"Christianity is for losers."

- Ted Turner

"The evaporation of the four million who believe in this crap [Christ's return] would leave the world a better place."

- Andrei Codrescu
National Public Radio's
All Things Considered

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

- Acts 1:8 NIV



CHRISTIANS: biased, bigoted, intolerant, and judgmental?
2) judgmentalism


"I hope he's not long for this world."

- Nina Totenberg
Inside Washington on-air remark about General Jerry Boykin's statement to a church that he believes Christianity to be true and other creeds to be false.


"Assuming that he believes at all, the everyday Christian is a pitiful figure, a man who really cannot count up to three, ...precisely because of his mental incompetence..."

- Frederick Nietzche

5 What is being judgmental?

The quality of being judgmental is perhaps the most common charge leveled against those who adhere to biblical morality. Nonbelievers, as a whole, have no formalized code of right and wrong to which they hold themselves. They have little desire to do so. Christians, on the other hand, have what they believe to be God's standards in the Bible. They are unquestionably expected to be held to them.

Knowing that a Christian's behavior may be held up to a published standard, and knowing that the Bible includes the phrase "do not judge", nonbelievers sometimes suggest (or judge?) that believers are committing hypocrisy. They suggest that Christians are sinning against this biblical instruction not to judge when Christians condemn non-biblical actions or values.

Are nonbelievers right? Is this hypocrisy?

4.6 "Do not judge...something, something."

The three words "do not judge" have to be the one scriptural excerpt that all of non-Christiandom has committed to memory. This would be great . . .IF the passage where these words are written, the context in which they are used, or even the rest of the words in the sentence (there are more!!!) were cited as frequently.

In addition to "do not judge", consider these other equally important biblical excerpts: "judge your neighbor fairly" and "judge carefully". As these short phrases collectively indicate, one has to look at the Bible more broadly that just three or four words in order to understand when, how, or if we are to judge.

The terms judge and judgment are not infrequently used in the Bible, and for this study's purpose, biblical judgment can be considered to fall into two different fields. These two fields concern the outward person and the inward person.

4.7 Judge the outward, not the inward.

The Bible is just as emphatic that we judge the outward person as it is that we do not judge the inward person. The outward person consists of our words and actions which are discernible to the senses. These are the things on which the Bible expressly commands we pass judgment. The inward person, conversely, is comprised of that which is not reliably discernible to our senses, like intentions and motivations; areas of judgment the Bible reserves for God alone. (Look here for more details on the scriptural principles of when and when not to judge.)

Here's an example of wrongful judgment: if a believer declares someone to be evil or unquestionably going to hell, that believer is being sinfully judgmental. That is because he or she is making a pronouncement of someone's inward state; something of which they cannot know.

But what if a believer reads or shares with an unbeliever those things from the Bible which God has already judged as being right or wrong? Or what if a believer condemns an unbeliever's words or actions to be wicked by the Bible's standards. Is that also being sinfully judgmental?

One can understand how a person who disputes the Bible's divine authority would interpret this negatively. But the heart of the question is whether or not the Bible allows believers to share God's standards or condemn evil behavior as sin. The answer to this is yes.

The Bible specifically commands that God's standards be shared with the whole world, and evil behavior be condemned wherever it is found. The Bible presents God as God, and presents God's characteristics as the very definition of right. Therefore, if God's character comparatively makes someone's behavior appear immoral or sinful or wrong, that same someone should seriously consider that his or her behavior just might be immoral or sinful or wrong.

Thus when a Christian holds up anyone's words or actions for comparison to God's character, this is not being hypocritically judgmental. While it is wrong to judge (in the sense of harshly accuse) the individual, it is absolutely right to judge (meaning discern) the behavior as being right or wrong.

The key to acceptable, biblical judgment is in restricting our critical evaluations to the outward person (the words and actions) and in accurately discerning right from wrong according to God's definitions. A final illustration will help tie this all together.

4.8 Are you a judge or a witness?

If your friend is driving in his car and you, as his passenger, notice that he is speeding, how do you properly apply God's principles of judgment? The wrong way would be to say to your friend, "You're a speeder!" This is looking beyond the wrongful actions, implying them to be deliberate and repetitive, and accusing your friend as though you have the insight to see that this particular action has accurately revealed his or her true character. That is being sinfully judgmental.

The proper way to apply judgment would be to restrict your observations to the outward behavior: "Hey, you're doing ninety in a sixty-five zone - you're speeding."

So why is that not being wrongfully judgmental?

The legality of driving ninety miles an hour is not up to your friend to judge...but neither is it up to you. Driving ninety miles an hour was judged to be illegal long ago. It became illegal the day that "65" sign went up. So testifying as to what the sign says in the face of action being taken to the contrary is not being a judge, but rather being a witness.

This is the position Bible believers must restrict themselves to; making careful observations as witnesses, with accurate discernment, without hypocrisy, and in a manner expressing gentleness and respect. For such confrontations are not made for the purpose of subjecting anyone to eternal judgment here and now; they are made here and now so as to save people from judgment before God in eternity.


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NEXT: Was Christianity cut-and-pasted from other religions?

See also:

Principles of God's judgment

Basic terminology: What is religion, worship, faith...

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Perhaps because Christians are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to constitute a majority, their beliefs and lifestyles are not as protected from public ridicule like many minority or politically correct classes.

The seeming unfairness is not upsetting. It is easy enough to set the record straight on the various popular accusations.

1. What is judgmental?
2. "Do not judge..."
3. Judge the outward
4. Judge or a witness?


























"The only completely consistent people are the dead."

- Aldous Huxley