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Read Introduction to James


“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”


speaks evil of the law and judges the law.

God is the Giver of the law; the One who enacts the Word of God.  When we judge fellow Christians, we “speak evil of the law” and judge God’s law.  When we criticize the Word of God (the Law), we criticize God Himself.  We assume the place of God in doing so.  We love to play God. 

We need to qualify the type of judgment here; this is not a prohibition against correcting Christians who go astray (Mt 18:15-17; 1 Co 5:1-5).  The issue here is not a correction but slanderous judgment and censorship. 

The essence of the law is love (Ro 13:8; Ja 2:8).  Slander disregards love, and so violates the law.  Love seeks the well-being of others.


Slander is a violation of the Word of God and the law of love. 


Since slander breaches the law of love, it infringes on God’s law (Word).  In doing so, we put ourselves above God’s Word.  This is the arrogance of the highest order because we take the Word of God out of the equation.  Not only do we speak disparagingly of fellow Christians, but also we disregard the Word of God. 

Censure of fellow Christians is a censure of the Word of God because the essence of the Word of God is to love God and love our neighbor.