Judgment. That word gets thrown around a lot by Christians. And it gets thrown AT Christians by non-Christians. Every non-Christian’s favorite verse is “Judge not lest you be judged.” Taken outside of the context of the rest of the Bible, that verse means stop telling me what I’m doing is wrong, you jerk.
I have been judged by a lot of “Christians” in my lifetime. Many of them didn’t even know me or know what they were talking about. There were also times I really did screw up and they looked down their noses at me. Nothing like a little shaming to make someone want to be around church… right?
Impregnating my girlfriend at 19 was the first time in my life I felt REALLY judged. Yes, I realize that I shouldn’t have been having sex with her. I barely even liked her, let alone loved her. BUT, the people who were judging me were all doing the same thing – they just didn’t have a pregnancy to make it a public thing. This past February I moved in with Nicole. We had just gotten engaged and we had a lot of honest dialogue about what would be best for Amber since we were on fast-forward in our relationship heading toward marriage. We decided my consistent presence was the best thing for her, and that’s what we did.
MAN. People love to make assumptions about things like that. But if you were one of the ones looking down your nose at us, do you have a reason? A real reason? Are you making assumptions about what we were doing? Because you don’t actually KNOW unless you were in the house with us. The pastor of my new church dropped by the house right around when I moved in and he left feeling very good about the direction Nicole and I were taking. And this is a man who is a fundamentalist Baptist preacher who believes every word of the Bible. So why didn’t he judge us? Well, because he took the time to understand the facts, and he trusted that I wasn’t just full of crap.
People will do all sorts of perverted things behind closed doors and then act like they’re perfect. Hypocrisy is rampant in churches. The Bible says that looking at a woman other than your wife with lust is adultery. Is premarital sex worse than adultery? Or does God see them as equally bad… sin is sin? Guys that looked at my pregnant girlfriend and shook their heads were probably going home and looking at porn. Am I worse than that, or was my mistake just more obvious?
An acquaintance of Nicole who I’ve never met said a bunch of bad things about ME. I’ve never met her. Now granted, she’s probably simply jealous that Nicole’s happy. But why did I get dragged into that? Well, she made the same assumptions that a lot of people made… things were moving fast, she assumed that I must be a psycho. I really don’t think I’m creepy, in spite of the fact that I seem to attract that label. I had “friends” back in January/February who made incorrect assumptions about Nicole and our relationship and said terrible things about her. It just blows my mind.
You can discern right and wrong (judgment) without looking down your nose at them (condemnation). People confuse judgment and condemnation all of the time. I can look at a person that’s doing something wrong and say “what you’re doing is wrong” without condemning them. In fact, that’s what the Bible actually says you should do – make a RIGHT judgment.
When Christians condemn people openly or by being aloof and holier-than-thou, it literally drives people away from the church. It’s the opposite of evangelism.
To summarize – don’t make assumptions, and don’t make the mistake of thinking someone else’s sins are worse than yours… in Gods eyes, sin is sin.