I think many of us in more reformed circles, have long ago gotten weary of those who quote Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you will not be judged,” as a catch-all phrase for shutting down anyone who would question false doctrine and its’ teachers, or call sinful behavior sin. The phrase has even caught on with people who don’t care anything about the bible, but have chosen this statement as their kind of “life verse.”
But this is not an article about that. If you want to learn what the bible says about these things, perhaps brush up on the topic of church discipline, or take a gander at the book of Jude.
I read through Matthew 7 the other day, and I was struck by how sobering verse 1-5 really is.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
In these verses you have a warning about actions (judging) and a warning about consequences (being judged), as well as a warning about hypocrisy. Jesus is warning His disciples on the topic of judging others, and whenever He warns us, we should take it seriously.
In other words, just because some people overreach with and abuse this text, that doesn’t allow us the freedom sweep it under the rug. Continue reading