Still More On “Do Not Judge”

Q. You have said that “do not judge” is a blanket statement and therefore does not pertain to hypocritical judgment only. I recently read an article about members of a “prayer group” who sexually assaulted and then murdered the wife of the group’s leader with his permission. I cannot believe that Jesus would have us not render any judgment about the people who did these things. I cannot see how you would need to pluck something out of your own eye first before rebuking them.

A. The idea is not just to avoid judging others for committing sins we have committed but to avoid judging them for committing sins we could commit. How are we to know that under the same conditions others have experienced we would not behave the same way they did? Surely you have heard the saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

And have you read the Lord’s comment that feeling anger toward a brother makes us just as guilty as a murderer? (Matt. 5:21-22) And looking at a woman with lust in our heart makes us an adulterer? (Matt. 5:27-28) When we think we’re somehow better than someone else because we haven’t done what they’ve done we’ve forgotten that it’s only true by the grace of God. Rather than condemn the guilty parties we should thank the Lord for keeping us from such an experience, because under the right circumstances we could be where they are, wondering how it came to this.

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