I have received several emails about being “judgmental” when I speak directly about someone like Oprah, Joel Osteen or the Mormons. Am I being judgmental? Are Christians supposed to judge? Is judging ever called for and proper?
Christians, and good people in general from a civil viewpoint, are called to judge RIGHTLY, which is evaluating the FRUIT (behavior, choices, production) of good and evil. Why are we able to able to “judge” Osama Bin Laden as “bad?” Why? His actions.
Take for example my comments about Oprah. I have been called judgmental for them. We judge Oprah because of her public teaching. You judge her public words. You judge her publicly proclaimed false teaching as compared to a RIGHT standard (God’s Word). While we do not judge the heart (this is God’s domain), the actions and words of a person betray the content of the heart. Even still, we only pronounce judgment on the actions and the results of those actions, while leaving God to judge the STANDING of any given person in His eyes.
Wrong is wrong. Ungodliness is ungodliness. False religion is false religion. We are called to judge it as such, and rightly judge PERSONS who promote and practice it. We don’t judge their souls, we judge their fruit, their choices, their action. God judges the soul.
Christians should quit sugar coating this fact and shriveling every time someone throws the “judgmental” label at them. Too many people avoid the Truth because they have been brainwashed by this “we are not supposed to judge” fallacy. The Bible tells us to judge, but NOT to judge unrighteously or hypocritically. In other words, you don’t judge with a standard you aren’t willing to apply to yourself (hypocrisy), and you don’t judge by any standard other than God’s (righteousness).
(Matthew 7:1-5) – “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (NKJV;)
To interpret this as saying “never judge” is sheer foolishness. If someone rapes your baby daughter, will you not judge that as evil? If someone tempts your teenager into drugs and sexual promiscuity, will you not judge that as evil? If someone shoots up your local school and kills a bunch of kids, will you not judge that as evil?
If someone sticks a needle in the brain stem of a baby in the womb and sucks its brains out as a “choice,” will you not judge that evil? If politicians lie and take hard earned money from one person to give to the lazy person who will vote for them, will you not judge that as evil?
We make judgments all day long. Even the so-called “tolerant and non-judgmental” routinely judge me (and Christians in particular) as “self-righteous, bigoted, intolerant extremists.” Pretty amazing “judgment” for people who daily declare that we are never supposed to “judge” people! Ironically, the most judgmental people I’ve encountered are always they ones who cry “don’t judge” the loudest.
I approach it this way when I hear the “don’t judge” nonsense thrown at me in a conversation:
“You say ‘don’t judge.’ Would you judge Hitler as evil? Jeffrey Dahmer? Osama Bin Laden? Rapists? Murders? Why? Because of their actions. Why would you not ‘judge’ as evil someone who denies God and purposely leads people to hell? Yes, I JUDGE the actions of a person who is denying Christ and causing people to doubt God. The person doing this is doing evil and we should not hesitate to say so any more than we should hesitate to judge a pedophile, rapist or terrorist as evil. In contrast, the denier of Christ, and the teacher of false religion is MORE evil than any of those because they lead people to eternal damnation. So whether it’s Osama Bin Laden killing people with guns or Oprah deceiving people with false religion, we JUDGE it as evil and react accordingly.”
Be discerning. Keep in mind that Christians will alienate family by speaking the truth in love. Speak in love, but don’t sugarcoat or be intimidated by the “judgmental” accusation. It is a strong man that causes Christians to tremble and it should not. It is one of the weakest and most absurd accusations there is, which says a lot, doesn’t it?
People who have this “you shouldn’t judge mentality” are usually very hard to talk to, and you’ll almost always get back answers like “well I feel” and “that’s just what you believe.” I posted a blog about “Truth” that will help you understand your responsibility to people like this. Remember, YOU cannot get through to people. Only God can. YOU are called to lovingly, without compromise, present the truth. They may end up angry at you, dislike you, and even “judge” you… that is a price we pay as Christians.
Through it all, just stay loving, but firm… compassionate but uncompromising… and let God deal the heart. But learn not to “melt” when you get the silly “don’t judge” comment thrown at you.
What are your questions about “judging”?