There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? - James 4:12When we judge others in the body of Christ we are taking the place of God and thinking of ourselves more highly then we ought to. Our judgements are always faulty, selfish, partial and full of blindness as we really never fully know a motive or heart of another. When we seek to judge brothers or sisters and even see them diminish and be brought to a sense of destruction, we are not keeping with the royal law of love. There are cases where in the Church discipline needs to happen or correction, these things are to be done by Overseers in the body of Christ and alongside the Spirit of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:4). To judge others in the body of Christ apart from oversight of Elders and spiritual leaders is a very dangerous practice. These verse before says in James says, "brothers and sisters, do not slander one another" (James 4:11). When we judge and slander each others character we end up speaking against God's very law as it says, "Do not go about spreading slander among your people" (Leviticus 19:16). This law was given to Moses for the people of God, to keep from great sins and problems that others in idol worshipping nations committed. The emphasis of Christians and God's people have always been to see our own faults more then the faults of others. Part of an old prayer by Saint Ephrem in 300 A.D. says, "Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother."When we judge others we are actually condemned because we do it in some less fashion or have more grievous sins in different areas of our lives. Leaving all judgment to God seems like a scapegoat to allow abuse and problems in the body of Christ. But Biblically it was very few times that God's leaders judged people it would happen more where God himself would judge the guilty parties. When we "judge nothing before the appointed time" (1 Corinthians 4:5) it gives place to where God will judge all motives and secrets of the heart at the second coming of our Lord. When we have Criticism, bitterness, accusations, slander and unforgivenness towards other believers we are actually accusing God's law and authority. Some believers in our modern day feel their calling from God is to criticize and judge others. Such a calling is actually an unholy calling, and is sharing part of the work of the devil who is the accuser of the brethren. Some feel they are doing the Church a favour but are in reality doing damage to the work of God and sinning against God's law. Judge not. Criticize Not. Slander Not. Forgive All and you will find God's peace, favour and rest.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon