speaking evil of a christian brother
prsented by steven schiller
Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
Are you without sin? There is one Judge
A favorite saying of many people is "Judge not, that you be not judged"...
Frequently quoted whenever someone is pointing out the sins or faults of another
The impression is that we should never make moral judgments in what we see in others
Is that true? Is that what Jesus meant when He said this?
Are we never to make moral judgments about the right or wrong in other?
If we see wrong in others, can we never point it out?
I am persuaded that Jesus' statement is often misused, that Jesus taught...
There are times when we must judge
There are times when it is appropriate to point out the faults in others
["To Judge Or Not To Judge", that is the question before us. The proper answer comes from a closer look at Jesus' words in Mt 7:1-6. First note how His words are frequently misused...]
HIS WORDS OFTEN USED TO FORBID "ALL" MANNER OF JUDGMENT
SUCH AS ADVERSE OR UNFAVORABLE CRITICISM...
Like pointing out a fault in someone else
Even if it be truly "constructive" criticism
SUCH AS THE EXERCISE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE...
Exercising discipline of any sort does require "judging" others as to their moral or spiritual condition
Since such "judgment" is involved, some feel verses 1-2 rule out any sort of church discipline
SUCH AS EXPOSING THOSE WHO TEACH ERROR...
Admittedly, it requires making a judgment in order to consider whether someone is teaching error
Therefore, some people, in light of verses 1-2, believe we cannot speak out against those who teach error
[Is that what Jesus means? Must we remain silent when we see people overtaken in a fault, bringing reproach upon the name of Christ, or blatantly teaching error? Let me suggest that...]
JESUS DID NOT RULE OUT "ALL" FORMS OF JUDGMENT
NOTE THE "IMMEDIATE" CONTEXT...
Which reveals that in some cases "proper" judgment must be made
Mt 7:6 implies judgment is to be made as to who are "dogs" and who are "hogs"
Otherwise, how can we know when not to give that which is holy to "dogs"?
Or how can we know when not to cast our pearls before "swine"?
Mt 7:15-20 implies that we must make judgments in determining who is a false teacher ("by their fruits you will know them")
CONSIDER THE "REMOTE" CONTEXT...
Which speak of times when judgment must be made!
Elsewhere, Jesus taught people to "judge with righteous judgment" - Jn 7:24
We are taught by the apostle of love (John) to "test the spirits" (which requires making judgments) - 1Jn 4:1
[There is no contradiction here, for as we continue with our text, we notice that...]
JESUS DEFINED WHAT "KIND" OF JUDGING HE IS CONDEMNING
JUDGING WHEN ONE IS BLIND TO HIS OR HER OWN FAULTS...
Jesus is saying "that is it wrong for anyone to concentrate his attention on the speck in his brother's eye, and while thus occupied, to ignore the beam in his own eye" (Hendriksen)
Just Paul taught the necessity of proper "introspection" when helping others - Ga 6:1
JUDGING WITHOUT MERCY AND LOVE...
"The Lord is here condemning the spirit of censoriousness, judging harshly, self-righteously, without mercy, without love, as also the parallel passage (Lk 6:36-37) clearly indicates." (Hendriksen)
James warned against making judgments without mercy - Jm 2:13
If we make judgments without showing mercy, then no mercy will be shown when we are judged!
Just as Jesus said in verse 2...
"For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged"
"With the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you"
[The implication is not we should never judge, but when we do judge, remember that we shall be judged by the same standards we use! Let mercy and love temper our judgments. Finally...]
JESUS IMPLIES THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE "MUST" MAKE JUDGMENTS!
IT IS "AFTER" WE HAVE CORRECTED OUR OWN FAULTS...
First, we must remove the "beam" from our own eye - Mt 7:5
When we have done so, we are able to see, discern (judge), and be of help to others who are overtaken in their faults
Indeed, "the law of Christ" requires us to! - cf. Ga 6:1-2
AGAIN, WE MUST JUDGE BETWEEN THOSE "WORTHY" AND THOSE WHO ARE "HOGS & DOGS"...
Note carefully Jesus' words in Mt 7:6
Some are not worthy of that which "holy"
Some are like "dogs" and "swine"
-- Determining who is which requires "judgment" upon our part!
But for those who are not, we are not to waste what is good and holy on them!
The kind of judging forbidden by Jesus is that which LENSKI calls:
"self-righteous, hypocritical judging which is false and calls down God's judgment on itself."
This is the kind of judging that was also condemned by James when he wrote:
"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge."
"There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (Jm 4:11-12)
May God help us to refrain from such judging...
To be more apt to remove the "beams" from our own eyes
To then be more useful in helping others with their problems
But to say we should never judge, is to abuse what Jesus teaches, not only in this passage but elsewhere as well!
1Co 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.