In recent years, the doctrine of “non-judgmentalism” is becoming more and more popular.
Non-judgmentalism means that you are not allowed to declare something wrong. If you do declare something wrong, then you are guilty of being “judgmental”. To attempt to prove this, part of what Jesus said is trotted out: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”.
So, if, as a Christian, you make any sort of moral judgment, the non-judgmentalist says “So you claim to be a Christian? Jesus did not judge. Who are you to judge?”
But let’s respond by considering Jesus’ whole quote.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)
So, Jesus is not issuing a blanket order against judging, but rather is emphasizing having the right attitude when we do judge.
See how Jesus deals with a woman caught in adultery. As her accusers are preparing to stone her to death, Jesus says “You who are without sin, cast the first stone.” (John 8:7b) His intervention prevents the woman from being stoned to death.
But Jesus’ final words to the woman are often overlooked:
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
So, Jesus did not tell her: “Who am I to judge?” He is judging, but his attitude is much more “I am grieved that you are doing this” …. than “Ha, Gotcha!”
Think of the mercy of Jesus showed when, instead of condemning us, he died on the cross for us. In the light of this price Christ paid for us, how could we dare to judge with a harsh attitude? Doesn’t Jesus make us merciful people?
Do we render our judgment tempered with mercy? Or prefer to risk judgment without mercy? It’s the very attitude we judge with that will be applied back to us…
A “Gotcha” will be repaid with a “Gotcha”. A merciful attitude when correcting someone will be repaid with the same mercy.