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[Once again, as ASND so often says, good satire is made good when it successfully exposes painful truths using humor.]
“The most often quoted teaching of Jesus seems to be ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.‘ (Matthew 7:1) It’s also… one of the most misunderstood…. [I]f we read this as a commandment to suspend all judgment… He’d be requiring the impossible because we’re incapable of having no opinion of what’s right or wrong…. [and] He’d also be contradicting Himself, because He specifically calls us, in other verses , to judge.”
“[B]y far the most frequently misapplied verse in the entire Bible.”
“First, ‘judge not’ does not mean that we suspend the rule of law. God has ordained officers in the state (Rom. 13:1–2) and in the church (Matt. 18:15–17; 1 Cor. 5:9–13) to exercise judgment when the members of each institution fail to do what is right… Second, ‘judge not’ does not mean that we turn off our brains. Elsewhere in Scripture, we are warned not to believe every spirit (1 John 4:1). We must be a discerning people, judging with right judgments (John 7:24). There is simply no way that we can read the Bible and conclude that godliness entails accepting everything all the time and affirming everyone no matter what. The same Jesus who preached about not judging also rebuked the church at Thyatira for tolerating false teachers and sexual immorality (Rev. 2:20). Third, ‘judge not’ does not mean that we suspend all moral distinctions. The Sermon on the Mount does not forbid theological and ethical evaluation. Jesus does not prohibit harsh criticism when necessary. Think about it: the Sermon on the Mount is full of moral judgment. Jesus calls people hypocrites (Matt. 7:5). He tells the people to beware of false prophets (v. 15). Just a few sentences after the command to ‘judge not,’ Jesus expects us to understand (and discern) that some people are dogs and pigs (v. 6). It’s as if Jesus is saying, ‘I don’t want you to be censorious, but neither do I want you to be simpletons.’”
The Verse the Culture Misquotes Most Regularly in an Effort to Quiet Christians
“It turns out that Jesus is not prohibiting vocal discernment in these passages, but is cautioning against a certain kind of unbecoming behavior: hypocritical judgmentalism. We are called to live differently so that we can effectively identify and address unbiblical behavior in our culture. I cannot be a practicing thief and effectively caution against thievery. I cannot be an active adulterer and effectively advocate monogamy. I’m going to have to ‘first’ stop and assess my own behavior (take out my own ‘log’) before I can ‘then’ caution others about their behavior (help them take the ‘speck’ out of their eye).”
“Matthew 7:1 is the [supposed] ultimate trump card for securing an undisputed victory in any argument. Here’s how it usually works: quote Jesus (‘Judge not, that you be not judged‘); act like anyone who disagrees is foolish or intolerant; then make a clean getaway with Jesus at the wheel. This is the [supposed] mic drop of all mic drops. Sadly, too few onlookers will paraphrase Inigo Montoya: ‘I don’t think that verse means what you think it means‘… Jesus does not prohibit the moral and relational judgments necessary to navigate a [sin-filled] world… [But] what kind of judgments is Jesus condemning?… Jesus tells his hearers to judge with a fair scale, rather than the unfair scales they experience regularly. Judge with integrity and empathy, not hypocrisy… [Jesus] doesn’t remove the responsibility of believers to help spot and remove sin from the lives of those they love… This passage isn’t difficult because Jesus forbids making judgments; it’s difficult because Jesus demands his followers show humility when they judge… [He] forbids them from being hypocrites and making hypocritical judgments… ”
“Wisdom resides in knowing the ‘proper time and the just way‘ of saying things ( Eccl. 8:5)… Nevertheless, it is not unloving to confront brothers [and sisters] who are not walking in the truth, just as Paul confronted Peter when he stopped walking according to the truth of the gospel ( Gal. 2:11 ). Many will say that this attitude is arrogant… Others, however, understand that it is part of our biblical calling to examine all things [cf. Pr 18:13 & 17 , Luke 12:57 , John 7:24 , 1Th 5:21 , 1 John 4:1 , etc.] and to keep what is right and reject what is false, wrong, and [otherwise unbiblical, cf. Hosea 4:6 , etc.]… Biblical love disciplines, corrects, reprehends, and tells the truth. And when it sees error that is followed by repentance and contrition, it forgives, forgets, and supports. Therefore, the love that is practiced by those who get offended by the defense of the faith, the exposing of error, and the confrontation of untruths is not biblical love. Lack of love would be letting people continue to be tricked without at least trying to show them their errors.”
“[T]he apostle Paul] spends time in 1Cor 11:17–19 … noting that… divisions [within churches resulting from people making judgments about the beliefs of others in their churches] can have a positive purpose… Church divisions and disagreements, as regrettable as they may be, have a positive side. Through arguments, we learn who truly holds to the Apostolic faith taught in the Scriptures and who does not. Indeed, we see this throughout history. Church historians and theologians have said time and again that doctrinal arguments and heresies have the salutary benefit of forcing the church to more accurately define the Christian faith according to Scripture. We see this even in the New Testament… [Centuries later] The fourth-century Arian controversy forced the church to more accurately define the deity of Christ. The sixteenth-century indulgence controversy forced the church to better articulate the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In these cases and in many others, divisions in the church helped purify the people of God and produced clearer statements of the faith once delivered to the saints… Charles Hodge comments that ‘it is a great consolation to know that dissensions… are ordered by the providence of God, and are designed, as storms, for the purpose of purification.‘ Division in the church itself may not be a good thing, but the Lord uses it to achieve His good purposes.”
“Consider country singer Carrie Underwood, who came out in support of same-sex ‘marriage’… In explanation of her position, she told the British press, ‘It’s not up to me to judge anybody.‘
What? You just did, Carrie. Your endorsement of same-sex ‘marriage’ constitutes a positive moral judgment on the social invention and its supporters, while insinuating a negative moral judgment about its critics.
But, like most nice people, Carrie Underwood is oblivious to her own incoherence in this matter. If she really deems it improper for her to judge the wrongness of actions, it is equally improper for her to judge their rightness. And if she does make a judgment one way or the other on an action, then, whichever way she goes (and whether she realizes it or not), she is making a de facto judgment on the opposing view.”
“[Faithful Christians] adhere to policies informed by the words of Christ — not by the beliefs of secularists who reject Christ or Christian apostates and heretics… [Faithful Christians] do not define ‘identity‘ as non-Christians, apostates, and heretics do. Nor do [faithful Christians] have an obligation to do so. [Faithful] Christians believe ‘identity‘ is constituted by acceptance of Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross and by the affirmation of Scripture as objectively true, including the inconvenient parts that require us to hate sin and take up our crosses daily. An identity constituted by affirmation of sinful desires is antithetical to a Christ-follower’s identity.”
The Diseasing of Judgment
“The Oxford English Dictionary defines judgmentalism as a form of ‘overly critical or moralistic behavior,’ and suggests that the term was virtually unknown until the 1950s, when it came into use in conjunction with the term moralism… Since [the 1970s], judgmentalism has increasingly signified an act of narrow-minded prejudice, and all acts of judgment share in that stigma to some degree or other (save, perhaps, for the small class of judgments that fall under political correctness, which amounts to a plenary requirement of nonjudgmentalism). Since the 1980s, this diseasing of judgement has become a powerful dynamic. Today, many hold that people, especially children, lack the resilience to deal with judgment, a belief widely advocated by parenting experts and early-childhood educators. This claim that we are vulnerable to judgment is paired with a positive ideal, ‘self-esteem,‘ which is presumed to cure the fragility of individuals who lack it and need it. [But] we are [now] witnessing the fruition of a long history of antipathy toward moral authority that has been sponsored for decades by social scientists, intellectuals, professors, and activists. It’s not something new that is disorienting and demoralizing the West: It is a venerable set of attitudes encouraged by generations of psychologists, educators, child-rearing experts, and even religious leaders… This professional ideal of establishing a relationship of open and neutral nonjudgment would in the decades to come mutate into the contemporary idealization of the ‘safe space‘… This devaluation of judgment contributed to the steady unravelling of moral authority in the cultural imagination of the West… [N]umerous commentators increasingly used the terms authority and authoritarian interchangeably. They often dismissed moral authority as an outdated ideal, favored by those who wished to impose their dogma on impressionable people. They derided the act of obeying authority as a marker of psychological malaise… A person’s need for authority was understood as a form of psychological deficit, while the act of judgment was associated with the exercise of authoritarian impulses… Some went so far as to suggest that moral judgment, particularly its idealization during the process of the socialization of young people, was responsible for both world wars… Even a child’s obedience to parent and teacher were sometimes presented as the precursor to more dangerous forms of deference to authority, the first steps on the road to an ‘authoritarian personality‘… Not surprisingly, when confronted with the claim that moral judgments are merely an expression of the personal opinion of a closed-minded individual, many citizens in the mid-twentieth-century West decided to keep their views of what is right and wrong to themselves. With so many experts challenging the value of moral absolutes, the very idea of obedience to normative authorities became suspect… According to this new theology of the heart, charity is opposed to judgment. Compassion means that ‘we don’t judge others‘… Schoolteachers [now must] avoid explicit criticism of their pupils and practice techniques that validate all members of the classroom. Corporate voices insist, ‘Diversity is our strength,’ which is another way of saying, ‘We will not judge you.‘ The axiom ‘Criticism is violence‘ has gained significant influence on university campuses and among society’s cultural elites. Judgment is sometimes depicted as a form of psychic violence, [But] Without an authoritative moral source, judgment loses cultural currency… Nonjudgmentalism leaves a vacuum in the consciences of human beings, a moral indifference that provides no satisfaction other than the fleeting virtue of showing one’s liberal forbearance, but that was enough for them. [Liberals] would never think that their enlightened tolerance is a species of moral cowardice… The outburst of protests associated with Black Lives Matter [for example] highlights the importance of justice in society, but determining what constitutes just or unjust conduct requires judgment. This moment might have been an occasion for renewal. But in a culture estranged from living sources of authority and untutored in the exercise of judgment, justice becomes a slogan without moral content. Its rhetoric serves as a political weapon rather than invitation to deliberation, debates, and moral discernment. To avoid this fate, we must find a way to restore judgment to our ways of thinking about ourselves, others, and society at large.”
“…the world will gradually change its negative view of Christians as judgmental, hypocritical, too political, anti-homosexual, etc.”
[ Really ? Someone send me an email when that happens.]
Who Are You To Impose Your Morality on Others?
How Tolerant Should A Christian Be? Are Christians Judgmental?
Should Christians Judge?
Is Legislating Morality Biblical?
Helping Someone Escape Sin Is Not Judgmental
“Watch as we’re all about to get a lesson in not judging a book by its cover.”
[Remember the story we posted previously about this guy ? We asked who would have predicted that. Well, who would have predicted this ?]
“Everything about Donni Brickyard’s appearance screams ‘thug.’“
On Judging Others: Is There a Right Way?