This article is in response to an angry sms that I recently received. The person not only said I have no right to judge others especially pastors but even implied that I am in danger of going to hell. She quoted James 4:11 & Romans 14:10. Obviously, she does not understand the Scriptures. It is not enough to just read (as reading the newspaper) the Bible, we must study it (2 Tim 2:15) prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to guide us ( Jn 16:13). Anyway, like it or not, it is the duty of every born-again Christian who genuinely love the body of Christ to expose errors (1 Pe 4:17; 2 Tim 4:2-4; 2 Tim 3:16; Titus 1:13, 3;10; Rom 16:17; etc.)
Is It Right to Judge Ministers, pastors or other Christians?
The Lord Jesus commanded us to Judge
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, "Judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). He told a man, "Thou hast rightly judged" (Luke 7:43).
The Apostle Paul asked men to judge
Apostle Paul wrote, "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say" (1 Corinthians 10:15).
Again, he declared, "He that is spiritual judgeth all things" (1Corinthians 2:15).
The Apostle John asked men to judge
Apostle John wrote, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test, judge] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
[Note: There are dozens of verses in the Bible asking us to judge righteously!]
[If we take a verse or a part of a verse out of its context, we can make the Word of God appear to teach the very opposite of what it really does teach. Anyone who does this is in serious trouble for twisting God’s Word (2 Peter 3:16)]
"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."
This verse refers to an evil spirit of backbiting and fault finding, not to judging whether teachers or teachings agree or disagree with God's Word. The Bible never contradicts itself. To understand one portion of Scripture we must view it in the light of all Scripture. "No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private [isolated] interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20). "Comparing spiritual things [the Word] with spiritual [the Word]” (1 Corinthians 2:13).
[Note: We should read the whole chapter to understand this verse]
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Romans 14 is discussing how we are to deal with matters NOT CLEARLY TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE. In matters in which God has not plainly spoken, we should not judge others. The two examples plainly given by the apostle are eating meat and keeping holy days. These are matters about which the Bible is silent. This verse does not forbid Christians from judging others regarding doctrinal or other errors.
[Note: We should read the whole chapter to understand this verse]
1 CORINTHIANS 4:3-5
“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians not to judge him based on human reasoning (man’s judgement). Obviously, some of them were questioning his motives (counsels of the hearts). He warned them that only God can judge a person’s heart…And every person’s motives will be exposed when the Lord Jesus comes.
For a full explanation, click here: http://www.wayoflife.org/files/51498bc0e8c5666f8c4630a56a61ecf5-155.html
These verses are addressed to a hypocrite--not to those who sincerely want to discern whether a teacher or teaching is true or false to God's Word. It is a solemn warning against hypocritical judgment. In fact, the last statement of this passage commands sincere judgment--"Then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
[ Note: God wants His children to be like the Bereans who "searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so"(Acts 17:11). The Bereans did not blindly follow the Apostle Paul’s teachings even though he was an apostle but checked everything against the scripture and the Holy Spirit commended them for that by calling them NOBLE. ]
[Other misunderstood verses: The "Wheat and Tares" parable of Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. The Lord is talking about judging the world not the church/Christians. See 1 Cor 5:12 ]
Naming names…can we?
It is necessary to name names to warn others about a person’s ministry. If not how are others going to know who or which ministry are you talking about? That’s why the Apostles John and Paul warned Christians about false teachers and trouble makers in the church by their names (3 John 1:9, 1Tim 1:20)! Also, an error which is being propagated publicly must also be refuted publicly (1 Tim 5:20), e.g., the Apostle Peter was rebuked publicly by Apostle Paul for his error (Gal. 2:11-14).
But if it is a personal offense then it is best to deal with the person according to Matthew 18:15-17.
Further information: http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Introduction/fdmatt18.htm
God is extremely displeased with Christians who refuse to judge/expose doctrinal/moral & other type of errors
Remember Eli? God was very angry with Eli because he did not check the errors of his sons, even though Eli personally did not offend God. God will also be angry with us if we do not take a stand (Jude 1:3) against false doctrines or immorality in the church (Proverb 24:24&25; Ezekiel 3:18; Rev 2:14, 15 & 20; 1 Cor 5; 2 John 1:11; 2 Cor 11:4; etc.)
1Sa 3:13 - For I have told him (Eli) that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them.
Who has NO right to judge?
Hypocrites are forbidden by the Bible to judge (i.e., Matt 7:1-5; Romans 2:1-3)
Also, we should not judge others with a holier-than-thou attitude or out of jealousy, bitterness, hatred, wrath, wrong motives, etc. We should neither slander [accuse someone falsely] (Col 3:8) nor curse (Roman 12:14; James 3:9,10) anyone.
By the way, by the Lord's grace, I have attended/visited various Christian denominations for 20 over years and I realize the “LOUDEST” protesters in these churches who oppose Christians who speak against error are from these 2 groups:
1. Genuine Christians (the few) who have been misled by others because of their lack of understanding of the Bible.
2. Hypocritical “Christians” (Matt 7:21; 2 Tim 4:3, etc) who feel uncomfortable about Christians exposing their sins or sins of their leaders (Matt 7:15) through God’s WORD. This second group will continue to protest no matter how many times you tell them that the Bible allows/commands us to judge righteously because they do not belong to Jesus.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me
— John 10:27
For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved
— John 3:20
[Important note: The Greek word for church—ekklesia—means a called out assembly. A church is not a building but is an invisible living spiritual organism, composed of all the born-again Christians worldwide from various denominations (Baptist, Presbyterians, Charismatic, Methodist, etc). The devil or anyone can never break this church (body of Christ) Matthew 16:18; 1 Cor 12:12, 13; 1 Peter 2:5; John 17:20-21, etc. So do not be troubled if someone were to tell you that by exposing error you might divide the body of Christ ; on the contrary, God is using you to purge the leaven of error within the body of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 5: 6-13; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:17).
Speaking the truth in love,
TOUCH NOT THE LORD’S ANOINTED?
IS IT RIGHT TO JUDGE ?
Fundamental Evangelistic Association