I found this short article by Paul Copan. I’ve gotten some flak from liberal Christian women for my disagreement with certain liberal causes, so I thought I would link to this article to defend myself.
It’s been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt. 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15)! Any act of church discipline (1 Cor. 5:5) and rebuking false prophets (1 John 4:1) requires judgment. What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of moral superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye—which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.1 But let’s take a closer look at this charge that Christians are judgmental when we speak out on moral issues.
He then goes on to make some points:
- If judging is wrong, then no one can judge you for being judgmental
- In other places, Jesus urges people to make a right judgment
- Is it possible to have convictions yet still treat people with respect?
- Are inclusivists and pluralists (e.g. – Hindus) tolerant of exclusivists?
- What is tolerance, and how does it relate to truth?
- Comparison of “equality of persons” with “equality of viewpoints”
- Are moral standards variable by time and place, or fixed?
- Are moral standards merely descriptive, or also prescriptive?
- Should atheists be moral? What reason do they have to be moral?
- Can non-illusory morality exist in an atheistic universe?
- Can there be real morality if there is no design in the universe?
And he also talks about what else the Bible says about judging.
It’s a good article. Moral judgments are necessary for us to warn ourselves and others about the harm that may occur if we cross boundaries.