When most people say that Christians are judgmental, they usually mean it in the sense of them looking down on people, being quick to condemn and point out the sins of others. While I agree that it is wrong for Christians to show a lack of grace and condemn people to a hell they don’t have any authority to put them in, I believe the Church has become too judgmental in the opposite sense.
I believe it’s just as problematic when we are quick and anxious to call people Christians when their actions may suggest otherwise (Galatians 5:16-26). Why isn’t it considered judgmental when we ignore someone's sinful lifestyle to label them a Christian? People will say, 'Stop judging' then will turn around and put someone in heaven with a RIP. There seems to be a double standard.
We often cosign celebrities and influential peoples faith when they profess to be Christians, even when their works are sinful, because it validates us not fully divorcing ourselves from the ways of the world. As we applaud people who praise God one minute then glorify sin the next, it can be reflective of our walk and desire to please men above God (Galatians 1:10; Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-16).
It is important to understand that we all judge, but not all judgment is the same. There are two types of judgement the Bible speaks of. The first judgement belongs to God alone, where He determines where we will spend eternity (heaven or hell), which is based on whether or not we truly put our trust in Christ as Lord and savior (John 3:16-19). The second type of judgement isn’t exclusive to God but is where we have the ability to determine right from wrong. We all are judgmental, but we must make sure our judgments don’t condemn others, recognizing we have done nothing to deserve God’s forgiveness (Romans 3:23; Colossians 3:13).
If we look at 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Paul encourages the Church to not disassociate themselves with sinners (sinners outside of the Church) for the purpose of being a light and sharing the gospel (Matthew 5:16; Romans 1:16). Right after that, he encourages the Church (body of believers) to judge those in unrepentant sin within the Church who claim to be brother or sister in Christ by not keeping company with them. He even goes as far as telling true believers not to eat with them. He does this for the sake of eliminating confusion, to make a distinction between what it looks like to truly be or not be a Christian for the purpose of not misleading others. This is why Jesus said He would rather you be hot or cold (Revelation 3:15-16). I believe one of the greatest evils in this world isn’t that which comes in the name of evil, but that which leads us to believe that we can serve God and the devil at the same time (Matthew 6:24).
It is easy for us as born-again believers to become stumbling blocks and aid in producing false converts when our lives fail to make a distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness. When sinners are affirmed as believers by professing Christians while they still cling to their sin, it can lead to them not seeking true salvation, which is only found in Christ. If you have been guilty of this as a professing christian and you have no conviction, I would encourage you to examine yourself to see if you are truly saved (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; Jude 1:4).
Lastly, if we as believers are truly seeking to submit to the Scriptures, love others, and make disciples, then we won’t be so quick to write others off the moment they sin. We will know the difference between sin and unrepentant sin as we purpose to walk out our salvation with carefulness and reverence (Philippians 2:12). So let us confess our faults one to another and pray for each other that we be healed with our hearts set on unity in the Spirit (James 5:16; Ephesians 4:2-3).
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This post first appeared here on Gabriel T. Parker's blog site and was reprinted with permission.