It is true. Jesus in Matthew 7 tells us that we should not judge, and so that we’re on the same page:
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 used against you.
So, Jesus told us not to judge, but what about Paul who spoke of judging others in 1 Corinthians 5:3, 12?
For though I am absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing… For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
Judging by semantics…
So somebody obviously must be wrong here. Well, it can’t be Jesus- He is God and that would complicate things a bit. And it can’t be Paul- because all Scripture is inspired of God (1 Timothy 3:16). Can it be us? Perhaps, as mentioned above, we have a wrong defintion of the term judge. We see it as something akin to being judgmental meaning attacking people for that which goes against our morals. But that is a nasty preconception of the term. True, that is quite possibly what Jesus meant by the term, and a quick look at the original language shows that both Jesus and Paul are using the same term. But there are a few definitions within that original term, to quote Strong’s:
Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially);
by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think
So, most likely, Jesus means to judge against someone- to condemn them. Of course Jesus would command us to not do that~ He is God, it is His place alone to do so. But Jesus also judged people. In John 2:24 we see that Jesus would not entrust Himself to people. Is this not a judgement on His part? He also (in the text that stirred the debate) is thanked by Paul who said:
I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged (not the same in the greek) me faithful, appointing me to His service…
Even though this word does not have the same original Greek behind it- it carries the connotation of a judgment.
We do this every day!
Whether you think you do or not- you judge others. No I don’t! You say, Don’t judge me! But to quote my brother in Christ:
We are to judge, discerningly by God’s Word, knowing it is only grace that has held us back from such a life of sin or… hyprocricy. For example, when a peadophile asks to watch your kids because you need a sitter, don’t you say no? Then he tells you that Jesus says not to judge…
That could be a problem. We need to judge people according to their past, but not in a condemning sense. Like Jesus did with Paul who admitted to being the worst of sinners, but was judged worthy of service.