Writer, editor, stumbler after Jesus

Fudging judging

IT SEEMS TO me that the whole tolerance thing has gotten a bit out of hand. But then again, who am I to judge? Because that would make me judgmental, thus proving that I am intolerant, right?

If this sort of reasoning makes your brain hurt, join the club. I can’t work out how those who accuse Christians of being intolerant and judgmental because of the views they may hold on certain issues aren’t themselves being intolerant and judgmental?

It’s interesting how some who reject the Bible then want to quote it to make a point, as when they will observe that Jesus said don’t judge. The only problem is, they tend to take that partial reference out of context.

Jesus actually said (Matthew 7:1-2), “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.” In other words, I’ll grade you the same way you grade others.

Suggesting Jesus really meant don’t have an opinion on anything simply makes no sense; it just doesn’t fit with all the other things He said. When He taught the disciples how to pray, He told them to ask that they not be led into temptation, but be delivered from evil. How can you know what temptation looks like or what evil is without making a judgment call?

He also told us to forgive those who sin against us, but how can we do that unless we determine that what they did was sinful?

Then there’s the other verse critics of Christendom sometimes like to cite in support of their argument that suggesting something is wrong makes you hateful: “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” (Matt. 7:5). Sure, Jesus is saying we need to assess ourselves first, but He’s not saying we don’t then get to evaluate someone else.

Meanwhile, some refer to Jesus’s verdict in the story of the woman caught in adultery as evidence of a lack of judgment. “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,” He told her accusers (John 8:7).

Note, however, that He didn’t question their verdict; He questioned their sentence (and their motive). When all her accusers had left, He told the woman that He did not condemn her, but also “go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11).

The real issue isn’t whether we should judge, but according to whose and what standards, and why.

Photo by Visual Content on Foter.com/CC BY

2 Responses to “Fudging judging”

  1. My Beautifully Broken Life

    Reading the Seromon on the Mount with my fifth graders and we had a long discussion on this today. Tricky stuff….logs and splinters….even for fifth graders. Thanks for helping to clarify. 🙂


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