The Instigator
TrueScotsman
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Jakeross6
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points

The Bible Restricts Believers from Judging One Each Other

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
TrueScotsman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 797 times Debate No: 40635
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

TrueScotsman

Con

Hello there,

In this debate, I will be taking the Con position which entails the idea that according to the Bible, it is completely consistent in it's message that believers are able to judge one another. Please note that I have setup the debate as you desired.

My Argument will follow this structure:

1. The Proper Understanding of Matthew 7:1-5
2. Believers Are to Judge Those Within, 1 Corinthians 5:12
3. Ironing Out the Details, A Look at Other Relevant Texts

And without further ado, may the debate begin.

1. The Proper Understanding of Matthew 7:1-5

In Mattew 7:1-5, Jesus makes the following statement:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."[1]

In v.1, he states an imperative command to not judge. This command or warning is set in place because he warns that the in the manner you judge others, you also will be judged. Does this then conclude that my entire contention is therefore incorrect, or perhaps is this not a universal prohibition of judging, but only of a particular variety.

In v.3, Jesus gives a short analogy of two brothers (Christian brothers) who have something in their eyes. The significance of this analogy is drawn out in the simple words, "You hypocrite," which reveals the primary application of this message. The brother was in error not for pointing out the speck in his brothers eye, as Jesus quickly says, "then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye." Rather, the brother was in error because he attempted to remove the speck from the brother's eye whilst he still had the log in his own.

Also, if one were to practice righteous judgement without hypocrisy, would not the warning of the same measure of judgement being applied to him only work for his benefit? The logic is rather simple, which makes this warning only applicable to those who would unjustly judge as a hypocrite.

Indeed, this topic of hypocrisy is one of the primary themes of the Sermon on the Mount. As the Greek Word P17;ποκριτ^2;ς (Hypocrite), appears earlier in the Sermon in Matthew 6:2,5,15.[2] This of course was a criticism of the Pharisees who displayed and outward form of obedience, that was not from the heart. Which Jesus' overall message in this Sermon was of a genuine life who looked for the reward from heaven, and not from man.

2. Believers Are to Judge Those Within, 1 Corinthians 5:12

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul makes this statement:

"But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”[3]

Just prior to this statement, he clarified that this does not in any way apply to those who are not believers, as he says, "not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world." Rather, in v.11, he goes on to indicate that this command is applicable to the following kind of person.

1. One who claims to be a brother and is guilty of any of the following.
A. Sexual Immorality.
B. Greed.
C. Idolatry.
D. Reviling.
E. Drunkenness
F. Swindling

There was in fact a present example of this in the Corinthian Church. A man was sleeping with his Father's wife, and the behavior was tolerated.[4] This man was to be cut off from fellowship, but we learn later that he was restored after repenting.[5]
It is demonstrable that this passage does not conflict others which warn against judgement against the brothers. If those who were also guilty according to the standards set above, and in judging another expelled them, the warnings of Matthew 7 and other passages would apply. This particular judgement was to be made by the Church leadership/congregation, and was for the purpose of protecting the purity of the congregation as well as restoring and saving the person in sin.

I believe both of these passages likely carry the same sense of the word "to judge", but what matters is that within those contexts you have two different kinds of peoples evaluating, the righteous Christians and the hypocrites.

3. Ironing Out the Details, A Look at Other Relevant Texts

The first of the two relevant texts I will be addressing will be Romans 2:1

Romans 2:1

"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."[6]

This is a warning passage against men who judge others, and yet "practice the very same things." This passage again falls into the same subject matter we have been discussing from the onset, which demonstrates the consistency of the message on the matter. This warning is also set against hypocrisy, of those who condemn a practice and yet do the same things.

This therefore does not in any way condemn the kind of behavior outlined by Paul (the same writer) in 1 Corinthians 5, as that is under the assumption the judging party is not guilty of the same actions as well.

Romans 14:3-4

"Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand."[7]

Once again, we have a passage that appears to on the face of the matter contradict my initial contention. However, I will demonstrate that by putting this statement in it's properly understood context we will find that this is not the case.

In v.1 of the same chapter Paul admonishes those (by implication) stronger in the faith to accept those who may be weaker in the faith and not to quarrel over opinions.[8] In v.2 he says this, "One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables."

What was happening was the fact that Jewish Christians had come from a culture in which certain foods were prohibited in being eaten, such as a pig. This was a common issue among the Early Church, as Paul had to address it on several occasions, where Jewish Christians were judging Gentile Christians for indulging in the freedom they have in Christ to eat what they may. While Gentile Christians were not being tactful on the matter, and would often cause their Jewish brothers to stumble.[9]

Therefore, these statements made by Paul, are specific argument against not judgement in general, but judgement in regards to the differences of opinion on these non-essential issues, such as what one can eat, or what days to esteem. This absolutely cannot be applied logically to the situations where one's behavior is not permissible, such as is the case in 1 Corinthians 5.

Concluding Statements:

Based upon the arguments I have made above, it is my strong contention that the idea that the Bible is contradictory on the matter of Believers judging one another, to be a misunderstanding of the individual passages once the contexts have been investigated.

Please note, that I am not of the opinion that the Bible in it's 66 books is entirely and completely consistent, without contradiction or error. I do not affirm the doctrine of Biblical Infallibility, and it is not my motivation to sustain this doctrine by refuting this point. However, I do hold that this particular objection to that doctrine lacks sufficient justification.

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman

[1] Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)
[2] Matthew 6 (ESV)
[3] 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 (ESV)
[4] 1 Corinthians 5:1 (ESV)
[5] 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV)
[6] Romans 2:1 (ESV)
[7] Romans 14:3-4 (ESV)
[8] Romans 14:1 (ESV)
[9] Romans 14:15 (ESV)
Jakeross6

Pro

Hey! Thanks for setting this debate up as desired. I wanted this to be shorter, but still have the 10000 character count. Thank you for also jumping right into the arguments, as requested.

On your structured points:

1. The Proper Understanding of Matthew 7:1-5

I completely agree with your interpretation of this portion of the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, I will be using this very fact of "Exercising righteous judgement" throughout this debate to raise an interesting question.

2. Believers Are to Judge Those Within, 1 Corinthians 5:12

I like your list here, as it points out and proposes a list by which to judge other people.
1. One who claims to be a brother and is guilty of any of the following.
A. Sexual Immorality.
B. Greed.
C. Idolatry.
D. Reviling.
E. Drunkenness
F. Swindling
We will use this as the basis of justification of judgement.
Paul does say that it is for the insiders of the church, but who is he to judge even them? I will be covering that in my arguments.

3. Ironing Out the Details, A Look at Other Relevant Texts

You seem here to reinforce your idea that Hypocrites may not judge others, but the righteous judges can. This is the entire point I will lay out in my arguments.

On your concluding statements

It is strange that you would say that the bible contradicts itself and is not inerrant. However, I will go along with this assumption.

My Arguments

I will lay this out in a few stages as well:

1. Establish the sin nature.
2. Show the conditions of judgment.
3. Show that man cannot judge anyone because of sin nature.


1. Establishing the sin nature.

Genesis 3:1-4: The fall of Man

(1) "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord god had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may ea of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, god hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch, lest ye shall die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die

It was after this fateful conversation that goes on to convince Eve to take the first bite, who then convinces Adam to take the second bite, that condemns man to his sin nature. After the punishment laid out in Genesis 3:16-19, we see that Adam and Eve bare Cain (Genesis 4:1) and we see later that Cain kills Abel (Genesis 4:8), showing that the sin had passed from one generation to the next, showing that we are all born in sin. Indeed, in Ephesians 2:1-6, Paul says this:

(1)And you hath be quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the power of the air, the spirit now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of you your flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) but God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in our sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace we are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

It is shown there that our spirit is dead in our sins, which is made alive again by Christ. But, is our flesh made alive by Christ? No. Before Christ's salvation having entered our hearts and souls, we see that we have no choice but to sin as is our sin nature. However, God cures our soul of the sin nature and we then have the choice to fight the flesh. It is written in many places of the bible (1 Timothy 6:9, Mathew 26:41, 1 Peter 5:8, etc.) that we must avoid the temptations of the flesh. It is known throughout the bible that the flesh is evil, poisoned by sin, that only our soul is saved only through Christ Jesus, who made the blood sacrifice of a perfect man who was also of God and atoned for our sins.

We see now that the flesh is sinful, a burden on the soul that is saved, and it is the reason we sin. Even the saved are not free of its curse, as Jesus says this in Mathew 5:29-30:

(29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (30) And if they right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

We see here and in other translations of the bible, (which states if your eye causes you to sin, and if your hand causes you to sin, to cut them off) that our body, our flesh will and can cause us to sin and that it is still of sin nature, only housing our saved soul.

With this I rest my case on sin nature of man. No matter if we are saved, we are still plagued with the sin of our fathers and ourselves and the temptation of the body. Though our soul may be washed clean, our bodies and flesh are still of this sinful world, and of this sinful world they shall remain.

2. Show the conditions of judgment.

Mathew 7:1-3 Again
(1) Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

We see here that Jesus establishes a simple fact that is this: Another man cannot judge another unless he is free an clear of the beam in his own eye. We also see from Con's argument that we get a certain list of things a man does that deserves the casting of our judgement as long as he is in the church.

A. Sexual Immorality.
B. Greed.
C. Idolatry.
D. Reviling.
E. Drunkenness
F. Swindling

This list shows the sins that allow for judging. So, according to Jesus and his anti-hypocrisy teachings, that you must also be free and clear of these sins as well. You must have removed the beam from your own eye before ever even attempting to remove the mote from your brother's eye. So, in other words, you must be free of these six sins, never or very very rarely doing any of them. Some of them get very strict, as Jesus says at one point that even to look at another woman is adultery and in another place, the bible writes that anything you put above god (even subconsciously) is idolatry. We see that no human can be perfect as the only one that ever was died for our sins and paid that great sacrifice.

3. Showing that man cannot judge anyone because of sin nature.

John 8:1-7
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. (2) And Early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. (3) And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, (4) They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. (5) Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (6) This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. but Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. (7) So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.

In this moving passage of the bible, we see that Jesus himself did two things: First, he refused to judge the woman by ignoring the scribes an pharisees, thereby also avoiding the voice of temptation that even his flesh was also weak too, but because he was God as well, was able to refrain from sin in thought and practice all his life. Second, we see him finally, upon persistence by the Scribes and Pharisees, stand up and answer them by telling them that they without sin could cast a stone. And in verse 8, he begins to ignore them again by continuing to write on the ground, and in 9, the Scribes and Pharisees were convicted of their sins and they left him and the woman to go.

Why is this so important? We see that, though Jesus was absolutely perfect, he did not judge this woman. Instead, he tells them that if they are without sin, they may cast judgement upon her.

Should this not be applied to all people, within and outside of the church? If we are all full of sin, even those among us that are saved, how can we ever judge another human? We are all in sin, and, unless someone is completely Christ-like, completely free and clear of sin, we cannot judge one another, as it is not our place. Jesus, in all his innocence and perfection, told us that we are not to judge one another unless we are without sin.

Conclusion

My argument stands as this: All man is full of sin, even after the saving of our soul. To judge, you must be without sin. So, only God and Jesus can judge, and that is it. We are not perfect, therefore we cannot judge.

On the contradictions with Paul, it seems that in a book full of contradictions, that we must prioritize what is said. It is easy to put the New Testament over the old, and it is even easier to put the teachings of Jesus above anything else. So, in the case of contradictions, Christians must look at Jesus's stance on it.
Debate Round No. 1
TrueScotsman

Con

Hi again,

Appreciate your details response, was not what I was expecting but was pleasantly surprised. Now on with the rebuttals!

My Rebuttals will be summed up in two points:

1. The Condition of the Believer
2. The Pericope Adulterae

1. The Condition of the Believer

In the passages you linked, you only provided texts that speak on the condition of sin prior to the person becoming believer. We could get into a detailed debate about the sin nature and original sin, but that would miss the point as we are talking about what the Bible speaks in regards to someone who is a believer.

Do Believers Sin?

The answer to this question is yes, as is demonstrated by this text. Now does that make them a hypocrite if they judge another believer? Looking to the very next verse we find our answer.

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."[1]

If a believer confesses and repents of the sin they have committed, God forgives the sin and cleanses the person of all unrighteousness. The concept of repentance goes totally unmentioned in your argument for believers being unable to judge. A believer who is consistently living in repentance, who is growing in godliness and holiness is in the sight of God according to the Bible, forgiven and righteous, and therefore able to make righteous judgements about unrepentant behavior in others.

Here is another text that bolsters my case.

"No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous."[2]

This phrase "keeps on sinning" does not denote a total cessation of sinning, rather the Greek word
O37;μαρτ^0;νων is in the present participle and denotes a continual and habitual action. It basically says, that no one who abides in Christ sins in this way and if they do they have not "seen him or known him." He even warns against deception in this area, by stating that the one who practices righteousness is righteous, making it clear that simply a declaration of righteousness is not the point as it must be accompanied by one's behavior and actions.

Therefore, even granting your points about the believer still being able to sin, it ignores the point that these two texts illuminate which is that believers repent (and are forgiven and cleansed) and do not continually and habitually sin, or else the genuineness of their faith is revealed to be insufficient. Those who do keep on sinning, and refuse to repent are then subject to the judgement of the Church. Note this is not persecution and mockery, but a recognition of wrong and a cessation of communion in hopes to later restore the person as I pointed out earlier.

2. The Pericope Adulterae

The Pericope Adulterae refers to the passage from John 8:1-7, this text is inadmissable to this conversation because it is explicitly an interpolation, or in other words a textual addition.

All four of the great unical codices do not contain this passage, these are notable because they are the earliest manuscripts that contain the entire Greek New Testament.[3] In fact the passage does not appear in a manuscript until the 5th Century in the Codex Bezae.[4] Most translations even include this information within the Bible, although it's content has made it popular in modern times.

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.][5]

This passage is therefore non-canonical and thus not applicable to our present argument.


Concluding Statements:

Though I conclude that there are indeed contradictions in the Bible, I find that most of them are minor in nature and this is not an example of one of the
m. The idea that the Bible is wrought with contradictions at every turn is a rather shallow and unstudied view, and I find that such views that move to the extreme go beyond the evidence or work too hard to try and find errors.

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman

P.S. Totally bombed the wording of my contention in the title. lol

[1] 1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)
[2] 1 John 3:6-7 (ESV)
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://biblehub.com...;[See v.53 for quoted portion]
Jakeross6

Pro

Con has raised two extremely good points here. The only way I can save my argument is on the basis of technicality and that would not work to sufficiently prove the Con wrong, as would be required to win this debate. Plus, I honestly don't care about who wins or loses. Debate statistics are just numbers. What I care about is who is right, who is wrong. In this case, after doing my own research into his claims, I think that Con is right.

I concede all his points as they are all correct. My foundation of argument seems to not be applicable to the Cannon due to the fact that it was added by John later on, putting in question its divine inspiration according to Christian doctrine.
Debate Round No. 2
TrueScotsman

Con

I thank Jake for his honesty, desire to learn and willingness to discover what is right. Certainly very admirable and rare traits to find in an opponent.

Look forward to more constructive and respectful debates in the future!

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman
Jakeross6

Pro

I would also look forward to more debates with you, my friend!

A note to voters: I am particularly proud of my round one argument and would request that you please give me feedback on its style, structure, and content in your RFD. I am not asking for points, as I deserve none but maybe conduct for my concession, but just feedback to see how well my arguments were worded and what not. I have been trying to improve my presentation for a while now, so hopefully I do get some feed back.

To my opponent, have a good night!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
I hope my use of King James Version does not cause any problems. I like to use the bible I physically have rather than use the ones on the internet.
Posted by TrueScotsman 3 years ago
TrueScotsman
Take your time! Look forward to your arguments!
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
Sorry, been at work today. I will submit my arguments as soon as I can! Thank you for the debate challenge.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
TrueScotsmanJakeross6Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
TrueScotsmanJakeross6Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Honorable concession
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
TrueScotsmanJakeross6Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession... Pro your R1 looks really well organized, however it is rather long; however the conclusion was very powerful and effective. If arguing this again, I would suggest starting with the conclusion, then your premises, and perhaps repeat the very same conclusion.