I couldn’t help but notice the court case regarding the wife of Joel Osteen (a well-known pastor). I’m not interested in the case, but I did notice the difficulty in putting a proper jury together. Here’s a line from a prospective juror: “As a Christian, I wouldn’t feel it would be my place to judge them.”
(Please pardon me while I tear my hair out.)
I appreciate that this prospective juror is taking seriously “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” but we need to read that command in context: Matthew 7:1 – 5. Judgment of a person’s behavior is wrong if unfair, hypocritical and arrogant. Proper judgment, as Lewis Smedes says, is necessary:
I would suggest that, in our day and age, we need more — not less — judgment. Modern Americans suffer from a fear of judging. Passing judgment on the behavior of fellow human beings is considered an act of medieval, undemocratic intolerance.
Why? Because, our culture tells us, we are all flawed people, and people with flaws have no right to judge other people’s flaws. Furthermore, modern Americans do not believe that there are objective standards by which to judge. And where there are no standards, there is nothing by which to measure behavior.
Standards are vital. “In a sinful world, no community can exist for long where nobody is ever held accountable.” (Smedes, again) There is no holiness without standards, no love without judgment.
All I can say is, please judge me. Just do it fairly, humbly and with love, and always aim for repentance and reconciliation. And of course, know that full, final and eternal judgment is God’s alone.