A guy by the name of Paul Washer once said, “I hear people say, ‘Do not judge, lest you be judged.’ And I always respond, ‘Do not twist scripture, lest you be like the devil.’” How important is context? Just as important as reason and common sense right? To use Matthew 7:1 as a proof-text in support of a “No judgment” mentality is to defy context, reason, and logic. And you will never convince me that God intended for us to interpret His word void of reason and logic. If you want to promote a personal agenda, then pluck a verse out of context and turn off your brain. If you want to promote God’s agenda, then you’re going to have to dig a little deeper. You’re going to have to open the Word, open your heart, open your brain, and be willing to ask the proper question, which is, “What does God say?” Not, “What do I want this to say?” And certainly we need to apply this rule to Matthew 7:1 and following.
DO NOT JUDGE is an untenable position. You cannot avoid making judgments. You do so every single day, thousands of times a day. You make a judgment about what to wear, what to eat, what to say, what to do in certain situations. Judgments are unavoidable. A statement like DO NOT JUDGE implies something absurd. It implies, stop discerning. Stop making decisions. Stop thinking altogether. Plus, the statement DO NOT JUDGE is hypocritical. Anytime you start a sentence with the words, “Do not,” whatever comes next constitutes a judgment. You should not judge, except when judging people for judging. It’s nonsensical. And have you ever noticed that the DO NOT JUDGE folks are silent when it comes domestic abusers, the Nazis, or those who agree with their agenda. I could write a blog post condemning those who speak out against gay marriage and not one person from the DO NOT JUDGE crowd would angrily tell me not to judge. Let’s face it, DO NOT JUDGE is the mantra of a people who want to do wrong without repercussions. Call a sin a sin. Defend the truth. Combat popular opinion, and the DO NOT JUDGE folks will come out of the woodworks to systematically pick you and your argument apart. They will even do so in the name of Jesus. “Christians shouldn’t judge.” “Who are we to judge?” “You’re not a genuine Christian if you judge.” “Jesus said not to judge.” “You’re an idiot because you judge other people.” The tolerant, loving, grace-filled crowd is anything but tolerant, loving, and grace-filled toward those with whom they disagree.
But Jesus never said, “Do not ever judge, ever, ever, ever, ever.” No, in fact, He said the exact opposite. This same Jesus even said in John 7:24: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Jesus expects us to judge. He understands how essential judgment is to the life of a Christian. I mean, is Jesus not passing a judgment in Matthew 7 on those who improperly judge? If calling someone a hypocrite is not “judging” then I don’t know what is. The Bible exists, at least in part, to shape our judgment and tell us how to judge.