February 09, 2015

Did Jesus Command Us Not to Judge?

Frank Turek:
     Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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, 'Let me take the speck out of you eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank our of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
     Is Jesus telling us not to judge? No, He's commanding us to take the speck out of our brothers' eye—that involves making a judgement. He simply tells us to get our own house in order first so we judge rightly, not hypocritically. In other words, Jesus isn't telling us not to judge; He's telling us how to judge. Elsewhere Jesus tells us, "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."
     Just think about how impossible life would be if you didn't make judgements. You make hundreds, if not thousands, of judgements every day—judgments between good and evil, between right and wrong, between danger and safety. You'd be dead already if you didn't make judgements. . . . Have you ever noticed that when you complement people, they never say, "Who do you think you are? You shouldn't judge me! Stop being so judgmental!" See, it's not judging they find offensive, just judgments they don't like. [1]

1. Frank Turek. Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case (NavPress, 2015), pp. 182-183.

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