Jon Bloom on How Christians Aren’t—and Are—to Judge Other Christians
Though the election is over, some of the hard feelings between Christians who disagreed with each other are not over. Unfortunately, I expect “I told you so’s” to come up often in the years to come, spoken both by those who supported Donald Trump and those who opposed him, few of whom have yet changed their minds, and some of whom never will.
That makes this article by my friend Jon Bloom as relevant now as when he wrote it shortly before the election. What he said doesn’t just apply to differing politics, but to a variety of beliefs and practices and matters of conscience, which vary widely among God’s people, and for which we are far too quick to judge and condemn each other.
I find myself often contemplating John 17:20-23 (here in the New Century Version), in which Jesus prayed: “I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. I have given these people the glory that you gave me so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. I will be in them and you will be in me so that they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as much as you loved me.”
Judge Not, That You May Judge Well
Christians are not to judge other Christians. And Christians are to judge other Christians. That’s what the Bible teaches. In fact, the apostle Paul says both things in the same letter just a few paragraphs apart.
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)
Don’t judge other Christians.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Corinthians 5:12)
Judge other Christians.
Is Paul contradicting himself? No. Paul is simply instructing us that there are things we must not judge and things we must judge.