Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged." The real meaning of that verse

The most misunderstood verse of the Bible, and the one that leftists love to quote the most is Matthew 7:1, which is traditionally rendered as:

Judge not lest ye be judged.

Lefties like to use that verse because they think it validates the erroneous assumption that Jesus approved of liberal moral relativism.

In fact, Jesus did nothing of the kind. And his warning about judgement is not a prohibition against all judgements, but a warning against certain kinds of judgement.

The whole context is this:

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3"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? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

The point is not: Do not judge. The point is: If you judge, you will be judged by that measure. Therefore, take the log out of your own eye before you speak about the speck in your brother's eye.

It is a warning against making rash, hypocritical and overly harsh judgements.

It will turn on you.

How do we know that Jesus didn't mean to prohibit all judgements?

Because Jesus tells people to JUDGE in other circumstances.

(John 7:24) "24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."" .


Luke 17:3 "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

In other words, if you've judged that your brother has sinned, say so!

You can make that call.

Other passages in Scripture confirm that understanding.

"Can you not realize that the unholy will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God's Kingdom" (1 Cor. 6:9-10).


It was St. Paul who told the early Church: "Judge everything, hang on to what is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).

I also quoted the Epistle of Jude and by liberal standards, it's very judgemental.

It says what in effect I said: that those who want to follow Christ but do not obey his commandments are not true Christians.

Jesus said as much to those who doubted his words.

(John 8:23-24)But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

One final thought:

The judgment Christians are to refrain from is judgment concerning the eternal fate of anyone. Leave intentions, motives, and final worth to God. We are not to confuse the judgment of the actions of people with sitting in judgment over them as to their eternal fate. But reluctance to make judgments concerning sinful acts is to produce that type of paralysis and inactivity that has brought both contemporary society and American Catholics to their present plight.