Can Christians judge?

Throughout centuries, Christians are scared of pointing out the false gospels, false prophecies, false teachings etc. due to the fear of breaking Jesus' counsel to not judge others. Is this Biblical? Let us examine the related Bible verses and their context.

Jesus told us to discern false prophets and false teachers

Matthew 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

Matthew 24:24 - For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Jesus speaks in favour of the church which identified the false apostles.

Revelation 2: 2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them, liars: 

The Bible calls us to test the Spirits

1 John 4:1-6 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

2 Peter 2:1 - But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

The Apostle Paul rebuked false teaching

Galatians 3:1 

1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it is yet in vain.

Truth is not always sweet. Jesus wasn't nice to everyone

John 8:44

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.”

What should we not Judge?

Sin comparison:

You should not judge and consider your brother or sister in Christ as less spiritual than you because they sin differently than you and you feel that their sin is worse than the sin that you struggle with. Remember, except for the grace of God, we are nothing and there is nothing good in us. This doesn't mean that we should not lovingly rebuke the sins of our fellow citizens of heaven. We are supposed to exhort other believers, through both our words and deeds. We should not be quick to judge others' faults while neglecting our own. 

Matthew 7:3-5

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in your own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

External Appearance:

We should not judge others based on external appearance. Pharisees wore long dresses, but their heart was not right with God, which made all their so-called good works meaningless. We must always remember that we are sinners saved by grace and we are what we are because of the undeserved mercy he bestows on us every day. Some religious people, avoid wearing ornaments and makeup, thinking that these things would make them more spiritual, while they may not have the right relationship with God. Man sees the outward appearance, but God sees the heart. 

1 Samuel 16:7

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Luke 20:46

“Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;”

John 7:24

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

Unrighteous Judgement:

Without enough investigation, do not jump into making a judgement.

1 Timothy 5

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

This Post: Can Christians Judge?

Posts you may be interested in:

Prosperity Gospel Definition and Biblical Guidelines
General Revelation and Special Revelation in the Bible
Legalism in the Church
Free Will and God's Sovereignty
Is it Biblical to rebuke the devil?
Today's Proverbs31 Woman?