Why I am Judgmental
No. 1: We live in the most
"tolerant" and violent
century in human history. The two are related.
"Tolerance" killed six million Jews in Nazi Germany.
The Good People of Germany knew what was going on. Their
neighbor had a good job with the government railroad industry,
helping people get on trains headed for the "camps."
No one wanted to be "judgmental." He was just
"doing his job."
No. 2: Great numbers of
those who call themselves Christians are today telling us that
we should not judge. At the same time, great numbers of those
who call themselves Christians frequently engage in
hypocritical, ignorant, and lawless judging, and this is
probably the reason why the others are saying we must not judge
Of course, no one believes that we ought to
- judge hypocritically ("I go to church on
Sunday dressed modestly, criticizing others for their
worldly dress, when just hours before I came home from a
nightclub in dress that could hardly be called
modest"), that we should
- judge ignorantly ("I criticize someone for
immodest dress when I have never seen them"), or that
- judge lawlessly ("I criticize someone for
wearing green, as though the Bible condemned the wearing of
No one claims we should judge this way, and the Bible plainly
condemns such judging.
But to use the Biblical condemnation of self-centered,
Humanistic judging to condemn all judging is an equally
erroneous position. If we are to tolerate all things, and do no
judging at all, then we will not discriminate or criticize the
blasphemies and lies of Satan and his followers. We may
worship God, or we may just as well worship Satan himself! But
the Bible says we are to judge between God and Satan and choose
Those who say we should be more like Jesus, and not judge at
all, have overlooked some important passages of Scripture. If we
meditate on these verses we will discard the notion that we
should not judge.
Jesus is a Judge
We are Christ's Judges
We Can Judge Hearts
Judging Extends Christ's Kingdom
First, many passages show us that Jesus frequently
rendered stern judgments:
Did Jesus render a judgment concerning those who don't distinguish
themselves from the world as salt?
What did Jesus call those who prayed in public so that they
might be seen by men?
What did Jesus call those who judge . . . hypocritically,
How did Jesus tell us to judge those who, when they hear the
Word of God we speak, attack us and slander us?
What did Jesus tell us to do concerning false prophets?
Did Jesus give us tips on how to recognize them?
Did Jesus come to bring peace, or judgment?
Did Jesus tolerate those cities that did not repent?
What did Jesus call those who seek signs?
What did Jesus tell us to do concerning religious guides?
How did Jesus answer the request of the Canaanite woman?
How did Jesus assess Peter and his idea that Christ should
not be executed?
Did Jesus invite the Pharisees to fellowship with Him?
Unfortunately, we can only cover one of the Gospels in this
brief survey. We would find more of the same in the other
Gospels. How do we understand these accounts?
is very stern and judgmental because it is so important for
God's commandments to be honored. If we are to be Jesus's
friends we must do the same (I
John 2:3-6; 3:22-24; 5:2-3; John 14:15,21-24; John 15:10-11,
14,16; John 16:7-14 + 14:22-27).
Second, based on Jesus's life and command, the Apostles
tell us we are to be like Jesus, and judge between good and
evil, denouncing the bad and praising the good.
- I Peter 1:15-16
But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in
all manner of conversation; because it is written (Lev.
11:44): Be ye holy, for I am holy.
- I John 4:1,5-6
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets
are gone out into the world. They are of the world:
therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth
them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that
is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of
Truth, and the spirit of error.
- I Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.
- Philippians 1:9-10
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more
in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve
things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and
without offense till the day of Christ.
- Matthew 23:23
. . .the weightier matters of the law: judgment,
mercy, and faith.
- I Corinthians 6:2,4a
Do you not know that the saints shall judge the
world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are
ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? [Y]e have judgment
of things pertaining to this life. . . .
- Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye
which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of
Man shall sit in the throne of His Glory, ye also shall sit
upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
- Luke 7:43
Thou hast rightly judged.
- Luke 12:57
Why judge ye not what is right?
- John 7:24
Judge righteous judgment.
- I Corinthians 10:15
I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
- Acts 17:11
These were more noble that those in Thessalonica, in that
they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and
searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Therefore many of them believed. . . .
- I Corinthians 11:13
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray
unto God uncovered?
- James 2:1-5,12-13
- Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any
virtue, and if there be any praise, think on
- Ephesians 4:13
Are we to be like Christ?
- Philippians 4:9
Are we to be like the Apostles?
May these verses help us, not to be judgmental for the sake
of being judgmental, but to exalt God's Law, and replace the
ugliness and violence of the world with the beauty and peace of
the Kingdom of Christ.
"Oh how love I thy Law! It is my meditation all the
day!" (Psalm 119:97)
Can We Judge Another's Heart?
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, "I
said, Ye are gods"?
[H]e called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the
Scripture cannot be broken.
I once had an aunt who dabbled in the occult. She used this
verse to show that all men had "a spark of divinity"
in them and consequently had no need for a Savior Who was
"the only Way to God." This is not the only verse that
can be confusing to someone who takes the popular, evangelical,
antinomian position that Christians are not to render judgments
based upon God's Word. Consider the following passages:
- Genesis 3:5:
"Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Was
Satan right? At least partially, as we see from
- Genesis 3:22:
"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as
one of us, to know good an evil. . . ."
- Exodus 7:1:
"I have made thee a god to Pharaoh." A position
worthy of note, since the princes of Egypt were themselves
called "gods" (Exodus 12:12).
- Exodus 21:6, 22:8,9,28:
The judges, or elders or Israel, were "gods." (Cf.
I Samuel 2:25, where the word for "judge" is elohim,
as in all verses we are now examining.)
- Psalm 138:1:
"I will praise thee. . .before the gods." Will
mere statues listen? Compare Psalm 119:46
Apparently, those with political or judicial power over
others were called "gods," probably because they were
imitating the function of the True King and Lawgiver (Isaiah
It is interesting that even Israel's judges were called gods.
Was this good? Is it good for a people to have gods? What was it
that made them "gods"?
One aspect of their being gods over the people was their
possession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly differentiated them
from the rest of the people under the Old Covenant. Kings, most
notably, were anointed with oil to symbolize their possession of
Was it good for only a few to have the Spirit, or would it be
desirable for all men to have the Spirit? How did Moses,
the mediator of the Old Covenant, answer this question (Numbers
11:29)? In the New Covenant, all believers do indeed have the
Spirit (1 John 2:20,27). Does that make them kings? (Revelation
It certainly makes us "sons of God" (John 1:12).
We are led to the conclusion that in some sense (and I sure
don't know exhaustively in what sense!!) believers are
"gods." (That sounds real wacky, and although I don't
know all the relationships between kings and priests and gods, I
do know that it does not mean what certain cultists might
say it means. Don't put such a terrible construction on what
these verses are saying that you miss the point of whatever the
Bible really is teaching.)
In light of such passages as John 1:12, I John 3:2, and 2
Peter 1:4, what can we say about judging the heart?
We have already seen how judges were called gods. Undoubtedly
they were to judge as God Himself does: righteously, according
to His Holy Word (John 7:24).
But doesn't the Bible say that only God
Himself can judge the heart? I Samuel 16:7 says
"the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on
the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the
As is often the case with those who value their feelings more
than the Law-Word of God, this phrase is taken out of context.
The Bible says man is a worm. Always? In every sense?
"Man judges the outward appearance." Always?
Unavoidably? Peter in his first letter (1:15-16) rightly cites
Leviticus 11:44 to argue that we are to be holy even as God is
holy. If God judges not just on appearances, but righteously,
even looking at the heart, then we are to do the same. Is it
possible that we even can?
The very verse in question (I Samuel 16:7) is actually a command
for Samuel to do this very thing! Samuel had just made an
untrue judgment (v.6) and God commands him not to judge based
solely on appearances, but to judge as the LORD does!
We can judge hearts because the Word of God Himself tells us how.
Hebrews 4:12 says "For the Word of God is quick, and
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to
the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart."
Armed with this sword (Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 149:6) believers
can expose the true state of affairs, exposing motivations and
goals of the heart (I Corinthians 14:24-25).
Solomon taught his son how to judge hearts: by putting
together external actions and the Word's assessment of those
actions. By looking up the word "heart" in a
concordance, we can see how often the Proverbs make such
judgments. These judgments teach believers how to be wise
discerners. "A prudent man concealeth knowledge; but the
heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness" (Proverbs
12:23). Does a wise heart ever proclaim foolishness? Never.
Anytime we see a fool proclaiming foolishness, we know something
about his heart.
When Solomon rendered judgments (e.g., Proverbs 6:14) he
wasn't just showing off his wisdom, he was telling his son
important facts that should be kept by us. We can know a man's
heart by his actions (Mark 7:21-23), because God's Law-Word
governs all actions and makes us Spiritual discerners (I
Corinthians 2:14-15; Psalm 119:69-70).
To their credit, most Christians, even those who remissfully
assert that we should not judge the heart, do so anyway.
Proverbs 22:15 says "Foolishness is bound up in the heart
of a child; but the rod and correction shall drive it far from
him." Spanking thus has for its purpose the driving of
foolishness out of a child's heart. Only a few who say we cannot
know the heart of another never spank. Perhaps some who say we
shouldn't judge the heart spank anyway, without judging
the heart: "Oh, I just spank 'em a couple times a day:
keeps 'em on their toes." How unGodly. Those who do spank
do in fact judge the heart, the more like their Savior they
become (Ephesians 4:13). A child hits his sister. "He hit
me!" she cries, demanding vengeance. But the wise father
saw that the boy struck her inadvertently; he doesn't spank the
boy because he makes a sanctified judgment of the lad's heart;
we distinguish between accidental and deliberate damage
("Deliberated" where? In the heart.)
Jude (and the parallel chapter in 2 Peter 2) makes some
awesome judgments of peoples' hearts. We are to follow these
judgments (Jude 22), and most of us do, even if we say "You
shouldn't judge a person's heart." Let us never
underestimate our authority as sons of God.
Freud et al
Awareness Letter, March-April 2009, Vol. 17, No. 2)
A very popular trend in
biblical counseling is examining the heart and its idols.
Indeed, the Lord is able to do this, but some counselors seem
to think they can see into another person's heart and enable
people to discern their hidden motives and forces that drive
their external actions.
Only God can see into the human
heart. It is presumptuous to believe that we can know another
person's heart when the Bible declares that people are
deceived about their own hearts, let alone other peoples.
I don't agree.
Neither does the author:
For instance, a person may seem haughty when, in fact, the
person may be painfully shy.
How does the author know this?
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.
Why would Solomon teach his son this, if not
to judge hearts and apply a remedy?
Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding,
But what is in the heart of fools is made known.
Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.
Wise men judge hearts:
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that
Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the
morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of
them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned
and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”
They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
Do not take me away with the wicked
And with the workers of iniquity, Who speak peace to their
neighbors, But evil is in their hearts.
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,
But war was in his heart;
No, in heart you work wickedness;
You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.
They said in their hearts,
“Let us destroy them altogether.”
And may not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not set its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
And they tested God in their heart
By asking for the food of their fancy.
For their heart was not steadfast with Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness.
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,
Him I will not endure.
Who plan evil things in their hearts;
They continually gather together for war.
Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
Even in laughter the heart may sorrow,
And the end of mirth may be grief.
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,
But the heart of the fool does not do so.
The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the LORD.
“ Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
But how would you know unless you could judge his heart?
Is it really true that
Only God can see into the
human heart. It is presumptuous to believe that we can know
another person's heart when the Bible declares that people are
deceived about their own hearts, let alone other peoples.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
There are so many commands in Scripture for us to examine our
hearts and purify them that I cannot quote them all here. When
the Bible says our hearts are deceitful, that
is a command to know them, judge them, and reform them, not
a universal declaration that we cannot.
Judging Extends the Kingdom of Christ
I've just explained how a failure to judge righteous judgment
can result in unfair discipline of children. But there's much
more. If you're asking yourself, "Why should I want to
judge people?" or "Why would anyone write a paper in
defense of being judgmental?" here is the answer.
except perhaps that of Noah,
before the flood
is the operative term here. The pressure to accept and
tolerate all things works most immediately in favor of the
State. Especially in favor of dictatorships and murderous
regimes, such as our own government. For this reason, the
attitude is fostered and sponsored by the State.
We live in a century which has two distinctive
It is the most violent
century in the last three thousand years. There is no
disputing this fact. Not just in sheer numbers, but a higher percentage
of the human race has been deliberately killed in the
20th century than in any previous century.*
the century in which "tolerance" is politically
correct and "judging" and "dogma" are
out. In the face of monstrous evil, we are silent, because we
don't want to appear to be "judgmental." We want to
be "open-minded" and "progressive."
This nonsense must end. It is the saints of God --
that is, people who are "called out" from the modern
world -- who reign and carry out the orders of Christ the King. If
we do not judge, the Kingdom does not come to full fruition.
Only a judgmental Christian is Truly