If humanity as a whole has become adept at one thing, it must be the judgement and condemnation of one another. I believe this to be true in all circles, and sadly, perhaps it is most true among Christians. We condemn one another publicly and privately, we question someone’s ability to be a Christian if they are homosexual, or if they have tattoos, or if we catch them in a lie. We condemn those that smoke tobacco or weed (which was burnt on Jewish alters before God), or drink alcohol (Christ is know to have imbibed), or a myriad of other offenses. We are so concerned with what a Christian should not do, that we are losing focus on what Christians should be doing.
God presides in the divine assembly; He renders judgment among the gods:
“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; uphold the rights of the afflicted and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; save them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know or understand; they wander in the darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I have said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But like mortals you will die, and like rulers you will fall.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are Your inheritance.Psalm 82
How Long Will You Judge Unjustly?
In psalm 82, we are presented a scene with God standing before the judges of the earth, and He renders His judgement of them. He asks, “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?” I wonder how we might respond to such a question today? We do focus all of our judgement on those actions we deem as wicked or sinful, even after Christ and other biblical authorities have instructed us to withhold judgement.
- Matthew 7:1 – Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
- Proverbs 21:2 – A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.
- Romans 14:13 – Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
- Luke 6:37 – Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
- Romans 14:4 – Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
- Colossians 2:16-17 – Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
And there are so many more examples that I could list. The Hebrew word satan can be translated as accuser, do we not realize that when we accuse others and focus on their transgressions that we, in essence, become a satan? Surely this is not our goal, how could it be our intent to tear down those around us by claiming that they are not good enough to be a Christian over matters that the church itself finds to be controversial? Instead, let us make up our minds not to become the very stumbling blocks that prevent a brother or sister from staying with the church.
Let us reduce our focus on one another’s transgressions, and instead focus on the very things put forth in Psalm 82. After God asks the questions about our unjust judgement and focus on the wicked, He then makes a series of statements. Statements that are echoed all through the New Testament, right next to all of those statements telling us not to judge.
- Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless
- Uphold the rights of the afflicted and oppressed
- Rescue the weak and needy
These are the causes the church should be focused on, doing these things will bring more people to the Lord than strict condemnation. There is an old saying about catching more flies with honey, and the overall message of the New Testament revolves around this idea. We are more valuable to one another as loving servants than we are as harsh judges. God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save it. So let’s focus on saving it.