Judge Not Lest Ye Be Clubbed With Stupidity and Misunderstanding
by, December 23rd, 2009 at 03:31 PM (425 Views)
Judge not lest ye be judged.
Turn the other cheek.
Take the beam from your own eye.
Yada, yada, yada.
When the subject of judgment comes up, it pisses me off when I see it misused again and again, either by others saying that they're Christians or by anyone just simply feeling self-righteous or judged. See, a lot of people think that Christians are told not to judge others, but it's not true. We are to judge, and we are to make decisions with those judgments in mind.
This leads into other areas too--let's use drinking as a common example. Some Christians claim drinking in any amount is a "sin" and anti-Christians sometimes believe that we all feel that way. The truth is that no where does the Bible mention drinking is a sin, but that "drunkeness" and the true sins committed in drunkeness are the sin. So if you're occasionally going out and getting fuck-faced (btw, cussing falls into this area too), there's no one in Heaven making little red marks by your name or loading up the smite-cannon.
But if you're an alcoholic, or are using the drinking to otherwise engage and enable bad behavior or known/acknowledged "stumbling blocks" then a Christian would say it's a sin, and EVERYONE should say that it's a problem/wrong--Christians just label it "sin."
In terms of judgment, there's another well-known and oft misunderstood part of the Bible that IMO is common sense for any person, regardless of belief, and that's "if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out." Now, this is not hard to understand, but it's used as a weapon against Christians as an example of how zealous and insane we are, and again, it's misused by the Christians who are giving us all a bad name. It's not that we advocate all "bad" things to be destroyed. It's that we all have different stumbling blocks, and if you recognize that you have one, then stay the hell away from it.
To use the above example, let's say you're an alcoholic. If you were, it would be really stupid to go sit and hang out in a bar. If you're not an alcoholic, there's no temptation, no stumbling block, so to sit in a bar is not a sin and doesn't have any need to be "plucked out" of your life.
So yes, I will judge, and please don't throw any Bible verses at me about turning another cheek, judging not lest I be judged, etc, unless you understand the meaning and I am indeed wrong in my judgment. I am allowed to judge and I am in fact encouraged to judge as a Christian in order to keep my feet straight upon my own path.
There are other common cliches in this category. Walking in another person's shoes is not something I have to do in order to figure out whether someone else is stupid, lame, mean, bad, or any other opinion I form of them. I can make that determination based on the code of personal ethics that I hold for myself and for others to gain my respect.
I use the term "Christian" a lot but it's not about a religious label either. One thing that appeals to me about my religion is that it's based seemingly on common sense (when done right), and that every "rule" is made seemingly based on a common ground of human feeling and emotion and just simple rights and wrongs. Knowing very many great atheists, I have learned that my standards are not always ONLY Christian, though it's part of my religion, but just common sense and decency. I just get sick of my religion being used as a club either by other Christians or by those who misunderstand my religion and hope that my own example can quietly counteract the myths and mistakes made by all sides.
The subject of judgment is often open to interpretation based on circumstance, situation, and a million other things, but above all, don't try to use my own religion as a grounds to tell me that my judgment has no right to exist. As a human on this earth, forced to live with other humans, I must use judgment in order to survive, and IMO, lack of judgment and proper intelligence is normally the cause of all crime.