New Ager: We should not judge.
QUESTION: Why do you say that?
ANSWER: Well for one thing Jesus told us not to.
QUESTION: Are you sure about that?
ANSWER: Yes, I remember clearly that he said to "judge not."
QUESTION: But do you remember the rest of the verse?
ANSWER: I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Let's look it up. Here read Luke 6:37-38.
ANSWER: "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
QUESTION: What will happen if we do not judge?
ANSWER: It says we will not be judged.
QUESTION: Is that a good thing?
ANSWER: Of course.
QUESTION: Do you not want to be judged then?
ANSWER: No. I do not.
QUESTION: If, in my judgment, I deem you to be an intelligent person will this offend you then?
QUESTION: If your wife makes the judgment that you are a good enough person to stay with for the rest of her life will she be condemned?
ANSWER: I don't suppose so.
QUESTION: If I make a judgment that you and your wife are an interesting couple and invite you over for a barbecue will you be offended?
ANSWER: Of course not.
QUESTION: But I just gave you three judgments and you think they are all OK. Do you really think that Jesus was teaching that all judgments are bad?
ANSWER: I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Let us examine the scripture a little closer. Read the two statements after the comment on judgment.
ANSWER: "Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."
QUESTION: He tells us to condemn not or we will be condemned. Have you noticed that many judgments people make are of a condemning nature?
QUESTION: I think you would agree then that we should avoid a judgment which condemns others--agreed?
ANSWER: I am with you on that one.
QUESTION: Whereas condemnation is a negative act He also mentions a positive act. What is that?
ANSWER: He says that if we forgive we shall be forgiven.
QUESTION: So, if I make a judgment to forgive you for that five bucks you owe me that would be a good thing?
ANSWER: Oh, I forgot all about that. Yes, that would be a good thing.
QUESTION: So could we say then that a condemning judgment is something we should avoid, but a forgiving one or a tolerant judgment could be a good thing?
ANSWER: Putting it that way I would have to agree.
QUESTION: Now read again the last line of the quote.
ANSWER: "For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
QUESTION: So if we give out a good judgment what will come back to us?
ANSWER: I suppose we will be judged positively.
QUESTION: For instance, have you noticed that those who say good things about others have good things said about them?
ANSWER: Generally, yes.
QUESTION: And those with a bad attitude and condemn others are also judged harshly in return are they not?
QUESTION: So could we agree then that there are two types of judgments--one a condemning negative judgment and the other a positive, forgiving, benefit-of-the-doubt type of judgment?
ANSWER: It seems so.
QUESTION: This becomes obvious as you read on in the scripture. Read verse 39.
ANSWER: "Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?"
QUESTION: Why does he begin talking about spiritual blindness right after discussing judgment?
ANSWER: I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Could it be that bad judgment is caused by blindness?
ANSWER: That's possible.
QUESTION: Now read verses 41-42.
ANSWER: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye."
QUESTION: So what causes the one with condemning judgment to be blind and not see correctly here?
ANSWER: He's trying to correct his brother when his own problems are much greater.
QUESTION: Yes, but then Jesus gives us a key to making good judgments. What is that?
ANSWER: Take the beam out of our own eye so we can see the sliver in the eye of the other person.
QUESTION: If a person had a beam in his own eyes he would definitely be blinded would he not?
ANSWER: I would think so.
QUESTION: Now look at the last line of the scripture. What will we be able to do if we remove the beam from our own eyes so we can see clearly?
ANSWER: It says that we will then be able to see clearly to correct our brother.
QUESTION: So if we are not blinded by our own faults we can then "see clearly" as the scripture says. If we can see clearly then does it make sense that we can make good judgments?
ANSWER: I suppose.
QUESTION: So could we conclude that there are two types of judgments? One with clear vision, a forgiving attitude and helpful; and the other with blindness, a condemning attitude and no spirit of forgiveness. The first type of judgment is to be embraced, but the second is to be avoided.
ANSWER: I could go along with that.
QUESTION: You're being cooperative today.
ANSWER: I'm just hoping you'll forget about that five dollars.
Copyright 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved