i will concede that we are indeed to “make judgement” — even about people and what they are up to.
but the context of the verse you pulled out shows the difference between what jesus was referring to in john 7 and what he is teaching about in the sermon on the mount:
14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, â€œHow is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?â€ 16 So Jesus answered them, â€œMy teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?â€ 20 The crowd answered, â€œYou have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?â€ 21 Jesus answered them, â€œI did one deed, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.â€
both of these passages speak to not judging —- and both infer that in order to make wise decisions about how to treat people one needs to be in a place of humility before god, and seeking the true good of the other person.
the original thought behind the plankeye post was a friend pointing out how those who claim to follow christ’s teachings are often those who are most guilty of being judgmental — and unfairly judgmental at that, often with yucky results in the life of those being judged.
i was obviously, in my first post on this topic, not saying that one is never to decide whether something is right or wrong.
clearly to follow christ is to believe there IS a right.
but judging and condemning people is the wrong way to go about getting them to change their behavior, while encouraging and asking is the right way.
in fact, to do so is to make a right judgement: to “hold back” on force-feeding your “pearls” of “rightness” to those who are not able to digest them, and instead love and encourage and simply ask them to consider a better way.
so, i stand by my statement:
judging IS the plank in our eye.
and i’ll say it again using a different word, by way of expounding:
condemning IS the plank in our eye.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
condemnation and judging puts a HUGE stumbling block in the way of those who would otherwise be attracted to the kingdom.
we who claim to live in the kingdom behave in unattractive ways, in ways that make people feel rejected, not loved, and so they turn and attack us.
just like jesus says they will in the passage i quoted above.
but if we simply ask people, without condemnation, they are more apt to find our message acceptable.