Is Ken Weliever Guilty of Judging?

pot-und-kettle1“You’re judging,” is a charge that has been hurled at me through the years.  Then it is followed up with “And the Bible says it’s wrong to judge!”   

Though not said in those words, this sentiment has been expressed to me in comments on this blog when I condemn an immoral lifestyle.

Is this charge valid?  Am I guilt of judging?  Well, I guess it’s time to confess.

But before I make my confession, let me give some context to the charge of judging.  First let’s take a look at Matthew

Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?   Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Meaning of “Judge”

         Dr. W. E. Vine, in his Exposition Dictionary of New Testament words, says the word “judge” means  “Primarily denotes to separate, to select,  to  choose, hence to determine, and so, to judge or to pronounce judgment.”

Jesus is saying that we ought not to assume the office of a judge, in the sense of the Lord’s judgment.  Jesus is condemning harsh, censorious judgement.  We are not to be hypercritical or hypocritical.  As Max Lucado wrote, “It’s one thing to have an opinion.  It’s quite another to pass a verdict.  It’s one thing to have a conviction; it’s another to convict the person.”

Jesus uses a humorous illustration of someone who has a log in their eye trying to remove a shaving from someone else’s eye!  Ridiculous!  Absurd!  And wrong!  First remove the glaring fault from your life before you try to correct others for their minor flaws.

Bible Usage 

However, the word is used in some others ways in the Bible. Consider these three.

1. Jesus said, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (Jn 7:24).  The Gospel reveals God’s standard of righteousness (Rom. 16:16-17).  When I take the gospel and apply it to a situation or moral issue, I am doing what Jesus approved, but not violating Matthew 7:1.

2. When brethren took their legal problems  before pagan judges, Paul rebuked them.  He asked, “Is there not a wise man among you…that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”  (1 Cor 6:5),  That kind of judgment is helpful.

3. Regarding the sexually immoral man at Corinth, Paul said, “I have judged him” (1 Cor 5:3).  This was not a violation of the Mountain Message, but a proper application of John 7:24.  When moral righteousness is ignored, preachers should apply God’s Word and condemn it.

Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

So, have I ever judged others? I confess that I have.   But hopefully not in the way condemned by Jesus.  While not passing sentence upon others, we are within scriptural bounds to apply the Gospel and determine issues of morality. Ethics.  And doctrine.

Judging may either be right or wrong, depending upon the nature.  Basis.  Motive. And purpose.  When I’m “guilty” of judging, may it be God’s righteous judgment.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

3 Comments

Filed under Judging

3 responses to “Is Ken Weliever Guilty of Judging?

  1. Betty rhodes

    I think of this like I think of all of the scriptures on our conduct. Everything stems from loving God first and then our neighbor as ourselves. It really all starts in the heart. No one cares what you know until they know that you care. When you are able to portray that God cares and you care and that is why you are saying what you are saying – then it is possibly accepted a little better. (Hey – but not always!) Love you Ken!

  2. Betty, I agree. When you show people you care, they are much more willing to listen and respect your views–even if their thoughts and actions appear to judge you. When Simon was called to act as host at a dinner party given in honour of a prophetic teacher whom a Woman from his hometown anointed as Jesus in Simon’s and Martha’s presence, Simon was hurt and offended and Martha was likely very worried–if not offended herself. Simon’s thoughts showed in his demeanor. His thoughts were judgmental. He thought. “If this teacher were truly a prophet he would know (expose, and acknowledge how and why he knows) this woman is a sinner. The Teacher prepares the way for Simon to judge more compassionately. The Teacher says to Simon…”A certain creditor had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarrii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which one of them will love him more? Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him. “You have judged rightly.” Then turning to the Woman, the Teacher said to Simon. “Do you seen this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet….her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he [the Pharisee–the Father responsible for Judging and heeding the Law] said to her, “Your sins are forgiven'” (Luke 7:39-48)

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