Sunday, 2 February 2014

Christians must exercise discernment - therefore Christians must *judge* other people

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Probably there is no subject upon which more nonsense, and fatally-confusing nonsense, has been written over the past half-century, than the subject of 'judging' other people.

I will not attempt to summarize what is the mainstream view on this subject, because I cannot summarize incoherence - but the gist of it is that we, as individuals, should feel very uncomfortable if we judge, if we evaluate, the good or evil of another person's behaviour.

Indeed, this mainstream view - which includes many self-identified Christians and especially Christian leaders - is that 'judging others' is a worse sin than any possible sin which might be judged.

In sum, the modern mainstream view amounts to the conviction that it is those who judge others who are the worst of all possible sinners.

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Now, obviously this is evil nonsense. 

But I think many genuine Christians are confused by this prohibition on judging others - and by the pseudo-Christian rationale put forward to support it (for example, by quoting certain Biblical verses, or putting forward certain aspects of Christs behaviour as precedents).

Yet the prohibition on judging others absolutely prevents someone living a Christian life.

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In a world of sin and evil - how can a man know what to do, what to believe - who to believe, without deploying judgement of good and evil motivations, intentions, character?

It is obviously impossible - and therefore must be utterly rejected. 

Or rather, this ought to be obvious but, as I said, people are confused.

And what happens in consequence is that faith is weakened; anti-Christian people, policies and organizations are supported instead of opposed - in sum, Christianity becomes feeble, ineffectual and cannot offer direction or hope.

And this is what we find. 

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So what is the proper meaning of that strand of Christ's teaching which we misunderstand as 'not judging others' - it is, quite simply, that we do not know who will be saved and who will choose damnation.

That specific but crucial matter is not for us to judge and we are in no position to judge it.

But all other matters are necessarily to be judged - but especially, vitally, above-all we must judge the goodness, virtue, and truthfulness of other people; or, alternatively, must judge and take-note-of and act-upon-our-knowledge-of their evil intentions, their sinfulness, their dishonesty.

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Christians must understand clearly and unambiguously that judgement is not only 'allowed'; but absolutely vital and indeed central to the Christian life.

Obviously!

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