To judge: To form an opinion or estimation after careful consideration
It’s never a good idea to get our theology from the devil.
Jesus refuted satan in the wilderness when the serpent tried to “spin” the scripture to trap our Lord. One of the scriptures that the adversary is using today to immobilize God’s people is a twisted view on judging.
You can guarantee that the minute you hold up God’s word against some false presentation of an important biblical truth that someone will reflexively quote “Thou shalt not judge” (It’s always quoted in King James English for some reason)
But is that verse honestly telling us we are not to evaluate, discern or test anything against the immutable word of God? Of course not.
This is satan’s attempt to silence the prophetic voice of the church. This is his way of getting people to turn off their brains, harden their hearts and block their ears to what the Spirit is saying to the church, and to individual members of the church.
The very verse so often deployed against discerning disciples of Christ goes on say to “Do not throw your pearls before swine or give what is sacred to dogs.” (Matthew 7:6). Why is that portion of scripture never used? Because it’s too “judgemental” of course. So now Jesus Himself is judged as too judgemental. You do see the problem here, I’m sure.
In fact there are multitudes of scriptures and entire books of the Bible commanding us to judge. If we don’t heed those writings we are not being non-judgemental…we are being disobedient.
Look at it this way; supplement some synonyms for “judge” and see how it plays out.
Thou shall not be discerning.
Thou shall not think.
Thou shall not weigh up whether something is true or not.
Thou shall not test all things and hold on to what is good.
Thou shall not test the spirits.
Thou shall not evaluate, take heed or beware of false teachers.
Thou shall not be a Berean of more noble character.
Do you see how this injunction to not judge, employed constantly by judgemental voices, becomes a nonsense when misapplied.
This one verse taken out of context has perhaps done more in our generation than all the bars and brothels combined to send people to a Christless eternity!
Now of course only the righteous Judge of the universe can look into a person’s heart and know perfectly what are their motives, their pains, their heartaches or secret sins. In that sense we are not to judge. Only God knows a mans heart and only God through the gospel can change it. But it is NOT judgemental to agree with God’s word. It’s eminently sensible and the only wise way to live. To state for instance that homosexuality, or adultery or fornication are sinful is not judgemental, it’s true. According to God Almighty Himself. To state as some religious leaders do that these things are not sin, is not tolerant and gracious, it’s rebellion and a lie. To speak clearly and without apology scriptural truth is not negative or critical; it’s faithful discipleship.
Unfortunately there is a category of believer today who thinks ignoring, downplaying or rejecting God’s clear word on an issue is being loving and generous; Well, it’s not! It’s a hateful thing to steal at any time, but to rob people of truth is perhaps one of the most wicked things we can do. Jesus soundly rebuked the religious elite of His day who saw God’s word as their personal possession to do with as they saw fit. Those who follow their lead today face the same rebuke from Christ.
Obviously God’s people are not to be hypercritical and jump on the smallest deviation of their self-assumed truth.
The children of God should never instantly expect the worst of people.
We should not categorize and label and reject people because of their race, gender economic or educational background etc. We should not accept gossip as gospel or slander as true.
We are never to declare that some individual is too wicked for the grace of God to change; after all He changed us. So in those instances to judge is wrong and sinful, but as mentioned previously to extend that to become a doctrine of silence where God’s clear declarations are avoided or rejected is a terrible twisting of the truth.
In our particular time in history it is imperative for the twice born sons of God to once again take seriously the charge and command to judge. To judge righteously to be sure. To extend grace for certain, but to judge nevertheless.
We must ask, “Is what I’m hearing true? Does it line up with Christ’s clear words? Is it accurate and complete?”
Much error is truth pushed to an extreme.
Many deceptions have been wrongfully backed by a scripture wrenched from its context.
Many of the devil’s lies are promoted as biblical truth.
The only way we can tell truth from error is to exercize our God-given capacity to discern, evaluate and judge whether a thing is so or not.
Afeter all Jesus Himself said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement”… John 7:24