1 Cor 2:15 He that is spiritual judges all things.
I was in a Christian bookshop recently in Tennessee and the owner introduced himself and asked if I liked his shop. I pointed to a large section labelled ‘The Emerging Church’ and said I did not like that section at all because the teaching there was leading people into Catholic idolatry. The man’s demeanor changed from being friendly to being slightly hostile. He said I should not be judging, or I would be judged. This scripture from Matthew 7 is often used to shut people up and to stop them examining false teaching.
Thanks to the teaching our church in England has had from Jacob Prasch, I was able to refute the shop owner. I told him there was only one word for judging in English, but there are at least five words for judging in Greek. The scripture from Matthew 7 means we are not to judge hypocritically, but the other types of judging – discerning, deciding, analysing, critically examining – we are commanded to do. The shop owner, like most Christians, was totally ignorant of this fact. Dear friends, it is time we took this aboard. Learn this about judging. If necessary, print this out or make some notes from it and carry them in your wallet, so the next time someone tries to shut you up, you can stand up to them. You need to ‘gird up the loins of your mind’ as Peter said (1 Peter 1:13), and not only know the truth yourself, but be able to contend for it, as Jude exhorts us (Jude 1:3).
In Greek (the New Testament was written in Greek) the root word for judging is ‘krino’ and there are three variations on this which we are commanded to do. These are:
Anakrino - to discern
Diakrino - to decide on a matter
Kritikos - to critically examine and analyse
The types of judging we are forbidden to do are:
Hupo-crites – judging hypocritically
Krisis – deciding who goes to heaven and who goes to hell
Unfortunately our English Bible translations are not as precise as the original Greek scriptures. Christians must get clued up on this. From now on, never let anyone quote ‘Judge not, or you will be judged’ at you to stop you thinking, analysing and discerning what is true. That scripture, wrenched out of context, has stopped God’s people from using the brains He gave us. It is time we grew up.
For Jacob’s sermon ‘Judge Not?’ go to his website www.moriel.org and click on sermons, and look down the list. He says: ‘There is a big difference between judging a person and judging their actions, doctrine and practice. If you see a practice that is wrong and do not stand against it, the Bible says you are arrogant.
To discern (ana-krino) is not a privilege – it is a command.
To decide (dia krino) is a command
To review critically (kritikos) is a command.
‘If you do not judge actions, practices, doctrines – you are in rebellion and you are going to be deceived. Deception in the churches is one of the chief marks that we are indeed in the last days.’
Here are some relevant scriptures.
• “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 This is Jesus Himself speaking.
• For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed. 1Cor 5:3
• “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.” 1 Cor 10:15
• ‘Let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgement (diakrino).’ 1 Cor 14:29
The Greek word “krites” (cry – teas) is a judge, magistrate, the root of our word hypocrite (hypo – krites). If we judge someone else for a sin of which we ourselves are guilty, God will judge us. Jesus was hard on hypocrites, kind to sinners. Do not judge someone for what you are doing. Other Greek words:
Gnome (pronounced no- may) – opinion. We do not judge on the basis of our opinions, but on scripture, God’s opinions.
Di Kaioma – judgement, opinion, a judicial opinion
Krina – eternal judgement, heaven or hell; only Christ can judge in this fashion.
Krises – dispensing justice, sentencing; only for Christ.