Judge Not

by Rocky Hulse

February 28th, 2010

A common tactic used by Mormons when their doctrines are being challenged is the complete misuse of Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

What is the context of Matthew 7:1?

  1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
  2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
  3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
  4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
  5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

These scriptures, verses 1-5, when taken in context, do not say not to judge; what they do say is not to judge hypocritically.

Those who say that we are not to judge are at odds with God’s Word, the Bible. Jesus himself said:
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24

“Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.  And he [Jesus] said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.” Luke 7:43

“Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? Luke 12:57

The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians:

“I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.” I Cor 10:15 Paul, is telling these people not to simply believe what he says, he is telling them to “judge” what he is saying.

Reinforcing this idea, Paul said in the 2nd Chapter of Corinthians: “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,… I Cor 2:15

We are commanded by Jesus in Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets which come unto you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” How can we obey this command if we do not judge what is being said? What is the standard that we hold all things to: God’s known word, the Bible.

The Apostle Paul told believers to “mark” those who would cause divisions and promote false doctrine, and to avoid them. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans16:17-18. How could the Romans do this if they did not “judge” what was being said?

Continuing this idea by Paul, he wrote in I Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” How can this command by Paul be followed if the Thessalonians didn’t judge what was being said?

The Apostle John gives a solid admonition in I John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” The word “try” here is dokimazo, which means to “test, discern, and examine.” Those are all action words. You cannot “try” the spirits without “judging” what they say. This exact concept is warned about in John’s second epistle: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” 2 John 7

Only those who do not know, or choose to ignore, God’s Word, would try and promote the idea that it is somehow wrong to “judge” what is being said and passed off as God’s word. We should not judge to be mean or cruel; however, failing to judge what is being said is God’s word is disregarding the very command of God’s Word.