It is very easy to criticize.
And fun too.
We are a very judgemental species. I believe that deep down we have a loathing of ourselves. A depression hidden so deep that you don’t know it is there. In order to fight this, you make yourself feel better by making someone else seem worse than you. This Simpsons quote I think sums it up. We get a boost to our ego by judging someone. We can come up with witty put downs trying to out the other person to shame.
That is why Jesus tells us to take the plank out of our own eye before we can take the speck out of our brother’s eye. If we are judging someone else to make us feel good, we need to take that plank out of our eye. We need to remove that insecurity, that sin. I may be stretching what Jesus means here but it does seem that it is more than “don’t judge someone for the same sin that you have or thing that you did.” I still find myself judging out of feeling superior to others but I try to reign that in. I am actually trying to make myself feel superior by making someone else feel insecure.
“You can’t judge somebody’s heart.” I hear this again and again when I mention the terrible actions and policies of someone on the religious right and show them how that is not Christian and you can’t be a Christian if you don’t follow Christ’s teachings. You don’t follow His teachings, you don’t love Him. It is clear as that. I am not saying that I am a works righteousness person. You are not saved by works. Our sin will always taint those works to one degree or another. When you are saved your heart is born again and the fruits of the Spirit will come pouring out.
I also find it funny in a sick way that these people are the most judgemental people you will ever find. They judge the gays, they judge the secularists, they judge democrat candidates, they judge everyone but those in their inner circle.
I can’t judge non believers. I can not condemn. Also the most asinine type of evangelizing is going to people pointing out their sin and telling them about Hell. That is judging and condemning and counter-productive. You are basically telling the people you are sharing the Gospel that they are terrible people.
But for other Christians, we can judge. We must discern and judge. But not with a hypocritical eye but an eye for the damage the sin causes. I have a rule of thumb. If it is a sin that only effects them and their relationship with God. I have no right to judge. But if their sin hurts other people I have a duty to stand up and speak out.
I don’t judge Trump or the rest of the radical Christian Right to make me feel better. I do so for the Kingdom I do so because what they do and say hurt God’s Kingdom here on earth
Many mainline and progressive Christians have dropped the ball and let the radical right distort and paint a terrible picture of our faith. It is time that more speak up and speak against those that damage the kingdom by word and deed
Matthew 7New International Version (NIV)
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13New International Version (NIV)
11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[a] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[b]