judging people

“Thou Shall Not Judge”: Is Judging People Totally Wrong?

This is probably the most popular statement in the Bible. I think that it may be even more popular than “you must love your neighbor as yourself”. I suspect that people whose knowledge of Christianity is pretty much limited to the name of the religion even know this statement. And I think I know why. But before I tell you what I think, let’s muse about something else.

Jesus told Christians to go and preach the gospel to every creature and teach everyone all that he had taught them. But he also said, “judge not” (the popular statement). Now, the most common interpretation of that admonition is that we should not tell people that their lifestyle is wrong. You can’t say to a promiscuous person, “hey, you’re being sinful; sleeping with people you’re not married to is wrong.” That’s being “judgy”. You can’t tell homosexual people, “you can’t sleep with people of the same gender as yourself. That’s wrong”. It’s being “judgmental”. Basically, it’s “judgmental” to tell people that things they either like to do or feel helpless about doing are wrong.

But doesn’t that also mean that it is “judgy” to tell someone that they’re being “judgy”?

I think that people are so intimidated by our incredible ability today to discover new things and by the amazing things we have discovered within the past three centuries or so that we have thrown away our ability to actually think. It has become a sort of tragic pastime for me to spot such thoughtlessness in the statements of many people especially some who claim to have come into some kind of intellectual nirvana where they are free to explore the powers of their mind. It’s a pastime because of the irony and a tragedy because it’s too easy.

What did Jesus mean? The question is for those who quote that part of the Bible intending to wield the authority of the speaker for any reason. Was he saying that we can never call anyone on the carpet if they do something wrong? Or was he saying that we cannot tell what right and wrong is? Or was he saying that we don’t have any right to correct one another? I often advise people who want to talk about Christianity or who claim to be Christians to learn to read or, at least, think of the whole Bible as a single document. You will find as you read on in the Bible that Jesus could not have been saying any of that. How could he if he wanted us to follow his example or even obey the so-called Great Commission? How do I tell people that God says that they should repent of their sins if I cannot call their sins ‘sin’? How do I discuss the teachings of Christ without evaluating human behavior, clearly identifying and categorically condemning evil practices and praising good behavior? It’s impossible if that statement meant any of the things it is popularly thought to mean.

Then there are those who make a habit of saying that Christians have no right to judge because they’re no better. Now, if the person saying that is a non-Christian, it is understandable because no one likes to have their errors pointed out. Our natural pride instantly kicks in when someone points out something we could have done better. But when the speaker is a Christian, it is infinitely more tragic. Why would anyone become a Christian if they didn’t think that being a Christian is better than being a non-Christian? What was the point of Jesus’s death and resurrection for you if not to make you a Christian? Is it not foolish to be treating such a precious gift as no big deal? One man told the apostle Paul once that he spent a great deal of money to buy the Roman citizenship that Paul had by birth to show just how valuable and superior that citizenship was. Jesus spent his life, his fellowship with Father and the Holy Spirit to buy human beings the name and rights of a Christian. How can anyone say that it isn’t better than the alternative? I don’t think it is possible to say a more foolish thing. To treat the sacrifice of God the Word with such levity is a grave error and one for which any defaulter should pray seriously for mercy.

What’s more, the claim of Christianity is not just that it offers a better alternative and a better life for humans but that it offers THE life that humans should live. Jesus said without mincing words, “I am THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life.” That’s the message of Christianity. It claims absolute superiority over any other alternative. So what do we preach when we say that we are no better than the non-Christian? It may seem like humility but it is actually something more like cowardice. The truth that we believe as Christians is that being a Christian is infinitely better than being a non-Christian BUT Christianity is not a reward we earn so we cannot be proud of ourselves that we are Christians. It is a gift offered to everyone no matter who they are, where they have been and what they have done so on what basis can you be arrogant just because you possess the GIFT? The person you could act like you’re superior to because you’re a Christian and they’re not has the same chances as you did to become a Christian too so your arrogance is totally meaningless. But it does not change the fact that as a Christian one is infinitely better than a non-Christian although I’ll grant that that can be annoying for non-Christians to hear but if we only say things that won’t annoy people we will end up saying very regrettable things. Case in point: Jesus Christ died and resurrected for no big deal if a Christian is not better than a non-Christian.

It is the job of members of the human society to look out for each other. And judging each other’s behavior is one way we do that. Our legal systems were created for precisely that. To preserve the safety and prosperity of humanity, we must be willing to hold each other to the highest and best standards. If we do not, we will soon destroy ourselves. So we really should get over ourselves.

As for what Jesus meant in that statement, he was only saying: “Don’t waste your energy ranking yourselves against one another trying to decide who is better than who. Your business is to become a good person and help others to become good too. You’re all together in school and a thief today could become a devoted philanthropist tomorrow.” (see Matthew 7:1-4).

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image via Christcentrist

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Od

A Christian.
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  • Avatar

    One question:

    Does this then mean that using the expression, “I’m only human” by a Christian as an excuse for bad behavior is cowardly?

    March 14, 2016
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      thetoolsman

      Chapman for the lady… c[_]

      March 14, 2016
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    Butterflymind

    Omg!! First for the firstest time!! ????

    Chapman, Tools?

    March 14, 2016
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    Bunmi

    “A Christian is better than a non-christian”
    Wow, really? Are you trying to say that non-christians are inferior to Christians? With the insurgency in the north, shouldn’t we be careful with the things we say? Or how is that statement different from what they are proclaiming?
    Am just tired of all this “B religion is better than C religion”. People should be allowed to practice whatever religion they want without feeling inferior to any other person or group of people. You were probably assuming that a non-christian can not be of a good moral standard, that a non-christian is a sinner.
    I believe judging is wrong in every way, although we do it unconsciously sometimes. Preaching the gospel is beautiful, infact the idea behind preaching the gospel is such a beautiful one, it depicts love. It shows you care about the person and you want them to enjoy the abundant grace and love God is able to bestow on us. However, the bible has never asked us to enforce our beliefs on someone, it encourages us to preach the gospel not enforce or judge, it’s why we have free will to be able to decide to either do good or bad. It’s not judgy when you tell someone that what they are doing is wrong especially when it’s quite obvious that it is, It becomes Judgy when you persecute them in your mind or not, when you tell them they’d end up ‘here’ or ‘there’.

    March 14, 2016
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        Bunmi

        According to your third paragraph, you are pretty sure the bible says we should judge? Okay, okay.

        March 14, 2016
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    MIA

    “Don’t waste your energy ranking yourselves against one another trying to decide who is better than who. Your business is to become a good person and help others to become good too. You’re all together in school and a thief today could become a devoted philanthropist tomorrow.” (see Matthew 7:1-4). Is this your understanding or did Jesus really say that? I actually love verse 5 “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.”

    March 14, 2016
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        MIA

        Jesus said that we should not act like we are morally superior to be noticed by others, and even indicated that doing such behavior would remove one’s reward in heaven: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1). Ultimately, we do not attain righteousness until we die and are rewarded with righteousness in heaven.
        How can Christians be so sure they’re right and everyone else is wrong? Isn’t that arrogant?

        Logically, it’s not possible for all the major world religions to be valid ways to God. As seen in the verses above, Christianity states that the God of the Bible is the only true God and salvation is only possible by accepting Christ as Savior and Lord. Judaism states that the God of the Torah/Old Testament is the only true God, but that Jesus is not the Messiah, putting it directly at odds with Christianity. Jesus either is the Messiah, or he is not. If he is, Judaism is not a valid way to God; if he is not, Christianity is not a valid way to God. The mutual exclusion only grows when other religions are added: Islam says that Allah is the only true God, and that anyone who says Christ is the Son of God will be condemned (Qur’an, 5:72, 9:30). Furthermore, if religions other than Christianity are valid ways to God, then one of Christianity’s basic principles is false; in that case, can it still be said to be a valid, trustworthy religion? (See also 1 Cor 15:14-19.)

        No matter what belief system you adopt, you will be saying that your system is right and that the billions of people who don’t accept it are wrong. If Islam is correct, the billions of non-Muslims are wrong; if Orthodox Judaism is correct, the billions of Gentiles are wrong. If it is correct to approve of multiple belief systems because they’re all valid ways of achieving spiritual enlightenment, the billions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who believe in exclusive religions are intolerant and therefore wrong.

        I am a Christian because I was born into a Christian family, yeah I am an adult now and can decide to be whatever I want to be. But I don’t believe I am superior to any other person based on their religion believe.

        March 14, 2016
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          Bunmi

          Well said MIA

          March 14, 2016
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            MIA

            I hate typing long replies with my phone. But you can’t tell me I am not a Christian!! I only mentioned being born a Christian made choose this part. How I practise my christianity is my business. If I was born a Buddhist I am sure I will still be one plus they are really cool people. You could learn a thing or two from other religion you know. “Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another”.
            Ephesians 4:2. Peace bro. I think you should practise yoga. Inner peace….. inner peace…… Also please read, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” Matthew 6 vs 1(NIV).

            March 15, 2016
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            @Od, amen amen and amen!!! I was about to respond, but now I’ve read your response, you’ve said it all. Well done 🙂

            March 16, 2016
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            @MIA, I read your response in defense of your claim to Christianity, and I have to say it is dearly lacking! It is blatantly obvious to me, and everybody else reading that you do not believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! If you did, you wouldn’t undermine who you are in Christ, or recommend other religions to believers, who you think are intolerant.

            Tolerance is not a Christian virtue! Understanding, compassion, kindness, righteousness and love are!

            Christians are not born so…they choose Christianity by faith AND obedience to Christ. And if they truly value Christ as the pearl of great price, they wouldn’t champion other religions or deny that they have a superior faith. It isn’t arrogance. It is the truth. Just as boldly as Jesus could say that no one can get to God except through Him alone, we can boldly say that Christianity is the only true religion.

            Sincerely, Ufuoma.

            March 16, 2016
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            MIA

            Hello @ufuomaee Ephesians 4:2.“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another”. Is that not a bible verse or was it for non-Christians? And please darling I don’t claim to be Christian I am a Christian. And if you will sleep better knowing every other person who isn’t a Christian will go to hell because they don’t believe in the one true religion, sweet dreams my dear and if they are right and we are wrong…… See you in hell sister!!

            March 16, 2016
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            MIA

            I won’t comment on this post anymore so help me God!!! “Inhale and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation and God remains with you. Exhale and you approach God. Hold the exhalation and surrender to God.” -Krishnamacharya.

            Namaste……MIA

            March 16, 2016
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            Hi @MIA, thanks for your response, and for sharing that verse with me. I dont know what translation that is, but mine reads:

            “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph 4:2, KJV).

            Still, I am no advocate for intolerance. What I was trying to say is that we are not called to justify evil, which is what the world seeks when they call us ‘intolerant’ because we speak against what we know to be evil. Certainly, we won’t be intolerant by being aggressive, but by our resistance to evil, by challenging the acceptance of sin, we are being intolerant of it. The verse you shared is about Christians putting up with each other’s differences and bearing each other’s burdens, that has nothing to do with putting up with sin. Consider this message from Paul:

            “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor 5:9-12).

            Do you think he is admonishing that Christians should tolerate sin in their ranks? He is saying we should judge it. Even though God is the ultimate God of the believer as well as the unbeliever, when we preach at people to repent, and when we chastise a believer in error, we are exercising judgment.

            Also, I think that you may be sitting on the fence as regards your Christianity, because you so joyously said “if we are wrong and they are right, see you in hell!” Like really? Do you really believe in Jesus? Are you struggling with unbelief? That doesn’t sound like anything someone who has the Spirit of God would say.

            I don’t sleep better knowing that people are going to hell. But knowing that gives me more reason to tell them the truth, and help them to make the right choice in choosing Jesus too…not by downplaying my faith as a possible way to God out of many others!

            I really do hope you reconsider what you believe, and get to know Jesus is a way that will cause you to tell everyone to follow Him, because you are convinced without a shadow of a doubt that their salvation depends on it!

            Christian love, Ufuoma.

            March 16, 2016
        • Avatar
          MIA

          @ufuomaee forbearing
          fɔːˈbɛərɪŋ/Submit
          adjective
          adjective: forbearing
          patient and restrained.
          “he proved to be remarkably forbearing whenever I was impatient or angry”
          synonyms: patient, tolerant, easy-going, forgiving, merciful, understanding, accommodating, indulgent, kind; More
          uncomplaining, long-suffering, resigned, stoical, stoic;
          restrained, self-restrained, self-controlled, moderate, mild, easy, calm;
          informalunflappable, cool;
          rarelonganimous
          “he was tactful and forbearing when I got angry”
          antonyms: impatient, intolerant.
          We learn everyday.
          Cheers

          March 17, 2016
          • Avatar

            Hi @MIA, thanks for the English lesson. I have to say though, that you seem quite intolerant of my intolerance. You’re not all that accommodating of my difference in understanding. But that’s a lesson in the impracticability of ‘tolerance’. Those who shout TOLERANCE appear to be most in tolerant of those who have a different understanding of the word.

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

            March 17, 2016
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            MIA

            Please don’t get it twisted dear, @ufuomaee we cannot agree that’s the truth. I just want you to agree the bible talks of tolerance. I totally understand your view but I don’t agree with it. I share my love for Christ and let others share their religion with me.

            Peace and Love.
            MIA

            March 17, 2016
          • Avatar

            Hi @Mia, you want me to agree with you that the Bible talks of tolerance, without actually acknowledging the correct context of sin! Does the Bible teach that we tolerate sin?

            The Bible talks about love too. Does it teach that we should love sin?

            The Bible says do not judge, yet, our Brother @Od has the good sense to tell us that Jesus didn’t mean that we cannot discern right from wrong, and that such judgments are not what God is opposed to.

            So don’t wave your tolerance flag at me without having an appreciation of the truth, which is that God doesn’t tolerate evil, and He doesn’t expect us to either.

            By the way….I though you said you were not commenting anymore?

            Have a great day 🙂

            March 17, 2016
  • Avatar
    Snow

    “What’s more, the claim of Christianity is not just that it offers a better alternative and a better life for humans but that it offers THE life that humans should live.

    What I like very much is you said it “claims”, well so does Islam, or Any other religions there are. They all claim to be better, the absolute.

    Saying or even thinking you are better because you are a christian is simply pride or arrogance, Jesus said “He was the way, truth and life” What you fail to realize is that Jesus wasn’t comparing with any alternative or acknowledging them. He didn’t say ‘I am the “better” way”.
    I don’t recall ever reading Jesus saying his disciples were better than the scribes, or better than Zachaeus, I don’t recall Him ever comparing any two people and saying one was better.

    So is the christian way of life better than the non-christian way of life, maybe (and i say maybe because I know good non-christians who live a better way of life than some christians) (PLEASE IGNORE THIS STATEMENT BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO GO INTO THE FALSEHOOD OF ABSOLUTE CONCEPTS) .

    THAT BEING SAID, Is judging people totally wrong? YES. No shortcut or explanation. As a christian, the right to judge was never granted to you. You were granted the power over demons and powers and principalities, to cast out evil spirits and heal sickness and live a life of example, you were given a commission to preach God’s love and turn people to christ, but you were not given authority to judge.

    And Yes, you can preach the scriptures without calling people out on their actions.

    March 14, 2016
      • Avatar
        MetaplasiaM.D

        Anytime this nigga opens his mouth he writes a new book. Fam I dunno how you come up with these replies, but more grease.

        March 15, 2016
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    G B

    On this judgement matter, I think the Bible kind of says both. There’s the popular “don’t judge” and then the Apostle Paul asks Christians to judge in various situations:
    – spiritual people are supposed to judge all things (I Corinthians 2:15)
    – Judge matters among themselves, adding that it was particularly shameful if unbelievers found out “Christians were fighting”. (I Cor. 6:1-5)
    And in the book of Revelation, a particular church I cannot remember was commended for judging those who claimed they were apostles and weren’t really. Rev. 2 somewhere. I’m too lazy to check.

    In this matter of telling people their sin, though, I think the use of some wisdom is in order. Looking at Jesus and studying His tactics, he seemed pretty lax about sin, to the fury of the clergy of the day [maybe because He knew He was gonna die for all sins, anyway?]. He was almost always with the sinners of His day and without exception*, they all seemed to change of their own free will, not because He went a-confronting. I always tell everyone that cares to listen that “not judging” should apply only to those who we would call sinners. Judge the hell out of other Christians if you like and if it makes you feel better and if they want to listen to you. I may be wrong, but you can’t really judge, can you? ????

    * I don’t know if Judas counts or not.

    March 14, 2016
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    PAAL

    sorry for judging, In my judgement it takes a willing heart to read and digest this.
    we all seem to forget when Jesus purged the temple, sending out gamblers and merchants for defiling and ‘mis’using the temple. was that not judging?

    I am the way, the Truth and the life, no one cometh to the father but by me.

    As Christians we are encouraged to Love everyone… We can judge lovingly, but remember you can’t pass judgment on anyone.

    March 14, 2016
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      thetoolsman

      Err… Jesus purged where? THE TEMPLE. Did he go to a gamblers den or some whore house?
      If you judge people who “claim” to share the same standards/beliefs with you, I guess you can say thats fair and probably tolerable.

      March 14, 2016
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    Larz

    I know not to argue with OD today becuz I simply dont have the energy abeg.

    Here is all I will say on the matter. I am striving to live like Jesus. I may be unsuccessful but…

    Being like Jesus. Jesus healed and performed miracles on people that were sinners. The prostitute, the woman who married and divorced several women and is living with another man, the tax collector (most tax collectors were known to be dishonorable), etc. When they encountered Jesus, he didnt say, hey peeps, you are a thief or ashewo, you need me in your life. He simply, showed them kindness, reformed them and suggested that they go and sin no more as an alternative to their past lives.

    I dont think we have any right to hold any non believer to our standard of living.

    As for believers, it is a personal relationship and everyone has a different path to walk. I have seen Christians (myself included) struggle over a particular aspect of the Bible or argue it is not right only to receive personal revealation over it. The Bible is filled with stories of great men of God falling at different stages of their lifes. After an awesome relationship with God, David committed a grave error but until he fulfilled that desire, he was bkinded to his sin. That single sin had consequence for him and took his relationship one step further. So before you condemn the next Christian you know or judging them, pray for them instead and be there for them when that dark veil is removed from their eyes. You dont know their story, you dont know if that liar you know have just battled with and conquer the urge to kill or something more dangerous. Let God lead them how he deems fit. Lets provide advice or counsel if sought but lets leave persecution, condemnation alone

    March 14, 2016
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    zee

    And we forget that Jesus always called out the Pharisees on their hypocrisy, using pretty strong words like “You brood of vipers. You whitewashed tombstones”.

    March 14, 2016
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      thetoolsman

      Context is always key tho. When and where did he make such utterances?

      March 14, 2016
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        Zee

        Read Matt 23. Its one out of a number of scriptures where Jesus rained on the pharisees for their hypocrisy.

        March 14, 2016
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          thetoolsman

          Oh I know the bible passage. I meant who was he addressing and where was he?

          March 14, 2016
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    K. Rukia

    K. Rukia dislikes this post but K. Rukia is too tired to say why.

    March 14, 2016
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      Nnanyielugo thanks K. Rukia.
      One has gotten(rather, lived in, for quite a while) to a place where one can dislike and/or disagree with certain positions with a myriad of reasons.
      But one does not have the desire and/or ‘power’ to shout up and down.
      I dislike this post for primary reasons: the rationale is wrong, and it(the post) is rife with misinterpretation and ego caresses.
      I have a million other reasons, but no strength abeg.

      March 15, 2016
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        K. Rukia

        When something ‘provokes thought in me’, I don’t get tired. I become obsessed with finding out more about it.

        March 15, 2016
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    Countess

    You can watch out for someone without judging them. You can correct someone or even call them out without judging them. And judging in this context means thinking yourself more righteous, above or better than them because of their sin. Being a child of God doesn’t make you better than the sinner beside you. More fortunate yes, better no. Before you can judge someone because of their sin, you must be free of sin yourself. And 1) you aren’t cos all men have sinned. We all are sinners. 2) If you believe you are totally free of sin then you are self righteous and you know what God thinks about self righteous people. As a christian, it’s not your place sef to be judgy. It’s your duty to correct with love.

    March 14, 2016
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      Bunmi

      Well said @Countess

      March 14, 2016
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    Gio

    That very fine line between being religious and being fanatic/dogmatic

    March 14, 2016
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    Zee

    Actually, Nosa, you are wrong. The right and power to judge is given to believers. Take a look at 1Cor 6:2-4.

    March 14, 2016
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      Countess

      Actually it is you who is wrong. We have this habit of selecting a particular verse of the bible and ignoring the context in which it was used in the entire chapter. Paul was talking of judging situations and settling disputes etc. Saying that in case of any misunderstanding or any such related issue, it should be judged and settled between believers. And matters among believers should not be settled by unbelievers. Nowhere does it say we as believers are free to judge unbelievers as we see fit.

      March 14, 2016
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      Snow

      *sigh*
      I’m gonna have to ask you to read the entire chapter, take of notice of the use of tenses especially “shall” and also the environment in which the. “Judgement” will be made.
      Then think about whether i’m wrong or not

      March 14, 2016
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    Nice one @Od, I’m in your corner 🙂

    March 14, 2016
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    Zee

    No, Countess, I am not wrong. Neither am I taking scriptures selectively or out of context. I was merely responding to Nosa’s statement that Christians have been given the power to cast out demons and what not,but not the power to judge.
    The scripture I gave above shows that that’s just not true.
    Yes, Paul was telling believers that they ought to settle disputes amongst themselves, without having to take it to court. But did you miss the part where he says believers will judge the world, and judge angels, even? Basically,Paul was saying if believers are going to judge the world and angels, why can we not judge between ourselves.
    Therein lies my point. Believers have been given the power,the right and authority to judge.

    March 14, 2016
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      Bunmi

      If you aren’t taking scriptures selectively, have you forgotten the bible has several verses where it was clearly stated that we should not judge? So you pick a verse in the bible to support your claim while nullifying other verses?
      It’s funny how some Christians do this, pick one verse or whatever verse they like to suit themselves or lifestyles while ignoring the rest. So you feel you have the power and right to judge, don’t you? Please keep on judging Zee, just keep doing it.

      March 15, 2016
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        zee

        LOLLL, Bunmi, Lollll. I just saw your comment and I must confess, I found it hilarious!
        So because I refuted Nosa’s claim that Christians have not been given the power to judge, I am now “guilty”(per your verdict) of judging?
        I stay away from commenting because I can’t abide the back and forth. On a final note, though, I believe interpretation is key in understanding the scriptures. Yes, a lot of scriptures say ‘judge not”. But before you go off on a tangent, it is imperative to understand the sense in which Jesus made that statement(which incidentally is the thrust of OD’s post). Did he mean we should turn a blind eye to sin? No. Did he mean we should turn off our witness? No.

        Ette, I’m tired, jare.

        March 15, 2016
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      Countess

      Again Zee, context. The whole of verses 1-6 in that chapter is talking about judging disputes and matters not judging people. “The Lord’s people WILL judge the world and even the angels. Madam that is future tense. Here and now on earth he was talking of judging cases, matters BETWEEN people and not judging people because of their sin. But if you so please, go around judging sinners o. I hope you yourself are sin-free.

      Romans 2:1 says you shouldn’t judge sinners because more likely than not you yourself are guilty of sin and by judging sinners, you condemn yourself.

      March 15, 2016
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    Zee

    Ahn, ahn, Oga Toolsman. If you know the passage, you know that Jesus was speaking to the multitude and his disciples about the Pharisees.

    March 14, 2016
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    Victoria

    It’s unfortunate that this post would be misconstrued in so many ways. People would be quick to latch on to what they deem as inconsistencies and fail to see the big picture. I’m a firm believer in boundaries-a firm believer that there is right and there is wrong. I believe that sin exists and that I can recognize it when I see it and I should be able to point it out when necessary. If not there’s no point talking about things like corruption, stealing or murder because the perpetrators would tell me not to judge them because I have no right to. Christians correct each other and Christians should love other people including non Christians. But I cannot suddenly think that bad behavior is acceptable. Jesus loved prostitutes and adulterers but did say go and sin no more(which means he identified their actions as sin) , which is the crux of the great commission. Now the fact that I call something or call what other people are doing sin does not make me perfect which is why I need to constantly examine the plank in my own eye(examine my own imperfections and life of sin) . But not just me, other people have the responsibility of telling me that I have a plank in my eye so I don’t lose that eye.lol. That is if they love me. Well done Od. Great post
    .

    March 15, 2016
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      Well said, Victoria.
      This is my go-to psalm in regards to this

      Psalm 19: 12-14
      12 None of us can see our own errors;
      deliver me, Lord, from hidden faults!
      13 Keep me safe, also, from willful sins;
      don’t let them rule over me.
      Then I shall be perfect
      and free from the evil of sin.
      14 May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you,
      O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!

      March 15, 2016
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      Countess

      @victoria there is no harm in talking about corruption or calling a thief out or having something to say to an idolater. Judging however is different. Let me give you a very common example. A man who tells little white lies from time to time judging someone who practices premarital sex. Romans 2:1-2. For the fact alone that you commit sin regardless of the gravity, you should not judge someone else simply because you are saved and they are not. To be very honest, it is this judgemental nature in some christians that makes it hard for them to win souls.
      You see a christian who commits fornication judging a gay person. Because we perceive their sin as worse? Again Romans 2:1. Its that simple. Correct with love. With respect. Call a thief a thief. A fornicator a fornicator. Try and be close to righteous first before you attempt to tell another to be righteous. Call people out but never judge. That has never been our right.

      March 15, 2016
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        Victoria

        Thanks Od. What’s your email address?

        March 15, 2016
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    Victoria

    For clarification sake… I checked the urban dictionary of judging and it said to regard someone as inferior or with contempt and disdain. Christians are not supposed to treat other people as inferior or with contempt . We are to love other people. We can dislike their actions and yes condemn evil practices because we have a standard the Bible which says such practices are wrong. HOWEVER TELLING A PERSON THEY ARE WRONG IS NOT JUDGING even according to the definition I just gave.(I also believe that’s the whole point of Od’s post) It’s interesting how sometimes statements made by Christians when they identify something as being wrong is automatically called judging but when the tables are turned it’s called judging. Let’s endeavor to understand what judging really means.

    March 15, 2016
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      Snow

      What. What urban dictionary link is this? because that is not what i’m seeing

      March 15, 2016
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      Countess

      It’s possible to point something out as wrong without coming off as sanctimonious or self righteous which is something that seems to be very hard for some christians to do. Telling someone who fornicates that they are wrong is not judging but sounding like or thinking that I’m better than them because I don’t fornicate is judging. Telling them off like they are somewhat lesser than me because they sin is me judging and being a sanctimonious prick. And this is where so many of us christians get it wrong.
      Christian closet liars and closet fornicators talking to or about a thief but if they check themselves, they’d see that subconconsciously, they think themselves better than that thief. And more often that not, its obvious in their speech when they “correct” said thief. Therein lies the problem.

      March 15, 2016
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    Tee boy

    It’s getting hot in here…..
    *pls don’t judge me*

    March 15, 2016
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    Mariann

    waka pass and side eyeing you pipu…. i will return and give a *robust response* to this…

    March 15, 2016
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    Ibiela

    Jesus!!! How did any of you even gather the strength to read all this? I just can’t today.

    March 15, 2016
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    Kiki

    The comments were even more intriguing than the Post by Od. Wow! I actually read through everyone’s post. not easy i tell u but was worth it.

    I don’t have much to say just want to add my 2cents..
    Judging as a Christian to me ISN’T BAD! Why it is perceived as bad to most people who wrote here, is because in the real sense when u judge someone about something no matter how nicely u do it will seem as if u are feeling u are better than that person. But truth is sometimes people tell me i’m doing something wrong & advise me to do it like this next time. I take the advise & sometimes do same to others. E.g, When u see an ‘Ashawo’ for instance & u feel sorry for her & u go to her & say i only wish u would stop, u deserve better, i have a boutique & i need someone to help me out if u don’t mind can u take up the role, to be a sales person. I’ll pay u real good, etc. It would seem u re judging to most people. Or how else can u tell someone (christian)something is truly wrong that s/he is doing without seeming judgy?

    March 15, 2016
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    Victoria

    Unfortunately you can’t always tell Kiki. Some people are good at wearing a mask and would be judging you even though they are smiling sweetly. But that’s between them and God. For some, it is clear and is evident in the way they speak and put others down. Some might have your best interests at heart and might not have the best approach. So what’s the way out? First, don’t assume just because someone says something is wrong they are judging you for your choices.
    It all boils down to motives. If I tell someone they’re wrong just so I can gloat over it either because I am doing the right things or because I am doing less ‘wrong’ then I am judging. If I point out things that are wrong because of a genuine concern and I proffer solutions then I am not being judgy. I am actually trying to be helpful. So second, ask questions. If you feel judged by someone, call them out on it. It is not enough to just say you feel judged: you need to point it out in concrete terms so they know and can change. Who knows, you may be helping them remove the planks in their eyes…

    March 15, 2016
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    freakyhijabite

    “A Christian is better than a non-christian”
    Wow, really? Are you trying to say that non-christians are inferior to Christians? With the insurgency in the north, shouldn’t we be careful with the things we say? Or how is that statement different from what they are proclaiming?
    Am just tired of all this “B religion is better than C religion”. People should be allowed to practice whatever religion they want without feeling inferior to any other person or group of people. You were probably assuming that a non-christian can not be of a good moral standard, that a non-christian is a sinner.
    I believe judging is wrong in every way, although we do it unconsciously sometimes. @bunmi you took the words right out of my mouth. @thetoolsman Honestly, I think it’s time TNC starts screening what it puts up here. I get the whole express yourself thingy but we should also be considerate of each other’s feelings. You have to remember you have not only Christian readers but Muslims as well…..not forgetting the atheist and traditional worshippers. Just saying.

    March 16, 2016
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      thetoolsman

      Hello, we do screen every single post that goes up on the site multiple times even. We have developed an editorial checklist along side our community rules which all submissions must check before they are published and this post went through the process. While I understand your concern with the statement, it is important that we dont take things out of context. Any member of any other religion is welcome to publish similar views and we will screen just the same way. Beyond screening the posts, even though our comments are not instantly moderated, we have our admins monitoring to see where people go against community rules. Once again, thanks for sharing the concern, I assure you, it’s of utmost importance to us.

      March 16, 2016
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      K. Rukia

      This idea of screening what TNC posts seems misguided to me. If some people really think that Christians are better than everyone else, isn’t it better for them to air their views so they can be challenged? Even if they don’t change their minds, at least we will have the benefit of knowing their position.

      I would say the exceptions are when something is clearly inflammatory (as in geared towards inciting violence), or defamatory. Then I’d support screening out such articles ad they are actually dangerous.

      March 16, 2016
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    D.K

    Hi Od. I love how you state your opinions and reservations. You are always very polite and detailed. Most of the time I sit on the fence in conversations like this because it is always tiring to argue endlessly to one who doesn’t share the same beliefs as you. I’ve learnt that as a christian,I need to open my mouth, be bold and make my stand known to many. Well, I have a long way to go as I need to develop myself and invest in my spirit. How do I share the gospel when personally, I don’t know half of what the bible says ? Anyway, it is a learning process for me. All in all, I want to be christ-like and to practice what the word of God says.
    Kudos Od. I agree with 95.9% of your views. I hope to read more from you.
    Sideline; I like how you and K Rukia argue. she is always polite too and it is refreshing to read/listen to polite arguments.

    March 16, 2016
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    Blaqlotus

    JUDGE:
    1. To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration: judge heights; judging character.
    2.
    a. Law To hear and decide on in a court of law: judge a case.
    b. To pass sentence on; condemn.
    c. To act as one appointed to decide the winners of: judge an essay contest.
    3. To determine or declare after consideration or deliberation: Most people judged him negligent in performing his duties as a parent.
    4. Informal To have as an opinion or assumption; suppose: I judge you’re right.
    5. Bible To govern; rule. Used of an ancient Israelite leader.

    Christians should be able to judge themselves. Not just Christians, whatever religion or group we have out there. How else can you become better if someone doesn’t call you out when you err. My fellow Christian (who is a better Christian than i am) telling me my faults is only trying to make me better and i wouldn’t see it as judging. except of course i don’t want to be better. Same as a colleague trying to correct my mistakes.

    March 16, 2016
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    Zaynab

    Okay, i can’t read all these comments, no time. I think i got the gist of it though. Am i missing something, isn’t there a verse in the bible (Corinthians) that says we should judge other believers for accountability but not unbelievers, basically because they are just following their natures? I think the problem here is the idea behind judging comes from a place superiority which isnt always the case. Sometimes it comes from a place of love. Hate to say it but some times people are just plain wrong. I think the context of that verse was that this man had done something wrong and was still in the midst of doing it and no one was saying anything. The point was let him know he’s wrong so he can change and come back. Also, Nigerians are very passionate about religion. Relax.

    March 16, 2016
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    DEJIDOPE

    I enjoyed this post, would have said whats on my mind, but i don’t have the energy, and i am sure od and ufuomaee can speak for me.

    Cant count the number of times i have been called judgy in the comments section on TNC.

    March 17, 2016
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