(Is not some guy's name)
Jesus commanded men to judge rightly and He told them to “judge not.”
Did the Lord contradict Himself? Or does the Bible say more about judging than the general public realizes?
Jesus repeatedly taught men to judge rightly, insisting they “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and He praised a man who “rightly judged” (Luke 7:43). Paul shamed the Corinthian Christians because no one among them was willing to “judge the smallest matters” (1 Cor. 6:2). As the Apostle wrote, “He who is spiritual judges all things” for “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:15‑16).
Where did we get the notion that men should never judge? Should child-molesters escape condemnation? Should rapists be free from criticism? Should society refrain from judging those arrested for murder? And why would anyone judge others for judging?
Borrowing characters from C. S. Lewis, imagine this dialogue between a junior demon named Wormwood and his wicked uncle Screwtape. This fiendish exchange could have occurred a century ago:
Wormwood: Believers have so many weapons at their disposal.
It is difficult to neutralize them.
It takes a huge effort just to slow the work of a single Christian.
Your one-on-one approach is inefficient. This
is the age of Madison Avenue and mass marketing.
If you can undermine their whole group at once, then you’ve
Unfortunately, I’m not highly productive.
In the time it takes me to frustrate one believer, I could tempt a dozen
Don’t lose heart, Wormwood. We
are implementing a plan to impair the whole Church with a single ploy.
I don’t see how that will be possible. I
see Christians dedicated to warning others about hell.
It’s all I can do just to get one of them distracted for a short time.
We are going to use their Leader’s own words.
No! Please don’t. Don’t even
joke about using His words. I
can’t take it.
If you’re ever going to grow up to be an effective demon, you’re going to
have to learn to use the Enemy’s words against Him.
It just seems so dangerous. Which
words are you going to use?
I don’t understand why He would tell them not to judge.
That’s confusing. He
commanded His followers to rebuke, admonish, and judge hundreds of times in His
Book. And that’s what they’re
doing. And I might add, it’s causing me grief.
When their Leader said those words, He was speaking to hypocrites.
“Judge not… you hypocrite,”
as He said later in the same paragraph.
Wormwood: Yeah, but how are we going to use “Judge not” to neutralize the
Screwtape: We’re going to get them to ignore the fact that He was talking to
hypocrites. He said that hypocrites
should not judge, at least not until they stop doing the wrong deed themselves.
But we’re going to make them think none
of them should judge, ever.
Wormwood: That’s brilliant… if you can pull it off, that is.
I mean, if we can get them to stop judging, then they won’t rebuke the
wicked. And they won’t be able to
admonish those who are sexually immoral.
Screwtape: It is even more brilliant than you realize. If we can seduce Christians into following the instructions
for hypocrites, we will turn them into hypocrites. It’s like government workers who follow foolish rules so
precisely they are transformed from human beings into bureaucrats; drones who
mindlessly dispense red tape regardless of the misfortune they cause.
The slave who willingly obeys his master, begins to conform to the
master. If believers willingly
submit to an instruction for hypocrites, they will conform to hypocrisy.
Eventually, with a little evil luck, we might stop them from confronting
unbelievers altogether because, as you know Wormwood, to confront requires
judging. And if they don’t judge unbelievers, they are hypocrites,
professing the Gospel but denying its power.
Wormwood: Ha, ha. I’m excited.
When do we start?
Screwtape: Everything is underway already. Just
do your part.
And that is…?
Screwtape: Make sure your targets read as little of the Book as possible.
Don’t get too worried if they stick to their favorite twenty cliché
verses. But make sure they remain
ignorant of most of the Word.
Wormwood: Master, you are brilliant.
Screwtape: You can call me Master if you want, but don’t let the boss hear you.
A lie paralyzed the Church. God warns against “hypocrisy” commanding men to “abhor what is evil” (Rom. 12:9). Yet to abhor evil, someone must first judge evil. Thus, unable to judge, large numbers of Christians become hypocrites by obeying the Hypocrites Golden Rule. Since the hypocrite doesn’t want to be judged, he judges not, as Jesus said, “Judge not… you hypocrite” (Mat. 7:1, 5 KJV; Ezek. 16:52). For “judge not” (Mat. 7:1-5) is simply a hypocrites application of do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Mat. 7:12). “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged” (Mat. 7:2). Judge others as you would have them do unto you inverted is Judge not if you do not want to be judged.
Christ kept repeated this theme in His ministry. “Hypocrites,” Jesus said, “why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?” (Luke 12:56‑57). Still, His own followers have mostly ignored the Lord’s harsh rebuke: “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to [judge, i.e., to] remove the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Mat. 7:5). “Judge Not” is the Hypocritical Oath.
Not” is hypocrite haven. He who
lives in a glass house should not throw stones.
Such Christians should relocate. They
should move into “the temple of the great God… being built with heavy
stones” (Ezra 5:8).
live in the “building” for which Christ is “the chief corner stone”
(Eph. 2:20). And if that Stone
falls on someone it “will grind him to powder” (Mat. 21:44; Luke 20:18;
cf. Ex. 32:20). Better to
be judged by a Christian than crushed by Christ.
Hillary, and Homosexuals repeat the phrase like a mantra, judge not, judge
not, judge not, until the masses are mesmerized.
Jesus did not intend this.
deals with topics that range from simple to advanced truth.
Milk is for babes in
Christ; meat is for men of God.
The question of whether or not Christians should judge is milk.
It is preschool. The newest
believer taught any of a hundred passages would immediately understand that he
must judge. Judging others is
fundamental. It is not a difficult
concept and should in no way be controversial.
who partakes only in milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a
babe” (Heb. 5:13). The
Church, today lactose intolerant, has trouble even with milk.
ignorance of the Bible has crippled the Church.
And that paralysis slows every denomination by hurting local fellowships.
What is the percentage of Christians who have succumbed to the “Judge
not” deception? Is there even one
percent of believers who have not fallen for that diversion?
A quarter century of observation suggests to this author that probably 99
out of 100 believers misquote Jesus by repeating the “Judge not” mantra. Believers need to turn from this sin and ask God for wisdom
to keep from being so easily deceived again.
Curse God and die!
Is that good advice? Word
for word, it is in the Bible. Job’s
wife counsels her husband to “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9).
Many verses, if ripped out of context, can ruin lives.
Judas “went and hanged himself” (Mat. 27:5) and as Jesus said
“Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
The believer who lacks a hunger for God’s word is susceptible to the
most absurd dangers.
October 1996 letter in the Rocky Mountain News expressed a typical judge-not
sentiment. It advocated
incarceration and not the execution of murderers, who are made “in the image
of God” as it would be “wrong to put the image of God to death.”
However, the writer never addressed the incongruity of putting the image
of God in jail.
not” is the prayer of those who want to hide light under a basket.
The cliché describes salt, which has lost its flavor, which no longer
seasons or preserves. This
seductive lie takes its victims out of ministry.
As spectators on the sidelines, they only watch the spiritual battle.
But they are in a comfort zone. Apathy
is the craving. “Judge not” is
the shirking of responsibility.
the Jews God said, “If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My
command, then you shall also judge My house” (Zech. 3:7).
Are members of the Body of Christ today less capable than Israel whom God
commanded to “judge righteously” (Deut. 1:16‑17; Lev. 19:15)?
Moses appointed the head of one out of every ten households as a judge
(Ex. 18:25; Deut. 1:15). Should
Christians toss out the entire book of Judges? Should America eliminate all judges, or should just the
Christian judges resign? Should
believers ignore Paul’s admonition:
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?
And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the
smallest matters? Do you not know
that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
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?” (1 Cor. 6:2‑5).
Notice that Christians “will judge the world!” (1 Cor. 6:2).
For Paul said, “if the world will be judged by you…”
God the Judge delegates judgment to His people.
Even spirit beings will submit to believers:
“Do you not know that we shall judge angels?”
Then and now, believers should “judge... according to My judgments”
(Ezek. 44:24) as God said. The
Almighty commits judgment into the hands of His obedient servants (Rev. 20:4).
If God were the only judge,
the sins of all men would be “clearly evident, preceding them to judgment”
(1Tim. 5:24a). But because
human beings will judge their fellow men on Judgment Day, therefore the sins
“of some men follow later” (1Tim. 5:24b).
The human judges will already have been aware of the sins of notorious
men. But they will not learn of the
sins of obscure men until they are revealed at Judgment Day.
Also, these human judges will then become aware of the sins of leaders,
celebrities, and even family members who had carefully concealed their
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, may have known of this.
For he said “the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute
judgment on all” (Jude 14‑15).
The Lord with His saints will judge the world!
Jesus too said, “The men of Nineveh will rise in the judgment with
this generation and condemn it...” (Mat. 12:41). And as Solomon wrote, “jealously is a husband's fury;
therefore, he will not spare [the adulterer who violated his wife] in the day of
vengeance. He will accept no
recompense nor will he be appeased” (Prov. 6:34‑35).
God gives the responsibility for vengeance, condemnation, and judgment to
His servants for “every tongue which rises against you in judgment you
shall condemn. This is the heritage
of the servants of the Lord” (Isa. 54:17).
Today, many believers are effectively saying,
“Lord, thanks but no thanks. I’ll
pass on that judgment duty.” But
Paul responds, Start judging now, because you will need the practice
(1Cor. 6:2‑5). Remember,
“He who is spiritual judges all things. For...
we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:15‑16).
And God will reward those who judge, and do the hard work:
“Those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing
will come upon them.” (Prov. 24:25).
Would slain Columbine high school student Danny
Rohrbough be forgiving or judgmental toward his unrepentant murderers?
A People Magazine photo in Nov. 1999 shows his family and friends
answering that question. They quote Rev. 6:10 in which martyred Christians in heaven
ask God to “avenge our blood.” Judge-not
Christians condemn the martyr’s call for vengeance, but never the
the Church will see Judge Not headed for retirement replaced with Judge Rightly.
For as Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge
with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Pastor, Denver Bible Church
PO Box 583
Arvada CO 80001
Listen to Bob Enyart Live which airs around the world via the Internet at KGOV.com and throughout Colorado on 50,000-watt AM 670 KLTT. Also, you can get The Plot, Bob’s best-selling unpublished manuscript about the Bible, at our KGOV store or by calling 1-888-8Enyart (836-9278)!