“I don’t go to church, because of all the judgmental hypocrites.”
I understand that some Christians haven’t yet learned not to judge. Yes, there are those who are “self-righteous” and judge others in order to make themselves feel better about themselves. All I can say is I am sorry. May I ask that you not dismiss God and judge Christianity based on some poor representatives you’ve met. There are plenty who have indeed learned to not judge? And, if they are like me, they are still learning… perhaps the hard way.
The truth is, it is human nature to judge other people. We all do it. We form opinions about other people based on their clothes, where they’re from, their accent, their family, what school they went to (or not at all). We discriminate against them for something small we don’t like about them, or for things they either did or said in their past. We don’t let them “in” or we limit them in one way or another. Sometimes, we never give them a chance to get out of the box we place them in (especially if we think they built it for themselves). We don’t give them the benefit of the doubt or show a little compassion. Oh no, we’re the normal ones. We’re right. We have made our determination against them.
Have you ever met someone who wants to make a difference between “discerning” and “judging?” They teach judging is wrong, because it means “to condemn” another –as in no chance to be redeemed– while discerning is ok because it is not condemning another. They also say, discerning means you are just observing someone for comparative purposes, to find out or bring out the truth to the one observed. My response is, “What about the Bible adage which states, ‘Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?…. We dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. For they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10: 7, 12) Or else, I might say to those Christians who like to judge other Christians, “Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s [employee]? It is before his own [boss] that he keeps or loses his position. And [a Christian] will be upheld, because the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4).
Now, I am not saying that every one should be able to do what seems right to him/her. There is a difference between excusing one’s self by saying, “don’t judge me” and the person who realizes he or she is not able to love as God loves, or be good as God is good. God’s character and ways are the standard by which all of us fall far short. The person who realizes this and is humble will never excuse himself or herself by “don’t judge me.”
What I do mean is the Bible contains a quote from Jesus, “Judge not, so that you won’t be judged” (Matt. 7:1). He then followed the statement with some reasons why you’d want to take His advice. Essentially, He said, ‘However it is you measure up another person, be prepared to receive the exact kind of scrutiny.’ Then, He added something like, ‘If you try to pick someone apart, you’re the one with the big problem.’ (Matt. 7:2-3)
Did you realize that whenever you have labeled a Christian as a judgmental hypocrite, you are actually proving Jesus’ words true? –How? Like this: that person viewed you judgmentally with very hard man-made rules; and in turn, what did you do? You examined that person in light of their own rules and saw they weren’t really practicing what they preach. In fact, maybe you were just waiting for them to mess up. Then, you labeled them a judgmental hypocrite. Jesus was right about you both. What is more, both of you have fallen into the great evil of being judgmental. So what is the answer?
The answer is we need to break the cycle of judgment. We all need to see ourselves as poor and needy before God, especially on our best day. Christians should not judge (or discern, or “sense”) based on man-made rules and self-righteous attitudes. The answer is also that we all realize God’s ways are the measure by which all of us fall short and earn our judgment. Furthermore, God does not discriminate on who He wants to let “in.” He doesn’t want anyone to perish while not having changed their mind about Jesus. He knows our need for total forgiveness and has provided this pardon and love to all who trust in Jesus for it. It was Jesus who came to earth as God in flesh, so that he could identify with and redeem mankind. He did not come to condemn us. It was the sinless Jesus who took all the blame for all of the evil of mankind and our offenses against God, so that we could be spared Hell. That is why He died on the cross–to take our Judgment for us. And, He came back to life again from the dead in order to see that all who trust in Him for reconciliation to God shall have it… a new, full and eternal life with no chance that God will ever condemn you, because Jesus Christ was condemned for you to the satisfaction of God’s justice. For Jesus’ sake, God has only love for you. That is joy!
Trust Jesus to reconcile you to God today…. and share the same mercy and grace with others that God has given you through Jesus. Break the cycle of judgment.