Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Judge Not"?

Pro-life and pro-traditional marriage activists have to put up with this one a lot.

The old, classic tactic of using a particular teaching from Christ to try and get us to stop pointing out their sins; "Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matthew 7:1).  The excuse is that Jesus told us we should never make any sort of judgement on anyone, and on the surface that seems to be the case.

But is it really?  Let's take a closer look at the passage in context.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5)

What is Jesus really telling us here?  Clearly, not that we can't ever judge another's behavior.  Rather, He is telling us to lead righteous lives so that our judgment of sinful behavior will not be a rash judgment, and we can be effective in accomplish the spiritual work of admonishing the sinner.

When someone says to you "the Bible says judge not, so don't judge me", what they're really saying is "I can do whatever I please, and there's nothing you can say about it".  It's a justification for continuing to live in sin, and a handy brush off for when they don't want to hear what you have to say.  Don't buy it.  Keep admonishing the sinner, for they desperately need it.

Further explanation can be found here.

Pax Christi.

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