There is a very common belief in our culture that judging people is necessarily unloving. You can’t turn on the radio or T.V. for 30 minutes without hearing someone talk about how wrong it is to judge people.
This is the most blind ideology of our current time if you take a second to think about it!
Telling people not to judge is in fact a judgement!
We live in an age where we actually think it is possible not to pass judgement. Moreover, we think it is an act of love not to pass judgement on people. Dr. Theodore Dalrymple disagrees with this modern sentiment in his book Life at the Bottom he states:
It is wrong and cruel to suspend judgment, nonjudgmentalism is at best indifference to the sufferings of others, at worst a disguised form of sadism. How can one respect people as members of the human race unless one holds them to a standard of conduct and truthfulness? How can people learn from experience unless they are told they can and should change … Nonjudgmentalism is not really nonjudgmental. It is the judgment that everything is the same and nothing is better. This is as barbaric and untruthful a doctrine as has yet emerged from the fertile mind of man. (pg. 194)
Dr. Dalrymple reveals the impossibility of not passing judgement. Whenever we think we are not judging we are in fact judging. Dalrymple also shows that when you think you are being “nonjudgmental” you are in fact passing the judgement that nothing matters, especially not the actions on your fellow man. This is called relativism and it is the presupposition of our modern culture.
Relativism believes at its core that there is no point to anything. The shallowness of this philosophy is so obvious that only a culture raised on television could fall into it. Here’s what I mean. If there is no point to anything then why get upset when I disagree with you? If there is no meaning to anything then there is no meaning to your argument and no meaning to my counter argument and thus you really shouldn’t believe yourself or me.
If we take a little more time to ponder these things we see that even though our culture believes in “nonjudgmentalism” our culture is not entirely relativistic. This is so clearly seen when you argue with someone who thinks judging people is wrong. They will always argue back proving that they believe in an objective truth.
They way to reveal to someone the shallowness of their thought on this issue is to ask them a very simply question: “Do you believe it is wrong to kill innocent people?”
The way a person answers this question will reveal whether they are 1) a sociopath who believes in killing innocent lives or 2) a person who is judgmental.
The question should never be whether or not to judge someone; you are always passing judgment. The issue comes down to our standard of judgment. How is it that we are to judge people and events? Do we look to nature? To science? To the majority?
Ultimately non of these things can provide us with a true moral compass for passing judgment. Only God’s Word can truly operate as a compass for how we are to pass judgement and God’s word calls for the Christian to obtain wisdom in all things.
Judgement is impossible to avoid. You cannot not judge. Even when you think you are being nonjudgmental you are in fact passing judging. Instead of trying to no longer pass judgement on people perhaps we should strive to learn how to judge rightly. This means we must learn the wisdom of how God passes judgement in his word and proclaim that judgment. Let’s not forget that it is through the proclamation of God’s word that the Spirit of God moves to create and recreate (Genesis 1:2 & 2 Corinthians 4:6)
Food for thought!