One of the scriptures even unbelievers can quote from off their head is “Thou shall not judge”. There have been cases where you try to rebuke or even warn a fellow and he or she says you are judging him or her. The 21st century Christian prefers to pampered at the expense of being told the truth. Also, there are those who major is to judge and condemn people they should pray for and admonish. Truth be told, the difference at times is difficult to tell.
Popular gospel musician and pastor, Nathaniel Bassey bared his mind on the topic on his Facebook platform. See his post below and share your thoughts:
JUDGING AND WARNING – The difference.
“37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warnyou.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye notmany fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1 Cor 4:14-15
To begin this, it is important to note from start that Jesus said JUDGE NOT, and not “WARN NOT’. So what does this word here mean. Let’s look at the root words and meanings. Let’s look at the Strongs’ concordance.
“properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:–avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.”
Interestingly we see words like condemn, damn, decree, determine the etc.
But let’s stay with one of these because of time. CONDEMN.
To condemn is to pass a sentence, and give a conclusion on a matter or person.
In this context, and speaking from where Jesus was speaking about, He was speaking more about those who would not show mercy or forgive. Let me give you a practical example.
You hear a news about a man of God or say a music minister who fell into some kind of sin, say, adultery or fornication, and then you say,…” Serves him right!!!! I knew He was always a funny human being……useless adulterer. There was something not right etc. in fact, He should be disgraced and sent out of the ministry etc”
Now what you have done is this
1. Reached a conclusion ( By calling him an adulterer, saying he was always funny without knowing whether it was a fall due some unusual circumstances rather than a habit)
2. Passed judgement and sentence (By saying that serve him right and should be kicked out, you have shown no mercy and an unwillingness to forgive). You have taken a position that is exclusive to God. And as such, will have to know by your own experience that He is God.
So this is what I do. When I hear of such, the first thing I do is to PRAY for them. Because I know that my response to their fall will ultimately determine my own future. So for instance, when we heard a story about a popular American music minister months back, the first thing I did was share a prayer on Facebook for him, and organized a prayer meeting somewhere in Lekki for Him. Because anything you say at this point becomes a SEED.
However, let’s look at the the word WARNING.
from the same as 3559; to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently:–admonish, warn.
: to tell (someone) about possible danger or trouble
: to tell (someone) to do or not to do something in order to avoiddanger or trouble
These definitions are self explanatory.
One of the duties of Pastors is to WARN.
“28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in allwisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
1 Thess 5:14
In fact, a good shepherd is a “WARNER”. Paul told Timothy repeatedly WARN, CHARGE, INSTRUCT THOSE…..etc.
If I see you walking into danger and I smile just so you are not upset, I do not love you. In fact, there is no Love without TRUTH.
“Open rebuke is better than secret love.
You must understand that we are a “peculiar” generation. One that is pure in it’s own eyes.
Now let’s use this in a similar context as one above.
If I hear about a music minister whose lifestyle is questionable and I say to Him, “STOP or be carful ! And amend your ways, if you continue with such, you will ruin your life.” The truth of the matter is, as long as this is said and done genuinely to save a life and in love, this is sound biblical warning and doctrine. And such a person truly loves. But what we have today is that the slightest scent of godly rebuke, WARNING and encouragement which SAVES lives is tagged JUDGING.
I’ll end with a story. And mind you, I’m a youth pastor with lots of young folks around me. And I kind of have a passion for young people marrying well because I have seen the difference it can make in someone’s life. Even at that, I still try to make these truths humorous so it’s a bit easier to b swallowed whilst doing the job. A type of what our parents did to us when they mixed bitter medicine with our food.
I know someone quite close to me! this person had this relationship which we weren’t sure about, but because no one wanted to hurt the person, we just flowed along. To cut it short, years down the line. This has become a major stumbling block. And since then, I literally vowed to share the truth.
I have seen countless destinies saved since then. Just the way I have also seen and heard many regrets. Many say to me, I wish I knew this.
If you had a child walking towards fire, who won’t listen, you’d probably yank him or her off by force. Right? That’s not hate, that’s actually LOVE.
There is such a thing as godly discipline. Whom God loves He chastises. Beware of false and fake love. Even Paul who wrote about love had to withstand Peter at one time to his face because the Bible says He was to blame.
“But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.”
Galatians 2:11 NLT”
Having said this, my approach is always BALANCE. Not tilting to one end. Which I would say is to speak the truth, IN LOVE.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Tim 3:16