Overcoming the Intimidation to Be Silenced

There are many passages of Scripture people use to stop all discussion on truth and morality. The one at the top of the list are the very words of Jesus Christ, “Do not Judge” (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37) which is only a portion of what He said and used out of context for of what He is teaching. Most of the time, those referring to this passage have not, “[done] their best to present [themselves] to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

The full text says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. He also told them this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:37-42; Matthew 7:1-5)

Grasping the whole truth of God’s Word we understand all people are sinners, no one is worthy to condemn another along with the enlightenment, the degree we judge others is the degree other people and God will judge us. For Christians, it is a reminder to ask God to look into their hearts, they know the teaching of Jeremiah, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)    Humble Christians are in continued prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting! (Psalm 139:23)

Jesus also said, Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)  The Greek for this passage of Scripture is imperative, “μὴ κρίνετε κατ’ ὄψιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνετε which is, ‘do not judge according to appearance, but pronounce a righteous judgment’ or ‘… deliver a righteous judgment.’ It may also be possible to translate ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνετε as ‘judge in a righteous manner’ or ‘judge according to true standards.’” (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 363). New York: United Bible Societies.) The King James Bible says, “judge righteous judgements” (τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν) meaning “to make right judgements appropriate to the case in hand.” (Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 2, p. 160). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.)

Practical Applications:

1.) Christians do not declare judgement on lifestyles or teachings which intrigue others to sin. They are in agreement with God’s Word. Jesus said, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:1-4) He also said, “…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

2.) Christians do not make decisions on what sin is, they are in agreement with what the Bible says is sin. The writer of the New Testament teaches us, The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) Paul’s warning to the Corinthian Church, Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

3.) Christians do not declare what marriage is, they simply marry in accordance with the whole counsel of God’s Word. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife…” (Genesis 2:24) The Hebrew word for “wife” (אִשָּׁה ʾiššāh) “is a feminine noun meaning woman, wife or female.” (Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 104). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers)

Jesus taught about marriage, “Have you not read that He [God] who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife’” (Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-7) The Greek word Jesus used, “male” (ἄρσην ársēn) has a Greek synonym (anḗr) meaning “male, husband.” The Greek word Jesus used, “female” (θήλυς thḗlus) has a Greek synonym (gunḗ) meaning female, wife.” The Greek word Jesus used for “wife” (γυνή gunḗ) means “woman, wife.” (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)

The three applications we have just looked at are just a few of the truths God’s word holds which keeps from condemning people and make wrong judgements about life and morals. Anyone who really cares about how people are being judged will do the hard work to make sure they are in agreement with God’s Word. Paul writes,The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but himself to be judged by no one. For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)

Let the Holy Spirit of Christ examine your heart, where are you on the platform, judging? Does is it fit in line with the whole counsel of the written of God?