Is it wrong to say anything is wrong?
Is it judgmental to declare something sinful?
These days quoting bible verses will quickly get you called judgmental. I’ve often wondered if biblical judgment was punishment or simply disapproval. Rather than get into the definitions of judgment, let’s look at the bible. What does God say on judging? There are a lot of verses on the subject. I don’t think there is any debate that God is the judge and there will be a final judgment. The debate seems to be on whether or not we as Christians can judge what is right and wrong or if it is wrong to say anything is wrong. This is not an exhaustive list, but I think this is a highlight of what the bible says on Christians judging others.
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (NIV)
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)
Luke 12:54-59 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (NIV)
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (KJV)
Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. (NIV)
Romans 2:1-4 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (NIV)
Romans 14:10-13 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 2:15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, (NIV)
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 6:2-6 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! (NIV)
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 11:13-16 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 10:7-8 You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. (NIV)
Hebrew 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)
"Judge not" is one of the top things taken out of context.
Judge righteously. It doesn't mean don't ever say something is wrong or sin. If that were so, we would be judging if we quoted many bible verses. Oh wait, that is what people act like if you quote a bible verse they don't like. There is nothing in the bible that should be kept hidden. God gave us the bible so we can better know him, his Truth, and how to live. The interpretation 'never judge and never call anything sin because it might offend people' completely goes against the great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel. You can't preach the message of the cross without preaching sin. Everybody says to just love and not judge, but quoting Scripture is not judging. We are living in a time that if you say anything is right or wrong, something is sin, or that taboo word of repent people get offended. Teaching sin and repentance is love because if you love someone you want them to be saved and know how to walk with God. Repentance is not a bad thing. Repentance is a beautiful opportunity to have union with God, but you can't teach it if you're too afraid to draw the line on sin and standards because other people will disagree. I don't want to be one of those Christians that goes out of my way to not mention anything uncomfortable. Hell is uncomfortable. There are people seeking that need conviction. There's a quote "People on earth hate to hear the word repent. People in hell wish they could hear it just one more time." I didn't write a book on salvation for popularity points. You can't preach the message of the cross and that Jesus loves us so much he died for our sins so we could have forgiveness if you refuse to preach sin and repentance.
Where do we draw the line at judging others? Is it judgmental to declare right from wrong? I don’t think so. I think it’s scriptural. The bible says to judge for yourself. We need to judge right from wrong in our walk with the Lord. We need to know sin from righteousness. That requires taking an issue and examining it. To determine sin, we have to judge whether an action is righteous or sinful. For those of us called to teach or minister, we have to be able to tell right from wrong and holiness from sinfulness so we can guide others. Read your bible. It is the only place to find Truth that you know you can trust. Don't take my word for it. Take the Word for it. Should we share our beliefs on right and wrong? I think it's okay as long as it’s done with gentleness and the intention to guide, not criticize. It doesn’t make me judgmental to share my own convictions from the Lord if I’m not doing so in a manner that attacks others. FYI having a different opinion is not attacking you. People are very easily offended. I can’t begin to count how many times someone gets angry with me for stating my beliefs that happen to be different than theirs. If someone starts a discussion on a topic, I will present my side respectfully. I don’t think it’s judging to declare something sinfulness or righteousness. To me, unacceptable judgment comes from how you treat people. Let’s take adultery for example. It is undebatable (should be anyway) that adultery is a sin. Have I ever done it? No. Would I ever do it? Never! I wouldn’t even consider the possibility of it. I won’t entertain the thought of it. It’s the ultimate betrayal in a marriage and any selfish desires of mine would not justify the wrongdoing or the pain and destruction it would cause. Do I know people who have committed adultery? A lot! I can’t even count how many. Will I stand with the bible and label it sin? Yes. Will I be mean to them, criticize them for what they’ve done, treat them poorly, and refuse to talk to them? No. I would never mistreat someone for their actions or publicly call them out on their sin. I treat them with the same respect as I give everyone. We are all sinners. I can hang out with my adulterous friends and have a good time just the same as I hang out with my godly friends. When I am spending time with the people in my life who have committed adultery, I don’t focus on it. I know their sin, but I see them for who they are as a whole - - - focusing on their good. I think that’s what Jesus would do. Jesus would never deny something is sin because you didn’t want to hear it. He is holy. He stands for righteousness. He will tell you right from wrong and he will treat you with love while he does it.
When we are sharing our Christian beliefs, we need to focus on teaching rather than criticizing. We are all guilty of coming across the wrong way. It happens to me often. I struggle with being gentle in my statements, especially in writing. One way to avoid that, aside from never saying anything, is to explain why you believe what you do when you make a statement. Don't correct other people. Explain your beliefs while respecting other people have different perspectives and make different choices. Is it wrong to say anything is wrong? Is it judgmental to declare something sinful? I don’t think so. Is it wrong to judge someone by mistreating them? Absolutely, yes.