, , , , , ,

BY SHANE IDLEMAN from the Christian Post

News reports are featuring famous athletes, actors, and pop-stars being asked about abortion and gay-marriage. Often, they criticize Christians: “Doesn’t the Bible say ‘judge not’; who are you to tell people what they can, and cannot do?”

Unfortunately, misrepresentation of this Scripture is common among the media and other groups who often misquote Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Ironically, few reference another scripture that also deals with judging, John 7:24. Here Jesus encourages His followers to “judge with righteous judgment.”

At first, these two scriptures may seem contradictory, but when we look at the context and the true meaning of “judge,” we clearly see that there is no contradiction. This misrepresentation of “judging” is an attempt to conform scripture to support opinions, when, in fact, moral values are designed to conform to scriptural truths. Personal opinions vary — truth does not.

We tend to pick and choose certain Scriptures as if they were choices on a menu. But we can’t choose those we like and discard the rest. I liken it to someone skimming through the pages of my first book, What Works When “Diets” Don’t, and reading: “Eat whatever foods you choose.” In its entirety, it actually reads, “If you follow these guidelines, stay within these ranges, and avoid these foods, you can eat whatever foods you choose.” Reading and following fragments of information can be misleading. If we apply only what we choose, we can easily miss what we need.

Judging within the context of Matthew 7:1 refers to the type of judgment that a judge would render in a court of law, such as in Romans 14:4, “Who are you to judge another’s servant?” A judge hears the evidence and pronounces a judgment. We are in no position to do this — we don’t have all the facts. God tells us to leave justice to Him because He is the judge.

In John 7:24, however, Christians are to judge or “call into question” those things that clearly contradict God’s principles. In 1 Corinthians 2:15, the apostle Paul said that those who are spiritual should judge and discern all things.  Read more of this article at the Christian Post