jsr asked about addressing the issue of people proclaiming they are judged when you talk with them about different things. It seems in this day of almost total Biblical illiteracy on the part of even professing Churchians (How can you do Christ’s commandments if you don’t even know what they are?), almost everyone knows Matthew 7:1:
Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)
However, they don’t know the full meaning of the text, nor can even place it within context with the rest of Scripture. It could be argued that this is one of the major contributors behind the lack of admonition for sin in the current environment. The rest of this post will cover how to deal with such things in people.
1. Remember that this Scripture is not given in context. (Matt 7:1-2; Luke 6:37-38)
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. (Matthew 7:1-2)
The Scripture involved is an admonition to mercy and grace in what we do towards others, not that we do not make determinations about others in light of the Scripture and the Spirit. We should take care to not condemn others in what we do, but realize that we salt the things we do with mercy and grace.
2. Remember to be watchful of yourself and your state. (Matthew 7:3-5; Galatians 6:1-2; Romans 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 11:27-31)
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. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
These things aren’t saying that we should be silent if we are involved in the same sin ourselves in the past or are in sin at all. Scripture tells us that Paul was not without sin (Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 9:27; Phil. 3:12), yet he still called out the fornicator in the Corinthian church (1 Cor 5:3). They’re saying that we need to be watchful of our own ways and the temptations involved if we place ourselves in the position to speak. Those that point out that you, or others have done that sin are doing it out of self-righteousness (holier than thou) if they are sinning the same way.
3. Remember to not judge based on outward appearance. (1 Sam 16:7; James 2:1-4; Ecc 9:1; John 9:1-3)
It can be easy to look towards outward appearance, even as a measure of holiness, but God doesn’t do that:
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
It can be easy for man to stick into his fallen state and look at money, power, influence (worldly or a member of the clergy/priesthood), or other reasons. He can even assign these things as indicators that God is favoring them – they’re rich so they must be doing right before Him. But Scripture is clear that we all stand equally before Christ no matter the things we have or the health we have. Hence, James rebukes people as such:
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)
4. Remember that judging is not inherently evil. (Heb. 12:23; Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:8)
It can be easy to think that when someone says something about judging that you are doing something evil. Both God and Christ judge and they are inherently good of nature. This leads into…
5. Remember that the expectation of the Church is admonition and encouragement towards holiness. Therefore pointing out sin is acceptable. (Galatians 6:1-2; 1 Cor. 5:12-13; Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes 3:6; Matthew 18:15-18)
If there isn’t a concern in walking towards Christ within a Church environment between “professing Christians”, there’s a fundamental problem because their goal is not discipleship to Christ. There is even a process set out in dealing with sin in the ranks:
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:15-18)
6. Remember that there is a judgment for silence or aiding people in their sin. Or that the chief duty of love is to keep one another from harm. (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 2 John 10-11)
Jesus came and sacrificed Himself not just to justify us despite our sin, but to remove us from our sin. The process of discipleship is for this purpose. No one would think much about not allowing a drug addict to continue in their addiction. But with sin, plenty would remain silent, consent to it, and even aid in it happening. If we believe that the wages of sin are death (that is eternal death), how much is it a reflection of Godly love to warn others of their destruction! This goes for admonition of sin in the Church, but also for spreading the message of the true Gospel of Christ to those that need to accept Him!
7. Remember in this gynocentric culture, that many people (especially women) are driven by feelings.
Therefore, when most are expressing such things, they are only seeking agreement or confirmation for the path they have already decided to take via the guidance of the personal Jesus. For example, the husband who got a “word from the Lord” to divorce his wife. They are not looking for an objective assessment of what they have written or said in light of the Holy Spirit, they are looking for someone to bolster their emotions and ego and prime the empathy pump.
8. Remember to pray for the person involved. (James 5:16; Ephesians 6:10-13; Matthew 5:43-45)
We battle not against flesh and bone but against spirits and spiritual wickedness. Therefore, the person involved will not repent in their sin unless they are convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent. This might not happen for a while, but prayer is a necessary thing for both the heart of the sinner and the hearts of those who were sinned against.
It will take discernment for the person who encounters this to see where it comes from and how to deal with it. Hopefully this will present some good guidelines when confronted with “Don’t Judge Me”.