Christians: the Most Judgmental and Critical People There Are

Judgement?

 Copyright© 2013 πίστις

Other Believers are the most judgmental and critical people I know. Offended yet? Then do not read any further.

I will say that being so quick to judge does not apply to all Believers, some are not this way. Yet many of us are unfortunately very quick to judge and in an unbiblical way. Many are as well quick to jump on the actions of others and be critical of them.

Read this excerpt from an article I found, it’s an eye opener:

This past Thursday evening, I was reading a discipleship book to my children. At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions. One question was: “What negative characteristic turns people off about Christians?” As I posed this question to my children my boys responded by saying, “When Christians judge other people.” WOW! Honestly, I was taken aback by this response because my boys are eleven and nine. I wondered, “How could they know this so early in their Christian maturity?” I concluded that it is an intuitive. Even young Christians can sniff out inappropriate judgment.

It goes without saying that unbelievers pounce all over Christian hypocrisy and judgment. A Hindu professor once found out that a man in his class was a Christian. The professor said to this student, “If you Christians were like Jesus Christ, India would be at your feet tomorrow.” A learned Muslim who recently became a Christian said, “If Christians were truly Christians—like Christ—there would be no Islam.”1 A USA Today poll shows 72% of unchurched Americans agree that a God exists, but the same percentage says, “the church is full of hypocrites.” 44% say Christians get on their nerves.2 People flat-out don’t like Christians. Yet, when is the last time you heard someone say, “Man, Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists get on my nerves!” It doesn’t happen, does it? People show respect and honor to these religions. Now it’s easy to object, “This just isn’t fair. The media has turned Christians into cultural punching bags.” Yet, we must ask, “Have we brought some of this pain upon ourselves?” If we’re honest and humble, we would probably have to say, “Yes, guilty as charged.”   Read the full article here: Lord, Save Me From Your Followers!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this type of judgment or criticism? It hurts…and makes one think twice about trusting others. The one place, the body of Christ where this should not be…it is rampant. It is also readily apparent to the outside world that “Christians” tend to shoot their own wounded…this is disgraceful.

I find it ironic that many people in the secular world despite not knowing Jesus have a better attitude and are more willing to display understanding and forgiveness than many of my own brothers and sisters in the Lord. Far too many Believers seem to look on forgiveness as condoning another’s actions; this could not be further from the truth. Forgiveness means to forgive, it does not mean that you condone the actions of another.

Evangelism is very important, one of the most important things in the Church today after worship and glorification of the Lord.

Yet I see an even more urgent need in today’s Church; Believers need to stop being so judgmental of one another and be much quicker to forgive and to understand…not to mention help one another. There is this misguided notion in today’s Church of guilt by association. Rather than help a fellow brother or sister, many will walk away so as not to look guilty themselves. This is of course ridiculous…whom did Jesus spend so much time with? Who was it that rejected Christ Himself and was lovingly restored?

This may upset some; today’s Church is beset by legalism. Rules and the observation of them are more important that people are. Again…I’m NOT saying all are this way, but many are. This is not to say that we in the Church should condone the sins of others, but at the same time what value is there in turning our collective back on someone caught in a sin? Who among us has not sinned?

This is a Church-wide problem and one that is steadfastly denied by many. Not many will stand up and say anything about it; instead it is swept under the rug and ignored. The average (I mean no insult here) Joe will simply leave the Church and not come back. That of course is just another mark against that person.

I mentioned previously the importance of evangelism, while this is an important need and commanded by the Lord Himself…of even more importance is the how the outside world views the Church. How can I say this you might be thinking; if the secular world views Believers (the Church) as a bunch of back-biting, judgmental, “throw their own to the wolves” kind of people…then when we try to evangelize them why on earth would they want to join us? Would you want to?

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible by both the secular world and Believers as well. It does not mean to never judge, we are told by Christ Himself to make judgments. The problem is not in Believers making a judgment it is how that judgment is made.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment

John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Many Believers when making judgments fall into error as in John 8:7…instead of judging the actions of another brother or sister, they judge that person’s actions and they judge the person as well. This is throwing stones…we are to judge a brother or sisters actions, we are not to judge the person.  Judging the action only is a righteous judgment. The other part of a righteous judgment is judging by God’s standards, not our own. This refers back to Matthew 7:1-2, in the same way you judge others, so shall you be judged by Christ Himself…scary thought is it not? Be careful how you judge.

1 Samuel 16:7 …For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

No Believer should judge another person…we do not know the heart of that individual and why they did what they did. Only the Lord knows that. People do tend to look at the outward appearance or the action itself. Do you know what that person has been through? The pain they have suffered? The trials they have gone through? You may think you do…you do not.

How about the cross-dresser, the homeless man, or the one who reeks of alcohol? Many would like to escort these people to the door. Are they not supposed to be treated with respect and shown the love of Christ? How are they to possibly come to know the Lord if they are shunned because they are not in their Sunday best? We maybe will speak to these people on the street, but please do not show up in our churches because you are not welcome. Really? Is this loving your neighbor as yourself?

How many Believers do you suppose come to church in their Sunday best; both in clothing and attitude…afraid to ever confide in anyone the truth of what is in their lives for fear of being ostracized from the very people that should help them? It is not only the secular world that sees what goes on in the Church…many IN the church see it as well.

In this time of the Church being fractured in so many ways; gay pastors, the teaching of Chrislam, accepting many other religions views of reaching heaven apart from Christ as legitimate, “tickle my ears” teaching…unity in the body of Christ should be of utmost importance.

Love your neighbor as yourself, mercy trumps judgment.

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16 replies

  1. I agree that Christians should not judge, especially each other. These heresy headhunter website are clearly in violation of what Jesus said, however, I don’t really care what Hindus or Muslims or especially atheists say about Christians. Hindus and Muslims are responsible for sooo many Christian deaths in the world. When a Hindu said, “If Christians acted like Jesus, we’d be at His feet,” or whatever, I’m like, uh, your religion slays Christians by the busloads. Same with atheists. Atheists are responsible for all kinds of atrocities against Christians. Should we not be judgmental or hypocritical, of course not! However, I do not honestly take it to heart when folks from other religions judge us.

    • The problem is the Muslim professor has a valid point. If “Christians” acted like Christ…many things would be different. The most damage done to the body of Christ is not because of anyone in the secular world, but the actions of those who profess to be Christians. Other religions have no right to judge us…that does not mean their input is invalid.

      Thanks for the comment
      Greg

  2. It is the Christian’s responsibility to rightly judge within the church body. Failure to do so causes confusion and many more issues with sin.

    But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13 NIV)

    • Yes it is the responsibility of the body of Christ to judge, it is also the responsibility of those that judge to do so in the proper manner. unjust judging benefits no one.

      • Yes, that is why I stated we must “rightly judge.” It is biblical judgement of sin in the body. This is the foundation of church discipline and is deteriorating quickly. I do see unbiblical judgement as well but unlike the article, we ARE supposed to judge sinful actions of other believers in the church. We should also use the word of God and the Holy Spirit as our guide, not people of other religions. That would be most sad.

        • Yes, that is why I stated we must “rightly judge.” It is biblical judgement of sin in the body. This is the foundation of church discipline and is deteriorating quickly. I do see unbiblical judgement as well but unlike the article, we ARE supposed to judge sinful actions of other believers in the church. We should also use the word of God and the Holy Spirit as our guide, not people of other religions. That would be most sad.

          I think you are confused…I never said people should not judge, in fact I said we should. It is the manner in which people do so that is wrong.

          From the article:

          The problem is not in Believers making a judgment it is how that judgment is made.

          we are to judge a brother or sisters actions, we are not to judge the person. Judging the action only is a righteous judgment. The other part of a righteous judgment is judging by God’s standards, not our own

          As for your comment about people of other religions…I think you misunderstand. Anyone who knows the Lord is guided by Him and His word, not the thoughts and teachings of other religions. The only reference in this article to other religions was the other article I quoted. In this quote it was stated that if “Christians” were truly like Christ, then there would be no Islam. Does this not tell you anything?

          For the moment, forget about what religion anyone else is from pertaining to the quote from the other article. Everyone has something they believe, whether they are Muslim, Hindu, Atheist etc…something. Now you have our “group”…Christians. A large number of these other people regardless of what they believe look on us (Christians) with distaste. Some of that is because of our belief in Jesus and what that entails…I’m not referring to them. The greater majority of these people look on us with distaste because of how we treat our own people. Like I said, forget what religion they belong to, what difference does that make? When we have large numbers of people from all walks of life that look at us (Christians) and want nothing to do with us because of how we treat our own people…this ought to greatly concern all of us.

          I have no doubt in my mind there are people who are not so much against Jesus as they are against how we treat our own people. Christianity has a worldwide image problem, and deservedly so. You need only read the news, visit other “Christian” web sites etc to see how people treat one another.

          Again…you are right we ARE to judge the actions (sins) of others. I’m talking about the fact that many also judge the person and that is wrong.

  3. This was a wonderful post but also a sad post because it’s true. I never would have believed this of Believers if I had not experienced it first hand. What you wrote about how many people are afraid to confide in other believers for fear of being ostracized is…well, scary. I once read something about how it’s easier to find a sympathetic ear or encouraging word at a bar than at church. THAT is really sad. Judge SIN NOT THE SINNER! Only God knows the person’s heart…we don’t. We may THINK we do but we really don’t. I’m not saying we suddenly accept sin for ourselves or other Believers, I AM saying to know the DIFFERENCE between not accepting the sin and not accepting the person!

    • Unfortunately what you say here is true. Many judge not only actions, but judge the person as well, and that is the sole prerogative of God.

      • Do you understand how to judge only the sin and not the sinner who made a bad decision? Suppose I had an adulterous affair. How do you rightly handle this sinful situation apart from the biblical example of church discipline? Can you tell me how you would judge the sin versus me as the sinner? Do you not believe that the word of God even indicates the person should be put out of the fellowship after the listed process if they remain unrepentant? This it would seem is judging the sin AND the sinner. But you say we should not judge the sinner who calls himself a brother? Very puzzling.

        • Yes 1 Corinthians tells us that. In the case you mention, yes I agree with you. But church discipline is not judging the person, it is doing what has to be done.
          How about those who are vocal in their disdain for another? How about those who express hatred or close to it? How about gossiping about a situation? These strike me as already having condemned a person in ones heart.

          What about other things that are not in that list in 1 Corinthians?
          Divorce…should people be tossed out of the fellowship for this? Does the reason matter if it is not sexual indiscretion? How about the woman who’s husband beat her, so she divorced him, or the spouse that suffered severe emotional abuse and divorced, or the spouse that essentially lives a separate life because his/her marriage partner while not cheating, wants nothing to do with him/her so divorced.

          How about the person who thinks it’s ok to drink on occasion, not getting drunk either.
          The woman that wears pants?
          The girl who got pregnant outside marriage?
          The person who smokes?
          The person that DOES get drunk on occasion but is trying to stop? Throw them all out of the fellowship? These have all really happened and they were excluded. Is that right?

          The church elder that has a child that is trouble all the time…toss him out of office? After all, one of the requirements to be an elder is that your children are well behaved.

          What about the brother that is not shy about expressing his opinion on everything, is difficult to get along with, and rather abrasive? What are we to do with him?

          That by the way is a good description of the Apostle Paul. 🙂

      • I think we both agree the examples you list below are not rightly judging. For example gossiping is not judging by biblical guidelines, it is sin in itself. I think there is much we agree on. We are to try and restore a brother or sister in love. If we are not able to do so, expulsion is also to be done in love. It is done in hopes that the person outside of the fellowship will turn back to God. We must not overlook sin however.

  4. This is a great post, Greg! The whole subject of “judging” is very controversial. I think if we understood that righteous judgment, perhaps using the Fruit of the Spirit as a guideline (or “fruit inspection”), is different than “judging” another, without realizing God looks on the heart and we can never know the true intent of someone as He does, we would do far less of this! It is really best to let God do the judging while we look at our own thoughts, words and actions and make sure our hearts are pure and right before Him! Then we truly are not condoning sin, but lovingly trying to help those we feel may have slipped into a sinful lifestyle or error in some way (according to the Word of God). The Bible is clear about helping to bring our fellow Christian back to repentance from an area where they may have sinned, while continuing to love them. I think many judge in haste because it appeases their consciences and makes them look better; perhaps they don’t want to deal with the sin in their own lives! We never know what another person is truly going through, and love covers a multitude of sins, as the Word of God so clearly states. We should all “live in love” with each other!

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