Are you judging me?

Will Robinson
Because we live in an age of tolerance where almost anything goes, openly questioning or criticizing other people’s actions can quickly get you labeled as judgmental, narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful, and even ignorant. Although you may use actual scriptures to clearly point out what the Bible identifies as sin, people will still call you intolerant or holier-than-thou. With regard to Christianity, Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” is often quoted (or should I say “misquoted”) to discourage Christians from calling a sin – a sin, and challenging practices that are unscriptural.

This interpretation of Scripture, however, is simply mistaken. The Bible clearly does not prevent a believer from passing judgment about what is right or wrong. The Bible does condemn believers and non-believers alike for rendering inaccurate and unfair judgments (John 7:24). In 1 Corinthians 2:15 Paul tells us that believers are called to make “judgments about all things.” Our judgment, however, should always be clearly and unmistakably based on what God has said in His Word and not our personal opinions.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Cor.2:13-16 (NKJV)

As believers, we are to love our neighbors, therefore we have a Biblical responsibility to warn them about spiritually destructive behavior. Behavior that could ultimately lead to death, both physical and eternal death.

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 (NLT)

True love and compassion should move believers to sound warning cries, even in the face of opposition and criticism, to help prevent countless lives from heading toward eternal separation from God. Let’s realize that when we call sin and error into question, it’s only because we’re concerned about the eternal destinies of people. Let’s also keep in mind that Scripture doesn’t tell us to demean or condemn people who are in error; rather, it encourages us to offer Biblical support and solutions with gentleness and respect. Tolerance is a virtue, but not when it comes to trying to save a man from eternal destruction.

13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry. 15Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:13 through 1 Peter 3:17 (NLT)

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