"Jesus wants you to judge" - this phrase misses the point


http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/12/12/jesus-wants-you-to-judge/

In a word, I disagree.

I don't disagree because of what the Bible says,
I disagree because of what the word "judge" presently means and does not mean,
and what the word "judge" biblically means and does not mean.



When a modern, western, individual says "you're judging me", it means that they feel you have unfairly assessed their character.You should pay attention to that, because there's a chance you missed something in your evaluation of their 'sins'. There's also a chance they are over-reacting and just don't like the fact that you are calling them out on their crap.

Either way, outside of a deep relationship, it's impossible to know.
That's why posting judgements on the internet about whole groups of people is ... wrong.
on so many levels ....wrong.
it's impersonal and distant,
but through the miracle of technology, morphs into something very personal
and potentially devastating.

People have emotions for a reason.
Emotions let us know when we're being wronged.
And if expressed and understood maturely, being aware of our emotions can help us navigate our crazy internal worlds of wants, needs and desires.
But emotions can also deceive us.
It's important to know which is which.
And it's important to be honest with ourselves about which is which.

When the bible says "do not judge", it doesn't mean "don't make decisions" because all decisions are the result of some sort of judgement. Day-to-day judgements, and hypocritical judging are two completely different things. The above author had a hard time showing the difference, but it's hypocritical judging, or being quick to speak (therefore making uncalled for judgements) that the Bible consistently speaks against (James 1:9, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Proverbs 14:29).

"If a guy commits adultery, I’ll call him an adulterer. That’s not an insult or an evaluation of his soul; it’s a true and accurate judgement based on the fruits he has produced. If a guy steals, he is a thief. If he murders, he is a murderer. If he commits tyrannies, he is a tyrant."

If someone has an affair (that is the most common modern definition of adultery) and you call him an adulterer, you are actually making a mistake. If you call someone an adulterer, you are making a profound judgement based on what you see - and that better be that this person habitually has affairs, and is worshipping false idols. That's the biblical definition of an adulterer. If you tell someone they are an adulterer, you are saying you know for a fact that they are in the habit of at least sleeping around on their spouse. To make this kind of judgement, you had better know without reasonable doubt that this is the truth, because if it isn't, you stand to make the situation much worse by calling it something it isn't.

Let's be clear, sleeping around on your spouse once is a terrible, awful, soul-crushing, devastating mistake. But it doesn't make a person an adulterer. It makes them a human being who made a really big mistake that's going to have a high cost to fix. It requires sincere repentance and forgiveness and all the rest. It's adultery, but it's not habitual, because it was once.

Also, the modern mind is a fickle beast. Calling someone an adulterer might actually have the opposite effect that what you intend: they might actually just embrace that as their identity and keep going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. Again, you sould know the person well enough to be able to confront them.

This doesn't mean there will be times where the Spirit of God will prompt you to say a word of correction to someone you don't know very well. But that's a different topic, and not one to be treated lightly. I would say correcting acquaintances or strangers should be the exception, rather than the standard.

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