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The Most Misunderstood Passage In The Bible: "Do Not Judge"
By: Pastor Bill Nesbitt
Friday, July 20, 2018 - 10:41 AM

Someone asked me if I knew why his pastor left his church?  I said I didn’t know.  A few weeks later he said he heard that his pastor had a couple of girlfriends on the side.   I said that I was sorry and always hated to see a pastor disqualified.   This fellow said, “But it is like my mother says, ‘Do not judge.’”


Is his mother correct?   Matt. 7:1 says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”  On the TV show “The View”, that is Whoopi and Joy’s favorite saying.  They believe you can’t judge the gay lifestyle or a couple living together.   The world takes “do not judge” as a blanket statement.  Judge no one for any reason!    But that is not what God means in this verse.   Here is the meaning in its context:



  1. Do not be critical and self-righteous. Your righteousness must be greater than the Pharisees if you want to go to heaven.  The Jewish leaders did not have a genuine relationship with God, so their righteousness fell short of saving faith.  But they believed they were righteous and had the right to judge others, based on their own legalistic and superficial understanding of the Word of God.


Jesus is not saying no to all judgments but no to sinful, self-righteous judgments.  For example, “That person is not like me, so they can’t be as holy.”   “They drink beer so they can’t be a Christian.”  “They have a tattoo so they must be loose and ungodly.”



  1. Do not ignore your own sin.  This critic in Matt. 7 fails to examine himself.  He is inconsistent in his judgments.  Matt. 7:4 says, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ but you do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”   Christ, of course, is not interested with literal objects in someone’s eye but moral failures.   How often do we criticize others when we have far more serious shortcomings in our own lives?


 This sinful judge will criticize someone for missing church while they themselves are the biggest gossip in the church.  Deal with your own sin first!



  1. So, is it ever right to judge? John 7:24 says, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”   Do not decide that someone is not as holy as you because they have a tattoo or smoke cigarettes.  One pastor I knew told me a girl wearing a Budweiser t-shirt said to him, “I am a Christian just like you.”   He said, “Young lady you don’t know the same Jesus I know.”  How unfortunate!   Very likely she did know the same Jesus, but while she could have made a better wardrobe choice, he had no right to judge her heart because her shirt advertised a popular beer. 


 But you can judge according to Biblical truth.   Pride is a sin.  Lying is a sin.  If you are a pastor and you have two girlfriends and a wife that is sin.  It is appropriate to confront all of these sins in gentleness and seek to have these individuals confess and repent. 


 Finally, in the future when you say that homosexuality is a sin and someone responds with, “Do not judge”, you can rightly say that is not what that passage means.  Did you hear that Whoopi?


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