Although the first few letters of each of the words judging and judgmental are the same, they are relative to each other in no way, especially in the Word of God. I have felt led to write about judging for quite some time now, for it is a rare occurrence in these days to be able to address a brother or sister in Christ with corrections and reproofs without being told that we are being judgmental, that we should first look at the log in our own eye (Matt. 7:3), no matter the circumstances. Even when we are mature in the faith, able to rightly divide the word of truth by the power of the Holy Spirit, even when much soul searching and prayer is involved first, and the words spoken to the offending brother are done so in much love, antagonism is still the general occurrence that we receive.
It is a subject worth studying and applying ourselves to, for it is becoming much more pervasive in the Christian community. Rebukes of “you’re like a pharisee” and “that’s between God and me” are heard much more today than “thank you” or “I had not noticed the trap I had fallen into,” excuses abound, and instead of accepting assistance, the weaker brother returns offered help with criticism. These must be named as they are in this series on judging, weaker brothers, for as we see in the Scriptures, we are to judge with righteous judgement (John 7:24), we are to accept and offer correction and reproof (2 Timothy 3:16), we are to remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ are our friends, and that their wounds are faithful (Proverbs 27:6), we are to always bring to mind that all that we do and say is to be done in love (1 Cor. 16:14), and to always esteem others higher than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).
We should all be aware that born-again believers commit unrighteous deeds, and though we will not of course discuss every possible action or word that entails here, we will discuss extensively on not only our own personal accountability towards Christ, ourselves, and our brothers and sisters when theses occur, but how to accept the correction and reproof of the fellowship of believers upon ourselves. In far too many instances blatant, ongoing sin is becoming acceptable within the congregation of believers, whether it be within or outside of the walls of a church, and many of these are left alone because of the insincerity or fear of others to speak up when it is noticed. Those who do address the issue are sometimes informed that they are overstepping their boundaries, that they are not in a position of authority, that they are being judgmental. Fewer and fewer pastors are willing to speak up to any of their congregation when these sins are brought to light, when the rumors are found to be true. The voted in board may ask them to keep silent because of the guilty parties status within the church and community, and in either fear of losing yet another member of an already dwindling assembly, or perhaps even the loss of their job, they acquiesce.
My friends do not be deceived here, there is not as much spiritual discernment behind the pulpit and at the elder meetings as you might think, not in all churches of course, but the inerrant truths of Gods words and the proper application of it is not learned anywhere close to its entirety in a seminary, and I believe you might be shocked by what is being taught in many of them today. The world, as one might expect, is not helping in these matters of judging in anyway. To judge today is to be racist, bigoted, and single-minded, with no opening to the complete expression of all the freedom that the world is screaming that all should have.
This trap the church, the fellowship of believers, has also fallen into headlong, what was once prohibited is now welcomed with open arms, and those who expressed the word of God to them were judged to be judgmental, and asked to go and find a more conservative church, a less open and liberal church, they were in essence told to go and find a church of the past. God does not change, entire congregations do not change all at once, but individuals do, slowly, sometimes with forethought, sometimes by prompting, but change they do, and if they are not lovingly corrected and reproved, if their thoughts and actions are not judged in righteous judgement with the word of God by men who are mature in the faith and stand strong upon the truth of Scripture, the fellowship will fall away, and the weaker brothers will go with it.
For their own reasons, the lost do not like the fellowship of Jesus Christ, but you must be made aware of this, many of your brothers and sisters in Christ will not like you either when it becomes necessary to speak to them when they are continuously committing a sin in the eyes of the Lord, and you attempt to help them. “Who are you to judge” they will say, and bring up an item of your past, a past that you have repented of (1 John 1:9) and been forgiven for, “you are just like the pharisee” (Luke 18: 10-14). They will reply, but more often than not what will occur will be short, curt words on their part, and then they will never speak to you again. If this happens, if you are obedient to the Word of God, then you must start to apply (Romans 6:16), we will discuss this sad consequence for their actions in a later letter, as the Lord leads.
We are to judge righteous judgement, my friends, this as we will see in the Scriptures is quite clear, and we will also learn that not only are we of ourselves never to judge without the Word of God, never out of personal or self -serving reasons, but that we are never to be judgmental. There is only one righteous judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, and by Him all souls will be judged, the righteous to eternal glory, the unrighteous to eternal damnation. His servants are to be loving and wise in their judgement, and so for wisdom and a loving heart we must pray.