Who Am I to Judge?

Regis Nicoll
Regis Nicoll

It took but a few decades for the law written on the human heart, engraved on stone, and honored for millennia to be largely lost on the collective conscience. Today, instead of the Ten Commandments, there is one: “Thou shalt not judge.”

Oddly, in a time when the concept of “sin” has also lost its purchase, a person called out for judging will become a social outcast until his “guilt” is purged by the penances of public apology, diversity/sensitivity training, and reparation to the offended. Even among Christians, judging the behaviors and lifestyles of others is considered unseemly at best and unchristian at worst.

Take singer Carrie Underwood. When she came out in support of same-sex “marriage” in 2012, she credited her faith for her position stating, “Above all, God wanted us to love others,” adding “It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”

A year later when Pope Francis fielded a question about a gay subculture in the clergy, his now famous response, stripped from its context, was taken by nice people of faith and social progressives as an imprimatur on non-judgmentalism.

Despite its ever-so humble patina, non-judgmentalism has deep logical, practical, moral, and theological problems.

First, if “it’s not up to me to judge,” that applies to the wrongness of actions as well as their rightness. For which ever way we judge is a de facto judgment on the opposing view. For example, when Carrie Underwood endorsed same-sex “marriage” it was her moral judgment on the social contrivance and its supporters, as well as a moral insinuation, if not judgment, about the criticisms and critics.

Second, non-judgmentalism is self-indicting. If judgment-making is wrong, so too is the judgment against judgment-making.

Third, fidelity to non-judgmentalism requires moral neutrality on all matters—an impossibility even for the entrenched non-judgmentalist. Regardless of his religious sympathies, he will consider things like cheating, rape, and exploitation as wrong and things like honesty, fairness, and charity as good.

Fourth, the person who refrains from judging truth from falsehood and good from evil quickly will find himself a victim of those adept at parading one for the other.

Lastly and most importantly for Christians, the “who-am-I-to-judge” ethic has no biblical warrant. Quite the opposite. Read more.

Originally published June 15, 2017.

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