I once struggled with this too. Let me give you a preface: about 3 years ago, I rebuked two of my small group members who I found were cohabiting before marriage. And I thought they accepted it well enough and were profusely apologetic. Then comes our next small group meeting, and when the floor was open for anyone who wanted to share their week, the dude started to open his note(apparently he prepared himself) and started preaching on “Do Not Judge” and those who judge are wrong and goes against Christ, esp for leaders. Obviously, his lame eisegesis was pointing towards me. Not wanting to give it more attention than it should, I diverted by asking others immediately to share their own week.
So going home, I did my own homework on that topic. And let me share my own note with you.
TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE
Are we allowed to JUDGE?
1: “Judge not, that you be not judged.
2: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
3: And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4: Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
You are still called to judge, BUT after removing your own plank. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite!
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Beware, NOT everyone can appreciate your judging
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
On the contrary, we are CALLED TO JUDGE:
“Do not judge according to appearance, but JUDGE with RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.”
- The sin is in judging based on appearance.
- What is “righteous judgment”? Based on the judging Word of God n His principles
We r not called to judge those who are outside, but those who are inside
1 Cor 5:11-12
11: But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
12: For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not JUDGE those who are INSIDE? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
If you are wise, it is a SHAME if you do not judge, moreover, appointing those less esteemed to judge.
1 Cor 6:3-5
3: Do you not know that we shall JUDGE ANGELS? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
4: If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?
5: I say this to your SHAME. Is it so, that there is not a WISE MAN among you, not even one, who will be able to JUDGE between his BRETHREN?
- Judge for discernment(between good n evil), not condemnation.
- Judge based on God’s words/principle, not our own opinion
- Introspect ourselves first in the area we are about to judge others on
- It is impossible not to judge, and tolerate what is evil to blossom right under our Godly stewardship of authority
- But beware, cast not pearls before a swine!
Wait, what about Romans 14?
The context for Romans 14 is judging a (weaker faith) brethren’s spiritual state based on the RITUALS/TRADITIONS of religion, like eating, keeping the holy day, etc.
Verse 15 summarizes clearly what the real fuss/context is about:
If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell OVER AN ITEM in their diet? (The MSG)
Who are the “Weak Brethren”?
Those who are STRONG on OPINIONS, but WEAK in the FAITH department! (Verse 1, MSG)
The Goal of Romans 14?
As the title says: to CULTIVATE GOOD RELATIONSHIP
Kenny, I hope this helps. Feel free to CMIIW.
Blessings in Christ,