Do not judge lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1 NASB)
Jesus’ words are pretty clear, pretty straight forward, and it is pretty obvious what it means, right? This is a scripture that it seems everyone and his brother has committed to memory.
It seems in fact that everyone in Western Civilization has memorized this. "Don't Judge - Don't Judge - Don't Judge". It is preached from pulpits, and in the classrooms. The word they use in school is tolerance. We must have tolerance for anyone else's "life style", religion, or attitudes. Have you ever tried to preach the gospel to someone, only to be told that you are being judgmental?
I heard an interview on the radio, a while back, where the Baptist Church was being criticized for their evangelism efforts toward Jews. The entire Baptist Church was accused of intolerance, and bigotry because they believed that the Jews needed Jesus. The Baptists were "judging" the Jews, and the world was outraged.
It is even worse in the Church. We have been told so often by the world, and from the pulpit not to judge, that no one in the church is willing to judge anything, there is no longer any “tolerance” for church discipline, or correction of any kind. (Perhaps I should put down my broad brush, but you know what I mean here.)
Is this what Jesus had in mind when He said “Judge not”? Did he want us to blindly accept anything, and let everyone continue on their paths to hell? Or have we pulled this out of context and happily gone along with the world's take on Jesus?
Over the next couple days I want to look closely at this topic, and see what the example of Jesus, and others in the New Testament can teach us about when and what to judge, and what not to judge in this New Covenant.
Walk with through this with me, will you?