April, 2014

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To Judge or Not to Judge – Which is Christian? (A Guest-post by R. P. Amos)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Sometimes an answer is not an “either or”, or even “yes or no” but both.  It can depend upon circumstances.  For example, is it right or wrong to eat peanuts?  It could be right and a source of protein if you like them.  But it could be very wrong and life threatening if you have an allergy to them.

So often we hear that a Christian is “not to judge”.  Is this entirely true in light of God’s complete revelation in the Bible?  True, the Lord Jesus says, “judge not”, but then He goes on to say, “but judge righteous judgment”.  So which is it?  Both!

The Greek word for “judge” is anakrino or krino.  Krino means to pick out, select, conclude, decide, choose, approve or disapprove.  Anakrino means to discern, examine, question and scrutinize.  Don’t we in our daily lives make continual judgments – from medicines, good or bad food, the right partner for life to the best value for our money? What government exists that doesn’t have law and order, and judges its offenders?

FOUR AREAS WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE

1.  Heart Motives.  We can’t know what a person is thinking as to why he might be doing an action. Without having further knowledge we should not reach conclusions.  1Cor. 4:3, 5

2.  Outward Appearances.  We must not judge how something appears to look on the outside without further evidence of righteous facts.  John 7:24, 1Sam. 16:7

3.  Another’s Liberty.  Each man answers to God, not us, on personal matters of liberty concerning things like celebrating days, wine, foods, etc.  Rom. 14: 2, 13

4.  Another’s Actions IF You are Doing the Same Thing.  It is hypocritical to judge something in your brother’s eye when you are doing something similar.  Matt. 7:1, 3

FOUR AREAS WE ARE TO JUDGE

1.  Ourselves.  We are to always judge what is right or wrong in our lives.  1Cor. 11:31

2.  Actions that are the Best.  Just like we make judgments on a banana if it is the best value for the price, we are to judge what is the most excellent decision.  Philp. 1:9, 10

3.  Doctrine.  It is not we who make a judgment on truth but we simply trust God’s judgment of what is true and false as revealed by His Word of truth.  1Cor. 14:29 / 1Ths. 5:20-21

4.  Sin in the Church.  While the church is not to judge the world with punishment, it is to judge “believers” living in active sin by excommunication for a time.  1Cor. 5

May we have courage to judge, and yet love when not to judge, to be used of the Lord.