Archive for March 2014

To Judge or not to Judge?

Judging

To Judge or not to Judge?

By

Jose de Carvalho

The topic of judgement has bothered me in my early christian life, especially in light of the fact that when a christian points out another’s fault, whatever it may be, he/she is always accused of judgement by the proof text in the Bible,  Matthew 7:1  ‘Judge not, that you be not judged’. The conundrum for me has been balancing the above with the other biblical exhortations, namely to beware of evil doers in the Church and that believers are to test everything for false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil – now we have to do all this without making some sort of judgement and with careful discernment of course (John 7:24).

In my experience, in most cases these issues arises out of misinterpretation of the Word and the fact that western thought (being based on Greek education processes) cannot deal with antimonies – when the Bible asserts to seemingly different things and that they both are true – whereas Hebrew philosophical thought can and did.

The key interpretive issue in Matthew is that he was telling us not to judge hypocritically; not , not to judge; a point that any interpreter that is not using scripture out of context to prove a point, will clearly identify by just reading the rest of Matthew’s discourse.

Matthew (7:2-5) declares:

Mat 7:2  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Mat 7:3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Mat 7:4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?

Mat 7:5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

 

‘What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.’