Friday, June 05, 2009

To Judge or Not to Judge

I've been reading 2 Corinthians and something that has been a bit confusing to me in the past has come to the surface again. It is about judging. God had revealed to me recently just how judgmental I can be and has been working on this in my life (among other things). While that is something I need to work on, I often wonder, are we truly not to judge in any way at all?

I'm part of a Christian email distribution group at work, and this very often comes up. Someone will make a comment which in effect judges the actions of someone in the media. What always follows is a debate (sometimes very heated unfortuately) about whether or not we are to judge others and if so, how exactly do we do that? What exactly are we to judge? Some will say that we can't judge a person's heart but we can judge their actions/fruit. Others say we should not judge at all.

Many on the list and elsewhere in the world will fall back on verses that say we are not to judge others, that only God can judge. I do believe that only God can judge a person's heart - however, is that the end of it? Is it accurate to say that as Christians we are not to judge others in any way, shape or form?

If the answer is yes, isn't Paul in the wrong then? If you read 2 Corinthians he is judging the actions of the Corinthian church and those he labels as "super apostles". He makes it clear, in my opinion, that he is making his observations because he cares deeply for the church. But some of his words are pretty harsh when you read them.

The more I think about this the more I realize this is one of those things that goes round and round and round. By noting that Paul is judging in 2 Corinthians, aren't I judging him and his words? On the email distribution list, those pointing out that others should not judge are actually judging as well, arent' they?

Oh my, I think my brain is going to explode! Seems like every time God reveals something to be addressed in my life, I end up with more questions than answers. But then I guess that is a good thing. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

1 comment:

Scott said...

We are to judge ourselves.
2 Cor 13:5

Pass judgment on interpret of tongues
1 Cor 14:27

Test deacons before they take office
1 Tim 3:10

To choose an elder one must judge his life according to the guidelines of Titus 1:5-9

Elders judge doctrine to verify if it is sound Titus 1:9

Examine ( each of us) everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
1 Thes 5:21

If you do good you welcome the light to judge your works.
John 3:20,21

In Proverbs it instructs us many times to judge between the righteous and the wicked and stay away from the wicked.

The Berans
1.Acts 17:11
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Psalm 1:1
Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
Now how can you do this if you don't decide who is wicked and who isn't?