Can You Judge Someone?
Can you judge someone? We are living in a time of moral relativism. People feel free to decide what is right for them to the extreme. Woe to anyone who attempts to foce their moral code on anyone else. This is widely seen as an assault on the individual rights of others. Should Christians even attempt to tell people that their behavior is wrong? There is an active atheist reddit that posts antidotes and funny criticisms against religion. I stop by there every once in a while to peek behind the curtain of a completely different belief system. Someone posted an image of a poster that was advertising a support group titled, Recovering from Religion. The bonus tag line included these words: No Judgement. This recovery group chose to focus on the negative feeling of being judged. Are religious that prone to being judgmental?
A book, titled Lost in Transition, surveys emerging adults (age 18-23) about morality. They discover an overwhelming sense of moral relativism and great resistance towards judgement. These young adults consider judgement to be an act of slef-righteousness, superiority, and hypercriticism (p. 24). They often site the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1 where he says, "Judge not lease you be judged." The author, Christian Smith, suggests that the meaning word judge has been lost.
What about judgement as discernment, evaluation and critique? Without a discerning eye it is difficult to tell right from wrong. Jesus did judge other people and sent his followers out to speak the truth about sin and redemption. Early Church leaders had to find the best ways to humbly present the truth about our sin problems. Paul could judge people while confessing that he was himself the greatest of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
Many of us are surrounded by those who have hung up their thinking caps. People have become comfortable and tolerant no longer have the rigor to call things absolutely right or wrong. We need to be encouragers and hold up the truth. Inspire others to do what is right by not backing down from awkward situations.