Summary: It is good for Christians to judge--the right way. The modern understanding of "do not judge" is merely relativism. If there are no rights or wrongs, naturally one cannot judge. But there are rights and wrongs, and there is a right and wrong way to judg
Judging the Right Way: Every Christian’s Calling
Note: If you are interested in more information about interpreting the Sermon on the Mount, please consider my book, "The Midrash Key" (by Ed Vasicek) available through Amazon.com
--Review Persons of Trinity, Golden Rule, and Lord’s Prayer
1. The first line of defense used by Christians who have chosen a sinful lifestyle is that others should not judge them.
2. Most Christians are familiar with a partial quotation of Jesus words, "Do not judge or you too will be judged."
3. As a result, many Christians are quiet when they should speak up, shy when they should be bold, undiscerning when they should be sensible.
4. But what did Christ REALLY teach? Does a partial quotation accurately reflect Christ’s instruction about passing judgments? I say, "no." But that’s a judgment. Disagree with me? That’s a judgment too!
5. You can see that an attitude that says, "I should not judge, condemn, label, or discern" leads to a pathway of chosen ignorance, indecision, and general mindlessness. So the matter is a CRUCIAL one.
MAIN THOUGHT: There is a time for Christians to judge and a time to refrain from judging, and Christ expects us to get it right!
TS-----> But He doesn’t leave us in the dark: he offers us three directives for Good Judgment.
I. Judgment Should Be Fair (1-2)
1. The text in the Law He is addressing is probably Lev. 19:15
2. He is telling us to judge by a single standard, the same standard we would feel comfortable with (an extension of the Golden Rule)
(1) all of us will be judged by God’s standards no matter what
(2) but some people have standards much higher than God’s....e.g., Pharisees---Jesus a winebibber, hands
(3) some judge by how we attractive we are, wealthy, vocation, status....
3. John 7:24
4. The Book of James, in many ways, parallels the Sermon on the Mount....James 5:9
---we should be HESITANT about judging, thinking things through before we commit to it...
----Christ here is discussing an attitude: do we judge because we have a judgemental disposition or because we knew we must----
5. Paul applies this principle to unimportant judging....Rom. 14:1,5, 10
--we do not have to have opinions about everything--
6. Yet Paul urges the church to judge matters: I Cor. 6:1-4
7. Indeed, if we did not discern/judge, how could we ever put Matt. 18:15-17 to work?
Application: Christ is very pro-judgement, if the judging is fair and addresses the REAL issues and not trivial pursuit
II. Become Postured So That You May Properly Judge (3-5)
1. It’s hard to take advice from those whose lives contradict their expertise
(1) e.g., Dr. Spock’s
(2) in the Kingdom of God, WE ourselves are the commercials; our lives speak louder than our words
2. Unfortunately, many people who have firm views on everything have failed in the school of life
3. Note here that Christ WANTS US to take the speck out of our brother’s eye---but only AFTER we have removed the plank from ours!
III. Put Judgment To Work By Properly Discriminating Between People (6)
1. Discrimination is NOT always wrong...
(1) baby sitter--don’t you want someone dependable? criminal, druggie?
surgery by Jethro Bodine or a qualified suregeon?
(2) what is wrong is discrimination on an improper basis: James--wealth, status, accent
2. Jesus wants us to discriminate between those who are hungry for the Word of God and those who are not...the pearls are gems of truth.....
(1) it is important to invest your time and efforts with those who are open, receptive, growing
(2) to make that decision, you have to separate the swine from the sheep, the dogs from the lambs...
3. Now in God’s kingdom, swine can turn into sheep...
MOST of us were swine at one time...I was...
1. The Kingdom of God is helped or hindered by poor or strong decisions.
2. So we need to know WHEN to judge, when something really doesn’t matter and when it does.
3. And then we must judge fairly, with discernment and