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I hate to say this, but I know it's true. We love to judge others to make ourselves look better. Oh how we love our self righteousness. Did Jesus come to save sinners like us, the same as He did them? Are you now not a sinner? First John 1:8 says if you say you have no sin, you are deceived and the truth is not in you. So don't be a Pharisee and look down on everybody else to make you more righteous. If Jesus had not saved you, you would be worse than them. We are all sinners, saved by grace. On small matters, show grace, on big sins, tell them God will chasten those He loves, and in meekness rebuke them knowing that you could fall into the same sin. Romans 14:4 "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?" God allows some thing in some, that He does not allow in others. Romans 14:22 "Happy is the man that does not condemn himself in that thing which He alloweth. Have it to thyself before God." Too many go around judging others for some little thing they do but have a log in their own eye. We need to take the log out of our own eye before we try to take the splinter out of our brother's eye. If you find fault with everybody else, as though you have no faults, you become the judge and the jury. Who made you judge of all the earth? Are you now so perfect that you can judge others for every little thing the do? Jesus said we are to love one another. If we have no love we are just tinkling brass. Jesus said love is greater than faith. Some go too far in liberality and say there is no sin. Others go too far in judgment and have no love for God or people. Somehow we have to stay between liberalism and legalism. Most churches go too extreme one way or the other. We either judge everyone a sinner who does not live up to our standard of righteousness, or we let blatant sinners lead the flock. But if you know Jesus as your only savior, you have the Holy Spirit in you and are saved and have eternal life. No matter what others say, they are sinners just as you are - they are no better. But hypocrites love to judge others as sinners to build themselves up. Matthew 7:1-6 Matthew 15:7-9 What are the commandments of men. Thou shalt no drink alcohol, thou shalt not dance, thou shalt not watch TV, thou shalt not go to movies, thou shalt only wear what we tell you to wear, thou shalt not use any tobacco, and a host of other man made laws and rules we are to obey to make our selves more righteous than others. Do you have no faults? Do you over eat? Do you gossip? Do you count everyone a sinner who does not worship on the Sabbath? Hypocrites. God does not judge the way we do, but according to our hearts before Him. The proud says I have no sin. I am righteous in myself. So I can treat others like dirt because I am so good. I am sure God will accept me on my own righteousness. But Jesus said, Matthew 7:21-23 "many will say on that day, Lord Lord, have we not done many wonderful works, we have even cast out demons in thy name?" But Jesus said only those that have done the will of my father will be saved. Jesus says, "depart from me ye that work iniquity, I never knew you." And what is the will of the Father? John 6:29 To believe on Jesus as the only way to be saved. Our good works could never save us.
When it comes to the issue of Christians judging other people, it is vitally important that we are clear about “who” the subject of our judgment is. There are two groups of people who could be the subject of our judgment: 1) the church which exists within the kingdom of God, and 2) the world which exists outside the kingdom of God. When Jesus talks about judgment, I believe he is talking about our relationship with others in the church who belong to the body of Christ. This authority is exercised through the church and the leaders of the church. But Jesus also gave authority to every believer to minister in his name. Every believer has the right to expect every other believer to live by the tenets of the Christian faith. When we stumble and fall into sin, the church expects us to recognize our sin, confess it, repent and be restored to intimate fellowship with other believers. The bible is clear that we are our brothers’ keepers’. If we see a brother caught up in sin and they don’t realize it, we are to gently instruct them with love and respect so they will repent and be restored. If they don’t repent then we are to withdraw our fellowship from them. However, the big problem arises because not everyone who attends a church or is affiliated with a church is truly a believer. Some people are enquirers on their road to salvation. Other people may be deceived to believe that church is a social club or a cultural tradition. Our responsibility for judgement rests only with true believers. We need to be certain we are dealing with a person of faith before we bring up the matter of sin in their lives. For unbelievers in the church we must remain silent. The only people that Jesus judged were his 12 disciples and the leaders of the church (pharisees, sadducees and teachers of the law). Jesus never judged the tax collectors and prostitutes. The second group of people we may think we have authority to judge is the people of this world. But this belief is totally wrong, in my view. Jesus never judged the Romans for their sins. In fact, he asked his Father in heaven to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. This is a very important truth for us to remember. People in our world don’t know what they are doing, they don’t know they are rebelling against God and are in slavery to sin. The Holy Spirit’s job is to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. Our job is to preach the gospel, the good news about Jesus, who came to save us from the penalty for our sins and restore the gift of eternal life with God. I think individual Christians, individual churches and other para church organizations often believe we have the right to speak to individuals, groups, or even nations in the world, calling them out for their sins and calling them “back to God.” None of the countries in the Western Industrialized World are Christian countries. Hundreds of years ago, church history tells us that all these countries were Christian. Not so anymore. Evangelical Christians are a small minority compared to the general populations of all these countries. As a result, the laws enacted by these governments reflect the will of the majority of people, who belong to the ways of the world and are not Christian. As the church of Jesus Christ, I believe we need to be known for “what we stand for” and not “what we are against”. For example, we should be for the sanctity of life and not against abortion. We should be for the universal love of God for all people and not against the LGBTQ community. The world does not understand our protestations against the sins we see committed in our society, because these things are only spiritually discerned. We should never expect them to understand. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to open individual eyes and hearts as we share the good news about Jesus. We have not been appointed the judge of our society, country or worldly family and friends.
I agree with most of the thoughts presented and would only add the following perspective. Much of this discussion about judging is presented situationally. Clearly we are not to look down on others for their appearance (i.e. tattered clothes, or what they eat). Let's be honest, Christians are judged as judgmental for being Christians. The label comes with the territory. It is more prevalent among the evangelicals because the are overtly sharing the gospel. The gospel tells others of their sin and they are offended. The response; "Who are you to judge me?" Friend, I am not judging you. Some of the readers here may not have thought of this but when we share the gospel we will inevitably share the judgments that have already been written by God. Furthermore, we have an obligation to do so. You tell them they need the Savior, but you must tell them for what. That is different from juvenile comparisons of 'your sin is worse than my sin'. By all means do it lovingly, but remaining silent is the opposite of love. In fact, it is desertion. Jesus came primarily to die. But during his ministry on earth he taught with both passion and compassion. He called religious leaders whited sepulchers and others a nation of vipers. He taught redemption and charity and love for others with the view of an eternal reward of joy and happiness. There is a contrast here but not a tension. There is something to be said to those who feel judged. Is there any truth in what you feel judged about? Are you guilty before God? Only He can dispense judgment and remove guilt through his provision of Jesus' sacrificial work.
Great question and blessed answers, in no way could a reply get any better than what has been. The truth about judging others are far more in-depth than aiming the offense toward strangers, friends, or television. To say the least, if we think about entertainment it fills our minds with judgmental thoughts flowing beneath our conscience unknowingly. Judging the actions of pretend shows parallels with identical life events, giving the spectators the ability to judge without thought of their own actions. The only way to overcome the wall of judgement of others is through Jesus Christ. We so easily forget while raising a family how simple we come to the judgmental state of mind when accidents occur in our own home, when one or more of the family members commit an offense which angers the offended. No one has lived without sin accept Jesus, we are a fallen race, failing our Lord when forgetting our life history of mistakes and how we wish offenses toward others would never occur. Jesus died to save our soul, receive the Holy Spirit, and to be forgiven for our born sins, as well sins committed before realizing what Jesus did for us. Our Heavenly Fathers gave the people of this world a chance to forget the sins we all have, but we our selves forget during judgmental behavior how to forgive and forget. To understand the process of failures verses success comes only when we have the Holy Spirit teaching us that our own mistakes were recognized and forgiven. When family or friends make mistakes its easy to call them out, judging their actions against you, but have we all not done something which offended our loved ones? Even more importantly, when concluding an offense has taken front seat, is it possible we pushed that offense on ourselves? When anger arises what was the reason, who acted out to bring anger to the surface, and what thought crosses the mind that the person angry has not done similar events? To reach out begging God for comfort, peace, and love when in the mist of trial and tribulations was what Abraham did during his questioning of the Lord, showing love and hope for mankind. It was this action which gave the accreditation of righteousness to the lineage leading to our Savior. If we judge others we ourselves we be judged by our Heavenly Fathers.
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