Judge Not, You Hypocrite!
By J. Davila Ashcraft
Jesus’ admonition is often used to attack Christians who dare to speak to the immorality and inherent destructive history and nature of the Leftist agenda. Inevitably some Social Justice Warrior who is either an Atheist (and so quoting scripture seems a bit disingenuous), or claims to be a Christian (in name only) screeches,”Judge Not!” This misguided and out of context appeal to the teachings of Jesus and the Bible are not an affirmation of their validity and proper place in public discourse by the Atheist/Leftist, but rather a smug attempt to hijack truth in support of error. Of course they have no problem judging Christians, and thus fall under the very condemnation they wish to charge us with. The idea that Christians cannot judge ideas, political programs, social issues, and the like is really designed to shut down discussion and debate. It is the turning of a virtuous teaching against us.
Leftist, Denay Burris’ op-ed piece in The Lincoln Echo, Arizona says, in reference to Christian opposition to same sex marriage:
“Now lets refer to the Bible. Matthew 7:1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. Refer to John 8:1-11 [“let him that is without sin cast the first stone”], and Romans 2:1-3.”
In Abortion: My Choice, God’s Grace : Christian Women Tell Their Stories, Anne Eggebroten asserts, “as Christians we must not judge those who have found themselves in need of an abortion” (p. 198).
We are told we cannot judge homosexuality, transgenderism, Islamic terrorism, and on and on. What this amounts to is not a concern for biblical thinking, but an attempt to control public discourse and marginalize opposition.
And lest we think such tripe is found only outside the Christian community, let’s not forget a situation with the so-called “Christian” rock band Stryper. During one of their recent concert tours, they hired the once-famous secular group White Lion as the opening act. During some of the concerts White Lion openly used filthy, vulgar profanity on stage. At one concert they even threw out pornographic magazines into the audience. In an interview Michael Sweet was asked, “How did you guys deal with that when it happened?” Michael replied, “We felt we couldn’t judge any other group. If we told them, hey, you can’t do this and you can’t do that, we would be judging them.”
Such Leftist thinking permeates not only secular culture, but much of the church, and is really a symptom of relativism.
These misapplications of scripture are rampant and ignore Biblical Texts which require judging. Texts such as:
• Matt. 7:6, 15-20
• John 7:24
• Matt. 18:15-17
• I Cor. 5:9-13
• I Cor. 6:1-8
• II Thess. 3:6, 14-15
• Gal. 6:1
• I Tim. 5:19-20
• Eph. 5:11
• Titus 1:13
The fact of the matter is, we all judge every day out of necessity. We judge whether the character of the people we choose to associate with is acceptable. We judge the suitability of those who would be friends of our children. We judge people, places, and situations each and every day as a matter of safety, suitability, morality, and ethics. Judging is not the problem if we know how to judge righteously.
The question we have to ask is, what are the principles of application for judging or refraining from judgment?
What is Required:
1. We must evaluate ourselves and others by God’s word- John 7:24 2. We can identify a false teacher or false social idea (claims to be right with God, but isn’t) if the fruit (words and behavior) of his life or the idea does not measure up to the standard of God’s word — Matt. 7:15-20 3.
2. When encountering violations of what God’s word clearly teaches are sin, we must identify them as sin and then deal with them according to the Biblical pattern.
What is Prohibited:
1. We are prohibited from judging others based on a simplistic reading of Scriptures. We must consider all the Scripture teaches to be able to “judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24
2. We are prohibited from condemning others for what we ourselves are guilty and unrepentant – Matt. 7:1-4; Rom. 2:1-3.
3. We are prohibited from speaking negatively about fellow believers and condemning them – Luke 6:37; James 4:11-12.
4. We must not de-Christianize those who differ from us on matters over which good, godly men have differed and do not contradict scripture. — Rom. 14:3, 10.
The following are a sampling of common scenarios which are actual violations of the biblical principle “Judge Not”:
1. Believers assuming that another believer’s motive is self-centered or sinful, and on that basis criticizing them and/or condemning them, i.e., “They did wrong”; “They cheated”; “They lied”
2. Believers who listen to information that damages another believer’s reputation without rebuking the gossiper (and this includes websites authored by Christians who slander other Christians under the guise of exposing error or lies), and thus implicitly participating in the gossiper’s judging of the other person. This one is rampant!
3. Complaining about the actions of a believer or group of believers (church, para-church organization, etc) and criticizing them without having first followed the biblical pattern for dealing with a brother who sins against you.
What we have to understand is that scripture advises us to judge, and that, if we do not judge ideas, issues, etc. by the measure of scripture, then we are not living a Biblical life, but a secular, Relativist life.
J. Davila Ashcraft is a Theologian and Apologist, and a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. His website: www.paleoorthodoxy.org
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