I'm sure you have heard this verse quoted by unchurched people, 'Judge not lest ye be judged.' It's amazing that they even have this short verse memorized! Yet, we need to look at why this is a complaint. Is there a valid reason for people commanding us to not judge them?
There are different types of judging done in the Scriptures. Judging basically means to make an evaluation about something or someone. We do it all the time. The world does it all the time. When a person applies for a job, the potential employer has to evaluate or 'judge' the person applying to see if he or she is qualified enough for the job. Whenever we make a decision or evaluation, we are 'judging', although we don't call it that today.
But in the Bible, there is a section in the first verses in Matthew 7. Jesus starts out by saying (in KJV) 'Judge not lest ye be judged". The passage goes on to explain hypocrisy when judging because the person doing the judging does the same things as the person they are judging. Then it goes on to say for us to take the logs out of our eyes so we can see clearly when taking the specks out of the other person's eyes. Then the passage finishes by saying that once the log is out of the eyes of the person who is judging, then he or she can see clearly when taking splinters out of the eyes of others. The key to all of this is 'taking the logs out of our own eyes'. This simply means dealing with our sins first before we deal with other people's sins. If we have logs in our eyes, and try to take splinters out of other's eyes, we will not do a good job at it.
The passage has to do with being critical of others and using their sins against them. Sadly, it happens in many churches today, as it has in the past. I know I have my head in the sand, but I talk to enough people who will tell of church experiences where they were 'judged' by someone in a critical and unhelpful way.
I like Casting Crown's songs about church and living Christianity. One of their songs explains this dilemma very well. Here is an excerpt from the song, "If We Are The Body".
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/casting-crowns/if-we-are-the-body-lyrics/#Rx0Qjrf36msI1AtV.99
Today was a day for some to be baptized at church. It was interesting listening to their testimonies. A couple of them talked about their experience coming into the church and it was very positive. They felt like no one was judging them. This made it comfortable for them to continue coming. Four people from one family were baptized. They stayed long enough to not only hear the Gospel but to work it out in their hearts. When their hearts were ready, they responded to God. But what if they did feel judgment when they came into the church? Where would they be today? Would all four of them have been baptized? Would any of them even be there?
I know I have my head in the sand, but I can't imagine why anyone would 'judge' a person when they come through the doors (by judging I mean being critical). If we left sinners outside of the church building, who would be qualified to go in?
Do some Christians really think they have such a handle in overcoming their sin that they have to cut off other people from their lives and presence? Jesus died for sinful people. It's too bad so many of us don't see how ugly our sins really are. Maybe if we did, we would welcome those who are in obvious sin and we would be patient with them through their walking around the kingdom of God while they are deciding whether they really want to go in or not.