That judgemental thing

One of Jesus most famous teachings is, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” But in the very same chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus also teaches that we should judge people by the “fruit” of their lives. Is judging others an absolute no-no or not?

Author Hugh Halter explores the heart of this issue in his new book Brimstone: The Art and Act of Holy Non judgment –

A excerpt—-Christians should stop trying to make the call of heaven or hell, in or out, dirty or clean, and instead model our humanity after Jesus’ humanity. If every Christian actually followed Jesus’ lead, the Christian movement would be the least judgmental but most influential movement the world has ever seen.

Here’s an interview with him.

http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2015/07/06/judge-not-jesus-said-it-but-what-did-he-mean/

Advertisements

43 thoughts on “That judgemental thing

  1. Bryan,
    The so called difficulty is easily explained.

    When He said that we should judge people by their fruits, He assumed that you knew that by the time of judgment, the fruits of a particular tree were already revealed (either good or bad). He also assumed that you knew that some plants are also judged as evil because of the track record of past fruits (I believe He mentions thorns as an example of plants with a bad track record).

    The most scathing judgment He passed was on a fig tree that had no fruit. We are told that this tree was so full of indications that it had fruits that it made Jesus seek some figs. Upon finding none He cursed it, not because its fruits were bad, not because it had no fruit but because it claimed something that it did not have.

    In the case where He asks us not to judge, He is talking about passing judgment on matters that are not revealed yet, such as the thoughts of someone’s heart. Unless that person opens their mouth and reveals what is in their heart we are not to judge. Unless there is proof of bad action we are not to judge.

    Even then, we need to be careful. The Old Testament book of Joshua relates how the Israelite troops from the tribes beyond the Jordan erected an altar after being discharged. Their actions could have ended up in a civil war. This civil war was averted, because instead of judging, the rest of Israel bothered to ask them why they erected an altar in opposition to God’s command not to. After they heard the explanation, everyone went away satisfied. The story is for our record to teach us to investigate rumours of bad actions, before passing sentence.

    Jesus did permit judgment. Only after a thorough examination of the facts. He said that if someone trespasses against you, you should go and resolve the matter between yourselves. If the matter cannot be resolved, go and try again with witnesses. If this does not work, engage the whole church to resolve the situation. And if the trespasser refuses to hear the church, s/he should be excommunicated, and held in the type of contempt that people in those days had for tax collectors.

    Like

  2. Sometimes we as Christians deserve the statement we judge. I believe usually it is unfair and we cop that judgment call due to takibg stands on values and morality.
    Its ironic often the judgmental call us out as judgmental.

    Like

    • I am aware of circumstances like that, Alexei, as I am intolerant of intolerance. Not so much of intolerant people – for them I feel a sadness, a pity. So I think those you’re speaking of, who you say are judgemental of judgemental people, are in fact judging only judgementalism, not people.

      I’m probably not making sense. lol

      Like

  3. My opinion. Being knowledgeable and being wise are two different things. A judgmental person may be knowledgeable on what their scriptures states but not wise enough to apply it.

    Like

  4. “Christians should stop trying to make the call of heaven or hell, in or out, dirty or clean, and instead model our humanity after Jesus’ humanity. If every Christian actually followed Jesus’ lead, the Christian movement would be the least judgmental but most influential movement the world has ever seen.”

    Was Jesus Judgmental of money changers whom He drove out of the Temple? Was He judgmental of the Pharisees when He called them whited sepulchres, or hypocrites?

    Was the first martyr Stephen judgmental when he called the magistrates of his day stiff-necked uncircumcised because they resisted the promptings of the Holy Spirit?

    Why was Jesus ultimately put to death by the Jewish people? Was it not because His life and teachings showed people up as loving sin more than righteousness?

    Why did Jesus say that people who are persecuted and vilified “blessed”, then pointed to them that they were only enduring what the prophets of old had endured. Were not the prophets of old judgmental of people’s actions?

    Like

    • As Halter says: “our problem is not judgment itself. It’s the lack of right discernment, the absence of perfect knowledge, the void of righteous reasoning that creates the buzz saw of trite, dehumanizing black-and-white lines.”

      Like

      • Beware of code words.

        When people say that you should not be judgmental, they usually mean don’t be judgmental of their pet sins.

        When people hurl the word “legalistic” it is to defend a pet sinful indulgence.

        Like

      • But Bryan, how do you determine what is right discernment versus wrong discernment? On any given issue facing Christians, you have diametrically opposite views. Either both views are wrong, or one of them is wrong.

        For example, in South Carolina it is not regarded as wrong to give a 21 year old a gun for his birthday in Christian and non Christian circles alike. It is not regarded as being wrong to restrict what a Christian sees, hears and reads. Yet when that 21 year old person shoots and kills people, they don’t protest at the lax gun laws, they don’t protest at restraining what people see, hear and read. They do however protest at the Rebel Flag! Right discernment indeed!

        Clearly “right discernment” is a meaningless phrase when divorced from the guidelines set in the Word of God.

        Like

      • For example, in South Carolina it is not regarded as wrong to give a 21 year old a gun for his birthday… etc

        Exactly. And where in the Word Of God is the rightness or wrongness of this? Can you point to a Bible verse of the right or otherwise to bear arms?

        They Holy Spirit is the one who brings the “right” discernment on many things that are not at first obviously right or wrong.. Not the dogma

        Like

      • “our problem is not judgment itself. It’s the lack of right discernment, the absence of perfect knowledge, the void of righteous reasoning that creates the buzz saw of trite, dehumanizing black-and-white lines.”

        Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, I think we do Christianity a disservice to make blanket statements such as “DO NOT JUDGE!”. No one judges perfectly, but to then say that because of that Christians are not allowed to judge others is to deny our God-given mental and spiritual capacity and authority. It renders us (Christianity) powerless to effect a change for the better morally, in my opinion. If you emasculate (for want of a better word) Christians then what is Christianity good for? I know what it’s like when the move of the Holy Spirit is quenched—it feels exactly like having a bucket of ice cold water thrown on you—and saying that Christians should not judge feels to me exactly the same.

        Me? Oh, I certainly judge imperfectly. I can be very critical unfortunately. Can’t help it at times as this is all I knew growing up, but God gave me a promise that not only floors me, as my simple mind cannot grasp the awesomeness of it, but I believe Him when He said, “My daughter, you will know the people, not by seeing them, but you will know the people through My heart,” says the Lord of hosts”. And if that’s a promise He has given me, then you can be sure that He has also done the same to many, many other Christians, so do not say that we are not allowed to judge!

        Like

      • Bryan

        The first answer to your question about bearing arms is John the Baptist. Remember that his mission was to smooth the way for people to receive the Messiah.

        What did he say to the soldiers that came to him and asked what they should do? He told them to do no violence to any man. Soldiers who do no violence? What is the point of being a soldier then?

        Want me to go on? Because I can speak on this issue all day.

        Like

      • Ah Bryan,

        No wonder many atheists believe that Christians leave their brain at the door when they become Christians.

        You wrote:

        “I’m afraid that doesn’t cover my question at all davinci. Try again.”

        What is the point of bearing arms if you cannot use your weapons to do violence to anyone? Think about it.

        And if John the Baptist told soldiers that repentance from sin involved doing no violence to anyone, how much more does it apply to the father and the South Carolina shooter, who were not soldiers, much less in law enforcement? Think about it.

        In fact if you look at the New Testament, you find no verse justifying bearing arms, but plenty of verses indicating bearing spiritual weapons. In fact the “armour of God” does not consist in physical weapons but spiritual weapons.

        Well spoke Jesus of you when He said “you err not knowing the scriptures or the power of God”.

        Like

      • davinci on July 9, 2015 at 08:49 said: “What did he say to the soldiers that came to him and asked what they should do? He told them to do no violence to any man. Soldiers who do no violence? What is the point of being a soldier then?”

        There have been many unarmed soldiers deployed across the world in peace-keeping exercises. One Australia was involved with was at Bougainville; 1997 – 2003’.

        “This highly successful peacekeeping operation was an unconventional one that linked civilians and the military in a demonstration that showed how unarmed civilian peacekeepers working beside their unarmed military counterparts could achieve success in a conflict zone by using their combined military and civilian skills to successfully facilitate conflict resolution and attitudinal change.”

        http://www.academia.edu/9718329/Richard_Gehrmann_2015_Australian_Unarmed_Peacekeepers_on_Bougainville_1997_2003_co-authored_with_Matt_Grant_and_Samantha_Rose_Peace_Review_vol._27_no._1_forthcoming_2015_

        Like

      • @ davinci:

        “What is the point of bearing arms if you cannot use your weapons to do violence to anyone?”

        To keep the peace. To protect others. To protect yourself. To threaten, intimidate or coerce. To blow a hole in a wall. There are many things a soldier does with a weapon outside your false dichotomy.

        Like

      • Bryan,

        “Ok so you’re saying Christians should be pacifists?
        And no Christians should fight in secular wars?
        IKs that what you are saying?”

        No Bryan. It is the Word of God that is saying that. Not me.

        Everything that the New Testament teaches points towards turning the other cheek. After seeing the atrocities of Rwanda, it would have been very easy for me to sympathise with the ideology of KKK and burn with hatred towards blacks.

        Until I remember that Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world. And Paul said that God judges those things outside the church, not the church. We as Christians deal with the things inside the Church.

        I also realised that the Word of God teaches us that the rules of the game are different for a Christian. S/he is no longer under the same rules and master that s/he was before becoming a Christian. Blatant sinning and defending sin in the church must be dealt with decisively by the Church.

        Not defending sin or the right of sinners to continue sinning as they did before joining the church, with the excuse that we are not to judge.

        But you do as you like. Continue teaching that the Holy Spirit is separate from the Word of God (the Bible). Keep preaching that we should not judge. But don’t whinge afterwards about the South Carolina murder type incidents.
        Don’t whinge about nobody doing anything about paedophile clergy. Don’t whinge that the atheists don’t take Christianity seriously.

        Like

      • Ok you are saying that Christians should be pacifists. Funnily enough, I agree with you but a lot of Christians wouldn’t

        Everything that the New Testament teaches points towards turning the other cheek. After seeing the atrocities of Rwanda, it would have been very easy for me to sympathise with the ideology of KKK and burn with hatred towards blacks.

        Really? Do you have any knowledge of the Rwanda genocide? It was black tribe against black tribe…. Hutus killings Tutsis. Nothing at all to do with the KKK ideology in the US. You seem somewhat confused again davinci.

        Continue teaching that the Holy Spirit is separate from the Word of God (the Bible

        I have never said that. You once again are deliberately misleading.

        I also realised that the Word of God teaches us that the rules of the game are different for a Christian.

        .

        Yes we are held to different standards. We are told to love…

        Like

      • Hey Strewth,

        And there have been times when, unfortunately, the peacekeepers have had to stand by and watch massacres.

        Like

      • “After seeing the atrocities of Rwanda, it would have been very easy for me to sympathise with the ideology of KKK and burn with hatred towards blacks.”

        You’ve truly hit a new low with this extraordinarily racist rant. The suggestion that conflict between two ethic groups in Africa could justify sympathy with the KKK is disgusting.

        “Don’t whinge about nobody doing anything about paedophile clergy.”

        Nobody doing anything?

        https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/

        Like

  5. Unrighteous Judgment
    By Rick Joyner

    This issue has many Christians in confusion and has been a major stumbling block to keep them from fulfilling the purpose of God in their lives. In Luke 6:37 the Lord said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” From this text, believers and non-believers have assumed that Jesus told us not to judge others, but that is not what He said or meant.

    In Luke 6:37, the Greek word translated “judge” is krinete . This could more literally be translated “to distinguish as in putting into a category.” It could actually read, “Do not stereotype.” Not to judge others is not only a wrong translation, but it is not possible. When someone challenges you for judging, they are in fact judging you by saying this. We all judge others, which is necessary to have any kind of relationship with others. Judgment is not always negative, but when we say good things about others, we’re judging them too. We’re just judging them as good.

    Literally translated, nowhere does The Bible tell us not to judge others. In a number of places, we are actually told to do this. Where we are told in Scripture to judge, it is almost always with a redemptive purpose. For example, the Lord said that when a brother is in sin to go to them (see Matthew 18:15). You can’t know they are in sin without judging. However, we are not told to go to them to condemn them, but to help them repent. It is to help them.

    We must be discerning. We are told to know others after the spirit and not just the flesh, or appearances, which requires judging (see II Corinthians 5:16). What we are told to do is not to condemn others. Even if our judgment of someone is negative, we should look for a way to help redeem or restore them.

    It is also a misunderstanding to think that, in this same chapter in Luke, the Lord is saying not to take the speck out of someone else’s eye. He actually is telling us to do this, but not to do it hypocritically. He is saying to get the logs out of our own eyes before trying to help others in this way (see Luke 6:41-42).

    As the Lord says here, the good tree (or person) will bring forth good fruit, and the bad tree (or person) brings forth bad fruit (see Luke 6:43), such as judging unrighteously and causing problems and divisions with their judgments instead of help and redemption. When we judge righteously, we can, and often must, show people the error of their ways. When we do it with a redemptive purpose and not a morally superior one, it becomes far easier for those we are judging to see the judgments as true and be helped by them, not wounded by our judgment. We must judge, but we must do it in the right spirit.

    I am addressing this because possibly the main factor keeping the church from becoming what it is called to be, and keeping Christians from seeing God’s redemptive purpose with Israel, is unrighteous judgment. This is mostly the result of so little being taught about righteous judgment. The twelve apostles were told that they would sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the Lord’s kingdom. We are told that we will not only judge nations, but also angels in the age to come. This age is about “training for reigning” for those who will rule and reign with the Lord in His kingdom, and this is something we must learn now.

    As we are told, “righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (see Psalm 97:2). As a whole, the church is not doing too well with righteousness, and almost no teaching is ever heard on justice.

    Morning Star Ministries

    Like

    • Wow every now and then I think Christianity is the natural religion for the egotistical and arrogant. With articles like this I guess I should add hypocritical as well.

      Like

      • I don’t know about hypocritical, but I reckon condescending, patronising, and self-righteous. So I’m judging his words, but if he was sincerely convinced of them, then how could I judge him? Only God knows the circumstances that made him that way.

        Like

      • Actually, you’re not judging his words Strewth, you’re judging ‘denominations’ of Christianity; a whole lot of people who interpret the Bible very differently to you. If I ever make it to Heaven, I certainly expect to see Rick Joyner “ruling and reining” with the best of them. It’s so easy to ridicule that which we have no understanding of, isn’t it?

        Like

      • Yes Mon, I would expect so too. A person ‘s ideas and thoughts are what he/she HAS, not who he/she IS. His words are his, they are not him. What a person possesses is not himself, his essential being, his spirit. I believe Rick Joyner is a worthy person.

        Like

  6. We can judge war as wrong, yet not judge those fighting it fervently as sinful. Others have a different view, as in holy wars. The holiness of war still is their perspective.

    There are actions and attitudes I judge as wrong, but not the people doing them, especially if they are convinced they are acting for the best. I know even then my perspective could be wrong. How easily I could be judged.

    Like

    • Hey Strewth,

      You can judge whatever or whoever you like. IF however you do this while at the same time claiming to worship as a God a guy who said pretty clearly “don’t judge” then you might have some issues.

      Like

  7. The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate
    Joseph E Postma

    1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)

    2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)

    3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)

    4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)

    5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)

    6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)

    7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)

    8. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)

    9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)

    10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)

    11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)

    12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)

    More interesting detail here-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s