Friday, May 25, 2012

Should We As Christians Judge?

(To be clear I am not saying this lady is in error. I just want to bring some clarity to the issue)

After watching this video I think it is important to make some important distinctions that was not made and will be sure to cause much confusion.

1)-The Bible is clear we can not judge a persons heart. Ultimately that is God's job.

2)-We are not to judge the unbelievers.

                (1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ESV)
"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Those who do not believe in Christ are judged already:

(John 3:18 ESV) 
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

It is right and Biblical to say that we are not to judge the unregenerate because they will face the judge of the universe and will have to answer to Him alone.

My area of concern though is a problem I have seen a lot as of late especially in light of the debates about "gay-marriage" and homosexuality.

Many believe that not judging a persons heart extends into "Christians can not judge actions or a religion as right or wrong".  And that is my fear with this video. Why I am sure this sweet young lady has the best intentions, I think we need to make sure that we understand Biblically how we are to judge things and we do make judgments everyday. Lets look at a few examples:

1)-The Atheist worldview. Why we do not judge the Atheist, we most certainly judge their worldview as being opposed to scripture and the Biblical worldview.  We would say that the worldview that "matter is all there is" would be in error and wrong.

2)-Sex before marriage. Again, we  do not judge the individual but the action of sex before marriage we are told plainly in scripture is wrong (1 Corinthians 5). 

3)-Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6) and so we should not as Christians be voting to pass laws which will endorse this un-Godly behavior.

In Mark 6 Jesus tells the apostles to go out and preach to the surrounding area to repent
of their sin. For us to do evangelism the heart of the gospel is repentance which means we are affirming there are certain behaviors that Holy Scripture tells us is wrong.

Jesus tells us:

     (John 7:24 ESV)
"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

We must be able to make judgement so we can be able to discern truth from error!
Here is a great piece from an article written on how we as Christians should judge:

"How to Judge the Lord's Way

How do we untangle this mess about "judging"? The solution is not difficult to understand, but it is difficult to live by. If you will remember and live by these next four principles of Jesus regarding judgment, you will be walking according to the Lord's mercy and truth in this extremely important matter of "judging".

First, we are to judge all things (people's behavior and words/beliefs) against Jesus' Words, for Jesus, who is the Word of God, is the standard of truth (John 14:6; 17:17).

(In regard to this first principle of judging, it is extremely important to distinguish between a person's beliefs/doctrine versus their amoral behaviors or physical characteristics. We are to carefully judge all beliefs against Jesus' teachings, and we are NOT to judge people's amoral behavior. Amoral behavior means non-faith customs, traditions, ceremonies or actions that have no moral or spiritual implication. For example, the way someone brushes their teeth, or how or what someone eats, or the manner of their speaking, etc. We are also not to judge someone's physical appearance i.e. their body shape, skin color or facial structure.)

Second, when judging other's behaviors and words, we are to be careful that we are not committing similar sins or errors(Matt. 7:1-6). To be correcting someone for a sin that we have not gained control over (by the power of the Holy Spirit) is hypocritical.

Third, we are to be slow to judge and quick to listen and to forgive (Matt. 7:1-6, 6:14-15).

Fourth and finally, we are not to condemn anyone as hopelessly beyond the reach of God's mercy (Luke 6:37). The follower of Jesus should never tell someone, "you're going to end up in hell, period". Not even Jesus - the only one to ascend into heaven (John 3:13), and thus could justly give that judgment, and who certainly knew many people who were going to end up in hell - brought that condemnation"
( )

 There is a real danger in telling Christians they are not to judge unless we clarify what type of judging we are talking about. Sadly some Christians refuse to even say something is sin or a worldview is wrong because they think it is wrong to judge.

We are to discern truth from error and that is only done by judging all things according to Sacred Scripture and if it goes against what the word of God says, we call it out as error.  

Sadly there are some who are so crippled by their misunderstanding of this issue they will not even speak out  against false religions and cults. When Joel Osteen was asked by Larry King if Jesus was the only way to heaven he claimed it was not for him to judge 

The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way to heaven (Acts 4:12, John 14:6) and so when asked if another religion that denies Jesus is the only way to heaven is wrong then we should say YES! 
According to scripture all other roads are false. We do not judge the individuals heart but we MUST judge a false system that denies Jesus is the only way.  We are commanded to:

            (2 Corinthians 10:5)
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"

When Joel was asked about the Mormon religion and asked if it was Biblical Joel again disgraces Christ by refusing to take a stand and call a false religious system wrong

Why I am sure this girl had good intentions I think it is important that we make sure we are clarifying what we mean. 

So in summary

1)-We do not judge anyone's heart or their eternal destiny

2)-We DO judge actions, false religious systems, and everything according to the word of God.

Watch this video of Larry King asking John Macarthur if other religions are wrong:

This is how a Christian is suppose to respond. He does not shrink back. He does not judge individuals but rather false systems as being false in light of the Bible.

My prayer is that this will clear up this often confusing issue and that as Christians we would be good examples to a watching world and even more important, that we please our Lord and Master.


              (1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV )
"But test everything; hold fast what is good."

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