Judge Not

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by steaver, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. steaver

    steaver
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    I am doing a study and I am not having much success with commentaries on this isssue.

    There is scripture which states "Judge Not". Matt 7, Romans 14 and James 4 tells us not to judge another.

    Then there is scripture which tells us to Judge like 1Cr 5, 2Tim 4 and Titus 2.

    How can we rebuke or reprove another and not judge another at the same time?

    Any insight would be most appreciated! :thumbs:

    :jesus:
     
  2. Johnv

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    You ask a very good question. Matt 7:1 is an often misapplied verse. It's not admonishing us from judging. Rather, it's an admonishment to not judge unrighteously or selfrighteously. Judging righteously is perfectly permissible.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    Lately, I've been using the Wycliffe Bible Commentary and this is what it says regarding Matt 7.

    Though the the word judge is itself neutral as to the verdict, the sense here indicates an unfavorable judgment. Critics of others must stop short of final condemnation, for men cannot judge motives, as God can (cf. James 4:11,12). Believers are not to avoid all judging (cf. 7:6, 16), for Christians need to judge themselves and offending members (1 Cor. 5:3-5, 12,13)

    Does that help?
     
  4. Marcia

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    We cannot judge people or their motives, but we are called on to judge teachings and behavior. There is a difference.
     
  5. rdwhite

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    Exactly. Much of the context of Matt 5, 6, & 7 deals with motives and intentions. Jesus set a higher standard than what was required by the law. He stated specifically that he did not come to do away with the law and gives several specific examples to show how the law dealt with outward actions, and now he is holding us accountable not only for our behaviour, but also for our intentions and our thoughts. The judging in Matt 7, in light of the context, is judging someone for why they did something. An example would be to say, "well they just helped that person, to make themselves look good" or "He is really not interested in helping the poor, he just wants the deduction". We cannot prove someone's motive or intentions (unless they tell us) because we cannot know their heart, only God knows that.

    Judging open sin, judging false doctrines, judging false prophets and teachers are things that can be known and proven. Therefore we can and are supposed to make judgments in these areas.
     
  6. steaver

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    Thanks for the input. I am just trying to nail this down so I can explain it correctly in my men's meeting.

    Here is one passage;

    Jam 4:11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

    Jam 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?


    How would you explain this passage?

    I'm not sure how I can NOT judge the law yet rebuke another that they are living in sin.

    I am sure each of you, just as myself, has had "Judge Not" throwed in your face even when lovingly rebuking another to repent of a sin.
     
  7. steaver

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    Thanks rd,

    Matt 7 isn't as difficult to explain in the context given. What do you have on the other passages?
     
  8. Allan

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    Nicely explained brother. :thumbs:
     
  9. Allan

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    Well put. :wavey:
     
  10. rdwhite

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    I believe that the key to this passage is found in the beginning. If I am speaking evil of my brother, that means my heart is not right towards him. I am angry with him, or I am holding a grudge, or I am being malicious against him for personal gain, and therefore I am unable to righteously judge anything concerning this brother. Even more so, usually when someone speaks evil of another person, they are not speaking directly to that person, but rather about that person to other people. Therefore, their intentions are usually to malign that person. Therefore, in this context, my motives would not be pure, and thus my judgment could not be righteous. My intentions, in this context, would not be to help, to edify, and to restore my brother; but rather the opposite.
     
  11. Allan

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    You baptists are all the same :laugh:
     
  12. rdwhite

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    Romans 14

    Again the key to this passage is the context. If you start in verse 1 and come all they way through verse 13, you will see that Paul is not speaking about sin or false doctrine, but rather about petty matters. Verse 2 - 4 is the vegetarian Christians (who are weak in the faith), looking down upon and judging those Christians who choose to eat meat. Verse 5 - 6 is the "specific day" Christians looking down upon and judging those who choose to worship on a different day. Apparently some things never change :laugh:!

    Anyway, this passage is not dealing with sin or some false teaching about salvation, but rather Christians believing they are more righteous or holy because they do things differently than other Christians. This same passage can be applied to Dress, Music, Facial Hair, Carpet Color, Pews vs. Chairs, and a myriad of other things in which Christians judge other Christians.
     
  13. rdwhite

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    Are you judging me???? :laugh:
     
  14. steaver

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    Thanks brother!

    What is hanging me up on this passage is the "judging of the law". What doe sthis mean?

    :jesus:
     
  15. steaver

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    THanks again!

    Matt 7 and Romans 14 make perfect sense as you explained them. James 4 is still a little tricky for me.

    :jesus:
     
  16. Amy.G

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    I think James 4:11 means that when we judge a brother, we put ourselves above the law and that is God's place, not ours.


    (I consulted my Wycliffe commentary again :smilewinkgrin:)
     
  17. rdwhite

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    James is not for your milk and cookies Christian. Even many meat and taters Christians have trouble walking with James. Martin Luther said something to the effect that he would like to use the Book of James to light his stove. That passage is certainly more tricky than the other two, but I believe that to reconcile it with the other passages, that it must be speaking of the motives and intent of the one doing the judging.
     
  18. rdwhite

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    Mmmm, Mmmm, I'm gonna pray and ponder about that before making a response. I have an idea, but let me pray it through.:praying:
     
  19. rdwhite

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    James 4
    11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
    12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?​

    I absolutely agree with you that this is a tricky passage. As with every passage, I believe context reveals vital information. In the case of James, I think that we must look not only at the surrounding verses, but at other key verses.

    James makes the statement "He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law:" So here he is equating these two things. In other words, that by speaking evil of and judging a brother, that person is speaking evil of the law and judging the law. I will come back to that.

    James then goes on to explain that when somebody judges the law, then they are no longer "a doer of the law", but a judge.

    Now that phrase "a doer of the law" should spark a memory. James said something similar in the first chapter verse 22. "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Okay, "doer of the law" and "doers of the word". Let's look at the context of verse 22. Start in verse 19.

    James 1
    19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
    20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
    21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
    22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.​

    When a person speaks evil of his Brother, I submit that he is contradicting verse 19 & 20. Why would a person speak evil of his Brother? To get even, to punish, to exact their own wrath and vengeance. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. As James says, a man's wrath does not work God's righteousness. When a person speaks evil of their brother, they are exacting their wrath which does not work God's righteousness, so there is no way the judgment associated with the evil speaking can be righteous. They are setting themselves up as an authority over their brother, to punish them, to exact their wrath. We are allowed to judge righteous judgment, and we are allowed to withdraw fellowship, but we are not allowed to punish, to avenge. God has reserved that authority for himself. Those who take that authority unto themselves, have usurped God's authority.

    If a person speaks evil of the law, then they have set themselves up as an authority above the law, judging for themselves that the law is not right. They judge the law, determining that it is not right, so they do not obey the law, they are not a doer of the law, but rather a judge. They have usurped the authority of God, because there is only one lawgiver. This passage would also speak against those who would corrupt, add to, and take away from the word of God. But that's another post, I won't say any more here.

    Now back to speaking evil of a brother being akin to speaking evil of the law. When a person judges the law, they are putting themselves in God's place, which they have no right to do. When they speak evil of a fellow Christian, they are doing so in order to exact their own wrath against that person, they are putting themselves in God's place, which they have no right to do. Man's wrath does not work the righteousness of God.

    And now we are back to when a person speaks evil of another Christian and then judges that person, the judgment will be tainted, it will not be righteous, and it will be for an ulterior motive.

    This is a much harder passage to understand, and even harder to try and explain. I pray my attempt is true to the passage and that it is understandable. This is how I understand it and reconcile it with the other passages.

    This was a difficult and challenging passage, Thank you!

    I've been checking to see if someone else would post a better response so that all I had to do was say "Ya, what he said!!"
     
  20. Allan

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    I would agree with you.
    The Law commands that we are to love our neighbors as ourself (James 2:8)and thus to speak evil (or against in a slanderous way) is a direct contradiction of the law which establishes the very premise of his argument of christian brotherhood and love for one another. For a person to do such 'knowingly', exaults him/herself above the law and thus presumptuously set themselves over it and to no longer obeying it but to becoming a judge even over the law itself. There is one judge and we mortals do not qualify :)

    If you look also at other passage that refer to those who 'speak evil' of another you will see it bears out the same thing, such as with Peter and Jude:
    Notice who it is that is 'typically' equated with speaking evil or slandering of anther
    This 'railing accusation' is another way of saying blasphemous or slanderous judgment.

    Thus the holy angels of God do not even do this against man. They know the sinful mans judgment but they are not their judge and they will not speak of their judgment back to them in a slanderous way. Peter gives unique comparison between these holy angels and those men who walk not after the spirit but the flesh, and he calls them natural brute beasts (or animals whos action stem from their nature).

    We find also in Jude a more concise comparison of almost the same thing but instead of men fallen angels are used:
    Notice they are almost identical. You even see the angel declare that it is not and will not be he but the Lord [God] that rebukes you.

    So in comparison with other passages as well as the context of the of the passages in question, I would agree with your rendering brother.
     
    #20 Allan, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2009

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