Thou Shall Not Judge

Thou Shall Not Judge

By David Metcalfe

July 27, 2019

Vital to living a proper Christian life is to never judge anyone, because we are all sinful, and therefore judgement is not for us to do. The most righteous thing you can say in regards to the conduct of others is “it’s not my place to judge”.

Were white people wrong to carry black people in slave ships and treat them like animals for hundreds of years?

“It’s not my place to judge.”

Were Catholic priests wrong to molest children?

“It’s not my place to judge.”

Are neo-Nazis wrong to say that Jews are responsible for most of the evil in the world?

“It’s not my place to judge.”

See? That’s how easy it is to be an absolute fucking idiot.

Obviously we have to judge!!! The only way there can be any kind of standard for morality, and justice to be enacted on breaches of that morality, is for us to apply moral judgements on others. It’s literally what laws are! It’s literally what parenting is! It’s what we have to do all the time to ensure justice in individuals and society!

The Bible has a lot to say about judging others. There are tons of verses warning about when it’s bad to judge others: accusing people of committing sins that you yourself are committing (Romans 2:3), judging people out of pride and ignorance of your own shortcomings (Matthew 7:1-5), or a vindictive, unrighteous judgement (John 8:7).

But the Bible also recommends effective and beneficial ways to judge others: not by appearances, but through an evidence based assessment (John 7:24), in establishing justice in the world (Proverbs 31:9), or in accordance with the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:15).

Effective discernments of wrong practices is something done by nearly all of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, etc. Martin Luther had to judge the Catholic Church to make its wrongdoings known and work to correct them. The Founding Fathers of America had to judge the British monarchy to establish democracy. Abraham Lincoln had to judge slaveowners. Winston Churchill had to judge Nazis. Martin Luther King Jr. had to judge segregationists.

When I attempt to judge people, don’t give me this bullshit about “thou shall not judge”, or else I will instantly judge you as an idiot. There are, however, two types of critiques I am happy to receive: whether my judging is righteous, and whether my judging is accurate. And whatever your critique is within those two, it better have some evidence to back it up, and that evidence in turn should be open to critique.

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