I have a bone to pick with some people of late... something that just rubs raw. Many professing Christians are rather fond of quoting the verse in Matthew 7 about not judging in some form or fashion. You know the one about not judging others. I am in no way saying we are to condemn others, however is not ever forming opinions or holding up a moral standard really what that verse means??? We are told in 2 Tim 2:15 to study the word that we might rightly divide it or handle it accurately, in an effort to do so lets look at what it says shall we?
First some definitions for Judge:
MODERN: to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically
WEBSTERS 1828: One who has skill to decide on the merits of a question, or on the value of any thing; one who can discern truth and propriety.
A man who is no judge of law, may be a good judge of poetry or eloquence, or of the merits of a painting.To compare facts or ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus to distinguish truth from falsehood.To discern; to distinguish; to consider accurately for the purpose of forming an opinion or conclusion.
Just from a cursory reading of non-biblical definitions one can see that judging in and of itself is not a horrible thing.
And then the use of the words in the text from Vines Exspository: Matt 7:1 Krino - to assume the office of a judge. (Meaning to take God's place in this instance in that persons' life.) 7:2, condemnation, to condemn.
But is it taking God's place in someones life to point out sin? Especially sin that the Bible specifically addresses?
This section of Scripture, is part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus was telling those following Him how to live righteously. In fact we are told as Christians to hold our brothers and sisters accountable, to help them return to righteousness if necessary unless they will not (James 5:19-20). Non-believers do not fall under that command - that doesn't mean we are to be judgemental all the time but rather that we ARE to hold up a moral standard for them. Many times I have to wonder if those who accuse me of being judgemental on something,and believe me I know I can be at times but it often seems to happen on things I truly am not being, are not themselves under conviction? Living loving lives and praying for others to come to Christ does NOT mean refusing to call sin sin....
We just bought Jessica a new Bible for a graduation gift and I love it! It's an Apologetics study Bible and has many notations including ones called "Twisted Scriptures" about common texts taken out of context, here's the notation on this subject:
..... "In our politically correct age, we are told that it's not our right to point fingers and pass judgment on others. However this actually a judgment in and of itself, and thus it contradicts the principle that we should not judge others. So when someone tells you that it's wrong for you to judge, ask, "So then why are you judging me?" Anyone who says Jesus prohibits all judgment in Matthew 7:1 has taken His words out of context. It is a self-righteous, hypocritical judgment that Jesus condemns (Rom 2:1-3) Elsewhere He actually commands His followers to "judge according to righteous judgement" (John 7:24). Paul said Christians are responsible to discern the actions of other Christians (1Co 5:9-13, 6:2-5). Of course, our goal must be correction rather than scorn when we make righteous judgments. We must keep a humble, non-hypocritical spirit when we judge others, but we should never buy into the idea that it is wrong to practice and communicate discernment"
It's not about you or I it's about God and what He says! We aren't judging people's salvation or God's love for them or His plans for them by calling sin sin.