Judge Not or Judge Justly
To Judge or Not to Judge a Fabricated Dilemma
One who does not flow with mainstream culture is often defined by many labels. If one dare resist the belief in same-sex unions, for instance, well, one is "intolerant."
If one be audacious enough to stand for the right of an unborn child, then one is surely "inflexible." And if one possess enough gumption to stand against the use of contraceptives and the idea of "protected" sex, then these are the musings of a "judgmental" individual.
Yet, there is a distinct common element exuding from such classifications.
They are launched by intolerant, inflexible, and judgmental individuals quick to point the finger at one who shares a differing moral viewpoint. Oooops! Was that a judgmental statement? Indeed it was. Have Christian bounds been encroached upon by such a statement? Absolutely not.
For contrary to popular belief, Christians are instructed to make judgment by Christ himself.
Allow us to explore a couple of scripture passages in order to clarify the point. In John 7:24 Jesus tells us: "Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly."
Not only does Christ instruct us to judge, he informs us as to the manner in which we should do so - justly. We also see Christ ask the following in Luke 12:57: "Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?"
As Christians, we are called to judge between right and wrong, between just and unjust.
Yet, exactly how are we to go about making a just judgment? Again, we are given example by Christ himself. In Matthew 11:3-5 we find the following account:
"When John [the Baptist] heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him with this question, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them."
One must carefully note the manner in which Christ answers John's question. Jesus does not say yes I am or no I am not the Messiah. Instead, he allows John the Baptist to make a just judgment, based on what? Based on the works executed by Him: the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
Hence, we are to make a just judgment based on one's works. Now ask yourselves, is it just ending the life of a person in the womb? Is it just reducing the life-giving union of marriage to mere unions of the flesh? Is it just inverting the dignity of human sexuality to mere pleasure with rubber and foam? Of course not. Let us judge these works for what they truly are.
Still, what about that infamous scripture passage the self-proclaimed "tolerant" love hurling at their opponents:
Matthew 7:1-5: "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."
Seems pretty straight forward, Christ tells us: Stop judging.
Yet, we must ask ourselves: who is Jesus addressing in this scripture passage? We are told He is addressing the hypocrite. Those who tend to make an unjust judgment. The same type of judgment John 7:24 (above) condemns.
Moreover, even in this very passage of scripture, Christ instructs us to judge. He only asks that we "remove the wooden beam from [our eye] first" that we might see clearly when doing so. In other words, make a just judgment.
In fact, let us close with the following verdict:
Let not the culture disarm us with labels such as "intolerant," "inflexible," or "rigid." They are aspersions better suited to those who cast them.
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