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Posted: 07/21/05

How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America

By Brannon S. Howse




Tolerance mongers seem to have found the one absolute truth they are willing to live by. How many times have you heard someone say, "Judge not lest you be judged"? The statement has become the great American open-mindedness mantra when anyone has the courage to declare that someone else's belief, actions or lifestyle is morally amiss.


Another form of the same non-judgmental judgment is "that may be true for you, but it's not true for me."  The logic behind the statement goes something like this: "Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. We are both right, and I hold to my opinion of truth." The last time I checked, it was impossible for two chairs to occupy the same space around my dining room table, but evidently such rules of time, space and logic don't apply to tolerance philosophy.


Postmodernism's live-and-let-live concept of truth argues that even two opposite and wholly contradictory claims can both be true. This is as stupid as saying that black and white are the same color. Yet, it clarifies the absurdity of the postmodernism we are all supposed to blithely accept as the fundamental principle by which we respond to each other's ideas-the "please and thank-you" of philosophical respect.


So beware. If you dare claim that another person's truth is not, in fact, truth but is, in fact, wrong, you are not only being intolerant but you are also being-Mantra forbid!-judgmental.


In his book, True for You, But Not for Me, Paul Copan describes the fallacy in this all too common thinking:


It has been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn't at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people "pigs" and "dogs" (Matt 7:6) and "wolves in sheep's clothing" (7:15). What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another's eye-which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.[1]


Those that tell you not to judge, quoting Matthew 7:1 grossly out of context, are often some of the most mean-spirited, judgmental souls you could ever meet. It's not, of course, that they don't want anyone to judge anything because they want very much to judge and condemn your commitment to lovingly speak and practice your Christian worldview. You see how these tolerance rules work? We must tolerate them, but they don't have to tolerate us. The logic is consistent, anyway.


Today's postmodern culture of adults and students is so consumed by non-judgmentalism that there are some who say we should not even call wrong or evil the terrorists that attacked America on September 11, 2001. In a Time magazine essay entitled "God Is Not on My Side. Or Yours," Roger Rosenblatt offers the philosophical underpinnings of the live-and-let-live rule for global terrorism:


One would like to think that God is on our side against the terrorists, because the terrorists are wrong and we are in the right, and any deity worth his salt would be able to discern that objective truth. But this is simply good-hearted arrogance cloaked in morality-the same kind of thinking that makes people decide that God created humans in his own image. The God worth worshipping is the one who pays us the compliment of self-regulation, and we might return it by minding our own business.[2]


At least the "arrogance" of recognizing the difference between right and wrong is "good-hearted," even if the reactions to it aren't. Alison Hornstein, for instance, is a student at Yale University who observed the disconnect between tolerance and reality. Writing on "The Question That We Should Be Asking-Is Terrorism Wrong?" in the December 17, 2001 issue of Newsweek, Alison noted, "My generation may be culturally sensitive, but we hesitate to make moral judgments." While that might be putting it mildly, she goes on to say:


Student reactions expressed in the daily newspaper and in class pointed to the differences between our life circumstances and those of the [9/11] perpetrators, suggesting that these differences had caused the previous day's events. Noticeably absent was a general outcry of indignation at what had been the most successful terrorist attack of our lifetime. These reactions and similar ones on other campuses have made it apparent that my generation is uncomfortable assessing, or even asking whether a moral wrong has taken place.[3]


Hornstein further describes how on September 12th-one day after Islamic extremists murdered more than 3,000 people on American soil-one of her professors:


did not see much difference between Hamas suicide bombers and American soldiers who died fighting in World War II. When I saw one or two students nodding in agreement, I raised my hand. . American soldiers, in uniform, did not have a policy of specifically targeting civilians; suicide bombers, who wear plainclothes, do. The professor didn't call on me. The people who did get a chance to speak cited various provocations for terrorism; not one of them questioned its morality.[4]



If Americans don't start to judge and punish evil instead of accepting all ideas and beliefs as equal, we will become a nation that welcomes same-sex marriage, polygamy, pedophilia, incest, euthanasia, and likely a host of moral aberrations so bizarre they're still hidden in the darkest reaches of the Internet. 


I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "you know we are not to judge people; even the Bible says 'judge not lest you be judged'." Americans had better start getting comfortable with politically in-correct, non-humanistic forms of making intelligent judgments on moral issues because even if we don't make them, I'm concerned there is Someone very willing to hold our nation accountable for what we allow. And He doesn't respond well to intimidation, name-calling, flawed logic, or being quoted out of context.


[1] Paul Copan ,True for You, But not for Me, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1998) p.32-33. cites D.A. Carson, The Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker, 1978), 97.

[2] Roger Rosenblat, "Essay: God is not on My side. Or Yours" Time Dec. 17, 2001. p. 92.

[3] Alison Hornstein "The Question That We Should Be Asking" Newsweek, December 17, 2001, p. 14

[4] Ibid; p. 14.

Distributed by

By Brannon Howse

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There more references to "Judging" then "Fruit Knowing"
Posted On: 01/31/08 08:18:55 AM Age 46, AL
There seems to be a lack of showing the importance of Mat 7:2 Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. I imagine God on the Day will assume a person's character, mentality, and belief system and use that as a measure to judge the person. That would a very frightening prospect for most. To many Christians I know speak with an air of pride and condemnation. Luke wrote: Luk 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: It is quite alright to speak your belief, but it is to be done without a Judgemental Heart and/or a Heart of Condemnation. When one speaks, it should be tempered with the predominate tolerance and love that Jesus shown and performed in the Gospels. Good Day and God Bless.

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 06/20/07 06:54:43 AM Age 53, MI
Another home run article by a Christian veteran! That is why the glory of the Lord is our rear guard. The back is where you expect your friends and like-minded thinkers. Takes one to know one when this verse of truth has been incorrectly applied to shut down the truth. The best defense is a good strong offense of truth against the lie of misapplication of scripture by either Christians or Non-Christians. In her superb UNABRIDGED biblically based book "War on the Saints" written by Jessie Penn Lewis with 1900 Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts the author reaffirms that the weapon against the lie is the truth and PASSIVITY of the mind and actions by Christians was a chief weapon used by satan to bring down the last great revival. She wrote this book to help us to AVOID the pitfalls that beset the last revival. I HIGHLY recommend the UNABRIDGED version which was republished in the 40's after a terific battle against wrong-thinking CHRISTIANS. Caution , this book is for the spiritually mature who are NOT AFRAID of knowing about the biblically revealed schemes and wiles of satan and his demons. If you're a mile wide and an inch deep Christian this literal textbook on demonology is not for you.

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 06/06/07 09:05:55 PM Age 62, TX
Thanks to the author for a very good article about one of the major problems in the world today. We are becoming a lukewarm moral melting pot of "whatever you want is really okay." Satan is so sly; little by little, our morality and discernment have been minimized. And finally, we have people who are afraid to speak out against what is obviously wrong. And if they do, they are criticized for doing so. Tolerance has invaded every area of our lives, from marriage and family to schools, denominations, and politics. We are even hearing it woven into the thinking of pastors as they prepare sermons that are meant to please and stroke itching ears. Kay Arthur stated in a Precept series on Revelation that tolerance would be the fastest growing problem in the church within ten years. That was about 13 years ago. I'd say she was on target. We need to stick to the proper interpretation of the most misquoted Bible verse of our day.

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 04/25/07 12:25:12 PM Age 56, TN
Amen!! Visit our website and click onto "The Cult Of Do Not Judge" in the site index of the homepage. Our website is "Living Hope In Jesus" ( Stephen and Bonita Ann Richie Living Hope In Jesus

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 03/17/07 09:30:12 AM Age 48, VA
Brannon, I love it when people throw that verse at me. I always ask them to "quote on, what does the rest of that verse say?". They are mute at this point having no idea what the rest of it says. Then, depending on the heart attitude of the person I then give them the rest of it. I love when I get to the part about dogs and swine. I love to ask them which category they fit? I ask them how Jesus expects us to determine who is a pig or a dog? Are we supposed to Judge them??? Then I read all the way down to the part about the wolves in sheeps clothing and the "know them by their fruits". How does someone determine what is a good fruit or bad fruit? Should we judge??? Oh, what an interesting situation. Then I quote the scripture where Jesus COMMANDS US TO "Judge righteous judgement"!!!! HAHAHA!!! So, now Jesus commands us to make judgements! How interesting and then I usually tell them if they don't revere Jesus and don't love and obey him then the WRATH OF GOD is on them and they are under condemnation according to John 3:18-20,36. They are really shocked after I read them these verses because they have been so convinced that we aren't supposed to be judging anybody!!!! HAHAHA what foolishness!! I really enjoy reading your commentaries as well as the rest of the commentaries on this website and have attended one of your conferences. Keep up the good work! Greg

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 01/03/07 05:07:05 PM Age 58, MA
Imagine if St. Paul did not judge without hypocrisy as in Romans 1? Then again, most know what Jesus said in John 3:16, but how many know how He followed up on this statement concerning reproof. Also in John 16. See for more.

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 12/25/06 09:20:00 AM Age 11, -
I agree with you, but in my country Singapore there are two reasons. 1. The one you said, they misquoted/misinterpreted it. 2. They know the meaning but delibretely said it to avoid being judged(sadly, many of us here are like that, not admitting to our mistakes). Conclusion: This verse is not only destroying America, but the whole world! Well, at least those people that hath heard this verse before. Auctually, in here there is a similiar problem, but has nothing to do with the Bible. Example, I knew someone was lying and tried to stop him, but he angrily says: "Have you never told a lie before? Not even recently? So scram!" So? Amen!

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 11/15/06 09:38:29 AM Age 40, NY
I believe that the article is correct when dealing with matters of sin. However, we are free as Christians to live non-identical lives with our fellow Christians. God may call one to go to Africa as a missionary while He may call one to be a Wal-Mart cashier. What is right for one person there may not be right for another Christian and in those cases we must refrain from judgement. My family has been judged for not doing things the way other Christians would have us do them. That does NOT mean we were living in sin. There is great freedom within Christianity apart from sin, and others often refuse to allow God's Spirit to work within us and prefer to be everyone else's Holy Spirit. In the times I have ever been 'judged' by a fellow Christian it was not once because of a sin issue, but simply a preference issue. We need to give people room for God's Spirit to work, and He doesn't always work in ways that other Christians would think of. Not once has someone approached me in this context in a Spirit of Love, but of self-rigtheousness and arrogance. It is in my opinion this is to what Jesus means. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Christians are often marked by a spirit of unforgiveness and superiority and I believe this is a reminder that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, and in matters of personal preference or a lack of understanding what the Christian is doing when it isn't sin, that we should not judge it. I have also seen Christians wind up being judged by God because of their judgemental nature. We need to watch our attitudes toward others. Often we are not guilty of judging 'sin' too little, but judging everything too harshly.

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 11/08/06 06:59:05 PM Age 52, GA
I believe the point of Matt 7:1-5 is to judge with right judgement (by God's definition of right). Verse 6 teaches us not to waste time with those who don't want to hear it. Sow the seeds of the Gospel elsewhere. . .

Re: How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying America
Posted On: 10/16/06 09:44:51 AM Age 47, VA
I agree with the oringinal writer. The verse is often misquoted. We are not to be the judge of ones 'heart' because God knows the heart. We are to be fruit inspectors. To be honest, I have seen some rotten fruit many times. God said in His Word that we would be bearers of fruit. He gave us a list to know what our fruit should be. He also said that people would know us by our Love for one another. Loving someone is not always agreeing with someone when you know they are wrong or are in sin. We are to encourgage one another. If I am wrong or in sin and seem to be content, I would hope someone who loves me would care enough to point it out to me. I have,unfortunatly, been on both sides. I found a brother in the Lord, a co-worker, who worked with me in a Christian School that was cheating by giving answers to tests to the students. Only certain students,confronted the Administration with the truth, and was made to feel that I was the one wrong for bringing to the attention of the School Admin. I no longer work with the ministry at the school. The other person was able to do whatever he wanted and in the end we lost many students and staff. I do know that I had a responsibility to God to report what He revealed to me and I do not regret it. I think our first response to any situation should be to go to God and seek His direction. We are only condoning sin and unrighteousness when we turn away as if nothing is wrong.

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