Should a Christian Judge? (Judging Sin vs. Judging Others)

There is no doubt among anyone in our nation that this day and age is absolutely polarizing.  Our nation is basically divided down the middle politically on almost every major issue we face.  The reaction of Christians when something does not go their way in the political arena is typically no different than the reaction of non-Christians when faced with the same circumstances.  Both are majorly bummed out on the outcome when it doesn't go their way.  This is called human nature.  We like to win.  

Their is, however, an interesting paradox I see almost every single time a "moral" issue comes to the Supreme Court or to the ballot box and that is this: anytime that a Christian speaks out in support of what they believe (typically based on the Bible) their is a harsh recourse of people "using the Bible" to tell them that they "shouldn't judge" others.  I'm not sure of much, but I'm sure you've seen this in your social media feeds.  Don't be the judge.  Judge not, lest you be judged.  Only God can judge me.  Etc.  

This leads people to silence, it kills dialogue and (in my opinion) robs the Christian of one of the most beautiful things that God has ever given us in this world: a voice.  The commonly used verse of Scripture is found in Matthew 7 and refers to those who hypocritically judge others while full of sin in their own lives (see Pharisees).  The greatest trait of a student of Scripture is that he/she uses the "context" that it is found in and also compares and contrasts the Scripture with the whole Bible.  

So how does this Scripture in Matthew 7 stack up against 1 Corinthians 2:14-17 where we read this:  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

Does the Scripture contradict itself?  No, not in the least.  The difference is in WHO is making the judgement and what they are judging.  When the hypocrite (Matt. 7), with many issues of their own, who is not filled with the Holy Spirit is making a judgement we see their folly. When the Spirit filled and Spirit led man/woman is making a judgement, they are making a judgement with the Essence of Jesus Christ leading that judgement.  One of the Gifts of the Spirit is "discernment" or "judgement."  This doesn't elevate the believer, or Spirit filled one, to a place of hatred/vitriol but to a place of righteous and sound judgement (yes, even amongst many different and polarizing opinions).

It is far too easy to be reactionary, even judgmental and, yes, Christians do struggle with this as do others.  However, with the power of the Holy Spirit we are enabled to make sound judgement on issues near to the heart of Jesus our Lord and thus, to be his hands, feet, and voice in a sin sick world.  It is not wrong to see wrong and call it wrong any more than it is to see a tree and call it a tree.  With that, grow in God's grace, live with faith/hope/love, keep Jesus at the center and judge righteously as you're empowered by the Holy Spirit.  

-Pastor Scott  

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