This is an excerpt that i would love to hear feed back on from Elton Trueblood's "Humor of Christ"
"The critics... fall back on the strategy of literalism and say that neither they nor anyone else can rightly make a judgment in such matters because Christ said, 'Judge not.' (Matt. 7:1).
It is obvious that men must judge! If we give up judgment we give up almost everything which dignifies human life. We are judging, and rightly so, between different men and the different platforms, every time that we cast a vote. We judge colleges when we help our children to decide where to enroll. To say that one is as good as another would contribute to the complete undermining of the effort to achieve academic excellence. In art, if we do not judge between the authentic and the forged, the artistic effort is destroyed. And it is men who must do the judging, for there is nobody else available. To say that one church is as good as another would be to harm rather than to help the entire Christian movement. After all, some churches are financial rackets, with all assets vested in the name of the pastors. Some mean business and some do not. It is patently absurd to say that there should be not standard because the acceptance of such a practice would mean the complete devaluation of church membership. There is no cutting edge that is not narrow. Judgment may be mistaken and imperfect, but the only alternative to it, the refusal to judge at all, is manifestly worse.
What then can Christ have meant? He is reported to have said, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged" (Matt 7:1,2). Here the irony is particularly sharp. "You want to avoid judgment, do you?" He can be understood as saying, "Then be sure that you at least have the consistency to avoid it, yourself.’ It is of the essence of judgment that it is always two-edged. People will apply to you the standard which you apply to others, and so, indeed, they ought to do. "Do you criticize others for advertising their benevolences? Then you had better," says Christ, "examine your own practice, since an ethically honest man will never make an exception of himself. It is instrinsic to any moral order that every judgment is a self-judgment.
If this paraphrase is at all correct, we have here one of the most vivid examples of that kind of irony in which the intended implication is the exact opposite of the literal sense. What we have, in reality, is not the categorical command never to render judgment, a command which if obeyed, would destroy all that is best in human life. What we have, instead, is the warning that if you want to avoid judgment on yourself, you will have to do the impossible, ie. refuse to engage in any judgment at all."
Trueblood, Elton. The Humor of Christ. NY: Harper & Row Publishers, 1964.