Thoughts, observations, scripture and other articles relating to Christianity and the Christian life.

The "You can't judge me!" State of Mind

The word “Judgment” has always had a bit of an ominous tone attached to it.  In the eternal sense, judgment in Christianity refers to whether a person is saved or condemned.  However in recent years, there has been a shift of people thinking that the word judgment is an action only to be taken by God himself and that judgment by any other being is unfair, unjustified and wrong. This idea has spread like wildfire and I believe there are a number of reasons behind it:

1)  People do not like to be told what they can and can not do.

2)  People do not want to recognize that there is absolute “right” and “wrong”.

3)  This entire “you can’t judge me” attitude, in my opinion, is largely motivated by pride and personal freedom.  As Americans we tend to hold pride and freedom in very high esteem.

4)  Ultimately, if judgment is allowed, then accountability and consequences follow.  This is probably the the key reason why the attitude of “You can’t judge me” has become so popular.  Consequences can not be instituted if judgment can not be made.

5)  If the idea of not judging someone is accepted, we are relieved of our responsibility to have difficult conversation with others when we see them engaged in unacceptable activity.  This allows for self-destructive pacifism to reign.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when “not judging” is absolutely Godly and holy.  For example: a close believing friend of mine does not drink alcohol in public because he feels that it might compromise his witness or might be a hindrance or a stumbling block to a “weaker brother” (This situation is outlined in 1 Corinthians 8).  I personally do not feel that having a reasonable amount of alcohol is going to be a detriment to my witness (“Drunkenness”, not the consuming of alcohol, is clearly spoken against in the bible: http://www.bible-topics.com/Drunkenness.html).  Since, both my friend and I are firm in our beliefs and following our conscience, but more importantly not doing something unbiblical, we can both be “justified” in our actions.  In this instance, it would be wrong for either of us to judge one another since, the ultimate judge (the word of God) is not being compromised.

However, this is not always the case, especially in American society.  Tupac Shakur (pictured above) is on numerous posters that say “Only God can judge me”, and while in terms of eternal judgment, he is correct, only God will have the final say for all of us, people can still make the judgment that his songs and lyrics were absolutely wrong and committed many “sins of the tongue“.  From what I have been able to gather, Tupac was a Christian in his younger years, but later converted to Islam.  Regardless of whether he was Christian or Muslim, he was guilty of sins of the tongue, by the standards of BOTH faiths (http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/hh/major_sins.htm) from his records alone.  At that time, it would be absolutely Godly for a person to “judge” that his actions were not in line with his beliefs, and to gently and lovingly point out the issues they have observed.

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35569873/ns/entertainment-gossip/)There was a recent example of this between Chris Brown (Who recently beat his Girlfriend Rhianna) not wanting to judge Tiger Woods (who recently admitted to committing adultery).  It honestly boggles me as to how someone can honestly say “Well I don’t want to judge” when something happened that is not only wrong from a biblical standpoint, but it is also commonly accepted as wrong from a societal standpoint.  This blindness and denial is dangerous and asinine.  Blindness this severe leaves me with no doubt that Satan’s influence is alive and well in this society.

I pray that people (both believers and unbelievers) will stop being blinded by these lies that it is NEVER OK to say that something is wrong or to call into question the actions of another individual.  Let us be loving and brave in confronting a brother or sister of their sins.  I pray that all of you out there would do the same for me.  As reading through the sins of the tongue link, I felt convicted of having committed all of those sins, and I struggle immensely with the proud tongue when producing this blog.  Please keep me in your prayers.  I wish to produce this blog to help myself and others understand more and more scripture, but in doing so, I often am guilty of pride and not nearly humble, gentle or loving as I should be.

God bless us in this struggle.  Let us be wise, brave and loving when confronting a brother or sister in Christ.

-Neil

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One response

  1. Awesome analysis of the current culture in relation to “judging”. However, I’m confused when you say that there are times when “not judging” is Godly/holy, as in your example of drinking alcohol. Should some actions be absolutely judgment free? If I follow your logic correctly then the “weaker brother” is one who abstains from alcohol, while the “stronger brother” is he who consumes alcohol but doesn’t cross the line into drunkenness.

    It is necessary to call into question the intent of the “stronger brother” who consumes alcohol without “getting drunk”. Can a person consume alcohol without the intent of becoming intoxicated to some degree? I would say no.

    Reading 1 Cor. 8:10, I would have to say that the “weaker brother” is he who is apt to use the actions of a “stronger brother” as a justification for their own actions, and the “stronger brother” he who realizes that his actions are scrutinized and chooses to abstain from actions that can lead to great folly.

    I only bring this up because I recently confronted a “brother” who felt it was o.k. to get drunk as long as it is done “responsibly”. I answered him by saying that it was not a question of “responsibility” but of wisdom (using Proverbs 20:1). I also let him know that it was not even a question of sin, provided that his intent in consuming alcohol was to not “get drunk” (he had already stated that he felt getting drunk was alright). He then accused me of judging him and called me a “pharisee”.

    I believe that 1 Cor. 2:14-16 illustrates perfectly why some “brothers” constantly feel like they’re being judged and why they accuse others of judging them. When a brother has the mind of Christ, he will not undergo this type of “judgment”.

    September 15, 2011 at 6:39 PM

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