Many times over the years, and often on social media, I’ve been accused of being judgmental because I speak against the teaching of Christians who compromise Genesis with evolution—often naming names and calling those teachers to repentance for their compromise. I also get accused of judging people when I show clearly from Scripture that sexual conduct outside of marriage is sin, that abortion is murder, and so on. And when discussing issues of transgenderism and abortion, Christians who stand on God’s Word are often accused of being judgmental and using supposed hate speech. So, should Christians judge others?
Both Christians and non-Christians have told me I shouldn’t judge others and that I need to stop being so judgmental. (Interestingly, they are always very judgmental toward me when they accuse me of being judgmental!)
I’ve often replied to Christians making this accusation that when we tell someone they are a sinner, we are judging them. But it isn’t based in our own opinions. In making this statement about sin, we are using God’s Word that tells us we are all sinners and in need of salvation (Romans 3:23). So yes, we are judging people . . . using the words of the only truly righteous Judge.
I’ve had many Christians (and even non-Christians) claim that the Bible states we are to “judge not.” But when they do this, they are actually taking those words in the Bible way out of context.
Let’s look at the passage that people quote “judge not” from.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1–5)
In these verses, Christ is warning believers against making judgments in a hypocritical or condemning manner. He is not saying we are not to judge! A person can’t just take the first two words, “judge not,” and claim this means Christians shouldn’t judge! However, even when they say this, they are judging Christians themselves, but with verses taken completely out of context.
Many of those who quote “judge not” from Matthew 7:1 fail to notice the command to judge in verse five of this passage, where it says, “Then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
The point Jesus emphasizes here is to judge yourself first before you make judgments about others.
Of course, this isn’t a contradiction. The point Jesus emphasizes here is to judge yourself first before you make judgments about others. So this passage is definitely not saying a person can’t judge. Think about this verse: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24).
Now, should we make judgments about other believers, especially as it relates to their erroneous teachings on Genesis?
Well, I acknowledge that there are many Christian pastors and leaders who sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ. These men have led many to Christ, work diligently with much perseverance for the kingdom of God, and minister to the hurting and sick—all because they have been transformed by the finished work of Christ on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. However, just like the rest of us, they are fallible and can fall into error, even regarding the issue of origins. None of us are above being held accountable for what we teach. As I’ve said numerous times, I’m not saying a person can’t be a Christian if they believe in millions of years, but I do judge their position against Scripture and point out they are undermining the authority of God’s Word, using man’s fallible beliefs.
The Bible provides many examples of how God’s people can be in error, dating back to (and before) the kings of Israel and Judah. Out of the 39 rulers in Israel and Judah after the time of Solomon, only 8 of them (all from Judah; see 1 and 2 Kings) tried to reverse the evil their predecessors had introduced into the kingdom. Only eight of them saw the depravity around them and tried to do something about it. However, these godly kings had failures as well. These eight kings have their histories tarnished because most, except Hezekiah and Josiah (see 2 Kings 18:4 and 23:8–15), failed to take down the high places (1 Kings 15:11, 14, 22:43; 2 Kings 12:2–3, 14:3–4, 15:3–4, 34–35). They didn’t deal with the compromise like they should have.
Answers in Genesis points out that there are many Christians (including Christian leaders) who add evolution and/or millions of years to Scripture. We expose this compromise, not to make harsh judgments about the person or his or her spiritual walk, but to show the inconsistency (as we all can have) of a Christian leader toward Genesis—and the negative implications this inconsistency can have on the rest of Scripture and on the people they teach.
Unity of the Faith?
Now, the ministry of AiG is dedicated to upholding the authority of the Bible and giving answers to point out that such compromised positions are really undermining God’s Word and its authority. When I do that, I’m often told that I’m unloving and that we should not be making judgments about others by pointing out errors in their teaching regarding Genesis.
Some people take offense and say that as believers, we should focus on loving others and not be divisive. We are, however, divisive if we do not correct error. Are we working toward the “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13), or are we compromising God’s Word by allowing for the world’s “wisdom”? Remember, as believers we are all part of “one faith” (Ephesians 4:5). We must establish our foundation in the truth of God’s Word, putting God as the authority over our lives, and not our own philosophies. Having the right foundation will help us to know the difference between truth and lies as well as right and wrong. Paul explained the need for truth and the divisive nature of lies in the following passage:
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:14–16)
We need unity on the truth of God’s infallible Word, not unity on man’s fallible word! As I’ve said many times, the truth is divisive in a world where “people loved the darkness rather than the light” (John 3:19). There can never be total unity in this world. And there will never be total unity in the church because of men’s sinful hearts. We must always judge people’s beliefs against Scripture, and this by necessity will create division, but division for the right reasons.
Think about it. Are we being loving if we allow our fellow brethren to remain in error and even deceive others? Of course not. Loving others requires that we graciously correct them when they fall into error (Matthew 18; 1 Corinthians 1:11; Galatians 6:1). Those who err do not necessarily know they are in error; they are possibly deceived or ignorant. So we gently and carefully correct the error in regard to teaching, no matter what the situation. After all, this is one of the responsibilities of the church: to teach sound doctrine and correct erroneous teaching (2 Timothy 2:25, 3:16; Titus 2:1).
Yes, We Must Judge
As Christians, we must point out that which is sin or we are not being loving. We must tell people that all sexual conduct outside of marriage is sin. That abortion is sin. That compromise is sin, and so on.
So yes, Christians can and need to judge, but don’t judge hypocritically. Judge using righteous judgment! And judge with both gentleness and meekness, with boldness and courage.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Leave a Reply