6.01.2014

Scripture on Judging Others

There is a tension in scripture on the use of the word "judge."

For example, John 7:24, and many other similar passages say things like, "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
 

While in contrast, Romans 14:4 says, "Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand... You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat."

And yet, 1 Corinthians 6:2 says: "Do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?"

This all seems like it could be a problem.  Taking a look at the full context of each of those passages helps, and I think the Apostle James offers further assistance. Judging rightly is closely related to teaching, admonishing, and loving others well, and James has this to say about teachers: "Not many of you should become teachers (which inevitably involves making judgements), because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. [Remember] we all stumble in many ways." James 3.

And Paul says this: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:1-4


In my judgement, many Christians are like this blogger, who writes at length on why it is ok to judge others, without looking at the tension in scripture, or talking about how to do so well.  (He lists nearly every passage that says judge, but never looks at Romans 14.)

Exercising discernment, care, concern, teaching, or judgement without humility is an effort doomed to fail, and too often, that is exactly what happens. (For me in particular.)  That is one of the reasons non-Christians, and former Christians, and Christians who often don't identify as Christians, and our culture in general disdains judgement so much; they rarely experience it combined with humility and graciousness.

A Memorial for those who fell in Afgaistan and Iraq?

I recently spent some time at the Vietnam War Memorial in Duluth. While there, it occurred to me that our generation needs to build some memorials for those who have fallen during our wars.

I did a quick google search to see if anything was in the works.  It seems Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery is the closest thing we have at the moment.  And some have pointed out that we just recently got the WWII memorial built, so it might be a while in the making. 

If and when something does get underway, I want to contribute in some small way.