can't judge whether or not something is evil? How can we use the Word of God to reprove, rebuke, correct, or instruct in righteousness, if we can't judge the need to reprove or rebuke?

The "thin line" isn't really that thin. It comes down to this...we are not to judge unto condemnation. In other words, we can't say "you are going to hell unless you do ____." We can't see a man's heart, only the fruits he produces. Since only God can see the heart, we can not make any type of eternal judgement call relating to any individual. Correct a brother who has erred in his way? Sure....but not condemn him to eternal separation from God.

Peace.
Ken

But don't we believe that all are condemned to hell apart from the grace of Jesus Christ?

tango
Jan 5th 2009, 05:02 PM
If our brother sins against us we should certainly raise it with him:

Mat 18:15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED.'
Mat 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.


In the few verses before this Jesus refers to the shepherd with 100 sheep who leaves the 99 to find the one that has gone astray. If one strays we need to focus on bringing them back into fellowship, rejoicing when they return. If they choose not to return only then are they cast out.

This is also consistent with Luke's record:

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

How can we rebuke if we are not judging something to be a sin? What is important is what is in our hearts when we rebuke (emphasis mine):

1Co 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
1Co 16:14 Let all that you do be done with love.

If we are judging someone in condemnation, then planks and specks in eyes come to mind, as others have already said. If we are correcting someone in love we are focussing on helping them rather than feeling good in self-righteousness.

reformedct
Jan 5th 2009, 05:14 PM
Can yall help me to understand what "judging" truly means? There seems to be a very thin line on this issue.

On the one hand, we are called not to judge others by Jesus. The pharisees were very judgmental of Jesus, his disciples, and sinners; Jesus was hard on them as a result of this. He called them out and rebuked them for this sin.

Matthew 7:1-3 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye.

However, in the same sense, we are called to not close our eyes to the world.

Matthew 10:16 " Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. So be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves."

Somehow, that is an illustration of the balance we have to keep. We have to always be aware of our surroundings and of what's going on, but at the same time we might remain innocent in not judging them.

1) If someone is living a sinful lifestyle, is it wrong for me to believe they are sinning?
2)Is it wrong for me to tell them they are sinning?
3)Is it wrong for me to get angry/frustrated at them for this sin?
4)Is it more about the attitude and manner in which I approach them?

I suspect that an overwhelming amount of the time people that feel "judged" are just being defensive, probably because they know they're wrong. However, it takes a very mature person to accept reproof, so I don't completely blame them; it's a very human reaction. An equal amount of the time, the person reproofing them is probably overly harsh.

I feel like trying to be obedient to God and his laws almost inevitably brings out this judgmental spirit in me because I look at other people and they are not following certain things Jesus said (obviously, I don't follow his laws completely either...Sinner like anyone else). This especially irks me with people who call themselves Christians. Not so much with people who claim to not know God.

Sorry for the long post. This is an issue I feel like I have a fairly solid grasp on, but I would love more guidance.

The context of "do not judge" is refferring to hypocritical judgement. As seen with the beam/speck complex. We are not to judge whether someone is saved or not, but we are to examine their fruit, and if they seem lacking, it is our job a the body of Christ to express our concerns in a loving way that will edify and not condemn. If you see a brother sinning go to him and private. If he refuses to repent get one ore two more witnesses. If he still refuses get the church. If he still refuses treat him as a heathen. This doesnt mean you treat them mean but treat them like people who are not saved. Talk to them about the gospel, what it means to be saved, etc

kenrank
Jan 5th 2009, 05:36 PM
But don't we believe that all are condemned to hell apart from the grace of Jesus Christ?

In the book of Revelation, there is a cry by God for those who are his but are living in the false end time system of things. He says for them to "come out of her my people." Who are these people? Us, others? Since we can't know the heart of a person, nor what seeds have been planted or how much watering YHWH has done to that seed, we can't assume.....maybe better said, pass judgement on any who are currently without Messiah. That doesn't mean we can't SEE their need for him and share with them what we know...but we can't pass eternal and condemning judgement against them.

We are called to repent, to turn away from our self centered lives and make God the center of our lives. We are called to live a certain way, and thus become a city on a hill that cannot be hid. We are to give an account of what we know to those who ask. When our brother errors in his way, we are to go to him and correct, reprove even. We share the love of God, and His Word, with those who do not have a relationship with him. The rest, is up to God. (IMPO)

Peace.
Ken

Diggindeeper
Jan 5th 2009, 05:59 PM
When speaking od "condemning" someone, I am reminded there is ONLY one scriptural way and it is to tell them this. In my opinion, we most likely do not even need to tell them, "You are a sinner because you are doing this or that..." After all, our own sins could be as bad or worse than whatever they are doing! (For example: envy, pride, and any number of things we may not have admitted)

And besides that, they KNOW what they are doing wrong. We don't have to remind them.

Lots of things are condemned by God, but this is very clear I think:

John 3:
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

It really is true. Some people just simply love darkness rather than light!
And that is THE condemnation.