Should Christians judge others?

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: . 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.

7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judg­ment you pro­nounce you will be judged, and with the mea­sure you use it will be mea­sured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hyp­ocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Comments (3)

  1. mrtsax wrote::

    also, if we stay silent, who will oppose the oppres­sors, the oppres­sors will con­tinue to oppress (ie North Korean refugees).

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 8:50 am #
  2. rlew wrote::

    I agree mrt­sax, like the Edmund Burke quote: “The only thing nec­es­sary for evil to tri­umph is for good men to do nothing.”

    (I sup­pose I’m con­tribut­ing to the con­vo­luted his­tory of this quote.)

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 10:20 am #
  3. wrote::

    the judi­cial sys­tem, is the same sys­tem that expects a chris­t­ian to judge solely upon the let­ter of the law, our lord him­self refused to pass judge­ment accord­ing to the let­ter of the law. if he did „„there would be no per­son alive on this planet.… the law is cor­rupt, filled with coer­cion, it is the same law that has pushed my lord jesus christ out of places our found­ing fathers would utterly shiver at today,the same sys­tem that gave doc­tors the right to mur­der the unborn,the same sys­tem that does not under­stand god at all,mans rightous­ness is noth­ing but filthy rags unto the lord, i for one will have no part in this sys­tem, let the mis­guided and the ungodly, and the self rightous ‚the non­be­liev­ers judge one another,

    Monday, June 13, 2011 at 6:05 am #