"What Judge Not Really Means" (an explanation from a Catholic site)


#1

marysaggies.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-judge-not-really-means.html


#2

We may not judge motives, intentions, and guilt before God but we are commanded by Christ Himself to judge actions, speech, writing against truth and in this way we can help others by offering truth.

The rule from Christ is:
“Judge not that you be not judged.” (Mt 7:1)

“Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.” (Jn 7:24).

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them” (Mt 7:15, 16).

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt 7:19-20).

St Paul adds:
“Test everything: retain what is good.” (1Thess 5:21).

“The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgement by anyone.” (1 Cor 2:15).

“I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgement on the one who has committed this deed…” (1 Cor 5:3; read 1-13).

“I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying.” (1 Cor 10:15).

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 Jn 4:1).

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16).


#3

How does God want/wish someone to be cold? What does that even mean in that context?


#4

Robertanthony #3
Abu quote
“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16).

How does God want/wish someone to be cold? What does that even mean in that context?

A halfhearted commitment to the Faith is nauseating to Christ – “not lagging in diligence, fervent is spirit, serving the Lord.” [Rom 12:11].

The image is that of a beverage that should be hot or cold.


#5

I think it is counter productive and too easy a way to slide into hypocrisy when we feel God empowered to judge others. Let us not forget Jesus’s words about specks in our brother’s eye and beams in ours. We must also be careful not to engage in sola scriptura thinking. Catholics do not read the bible and interpret it as we see fit, we are guided by the magisterium of the church. What we may do in certain circumstances is admonish sinners, one of the seven spiritual works of mercy. But even here we must be careful.

Q. 814. When are we bound to admonish the sinner?

A. We are bound to admonish the sinner when the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. When his fault is a mortal sin;
  2. When we have authority or influence over him, and
  3. When there is reason to believe that our warning will not make him worse instead of better.

baltimore-catechism.com/lesson19.htm


#6

Nice summary concerning the “judge not” issue Abu (on post number 2).


#7

Oddly, what he seems to be saying is that he wants people to be either full of zeal or completely indifferent (my take on “cold”). The blame here is for being neither. Why use the drink metaphor if “cold” refers to nothing? He should have just cut to the chase and say that he abhors lack of zeal and complacency.


#8

Robertanthony #7
He should have just cut to the chase and say that he abhors lack of zeal and complacency.

Such a confused and simplistic approach to the Apocalypse/Revelation fails to appreciate that St John’s treatise “abounds in unfamiliar and extravagant symbolism…contains an account of visions in symbolic and allegorical language borrowed extensively from the Old Testament.”
[From the I*ntroduction of *The New American Bible *1989-1990 Edition, p 1228].


#9

Here is the explanation Aquinas gives (ST II-II 60,2 - Judgment):- Judgment is lawful in so far as it is an act of justice. Now it follows from what has been stated above (1, ad 1,3) that three conditions are requisite for a judgment to be an act of justice: first, that it proceed from the inclination of justice; secondly, that it come from one who is in authority; thirdly, that it be pronounced according to the right ruling of prudence. If any one of these be lacking, the judgment will be faulty and unlawful. First, when it is contrary to the rectitude of justice, and then it is called “perverted” or “unjust”: secondly, when a man judges about matters wherein he has no authority, and this is called judgment “by usurpation”: thirdly, when the reason lacks certainty, as when a man, without any solid motive, forms a judgment on some doubtful or hidden matter, and then it is called judgment by “suspicion” or “rash” judgment.
- (2 ad 1) Thou shalt not judge. (Mt 7:1) In these words our Lord forbids rash judgment which is about the inward intention, or other uncertain things, as Augustine states. Or else He forbids judgment about Divine things, which we ought not to judge, but simply believe, since they are above us, as Hilary declares in his commentary on Mt. 5. Or again according to Chrysostom, He forbids the judgment which proceeds not from benevolence but from bitterness of heart.
Ender*
*


#10

Some catechetical insights too . . .

THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
Warn (Admonish) the sinner.
Instruct the ignorant (people who just don’t know any better).
Counsel the doubtful.
Comfort the sorrowing.
Bear wrongs patiently.
Pardon all injury.
Pray for the living and the dead.

THE SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
Feed the hungry.
Visit the sick.
Welcome strangers.
Give drink to the thirsty.
Visit the imprisoned.
Clothe the naked.
Bury the dead.

Notice listed first among the spiritual works of mercy is to “admonish the sinner!”

Admonish means to reprove, caution, give a warning, reprimand, rebuke, and or reproach him. “Admonishing the sinner,” means to correct the sinner regarding his sin that you are warning him about. This must be done in the right spirit of course.

“Judge not!” “Admonish the sinner!”

Are not these two teachings taken together self-contradictory and illogical?

No because they concern different senses.

As was stated below (by Abu) . . .

We may not judge motives, intentions, and guilt before God but we are commanded by Christ Himself to judge actions, speech, writing against truth and in this way we can help others by offering truth.

We need to affirm them both! But we need to have a proper understanding of them both to make appropriate spiritual decisions in our daily lives.


#11

I remain very cautious about advocating that all Catholics should go about admonishing sinners.

First, there are few who know the teachings and doctrines of the church well enough to judge the illicit behaviour of others. I strongly believe that admonishing sinners should be the role of the clergy and those fully knowledgeable of doctrine.

Secondly, there needs to be some close relationship with the one being admonished. That person must respect your opinion for the admonishment to be effective.

Thirdly, admonishing someone we do not know well, or who does not agree with our values may create more intransigence and make matters worse.

I think we would all benefit from the writings of Aquinas on this topic.

Reply to Objection 3. Whatever is directed to end, becomes good through being directed to the end. Hence whenever fraternal correction hinders the end, namely the amendment of our brother, it is no longer good, so that when such a correction is omitted, good is not omitted lest evil should befall.

newadvent.org/summa/3033.htm


#12

Good points Origen52:thumbsup:. I don’t disagree with anything you said.

Just filling out the catechetical aspects so if someone puts in a search and comes to this site in the future, they get a fuller account of the “judge not” issue.

Not trying to say we should go around being the self-appointed “admonishment sheriff”. The Holy Spirit will (and has) given those opportunities in a legitimate manner.

We don’t need to force them (nobody here is asserting that as far as I can tell).

I know you are also NOT saying Jesus was wrong when He said for us to remove the log from our own eye . . . . then go TELL YOUR BROTHER his fault.

Frankly more often than not, I have been given these opportunities in a licit sense over the years and have sadly FAILED to admonish the sinner (when given a ripe opportunity).

If I lack the fortitude to admonish the sinner when I am supposed to :eek: . . . . how much LESS am I going to go out and give out admonitions when I get to appropriately avoid it?


#13

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.