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What does the bible actually say about judging others?

June 12, 2018

I'm sure we have all heard the phrase misquoted from nonbelievers "Judge not, lest ye be judged"(the actual verse says "judge not, that ye be not judged"). But does the bible really tell us not to judge others at all? 

First of all, let's read the entire section of the verse in context.
Matthew 7:1-5
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? 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.
In the full context we can clearly see the bible condemns hypocritical judgement "with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged" is clearly judging someone hypocritically. Not only that but if Jesus were saying we are not allowed to ever judge people at all, then not only is Jesus himself a hypocrite because you can clearly see he is judging as he is saying "thou hypocrite", but also christians would not even be able to preach the gospel to others because that would involve judgement. Not only that but immediately after Jesus makes this statement on how to judge, Jesus himself begins to judge others. Jesus judges the nonbelievers in this verse so harshly that he even uses hyperbolic statements to show how disgusting they are to him 
Matthew 7:8
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Jesus judged and rebuked others in love. Most christians would be appalled if they were to read Jesus' speech in Matthew Chapter 23 (I highly suggest you read it to get an idea of Jesus' hard preaching). Paul the Apostle also rebuked Peter in love as recorded in Galatians Chapter 2. 
In Romans Chapter 2 we get an even greater assertion that God hates hypocritical judges 
Romans 2:1-3
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.3And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Romans 2 clearly condemns hypocritical judgement. 
If the bible truly condemned judgement of all kinds then we would have a biblical contradiction for it is written
Proverbs 21:15
It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Also to say we cannot ever judge others would be to diminish the objective of being a parent. Any true parent knows that to raise a child you must give them rules to obey and even punish them if they fail to obey your rules. This however involves judgement. The judgement however serves a righteous purpose and delivers a soul saving result. 
Proverbs 23:14 
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Another popular verse on judging comes from 1 corinthians 5:12-13
For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
It is however commonly misquoted as a reason for christians not to judge the unsaved. But, scripture must always be interpreted in context. This unfortunately comes from a 21st Century warped view of judgement. People today think any sort of judgement is wrong and hateful when that couldn't be any further from the truth. 
If Paul was telling us to never ever do any sort of judgement to the unsaved then we have a biblical contradiction because we see right in that exact same verse Paul says "that wicked person" which is a pretty strong judgement. 
Now here is the full context of the previous verses
1 Corinthians 5:6-11
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Okay so we see in context Paul is telling us to cast aside these wicked people that won't repent of their sins. Remember, If Paul was condemning judgement of the unsaved then he would have been condemning something Jesus himself did (See Matthew 23). 
But in context Jesus is telling us to cast aside sinful unrepentant wicked people and let God deal with them. Further confirmation that we are allowed to judge the unsaved is found just 2 verses after 1 cor 5:12-13
It is found in 1 Corinthians 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?
Most importantly use common sense here. If a Christian were not allowed to judge the unsaved then they wouldn't even be able to preach the gospel to them. Not only that, but now imagine in the work field. Imagine a Christian police officer. You going to tell me he can't convict an unsaved person of drinking and driving? Or are you going to say a Christian judge cannot sentence an unsaved convict to 5 years in Jail? Or are you going to say a Christian supervisor is not allowed to judge his own employees? As you can see this interpretation of scripture fails even common sense thinking. 
I had to rebuke this quite thoroughly in case someone thought such a thing and it is prohibiting them from properly loving the unsaved. 

In conclusion to this article I will share with you what Jesus said regarding how he judges others and we should think on this verse before we judge others 
John 5:30
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.


Additional verses on judgement to give you a greater understanding
Leviticus 19:35
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
Leveticus 19:15
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
Deuteronomy 27:19
Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen
John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.


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