Survey most Christians and they will say that we are not to judge others. That to love is to not judge but to accept. Is that a correct statement? In part, yes.
Most non-Christians I know say the same thing. They know one verse of Scripture, "Thou shalt not judge". It also holds the same authority of one of the 10 Commandments!
In our Sunday School class this week we explored what the Bible has to say about Judging others. It was enlightening. I think it is worth taking the risk of wading into this pool.
1 Corinthians 5
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
6 Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
This is one of those cases where our cultural sensibilities need to come in line with the Scriptures. It is clear that Paul felt the need to judge (v.3) and reminded the believers of their call to judge other believers (v.12).
It is so American to go with the flow and live in the gray areas. We are trained in tolerance. In fact, the only thing our tolerant culture will not allow is intolerance! Try to be intolerant and these mild mannered, soft spoken, lovers of humanity will show you an intolerant fire like you've never experienced before!
When we think of judging others we need to qualify what we are talking about. Are we to judge the person or the actions? Are we supposed to judge fellow Christians? Are we supposed to judge the world?
For today, I want us to focus on the concept that judgment is not always bad nor is it unloving. If I see a young child playing near an unprotected pool is it loving of me to allow that child to experience the risk of drowning? If I choose to not discipline my kids for being disobedient to us is that loving?
Rright spirited judgment, judgment that is for the betterment of the person judged, is loving. When a coach calls out a kid for not giving 100% or when a boss calls out an employee for unproductive behavior is that unloving?
Stay tuned. We will look at the importance of judging ourselves first, judging others and judging the world. You might be surprised by what God has to teach you.
Question yourself this day. Do you hold a "Christians should not judge" attitude? Can you see from 1 Cor. 5 that this is may not be biblical?
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