Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Most Misused And Abused Verse Exploited By Christians

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Matthew 7:1
“Judge not, that you be not judged,”
Is a Cowardly Cliché for Telling Someone 
“To Mind His Own Business.”
What are we to do about 1Timothy 5:20, "Those Who Are Sinning Rebuke In The Presence Of All, That The Rest Also May Fear."

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment,” James 3:1.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them," Ephesians 5:11.
In Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Jesus was addressing to scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  Jesus teaches us not to judge on a human level. Don’t be a hypocrite.


“Judge not, that you be not  judged,” is not meant to turn a blind eye on sexual immorality, homosexuality,adultery, same sex marriage. Judge because Jesus expects you to judge, correct, rebuke, restore, and warn all according to God’s words.



“Can the blind lead the blind?  Will they not both fall into the ditch?  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”Luke 6:39-40
450 sheep jump to their deaths in Turkey ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

It is sad.  Most Church attendees are like these sheep...they followed a goat to their spiritual death. Matthew 7:1 is the most misused and abused verse employed and exploited by Christians and unbelievers alike. Exploited is more adequate.  Satan can’t believe how easy it is to deceive people without lifting a finger.  The misuse of this verse allowed the intrusion of sinful conduct in the assembly of the saints.  Satan is not stupid, and he does take advantage of uninformed Christians.  Christians who do not study God’s words and are satisfied to listen only to lovey-dovey sermon once a week without a bible open on their laps, find it easy to remember this one and only verse; “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  There is one thought that comes into my mine when someone quote this verse, and that is “I might as well throw away the Bible, throw the baby out with the bath water’.

U.S. Congressman Ed Royce a Republican spook at a rally on February 13, 2011, Yorba Linda CA. He stated:
"A big part of the problem we face today is that our children has been taught in school that every idea is right, that no one should criticize others position no matter how odious.  What do we call that?  Multiculturalism!  It has paralyzed to many of our citizens to make the critical judgment we needed to make to prosper as a society.” 
It has gotten so that this verse already influence the political arena.  New age movement uses it to support their ideology that there is no absolute.  By leaving God words out of the picture, you can guaranty that no one knows what is right and what is wrong. 
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes”Romans 3:10-18
For some Christian their philosophy in life is base on that one scripture, closing a blind eye to sinful intrusion into the church, to a point that even sexual immorality conduct creep into the church without any one condemning it.  "Judge not, that you be not judged" they will reply: is what some quote for not dealing with a problem. Why?  Christian wants to feel secure.  “Don’t rock the boat” is their motto.  Homosexuality, abortion, adultery is widely accepted in many denomination. “The church must evolve”, they reply. The Theory of Evolution had also influence Christians. The Church has been created on the Day of Pentecost.  It has been degenerating ever since it creation, not evolved.

Moderators, arbitrators, adjudicators, referees, umpires, critics, reviewers, evaluators, judges, and juries, how can they do their responsible duties without judging?  How can a foreman, supervisor, manager and business owner reprimand or praise employees without judging?
Read Luke 12: 57-58, “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?  When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.”  Go ahead; try to get out of this impasse by quoting Matt 7:1  
One of the greatest fears hand in hand with public speaking is fear of criticism. You can’t be a public speaker if you cannot accept criticism.  You can’t be a mature Christian if you cannot accept criticism, to a point to be persecuted for standing up for God’s words.  Let us rephrase Matt 7:1….  ‘Judge and you will be judge’…. it means if you are going to act in a position of authority be prepare to be criticize and to be judge.  That is a position that any responsible person would assume in taking the role of leadership.  It is a position 
that is harder and harder to assume, because 
any judgment made is criticized. 

There is so much disrespect for those who are in a position of authority.  Why?  Because there are many who despise authority, “…and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.  They are presumptuous, self-willed.  They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries”, 2 Peter 2:10.  “Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries”, Jude 1:8.  It is harder and harder to fill in a position of authority now days. 

" Judge not, that you be not judged.”  What does it mean?  Is it to stay quiet and to mine our own business?  The unbelievers and Christians alike are quick to use it against one another.  They are quick to accuse others of being no better then they are.  They are right; we are saved by grace and not by good conduct.  Even Christians caught with their hand in the cookies jars defend themselves by quoting this verse.  Is this what God intended us to do, to stay quiet and to have a blind eye to sins and sinners who have no intention to walk in righteousness in our churches as God command us to?  “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy,’”1 Peter 1:15-16.

What about the following verses?

John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”  
Titus 2:15 “these, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”  Rebuke, can it be done without judging? 
Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment’.” 
John 9:39 “And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” 
Revelation 20:4 “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” This describes the Church appointed to reign with Jesus.
Let us study Matthew 7:1-6 in depth.

Read Matthew 7:1-6.  In Matt 7:1, to whom is Jesus talking?  Chap 5:1, to a multitudes, Jesus went up on a mountain, where?  Matt 4: 25  beyond the Jordan.  The multitude consisted of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, Luke 6:17.

Wherever Jesus went, the scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees followed Him.   They always challenged Jesus, finding ways to prove Him wrong and to accuse Him of breaking Moses’ Law.  Jesus was specifically addressing v.1-6 to the scribes and the Pharisees.  How do I know that?  Simple, Jesus identified them as hypocrites.  Jesus use that term only to scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees such as in Luke 11:44, Luke 12:1, Mark 7:1-6, Matthew 23:27-29.

Why did Jesus called the scribes, Sadducees and the Pharisees hypocrites and what exactly did Jesus know about them that He disliked? “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees,” Matt 16:6.  What was Jesus implying?  Jesus warned them to be aware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  What was wrong with their doctrine, was it not Moses’ law?  The doctrine that the scribes, Sadducees and the Pharisees were teaching was added rules and regulations beyond Moses’ law requirement.  Here is how Jesus described them: Matthew 23:1-30 
 “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.  For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  But all their works they do to be seen by men.  They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.  They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’” 
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.  Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.” 
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” 
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?  And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?  Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it.  He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.” 
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.  Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”  

Do you get it now?  In Matthew 7:1, " Judge not, that you be not judged," was meant to instruct us not to judge according to the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 
We are not called to be a burden to anybody.  We are to keep the gospel simple as explained in1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  We are not to impose unnecessary rules and works to gain salvation.  Jesus concluded His instruction of Matt 7:1-6 in verse 12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  The Law and the Prophets are meant to draw us in fellowship with God, not the opposite.  The Law and the Prophets was meant to draw us in fellowship with one another.  The New Covenant commandments are sum up in three aspects; Believe, trust, and love.  You can read the detailed of the new covenant commandments in a commentary I wrote on this subject in my Library, Title, “The New Covenant Commandments”.

In a series title “Basic Human Behavior” by author Ray C. Stedman, “The Pattern of Man” Ray view Matt 7: 1 in this manner, 
“The way you treat another person is the way you are going to be treated. If you don't like the way you are being treated, take a look at what you are doing to someone else. They are only giving you back what you are giving to them. It is strange -- we all want to live by a double standard, don't we? We all want to have people treat us right, but we reserve the right to treat them differently. We want to be able to be sharp and sarcastic to others, but we don't think that they have the right to be sharp and sarcastic to us. We want to take advantage of somebody else by being lazy and letting them do the work and not taking our fair share of the load, but we don't want them to do that to us.”
“But God says that we can't live that way. The way you treat another is the way it is going to come back to you, so don't complain. That is a basic law of life. The only way it can be conquered is by a change in you. When you change, then others will be changed by that. This is one of the wonderful discoveries we can make. For years we may struggle with a problem in our relationships to others, and we think, "If I could just get these people to change!" Then suddenly we discover that it was we who were causing the problem, and we change. And to our amazement the other people all change too!”
 
In Matt 7:6, Jesus explained to His disciple not to waste their time with those who have the philosophy of the scribes, Sadducees and the Pharisees.  “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”  They will only seek to contradict, judge and persecute as they did to Jesus all the way to the cross.  We see the confrontation that Paul and Barnabas experience in Pisidian Antioch; Acts 13:44-52

 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul, (the simplicity of the gospel).  Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.  For so the Lord has commanded us: 
      ‘ I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,      That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ 



Paul quoted Isaiah 49:6 “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.”  God chosen Israel to be a light (not a burden) to the world for the purpose to bring Gentiles to salvation, yet Israel religious authority completely failed in their mission.  The Church was then given this temporary mission for a little time, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled mention in Luke 21:24. There is a future time where Israel as a nation will fulfills this mission, see Revelation 7:4. 

Do you now understand why it is important to adequately use Matt 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  We are not to be a burden on others especially toward the new believers in Christ by not teaching tradition of man, Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

It all comes to the same conclusion; do not judge at a human level standard.  The Scribes, Sadducees and the Pharisees although they represent religious stature, they were imposing their standard above God’s Laws.  Jesus shows example of God standard by giving attention to human needs first.  He healed on the Sabbath.  We are living in a period of grace.  Jesus came to save the word not to judge (condemn) the world yet, John 12:47, Rev 11:18, Rev 6:10.

The misused and misinterpretation of this verve has caused some Christians to continued their sinful ways after receiving the gift of life through Jesus death and resurrection. In addition some churches allowed ungodly conduct to entered within the assembly of the saints with no intervention of elders or the church council.  Some might even take offence if approach in such manner, and will quote you this verse, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  So what are we to do?  All Epistle of the Apostle has lots to say about it. 

Can the Church carry out these following functions without judging?

  • Correction: 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”  Why?  “So that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”, v16.
  • Rebuke: 1 Timothy 5:20, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
  • Restore: Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” 
  • Warn: 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly,” Can you see the error when someone quote you Matt 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged” when unrighteous conduct are introduce into the Church? The Church is holy and is to be kept holy.


Ray C. Stedman at http://www.raystedman.org in a commentary title, “Scandal in the Church” 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, explained that the scripture clearly define what we are to do, not only in a case of sexual immorality from a church member but to all areas where sinful conduct is introduced in the church. He goes on saying:

“There are four clear, definite, practical steps to take  when immorality is present: 

The first one is: There must be a right attitude. We must mourn and feel grief instead of harsh, critical judgment or tolerant, casual love.  (Not according to human standard but according to God instruction in a manner that we do not causes a member to fall away.  Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”) 
The second step is: There must be a right basis for discipline. Notice what the apostle does not say. He does not say to these elders, "Now you elders get together there and decide among yourselves what you ought to do about this.  Whatever you feel is right, you carry it out.  If you decide that he ought to be excommunicated, if you decide he ought to be fined a certain amount, well, that's fine. Whatever you decide to do is all right.”  No, it is never left to be based on an individual judgment as to what to do. 
 What Paul clearly indicates is that you have already been told what to do -- just do it.  He speaks of "in the name of the Lord Jesus ... by the power of our Lord Jesus ... by my spirit present with you.”  In other words, apostolic and divine authority has already spoken in these areas -- follow it through.  In Matthew 18 the Lord Jesus tells us what to do in cases like this: "If your brother sins against you," he says, "go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone," (Matthew 18:15a RSV). That is step number one.  Do not spread it around; do not ask for prayer about it; do not talk about it; go to the one who is doing the wrong.  This is not something that is a matter of personal injury; this is not something that you have been offended by or that they have not acted the way you think they ought to act. 
 Here Jesus is talking about things that the Word of God has already said are definitely wrong; certain actions (and they are very limited), that the Word of God has already judged. You are to "go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”  If he hears you, "you have gained your brother," (Matthew 18:15b RSV).  That is enough; it does not need to go any further; no one else needs to know about it.  "And if he does not hear you," Jesus says, "take one or two others and go and tell him his fault again, and discuss it among yourselves," (Matthew 18:16a).

You need two or three in order to avoid that syndrome that often develops when two people argue, and say, "I said to you already this and this.”  The other fellow says, "No you did not say that at all, you said this and this.") But two or three are there as witnesses that what was said was exactly what was said.  This is an attempt to help somebody see what he is doing and if he listens, that is the end of it.  I want to tell you that that kind of thing goes on in this congregation all the time.  I do not think a week goes by but somebody is not doing this among us, and properly so.  No one ever hears about it, but hundreds of cases of incipient immorality have been nipped in the bud, as it were, by Christians who faithfully go to somebody and tell him that what he is doing is wrong. That is the most healthy thing that a church can do, and that Christians can do with one another. It saves scores and scores of cases like this that would come to ultimate heartbreak if they were allowed to proceed. 
But the Lord goes on to step three: He says, "If he refuses to listen to them [the small group that has come to him], then tell it to the church," (Matthew 18:17a RSV).  Then it must become public; the individuals involved must sense the censure of the church, the feeling that this is not acceptable behavior to other Christians.  Now again this is not to be done in the spirit of self-righteous complacency, smugness, or critical judgment or censoriousness, nothing of that.  It is to be done in a loving statement that this is wrong; it is unacceptable behavior; it cannot be allowed to continue even though you understand the pressures and the problems involved in it. Therefore, it is to be told to the whole church and everyone in the church, then, becomes responsible to try to help that individual to recover from this terrible situation. 
Step four is the final one: If he will not hear the church then "Change your attitude toward him," the Lord is saying, "let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector, as a sinner," (Matthew 18:17b).  In other words, let him be unto you as though he is not a Christian at all.  He has declared himself not to be a Christian by his actions -- even though he claims yet to be a Christian by his words.  You are to treat him as one who is not yet a Christian, but that does not mean with scorn, or with judgment, or with any kind of retribution. Recognize that he has deceived himself, and he is not really born again. Understand that he does not know the basis for purity yet and that he needs to be born again. This is what Matthew 18 is saying, and clearly this is a parallel passage to what we have here.” 
In conclusion: In Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Jesus was addressing to scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  Jesus teaches us not to judge on a human level. Don’t be a hypocrite.    “Judge not, that you be not judged,” is not meant to turn a blind eye on homosexuality, abortion, and adultery within the church.  Judge because Jesus expects you to judge, correct, rebuke, restore, and warn all according to God’s words.

Ezekiel 18:5-9 
But if a man is just……………….
And executed true judgment between man and man;
If he has walked in My statutes
And kept My judgments faithfully—
He is just;
He shall surely live!
Says the Lord GOD.”

Prayer: Dear Father, give me the wisdom to judge in a spirit of love according to your righteous judgment and not according to my standard.  In Jesus name, Amen