Well – we are constantly told the answer is no by non-Christians and Christians alike… but what does the Bible say? It’s clear. We are to judge but to judge righteously and JUSTLY! The word ‘justly’ being all important, and of course to get this right is far more difficult than it sounds relying on our own understanding and clouded by our own sin.
We should never judge a book by it’s cover, but what if we need to make an educated judgement about what kind of person someone is by assessing their deeds, actions and the words they speak (for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh) for ours and others protection, it must be done in complete humility, submission and by calling upon God’s Holy Spirit for guidance.
However if we are asking the question; “should Christians judge a person’s eternal salvation?” – common sense says the answer has to be no way! That and that alone is up to God. So this kind of judgement I believe, is what The Bible is talking about when it says; “judge not, lest you be judged.” There is no contradiction, as always it’s about context. And if in one place the Bible tells us to judge righteously – and in another it says judge not – we must find the context and read all around these two statements since both are the inspired word of God and both must be correct in their proper context.
In The Bible it appears that it’s OK to make judgements on a person’s actions righteously – but NOT their heart or eternal salvation
As always – I could be wrong but this is certainly my understanding of the ‘to judge or not to judge’ issue. The fact is – we all make small judgments all day long about people’s behaviour according to what we hear and see them doing – in fact it’s unavoidable and part of life. So when The Bible says ‘judge not’ I surely it has to be talking about not judging someone’s heart, motives or place in heaven. In any case – there by the grace of God go I.