To Judge or Not to Judge

December 23, 2010
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I’m sure you’ve heard it just as often as I. You’ve heard scores of different people say things like it, in different ways and coming from different backgrounds. Just what is this universal phrase I speak of? DON’T JUDGE ME. Maybe you’ve heard it in the form of “Don’t judge others” or “Don’t hate on me” or maybe the popular “Stop hatin’.” However and wherever and by whomever you have heard it said, I’m positive it has bombarded your sensitive ears before.

But that simple subject, that simple phrase is not the core of this article. The audience to whom this is directed are the ever elusive, the ever scorned and (and don’t judge me for saying this) the ever scorning Christians. Before someone gets offended and thinks I’m judging them, I am a Christian. You could even say I’m a devout Christian. Though the word “Christian” unfortunately doesn’t mean much in today’s day in age, (since we are constantly being attacked by fakes, phonies, and those who drastically misunderstand the term) maybe it would help if I mentioned that I’m a pastor’s daughter.

Moving on. When I speak, I am speaking to the Christians. And this is not your usual “Don’t judge” article either directed at the hypocritical Christians. This article is to assert, persuade, and convince Christians of the following:

SOMETIMES WE MUST JUDGE.

Wait a second, ya’ll are saying. What? Judge? Yes.

Let’s take a look at the constantly abused Matthew 7:“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Alright. Easy enough, right? Wrong. When Jesus says not to judge in this passage, he is referring to judging unbelievers in an unloving, uppity, pompous way. It is not up to us Christians to look at our neighbor, turn up our nose and say with a haughty look, “You’re going to Hell if you don’t repent.” No. That is not our job. And yet…what about believers? What about those in the church? What about those, God forbid, serving in the church? What then? Do Jesus’ words still apply here?

The answer is a strong, forceful, certain no. And I will tell you why. Take 1 Corinthians 5 for example: “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.”

Huh. Would you look at that? For so long, the church has gotten it backwards. We look at the unbelievers, at the man cheating on his wife; at the woman who gets pregnant before marriage; at the murderers who are all around us; and we say, “Bad, bad, the evil world out there.” But that’s messed up. God will judge those people, I guarantee you. It is the evil inside the church we must judge. Yes, no one can know a person’s heart. But Matthew 7 says a Christian will be known by his fruit. We need to purge the evil in our midst, the wolves in sheep’s clothing; we need to bring back those who stray from the truth (Jas 5); and yes, we need to judge.


I sincerely hope this opens the eyes of those Christians who have the bad habit of judging those who don't share their faith. It is not up to us to judge, folks. It's up to us to care and encourage others to seek God, that they might find Him. Oh and one more thing: judging is natural. But so is our sin nature. So fight it and win!





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