Judging

Hey everyone. I was just wondering about the issue of judging. If I understand the Church’s teaching on the issue correctly then basically we are allowed to judge actions but not people. Is that a correct understanding of the Church’s teaching?

Also, what does the Church teach when it comes to judging an organization? Thanks in advance for your help!

Holly, don’t over analyze the word “judging” or “judgment”.

We make judgments all the time, and that is perfectly fine.

What the Church is specifically talking about is judging the state of someone’s soul-- which only God can do.

Yes, you can make a judgment about the rightness or wrongness of an action based on the teaching of the Church. Yes, you can review an organization’s mission, purpose, and actions and draw a conclusion such as that you do not want to support them, that they are not in line with Church teaching, etc.

I think you understood that right, about judging a person as opposed to judging an action.
An action can be immoral. Whether or not a PERSON is “immoral”, if that is at all possible, then only God can really know.

As for organizations… well again, there is a difference in whetehr you see the organization as the people that constitute it and judge THEM as individuals, or whether oyu see the organization as an “action” : It has been founded, maybe for an immoral reason, as for example a pro-choice organization or a terrorist organization, and then that purpose/action of founding and maintaining it can definitely be judged as immoral.

This.

"Here are some excellent scripture verses on judging:

Proverbs 31:9: Open your mouth, judge righteously; maintain the rights of the poor and needy.

Matthew 7:2: For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.

Luke 6:37: "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

(**NOTE—Here we see the link between judging and condemning)

Matthew 18:15: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

(**NOTE – Here is a prime case of Jesus telling us all to admonish the sinner).

Luke 7:40-43: And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

(**NOTE – Here we see the use of the term “judged” in the context of judging someone’s actions, rather than personal condemnation).

Luke 12:57: "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

(**NOTE – Once again, we see the use of the term “judge” in the context of judging actions, not condemning people and passing judgment).

John 7:24: Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

(**NOTE – Here Jesus commands us to judge people’s actions and deeds with “right judgment”.)

Acts 4:19: But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge;

(**NOTE – Another case of judging people’s actions, rather than the person).

1 Corinthians 2:15: The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3: Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!

(**Note – No wonder satan hates Christians so much – we will be judging him one day!)

Hebrews 10:30: For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

(**NOTE – Here we see that the Lord judges people. That in no way precludes us from judging whether or not people’s actions are sinful or not.)

James 4:12: There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?

(**NOTE – James says that we should not judge our neighbor. Once again, this does not stop us from judging whether or not our neighbor’s actions (killing his wife, stealing money, etc.) is sinful. Note how this differs from James 5:20 above, where James talks about bringing a sinner back from the error of his ways (sinfulness))."

catholicbible101.com/judgenot.htm


In every example above, it seems clear what the intent was. Judging as to whether or not we think the action / behavior was correct, NOT whether we should TELL THE PERSON SO IN A CONDEMNING FASHION.

Thank you everyone. I appreciate it!

Here we can also see that “judge” can have many different meanings in English. :slight_smile: I was asking myself whetrher in the original languagethe same word was used in all these examples?? For example the quote from Luke 7-43 - “you have judged rightly”… I wonder what the original word there was, whether it was meant as “judge” as a judge would judge the two people, or more as just “answer the question/guess”?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.