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Why Are Christians Afraid of Being Judgmental?
by Gregory John Monroe
3/26/2012 / Church Life
"We must love one another" seems to be the popular go-to reason for ignoring blatant public sin. I believe it is the devil that has introduced this kind of reasoning into the church. He has turned the word "love" inside out. It's a cover to not do what's called for. In other words, what is naturally a good thing -- helping someone see the error of their ways and/or telling them that their actions are unacceptable in the body of Christ -- is now a bad thing. To point out sin, the thinking goes, is to make oneself out to be better than someone else; and that is being judgmental.
After all, the reasoning continues, Jesus did say not to judge the speck in your brother's eye when there is a log in your own.
So nothing is said nor done. All bounce merrily along thinking what a cool, loving church he/she's in. For everybody minds their own business, each doing what is right in their own eyes. Ain't God's love grand; covering a multitude of sins, they rejoice. Ha ha! Let the party roll on.
God's love is grand. But the way that it seems to be taught nowadays is that if we just love each other, in a happy, feeling kind of way, we don't have to worry about anything else. Forgotten is that God's love encompasses justice and disciplineingredients of His loving righteousness. God wants us to do what is right.
What's lost in the devil's spin on love is that true love will address a problem. It will confront sin in our presence. Real love reaches out to someone who's gone wrong. What parent who loves their child will not warn that child from going in the wrong direction? What sibling, out of sincere love, will not express concern to a brother or sister who's living dangerously? A just and compassionate love can't help but plead with and extend a helping hand!
Jesus' statement concerning the "log" and the "speck" (Jesus had a great sense of humor), contextually has to do with hypocrisy; meaning if one is living a sin; the same sin, or worse; that person needs to repent from his/her own waywardness. Then that person can minister with clear spiritual insight to the "speckee."
Being judgmental is only bad when condemnation is heaped upon another and/or forgiveness is not forthcoming. Otherwise we have to judge. We do it all the day/night long; making discernment between right and wrong. Sometimes judgments are even survival related. So to say that we aren't ever to be judgmental is just flat out wrong.
As a guide to when it's appropriate to be judgmental in the church, we would do well to heed 1 Corinthians' chapter 5. The Apostle Paul's summation is that God judges those outside the church, but that we are to judge those in it.
Be careful, though, that the heart (unseen motives and conscience) of others aren't being judged. For some do what they do, faithfully thinking that they are doing it for the Lord. It may be disagreeable in our eyes and if it is wrong, the Holy Spirit will eventually bring additional, corrective light to the individual. In cases like this, in which the person is acting from a good conscious, we should learn to accept that person's level of faith. After all, God accepts it (read Romans 14).
But we are required to judge the fruit of open, blatant sinsin that's spelled out in scripture. If we don't, it will infect and degrade the congregation; resulting in a church that may be presenting the form of godliness, but have none of its power.
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