When it comes to dealing with sin the ever-increasing mantra is “don’t judge.” In the June 8 opinion piece by Senior Editor Cheyenne Roche this non-judgemental approach was used to support and allyship between Christianity and the LGTBQ community. Soon after the publication a family member voiced the same reasoning in defense of same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria.
The premise of avoiding judgmentalism is darw from various passages in the Bible. One of the longer sections and the one cited in the opinion piece is Matthew 7:1-5. Like with any reading of the Bible, one must caution and discernment when it comes to interpretaion and application. What is the context of the passage? Does your interpretation fit with the other writings of the same author, and does it agree with the Bible as a whole? This is where the problem lies when people say “don’t judge” to quiet any discussion of behavior or sin. The application is taken too broadly.
I propose that there is a difference between discerning (judging) that an action or behavior is wrong (sinful) versus pronouncing (judging) that a person deserves hell because of the sin. In the former, I am applying a standard code of conduct, in this case Biblical principles to myself or another. While in the later I am acting as a judge and issuing a sentence. I agree with Cheyenne that Christians should not pronounce “you will go to hell if you (fill in the blank).” The only decision that sends people to hell is their rejection of Jesus as the Christ, the only son of God, and his saving death on the cross, burial and resurrection. Only God will be able to make that judgement.
We all sin. I am the worse sinner I know because I know my heart (at least I think I do). God is love and his greatest commandment is to love him and my neighbor. Because of his love for me and he desires that I turn from sin, just as I love my wife and kids and want them to be the best people they can be. In our hearts and minds we judge the words and action of others every day. With love and humility we need to speak truth to those in our lives we want to see grow in Godly character. It is a correct understanding of the verse that instructs us to first get the log out of our own eye by working on our own sin. But it does not preclude us from helping others with their splinter.