This article is bound to make a lot of saints and sinners bristle like porcupines! It is really politically incorrect across the board. Like so many Scriptural truths, liberals love to warp this one and use it as a bat to bloody conservative Christians. The following quotes are constantly on the lips of Christ’s enemies, as well as loose Christians trying to justify their indulgent lifestyles. It is favored by youth, but it is also common to hear it from pulpits.
“I’m not trying to be judgmental, but…”
“Hey! Who are you to judge?”
“It isn’t my place to judge others!”
“Just who does he think he is, judging others?”
“Look at him. He’s one of those Christians who looks down his nose at others.”
“She’s one of those goody‑goody two-shoes in her self-righteous robes.”
A lot of Christians, who are prone to embracing anyone and anything from any organization having a shingle outside claiming Christian leanings are apt to say, “well, they are all part of the body of Christ; I’m supposed to love and embrace them, not judge them. That’s God’s business, not mine.”
We love to cite Jesus’ famous words, “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matt. 7:1,2). And so we abuse those words as an excuse to be on backslapping terms with error. Such practice is far better known as compromise. As Rodney King said, “Can’t we just all get along?”
Friends, we need a vigorous shaking back to reality! The human act of judging is actually a vital function of the free will God saw fit to install in all of us. That’s right, He created as to be judgmental! Our free wills, for instance, have the power to simply quit eating, but good judgment tells us to stop such lunacy before we starve to death. The raw nature in us forces the making of judgment calls about everything around us, and we do it all our lives. That’s one thing we have no choice about – every choice is a judgment call simply because the base nature of choice is evaluation which by definition means judgment, and we are stuck with doing it constantly to survive.
That truth is so simple to demonstrate it borders on the absurd: try being in a room where someone suddenly whips out a stick of dynamite and lights the fuse. Quite suddenly judgment will flood the room! Nary a soul will find themselves saying, “now let’s not be judgmental about this.” How stupid is that! No! Nobody is going to run over and embrace this nut and look pitiful and say, “now, let’s all be patient with him and give him time to think carefully about what he’s doing.” Not a chance! Jesus said, “judge righteous judgment” ( John 7:24), and here’s a case where it had better be a fanatical righteous! I have a hunch human sanity would flood that room. And when everyone but the bomber had fled the scene and the whole house blows to smithereens, there’s hardly a question that everyone will be glad they exercised good judgment and nearly got trampled getting out of there!
Friends, Christian sanity dictates that we had better learn the fine art of being judgmental, because that is exactly what Judgment Day is all about! That’s where accounts will be settled as to whether or not we were obedient to Jesus’ command of, “judge righteous judgment.” We all know this by sheer instinct because every time we say such things as, “I misjudged him,” or “I made an error in judgment” we are admitting that without the error we would have “judged righteous judgment.”
The church has foolishly misconstrued Matt. 7:1,2 to say that Christians are not supposed to judge the behavior of others. It’s a typical case of ripping a passage out of its context to justify keeping our mouths shut at evil. Instead, what this passage teaches God’s people is to live a holy life before our holy God. Simply put, if you’re living like the Devil yourself, then stop running around accusing others of it. Verse 3 of Matt. 7 says exactly that. If our lives are laced with sinful behavior while we point a crooked finger of accusation at somebody else, then Jesus starkly characterizes us: He calls us hypocrites! (v.5). That’s the pure essence of verses one and two. The inferred truth here is that we should live holy lives before God so that no grounds of accusation exists. It should be said of God’s people in fair judicial proceedings that no fault is found in us. Paul could say, “Be ye followers of me as I also am of Christ” (I Cor 11:1), not that he was perfect, but that he willfully lived a life above reproach. In that capacity Paul ‑‑ and we ‑‑ are in a position qualifying us to exercise “righteous judgment.”
Passages in the New Testament where God’s people exercised judgment of others are so numerous it is monotony to dwell on them! Paul judged Peter’s behavior, (Gal. 2:11); he also judged Mark’s (Acts 15:38); Paul and Barnabas judged each other in a dispute (Acts 15:39); Paul judged the behavior of the Corinthians (I Cor 5). Peter came down on false doctrine; so did James; Peter, Paul, James, and John. In fact, every New Testament writer exercised judgmentalism upon each other, against erroneous doctrine, against troublemakers, against churches, and a lot more. It came natural with them in order to achieve righteous outcomes. Sometimes they were right, sometimes they were wrong, but judge they did because it was necessary.
In first Corinthians 5 and 6 Paul deals with a troublemaker in the Corinthian church. He called upon the church to exercise righteous judgment against this troublemaker, to cast him out from among them, if you please! But what if they had assumed the role of some of today’s Christians? Hear the empty-headed excuse, “Oh, but who am I to judge? It’s not my place to judge him!” The result would have been a lowdown rascal, right there rubbing shoulders with them, who was sleeping with “His father’s wife!”
Paul says in chapter 6 verse 2 that the “Saints shall judge the world,” and so, his logic goes, “Are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” Friends, Paul blatantly taught that upright Christians are actually to be judgmental against bad behavior. That is our job! This old business of letting evil alone to do it’s thing among us is bad ‑really bad! And until God’s people rise up out of our own unholy behavior and call sin, sin and take firm action against it, sin will be the leaven that finally permeates the whole batter, turning the church into a social club instead of a righteous billyclub with which God’s purpose can be achieved. That billyclub is the uncontaminated, uncompromising, all powerful, Devil driving, life changing, pristine Word of the living God!
Now let’s put all of this into perspective. A lot has been said by saint and sinner about a “holier than thou” attitude. In fact, God had to chide Israel for that very thing, as shown in Isaiah 65:2‑5. James warned the church about arrogance and favoritism, as seen in James 2:2‑4. Proverbs names “a proud look” as the list‑topper of what God hates (Proverbs 6:17). Paul wrote the Corinthians, “They measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (11 Cor. 10:12). The context of all of these is the subject of judging others. The thing we seem bent on missing, however, is the plethora of passages assigning judgment to the saints. We cited a few of them earlier.
Jesus said, “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5: 5). He also said, “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33). In view of such statements, He didn’t mince words about what he expected of his church in the world he had overcome: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28: 199 20). But we should take special note of verse 18: “… all power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.” There it is: The saints are commissioned to take the planet for Christ.
Are we so blind that we cannot see that the mission commanded of the church is to Christianize the whole planet? The begging question then is this: if the church should obey and accomplish that task, who would then be in authority on the earth? That is, who would be occupying seats of judgment? The saints, of course, under the headship of Christ!
But let’s be clear: the meek shall inherit the earth. The haughty and proud will not “judge righteous judgment” now or later. Jesus went out of his way to demonstrate humility. God’s very Son even washed dirty feet! He said we should sit at the lowest seat and allow the host to seat us where he would have us sit, according to his estimation of our importance. (Luke 14: 8‑11). And there was the story of the lowly widow’s two mites. Jesus said this humble servant cast in more than all the others (Luke 21: 2, 3). Yes, the meek shall wind up in charge under Christ’s headship.
So these are the rules if we would judge, but never let it be said that Christians should not be judgmental in matters of right and wrong. But we had better judge our own hearts to see if we have any beams in our own eyes that need casting out first. The question is therefore not should we judge others; rather, it is who among us is worthy to do it? Are you? Look at your own life, and then cast the first stone. You can be a judge of others if you meet the qualifications. Trouble is, if God’s people fail to live above reproach themselves, then who is going to collar the sin and error that paralyzes God’s intentions? If you do qualify but you hold your tongue from judging righteous judgment, then you are yourself a partner and propagator of the sins that run like septic in the streets! God’s judgment will not go well with you.