The sinner's favorite scripture passage is Jesus' acclaimed, "Judge not lest thou be judged." And yet, surely we are to call sin sin. We do not overlook adultery, spousal or child abuse. We even encourage those compelled towards drugs, alcohol, or other compulsions to enter into fulltime residential treatment. None of this is considered judgmental. In fact, good correcting, rebuking, and instruction in righteousness should be basic to discipling believers--especially new converts.
And yet, how common is it to hear, when we address a brother or sister in the Lord with "a concern," that we get both barrels back at us--don't judge me, and don't you dare gossip! The Apostle Paul faced a blatant sinner in the Corinthian church. The man was intimately involved with his mother in law! Such a thing is not even seen among the pagans, Paul complained. His counsel--put the man out of the church. More bluntly: Give him over to Satan! Why? Perhaps he'll come to his senses and repent. And, indeed, many scholars believe he did. For in 2nd Corinthians, Paul urges the church not to keep bringing up a member's past sin, since he'd fully repented.
So, what to do with this singular command of post modernism, and even of many in the church? When we attempt to bring careful and discerning counsel to a wayward member, how to answer the "Judge not" mantra? Maybe we should ignore it? It's a phony defense, is it not? Just say, "Brother/Sister what you are doing is wrong. I'm here to encourage you to reconcile with God, and return to his ways. Should we not all judge ourselves, so God does not have too?"
"Judge not" has become self-delusion. Lord, deliver us from this evil!
Tags: Judge Discern Sin Right Wrong Guilt Blame Sensitive