Judging Others

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 1 Cor. 6:2-4

Judge righteously, and do not respect persons in reproving for transgressions. You shall not be undecided whether or not it shall be. Didache (A.D. 80-140) ch.4

And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the Gospel. But to anyone that acts amiss against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. Didache (A.D. 80-140) ch.15

And the presbyters also must be compassionate, merciful towards all men, turning back the sheep that are gone astray… abstaining from all anger, respect of persons, unrighteous judgment… not quick to believe anything against any man, not hasty in judgment, knowing that we all are debtors of sin. If then we entreat the Lord that He would forgive us, we also ought to forgive: for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we must all stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and each man must give an account of himself. Polycarp (A.D. 69-156) ch.6

For though one should speak ten thousand words well, if there happen to be one little word displeasing to you, because not sufficiently intelligible or accurate, you make no account of the many good words, but lay hold of the little word, and are very zealous in setting it up as something impious and guilty; in order that, when you are judged with the very same judgment by God, you may have a much heavier account to render for your great audacities, whether evil actions, or bad interpretations which you obtain by falsifying the truth. For with what judgment you judge, it is righteous that you be judged withal. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.257

The Lord said: "Judge not, that you be not judged: for with what judgment you shall judge, you shall be judged." [The meaning is] not certainly that we should not find fault with sinners, nor that we should consent to those who act wickedly; but that we should not pronounce an unfair judgment on the dispensations of God, inasmuch as He has Himself made provision that all things shall turn out for good, in a way consistent with justice. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 504

A spiritual disciple of this sort truly receiving the Spirit of God, who was from the beginning, in all the dispensations of God, present with mankind, and announced things future, revealed things present, and narrated things past -[such a man] does indeed "judge all men, but is himself judged by no man." For he judges the Gentiles, "who serve the creature more than the Creator," and with a reprobate mind spend all their labor on vanity. And he also judges the Jews, who do not accept of the word of liberty. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 506

[The spiritual man] shall also judge the vain speeches of the perverse Gnostics, by showing that they are the disciples of Simon Magus. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 507

(A spiritual man) shall also judge false prophets, who, without having received the gift of prophecy from God, and not possessed of the fear of God, but either for the sake of vainglory, or with a view to some personal advantage, or acting in some other way under the influence of a wicked spirit, pretend to utter prophecies, while all the time they lie against God. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 508

(A spiritual man) shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it - men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.508

And how shall one "judge" the apostate "angels," who has become himself an apostate from that forgetfulness of injuries, which is according to the Gospel? "Why do you not rather suffer wrong?" he says; "why are you not rather defrauded? Yea, you do wrong and defraud," Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.548

How then does man give these things? For I will give not only to friends, but to the friends of friends. And who is it that is the friend of God? Do not you judge who is worthy or who is unworthy. For it is possible you may be mistaken in your opinion. As in the uncertainty of ignorance it is better to do good to the undeserving for the sake of the deserving, than by guarding against those that are less good to fail to meet in with the good. For though sparing, and aiming at testing, who will receive meritoriously or not, it is possible for you to neglect some that are loved by God; the penalty for which is the punishment of eternal fire. But by offering to all in turn that need, you must of necessity by all means find some one of those who have power with God to save. "Judge not, then, that you be not judged. With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; good measure, pressed and shaken, and running over, shall be given to you." Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.600-601

"Judge not, lest you be judged," does He not require patience? For who will refrain from judging another, but he who shall be patient in not revenging himself? Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 713


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