Should Christians "judge" others? You betcha!
by Marsha West
One of the biggest problems in the Church is that some Christians are way too trusting. Jesus warned, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening olves." (Mat 7:15). Far too many of the sheep do not heed our Lord's words. Even when believers are cautioned about certain false teachers, they blow off the warning and blindly follow these wolves.
You've probably heard this many times: "The Bible says not to judge." What the Bible actually says is that we're not to judge a person's heart or motives. "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things," says Paul, "yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1Cor 2:15-16). According to Paul true followers of Jesus are of the same mind.
When you have the mind of Christ you have spiritual discernment. Christians (who are walking with Christ) have the authority to judge people's words and actions. How do you know if someone is a false teacher? Go to the scriptures! In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
No doubt some Christians will continue to complain that "judging" is unbiblical and play the Mat. 7:1-3 card: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" What they fail to understand is that the Spirit of God abides in regenerate Christians.
Hence we have the mind of Christ! As for the unbeliever, Scripture clearly teaches that the natural man [unregenerate] "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:14). So the unregenerate person does not — cannot — understand the things of God. Amazingly, a growing number of self-professed Christians think the things of God are foolishness.
Today many Christians are attending churches where their pastors teach outright heresy! They just assume they're being taught the truth. Unfortunately that's not always the case. Granted, there are a lot of ministers who preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Still, there are a growing number of false teachers who can charm an Eskimo into buying a beach umbrella.
The good news is that believers who read and study the Bible are not easily taken in by apostates. But even mature believers can have the wool pulled over their eyes if they stop being Bereans. It was for this very reason that John penned this warning: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Christians who have the good fortune to own a Bible must gain a thorough understanding of what God says in His Word. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). Those who truly desire a Christian worldview will look to the Bible for wisdom and guidance.
© Marsha West