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To Judge or not to Judge, What is a Christian to Do

Updated on August 27, 2013

To Judge or Not to Judge, What is a Christian to Do?

This has to be one of if not the most misunderstood aspects of Christianity. It is one of the most misunderstood, mistaught and misapplied subjects in all of Christianity. It is a difficult subject to present as there is much to be explained to properly understand it. But we must have a clear scriptural understanding of this so important subject. I will endeavor to do this with this study..

First, think about this.

There is virtually nothing that we do in life on this earth that does not include a measure of judging on our part.

Some examples of proper judging of things and people.

If I offer to give you a ride in my car you judge me before you accept. You must decide if my car is safe and if I am a safe enough driver to get you to where you are going.

If I offer you food, you judge, is my preparation ability such that the food is safe to eat.

Before you cross the street, you look and decide (judge) whether or not it is safe to cross.

If your child wants to spend the night with my child at my home you judge, is my home safe, is it the kind of environment that you want your child subjected to, Will the food be safe, etc.

So to say God does not want us to judge is foolish. He requires it of us. Without judging we would probably not live very long.

Now , this does not mean you have to sit down and check each detail, but it does mean you make a conscious decision. For example if a drunk person you knew well offered you a ride , you would decide it was not safe and say no. You have judged his ability to safely transport you and decided it was not.

Since we are new testament Christians and not hebrews we will be using the new testament scriptures taken in proper context to establish our study.

Study notes

One of the reasons I dislike and completely ignore headings printed in most bibles (and actually blank them out) is because they are usually incorrect. Another reason is because if people read them they may color their understanding of the subject and cause them to misunderstand what is being said instead of hearing the Holy Spirit to properly understand the scripture they are studying. These days it is very difficult to find any version of the bible without them. They are being used to lead people in the understanding that the interpretors have of that scripture.

A good example is one of the main scriptures pertaining to understanding of judging in the new testament church is usually found in the bible under the heading "Do Not Judge" which is not really what that scripture is saying but colors how most people reading it understand that scripture. Here is an example printed from one of my bibles.

" Do Not Judge

(Luke 6:37-42)

Matt 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. NKJV"

One other very important thing we must understand. Especially if english is our language. Most other languages have many more and more accurate words to explain things than does english. Tense, sex and etc are conveyed many times in the word used and not always transferred accurately into english. Because of this it is not possible to properly understand translated scripture without looking to the original word used. I recommend using the Interlinear bible because it gives a direct translation , word for word and also the strongs number so you can look up the original word and definition in one easy step. Of course you may even do a more in depth study .

There are Many Types of Judging

As shown above there is a judging to determine our safety, personal protection. Which is an everday occurance that we do without much effort.

Then there is the judging that we are required to do if we are part of a jury deciding the fate of another. Which we seldom if ever do.

Then there is judging to determine the value of an item. Which we do routinely. We determine that an item has value to us for which we are willing to pay the price.

Then there is judging to determine what is meant by what has been or is being said.

And there are many more

So we see that We have NO choice, we must make judgements every day as we go through life here on earth. SO we can see the blanket statement that many make that we are not to judge is absolutely wrong and is impossible to follow.

Now then we must look to scripture to see what it actually says about judging and judgement. As Christian we know that we should never judge in a manner not supported by scripture. As a Christian we also should know and understand that everything we do (with rare exceptions) should aim for redemption and not to condemnation. In His own words Jesus said

John 3:17-21 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

Armed with these understandings we can now look into the subject of judging and judgement.

First we must understand there are different Greek words for Judge, judging etc and we must understand which word is used and it's meaning in the scripture we are studying.

The Greek words, their Strongs numbers and uses are.


A. Nouns.

1.) NT:2923 krites (kree-tace'); from NT:2919; a judge (genitive case or specially):

2.) NT:1348 dikastes (dik-as-tace'); from a derivative of NT:1349; a judger:

This is usually translated as “judge”

B. Verbs.

1.) NT:2919 krino (kree'-no); properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:

This is usually translated as ; - avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

2.) NT:350 anakrino (an-ak-ree'-no); from NT:303 and NT:2919; properly, to scrutinize, i.e. (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine:

This is usually translated as; ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

3.) NT:1252 diakrino (dee-ak-ree'-no); from NT:1223 and NT:2919; to separate thoroughly, i.e. (literally and reflexively) to withdraw from, or (by implication) oppose; figuratively, to discriminate (by implication, decide), or (reflexively) hesitate:

This is usually translated as ; - contend, make (to) differ (-ence), discern, doubt, judge, be partial, stagger, waver.

Vines has a more comprehensive description of these words then Strong and it is always good to use more than one reference .

There are a few other similar words that mean to try, test, prove , judge etc for things such as metals etc.

This study will not be completed here at this time. I believe this is so important that you MUST study it out for yourself. I have given you the means to begin and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. But you need to really do the study yourself to fully understand this MOST important subject that is taught wrong more times than not.


God expects us to judge all things. He expects us to use righteous judgement. Except in rare cases we are to judge to redemption not condemnation. Judging is a necessary and daily part of life on earth. Judging is not a bad thing, it is required but must be done according to scripture.

And remember-- do not believe anything I or anyone else want to teach you until you have studied it for yourself with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and are convinced you have the TRUTH of the scripture on the matter.

The teacher will be judged by God for what he teaches but YOU and ONLY YOU will be judged for what you believe.

8/2013 copyright Charles LaFoe

may be freely used in it entirety only with credit given, cannot be sold or used as a part of any item to be sold.

copyright 8/2013 free to use without changes


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  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 23 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

    well peach-- you thought wrong. Scripture tells us TO judge, but with righteous (Spiritual) judgement. we are required to judge the FRUIT of those professing Christianity. We are NOT to judge those not professing Christianity, that belongs to God alone.

    what anyone thinks (including me) means NOTHING, has no eternal value. . what counts is WHAT GOD says.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

    i thought that we aren't suppose to judge other

  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

    P&N== I fully agree I have had the same experiences.

  • PlanksandNails profile image

    PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

    The religious hypocrites always throw the, "Judge not, that you be not judged" and "Let him that is without sin among you first cast the stone"

    when confronted on their sinful behaviors.

    I will often tell them that it is true that the Bible says that we are not to judge, but the whole truth is that the Bible tells us what we can and cannot judge.

    When they call you judgmental, it is because they don’t like being exposed for their sinful behavior. By calling you judgmental, they are exposing their own hypocrisy by judging you as being judgmental with an unrepentant attitude.

    Unfortunately, this pretty much sums up most of those who are in the modern "church" system and the shallow depth of their understanding of God's Word.

    I have had to confront an unrepentant fornicator who professed to be Christian. Those in the modern "church" tried to cover for this person by saying that I wasn't showing God's grace and love towards by confronting him. They even demanded a public apology because a "church" leader was trying to cover his ass after he had given a personal reference knowing this person was living a sinful lifestyle; he got caught while involved in ministry. There was no public apology due to the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    It was my duty to expose their lies and judge them for their behavior. The sick thing is that both the leader, who remains in "ministry," and the one exposed for fornication are still unrepentant and believe their own lies that justify their behaviors. This is an example of the state of most those who are in the modern "church." When someone keeps denying Biblical truth when it is right in their face, over and over, God gives them over to a reprobate mind.

  • BlossomSB profile image

    Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

    An interesting article. You have done a lot of research for this and it shows. Well done.

  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

    MM-- Thank you brother. we just have to read and understand the scripture as you are well aware. Nothing else really is important

  • Michael-Milec profile image

    Michael-Milec 4 years ago

    Hello celafoe.

    Up, useful and beautiful. What else to say. You have done such a through presentation, that a righteous one understands - judging yes for your own safety.

    May the good Lord bless , protect and prosper you always.

  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

    thanks brother. as usual you are correct. Of course you and most people that read what I write understand that I lay the blame for ALL the false teachings on the hirelings of the "modern church system". If they taught the truth they would expose themselves as "liars and the truth is not in them".

    Somehow we have to get through to those Christians that are drinking the kool aid of the "church system" and make them understand the necessity of studying the scriptures for themselves and confronting the errors in the "churches". Being this is contrary to what is being taught (believe what I teach and do not dissent ) it is hard for many to do. It is the best way for them to see the apostasy of the system by getting kicked out of it by desiring truth..

  • profile image

    graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

    celafoe- I believe you have this judge, judging and judgement explained very well. Judging is a part of life and something we can not live without. In what ever we judge it is most important that it be fair and we are not hypocrites about it. And it clearly explain this when you quoted Matt, 7:1-5.

    As you explained so well there are many people who do misquote this or these verses. Mainly bacause they read only the first or first and second verses and then stop. At which point they believe one can not judge. The don't bother to read the rest of the three or four verses that going along with it. I believe this is the difference between those who just read the bible and those who really STUDY the bible.

    But much of the blame should also go to those who stand at the pulpit who are teaching those sitting in pews. Much of the false teaching on the subject of judging and judgement come from those who call themselves clergy.

    I have enjoyed the Hub very much celafoe . It's the first Hub on this subject that clearly explains judging in detail. Voted up and awesome.